Bot & Anor v Barnick & Ors, Court of Appeal - Queen's Bench Division, November 16, 2018, [2018] EWHC 3132 (QB)

Resolution Date:November 16, 2018
Issuing Organization:Queen's Bench Division
Actores:Bot & Anor v Barnick & Ors

Neutral Citation Number: [2018] EWHC 3132 (QB)

Case No: HQ16C04362



Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 16/11/2018

Before :


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Between :

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Claimant (1) not represented.

Adam Walker (instructed by Healys LLP) for Claimant (2)

Nicola Campbell-Clause (instructed by Hill Dickinson LLP) for Defendants (1) and (2)

Matthew Barnes (instructed by DAC Beachcroft) for Defendant (3)

Hearing dates: 1st November 2018

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Mrs Justice Whipple :


  1. These are two applications brought by the first and second defendants (D1 and D2), and the third defendant (D3), respectively, to strike out the second claimant's claim (he is C2). The strike out proceeds on two bases: that the claim discloses no reasonable cause of action (CPR 3.4(2)(a)); alternatively, that the claim has no real prospect of success (CPR 24.2).

  2. By a claim form issued on 16 December 2016, the first Claimant (C1) claimed damages for personal injuries sustained and losses and expenses incurred as a result of the negligent treatment of D1 (a consultant obstetrician) and D2 (a consultant psychiatrist) at the Portland Hospital, for which D3 is responsible. C2 made a claim for damages and losses and expenses for negligent misstatement and breach of contract by D1 and D2, and D3 and its servants or agents, between 25 April and 5 May 2011.

  3. C1's claim against D1 and D2 is progressing. By consent, C1's claim against D3 was struck out with no order as to costs on 28 September 2017.

  4. C2's claim proceeds against all three defendants. They apply to strike his claim out or have summary judgment entered in their favour, adopting each other's cases as set out in their applications, and in their written and oral submissions (with adaptations as necessary to reflect the differences between them as parties).

    C2's Claim

  5. C2's particulars of claim were dated 25 July 2017. They were amended on 19 July 2018. The following paragraphs are based on the facts as pleaded in the amended particulars, which facts I accept for present purposes.

  6. C1 gave birth to a daughter at the Portland Hospital on 29 March 2011, by elective caesarean section. She was a private patient at that hospital. C1 was discharged on 1 April 2011 with her baby daughter. She was re-admitted to the Portland Hospital on 26 April 2011, again as a private patient, with a suspected infection of her caesarean wound.

  7. Thereafter her mental health deteriorated. On 27 April 2011 she became anxious and distressed and tried to pull out her drain. She was put under observation every 15 minutes. On 28 April 2011, she was assessed by a psychiatric nurse. On 29 April 2011, she was seen by D2 who noted that she was suffering a mixed affective state with fluctuating orientation. D1 saw her on 30 April 2011 and noted that she appeared to be mentally stable. D2 saw her again on 1 May 2011 and noted that she continued to do well, although C2 maintains that C1 was by now delusional. On 3 May 2011, nursing staff noted that C1 was confused and agitated. On 4 May 2011, the notes record a discussion with C2 about statements made by C1, which included C1 saying that she had been visited by a Cameroonian gang leader, her life had been threatened, money had been stolen from her, and that the children were at home being cared for by a nanny. The note records C2 being concerned about his children's safety. Entries in the notes later that day record C1 having alleged that she was raped by her uncle when she was 3, that she had thoughts of hurting family members, and other assertions of a similar nature. She was assessed by D2 at 16.30, he concluded she was having an acute stress reaction and that some intervention from other agencies, including the police, was warranted.

  8. It is C2's case that D2 told him that C1 was suffering a stress reaction to having visitors, who had threatened her; that she had recovered from a psychiatric episode, and was not ill; that her allegations were truthful; that there were child- protection issues for the police to consider.

  9. The police came to interview C1 at around 17.30 hours that evening. She was later seen by D1 and D2. The notes record that referral to the local mental health team was being considered and that she was confused and restless. At 07.25 on 5 May 2011, C1 was violent to a mental health nurse, and then put her clothes on and said she wanted to leave. She was discharged from hospital later that day, against C2's wishes. C2 took her by taxi to Islington Police Station where she was ``sectioned''.

  10. It appears that after that, C1 was compulsorily detained in a psychiatric hospital for some weeks. C1 and C2 became estranged. C2 served an injunction on C1 preventing her from accessing her children. C1's condition subsequently stabilised and she was then reconciled with C2.

  11. The essence of C2's claim is that D1, D2 and/or D3 provided negligent advice and / or incorrect information to C2, on which he relied, and which caused him to believe that C1's delusions were or may have been based in fact, which in turn caused him to doubt the basis of his relationship with C1, and to...

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