Brown and others v Smith and others

Medical negligence – Duty of care – Causation. Court of Session: Finding for the pursuers in an action in which relatives of a man who suffered a fatal cardiac event sought damages from a partnership of general medical practitioners (GP's) on the basis that the deceased's death was caused by the negligence of one GP in the course of his attendances with her on 29 and 31 December 2010 and 5 January 2011, the court held that the GP was professionally negligent and breached the duties of care which she owed to the deceased, in that on 31 December 2010 she (i) failed to diagnose unstable angina, (ii) failed to refer him immediately to hospital, (iii) failed to provide appropriate worsening advice, and (iv) failed to prescribe the medication appropriate for a diagnosis of stable angina; the court was also satisfied that it was proved that those failures were materially causative of death in that their consequences were that the deceased was denied the appropriate treatment which, on the balance of probabilities, would have reduced his level of cardiac ischaemia to the extent that ventricular arrhythmia would have been prevented.

Category: