Legal Case Summary
Kent v Griffiths (No.3)  2 WLR 1158  QB 36;  2 All ER 474;  EWCA Civ 3017;  PIQR P57;  Lloyd’s Rep Med 109; (2000) 97(7) LSG 41; (2000) 150 NLJ 195
NEGLIGENCE, DUTY OF CARE, EXISTENCE OF DUTY, AMBULANCE SERVICE, AMBULANCE FAILING TO ARRIVE ON TIME, NO EXPLANATION FOR DELAY
The plaintiff, Kent, was pregnant and had asthma. She was attended by her GP who dialled 999 and requested an ambulance to take the plaintiff to hospital. The ambulance took 38 minutes to arrive. As a result, the plaintiff suffered a respiratory arrest with grave consequences – substantial memory impairment, personality change and miscarriage. Kent brought and action against the London Ambulance Service (LAS) alleging negligence in failing to respond promptly and continuously give her oxygen in the ambulance. LAS was found liable in damages since they owed a duty of care to Kent as an individual patient. LAS appealed to the Court of Appeal on grounds that similar to the police and the fire brigade, they did not owe a common law duty of care to the public at large.
(1) Do the ambulance service owe a duty of care to the public at large?
(2) Does public policy preclude the existence of duty of care on behalf of the ambulance service to the public at large?
The appeal was dismissed.
(1) Unlike the police and the fire brigade, the ambulance service is part of the healthcare service where a duty of care to patients normally exists.
(2) Public policy grounds do not preclude the existence of duty of care to the patients on behalf of the ambulance service.
(3) The ambulance had been called for the patient alone, there were no other circumstances justifying its delay and it was foreseeable that the claimant would suffer further injuries if the arrival of the ambulance was delayed. Therefore, there was no reason why there should be no liability.
Cite This Work
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
Related ServicesView all
Related ContentJurisdictions / Tags
Content relating to: "UK Law"
UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.
Orchard v Lee - 2009
The claimant was a school dinner lady acting as a supervisor in a children’s playground. She sustained injuries when a 13-year-old boy ran backwards......
Limited Liability Company
As the name itself defines a limited liability company is the company where the shareholders liability towards the loss or deficit is limited by shares. Here the only investment a shareholder......