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Illustration of the application of the Bolam defence

P. &. I Clubs Law and Practice

Illustration of the application of the Bolam defence

Eccleston v Medway NHS Foundation Trust [2013] EWHC 790 (QB)

The case outlined below is a very good illustration of a sound approach by a judge, His Honour Judge Reddihough, sitting as a High Court judge, to consideration of the Bolam defence as modified in the Bolitho case. The case concerned the question as to whether a consultant orthopaedic surgeon had been negligent in performing surgery on the claimant’s knee. Each of two possible methods of carrying out the surgery was logically supported by a responsible body of opinion. This case contains one of the clearest and most logical applications of the Bolam/Bolitho defence to be found in recent years, though ultimately, this did not fall into the category of those rare cases in which a judge could reject a body of expert evidence on the grounds that it was illogical.

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