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Update: personal injury and clinical negligence

Dr Jock Mackenzie and Vijay Ganapathy look at cases on psychiatric injuries, fast track mesothelioma, ‘system failure’ and duty to inform a patient of the potential risks

21 October 2008

Primary victims in PTSD claims

In Stephen Monk v PC Harrington UK Ltd [2008] EWHC 1879 (QB) the claimant (M) was held not entitled to damages for psychiatric injury he developed after helping two construction workers who were seriously injured at the new Wembley Stadium when a temporary platform fell from 60 feet onto them. M claimed he was entitled to damages because he was as a ‘primary victim’.

In particular, he argued that he satisfied the criteria to claim as a rescuer or failing this, an ‘unwilling participant’ because he believed he caused the accident (as he was responsible for supervision of the fallen temporary platform).

The court disagreed. While accepting the help M provided was neither ‘trivial nor peripheral’ therefore entitling him to be described as a rescuer, he was not a ‘primary victim’ when acting as such because the court found on his evidence that he was unlikely to have believed he was putting his ow...

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