I have been instructed in many major medical negligence cases – usually, but not exclusively for claimants. Since 1980, I have been the lead editor of Medical Negligence (Clinical Negligence since 2000), a text which is unique in pulling together the expertise of more than 80 distinguished legal and medical experts. I have extensive experience in cerebral palsy cases and where anaesthetic or major surgery has resulted in devastating injury or death and I have lectured, taught and published in this area throughout my professional life and in different jurisdictions including Mauritius, the Isle of Man, Jersey, the Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago) and Malaysia.
Group litigation poses particularly difficulties. I have been instructed in some of the largest (eg the excess irradiation group litigation – Exeter and RAGE) although product liability is more commonly seen with medicines (eg benzodiazepines, oral contraceptives) where I am usually instructed by the pharmaceutical companies. Industrial processes are sometimes alleged to be injurious to health and I have acted for Rio Tinto Zinc (Capper Pass litigation), ICI (carbon disulphide), 3M Riker (Flecainide Acetate) and other international companies in toxic tort cases.
I feel strongly that patients who are injured or who die as a consequence of clinical negligence deserve full accountability and compensation for their suffering. This kind of professional negligence causes such hurt because of the breach of trust given to the NHS/medical professional: we place our lives and those of our loved ones in their hands. Often it is not money which the claimants seek – it is accountability and the hope that by exposing bad practice, other families will not suffer the same or similar fate.