John v Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2016] EWHC 407 (QB) (02 March 2016)

On 23 December 2007 C fell. He was admitted to hospital at 06.52 with a history of suspected head injury, vomiting, and confusion. He was assessed and the plan was for CT scan which was performed at 13.12. C alleges negligent delay in the performance of the CT and then negligent delay in transfer to neurosurgery.

C alleges negligent delay in evacuation of acute subdural haematoma. C’s case was that he suffered an extended period of raised intra-cranial pressure which materially contributed to the cognitive and neuropsychological deficits.

Breach of duty and causation in issue. There were factual uncertainties.

C said “…the classic ‘but for’ test of causation cannot operate since the expert medical analysis does not permit a ‘but for’ assessment to be made” (paragraph 82) and relied on Bailey claiming full compensation.

Bonnington, Bailey and Williams applied: “…if the ‘material contribution’ test has been satisfied, then causation is made out… if the evidence is such that it is not possible to attribute particular damage to a specific cause, the claimant must be entitled to recover… the entirety of his loss.” (paragraph 98)

“…apportionment is not appropriate where it is not merely difficult but is impossible to allot particular loss to a particular cause…” (paragraph 99)

Judgment for C against D.