Spencer v Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust

Negligence – Causation. The claimant underwent a procedure at a hospital for which the defendant NHS Trust had responsibility for. He was not warned of the possibility of post-operative deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. He presented at the hospital feeling unwell, but failed to mention calf pain as a symptom. He later suffered bilateral pulmonary emboli originating from the main right and left pulmonary arteries. He brought a claim for personal injuries and damages on the basis that he ought to have been warned of the risk of pulmonary embolism. The defendant contended that the claimant had himself been contributory negligent. The Queen's Bench Division held that the defendant had been in breach of duty and that that had caused the claimant's injury. It followed that there had to be judgment for the claimant for the total agreed sum.

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