23 February, 2021
This was a Clinical Negligence claim against the Claimant's GP for failing to identify an abdominal condition, despite carrying out blood tests and failing to advise the Claimant of the results which resulted in her being admitted to Hospital for emergency treatment and surgery, where she was an impatient with continuing symptoms on discharge and an extended period of recovery.
Instructions were taken in June 2017 and a CFA was completed containing a Success Fee with an Hourly Rate at £300.00 per hour (standard guideline hourly rates) used at Gothic House in Clinical Negligence cases conducted by a Senior Solicitor and Partner.
MDU were instructed on behalf of the GP which involved lengthy denials. The case was supported by an ATE Premium and three Medical Experts of different expertise on issues relating to Breach, Causation and Quantum. MDU Solicitors challenged all allegations and disputed supporting evidence from all three Experts. A very low "Without Prejudice" offer was made by MDU 2 ½ years after the procedure which was rejected by the Claimant. Counsel was instructed to draft Particulars of Claim. Just before Proceedings were issued the Defendants offered the sum of £30,000.00, with still no admissions. The claim was accepted.
Thereafter, MDU instructed Acumension who challenged all items in a Detailed Bill amounting to £40,000.00. Negotiations were attempted. MDU made two interim payments at £10,000.00 each. A Detailed Bill was prepared and served. Points of Dispute were received repeating all challenges on Experts fees, ATE Premium, Counsel's Fee's and particularly insisting on the GHR for standard cases ongoing back to 2010.
Replies to Points of Dispute were served dealing with all points and Hourly Rates. Acumension maintained their position and the Claimant's Solicitors Requested for a Provisional Assessment Hearing with all documents disclosed to the Court.
On the 14th December 2020, District Judge Clarke accepted all the claims without reduction for the ATE Premium, Counsel and Experts fees and ordered an Hourly Rate at £250.00 per hour commenting some routine items delegated to a lower Grade Fee Earner. Nonetheless, the decision is an important precedent on higher GHR on Clinical Negligence cases. Defendants were ordered to pay the total of £34,859.91 inclusive of all costs and interests.
Claimants advisors should not be held to the old GHR in contested cases involving Clinical Negligence or other higher PI claims.
For more information contact John Bennett in our Clinical Negligence department via email or phone on 01254 872111. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.