Intended for healthcare professionals


Test case of sexual abuse goes to Lords

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 19 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:740
  1. C Dyer

    The House of Lords is to decide, in a test case that could open the way for dozens of other claims, whether a doctor whose mistaken diagnosis of sexual abuse caused a child wrongly to be taken into care can be sued for damages. The appeal follows a 2-1 majority decision by the Court of Appeal barring a mother and her 11 year old daughter from suing Newham Health Authority; Dr Eileen Vizard, a child psychiatrist; and the London Borough of Newham in east London. The master of the rolls, Sir Thomas Bingham, would have allowed the girl - though not her mother - to sue, but Lords Justices Staughton and Peter Gibson held that neither could bring a claim.

    The Appeal Court's judgment raises a question mark over the pounds sterling1 million settlement for 27 families whose children were taken into care …

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