Reaney v University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust and another[02.11.15]

The Claimant developed transverse myelitis, leaving her paraplegic, a condition that arose non-negligently. During an extended period of hospitalisation she developed deep pressure sores. The Defendants accepted liability for the consequences of the pressure sores. At first instance, Mr Justice Foskett held that, as the Defendants were required to ‘take their victim as they found her’, they had to pay for all the Claimant’s care needs, not just those resulting from the pressure sores. The Court of Appeal allowed the Defendants’ appeal. The Defendants only had to pay for the increased care and other needs which were ‘quantitatively’ different from her pre-existing needs. Had the Defendants’ negligence caused the Claimant to have needs which were ‘qualitatively’ different to her pre-existing needs, then the Defendants would have to pay for them in full.