Harding v Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (13 September 2017)

C was born on 13 June 1990. (paragraph 1)

C arrived at the hospital, by ambulance, on 25 July 2012 at 01.55 having been assaulted… and having sustained a wound over the right side of the head. He was handed over to the Emergency Department at 02.45. In very broad summary, the Claimant had suffered a skull fracture and, as a consequence, he was developing an extradural haematoma (EDH), which required emergency treatment. He was not sent for CT scanning until after 05.00 am at which point the nature of the injury was first appreciated. As the hospital had no emergency neurosurgical facilities, he was later transferred to… Oxford where he received operative treatment, namely a decompression of the EDH. He has made a partial recovery. He claims that he was negligently treated; his true condition should have been diagnosed much earlier and, if that had been done, he would likely have made a full (or much fuller) recovery. (paragraph 2)

This is the trial of the issue of liability, or more accurately the trial of causation. D admits breach of duty but denies causation. It is admitted that C should have been sent for a CT scan shortly after arrival in the Emergency Department. It is D’s case that, with immediate and proper treatment, C would have made no better recovery. He has suffered no loss by the admitted breach of duty. (paragraph 3)

…it also follows from all of this that D’s admitted negligence made no material contribution to the injuries. At the very most, in my judgment, C lost the chance of a very small improvement in outcome. There must be judgment for D. (paragraph 64)