Rayner v Wolferstans and Medway NHS Foundation Trust [23.10.15]

The Claimant gave birth on 5 January 2004. During the birth she was given an epidural. She asserted that the epidural was negligently administered and led to a significant disability. The Claimant issued a claim form against the Trust on 28 August 2014. Considering preliminary issues in relation to limitation, Mr Justice Wilkie considered the degree of prejudice to each side. Exercising his discretion under s.33 Limitation Act 1980, he held that it was equitable for the claim to proceed, finding as follows:

  • As the Claimant’s case was based on the doctrine of ‘res ipsa loquitur’ the main burden of the debate before the court would be undertaken by medical experts.
  • There was already sufficient contemporaneous written material from witnesses on both sides to enable the court to make factual findings.