Shorter v Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Damages – Personal injury. The deceased died of a subarachnoid haemorrhage as a result of admitted negligence on the part of the defendant Trust. The defendant settled claims brought by her dependants and by her husband for nervous shock The claimant was the deceased's sister. She brought a claim as a secondary victim on the basis that she experienced nervous shock as a result of the events that transpired. The Queen's Bench Division found that in the circumstances, the sight of the deceased could not be regarded as a 'horrifying event'; nor was it sudden or unexpected. There was a series of different events that gave rise to an accumulation during that period of gradual assaults on the claimant's mind and resulted in her psychiatric illness.

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