Illustration of the application of the Bolam defence
Eccleston v Medway NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 790 (QB)
Counsel: For the claimant: Bradley Martin
For the defendant: Gerard Boyle
Solicitors: For the claimant: Onyems & Partners
For the defendant: Bevan Brittan
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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