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A more than half empty glass

Jackson LJ has not addressed the root causes of high costs in clin neg claims, which may lead to serious, unintended consequences for patient safety, explains Peter Walsh

7 August 2017

Lord Justice Jackson’s review of civil litigation recommends introducing fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims with damages of £25,000 or under. It could have been much worse, with some calling for fixed costs for cases up to £250,000.

Jackson LJ clearly listened – to a certain extent – to the arguments put forward by claimant lawyers and ourselves. We speak up for the victims in all of this – the claimants themselves. However, as far as we are concerned the glass is distinctly more than half empty following Jackson LJ’s review. There is no escaping the fact that imposing fixed costs would hamper rather than help access to justice and harm patient safety.

Ultimately, it is some of the most vulnerable people in society, whose lives have been ruined by perfectly avoidable lapses in patient safety, who will lose out &nda...

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