Hughes v Rattan [2021] EWHC 2032 (QB) (21 July 2021)

This is a dental negligence claim brought against D the former owner of the Practice. The claim arises from NHS dental treatment provided to C by four dentists engaged at the Practice, Drs Shahin Boghani, William Beattie, Rubina Fur and Yavar Khan. Dr Khan was an employed assistant dentist; the others were self-employed associate dentists. I will refer to the four collectively as “the Treating Dentists” and to the three associates as “the Associate Dentists”. Save as I indicate in paragraph 3 below, D contends that as a matter of law he is not liable for the acts and omissions of the Treating Dentists. [1]

… preliminary issues, namely: “Whether D is liable for the acts or omissions of Drs Shahin Boghani, William Beattie, Yavar Khan and Rubina Fur by virtue of vicarious liability or a non-delegable duty of care.” [2]

D admitted that he was vicariously liable for the acts and omissions of Dr Khan as at the relevant time he was a trainee engaged under a contract of employment [3]

D owed a non-delegable duty of care to C in relation to the dental treatment she received at the Practice. [122]

the relationship here was sufficiently akin to employment to make it fair and just to impose vicarious liability. [128]

the claim will therefore proceed [134]