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Report Delay Loses Psychiatric Injury Claim

Patient in hosptal waiting room
26th May 2015

A former consultant has lost his claim for psychiatric injury against the firm’s parent company because the failure to file his medical report had “brought the proceedings to a halt.”

Following his departure from the holding company in ‘angry and bitter circumstances’, the consultant was served an injunction, which prevented him from publishing uncomplimentary statements about the parent company. As a result, the consultant claimed he was caused “psychiatric harm and loss.”

However, the judge dismissed the claim after the medical report was not served within the time, which had been allowed. The court noted that no mention had been made of the consultant’s “inability to present for psychiatric examination ... nor was (his) inability to meet the cost of an independent report.”

“Ignored the opportunity...”

The judge said that the consultant (claimant) had “ignored the opportunity given to him” to apply in writing to vary the order on providing the expert report and had, in effect, simply “ignored the requirements imposed upon him” by that order.

Referring to the initial hearing, it was pointed out that the judge had been “fully aware” of the harshness of the injunction and its effect, and that “a report had belatedly been produced”, which was “incomplete.”

“Not a good reason for delay”

However, the appeal judge agreed with the original verdict as falling “well within the range of reasonable decision making”, ruling that, “a litigant-in-person’s inability to pay for legal representation could not be regarded as a good reason for delay ...or for failing to comply with the civil procedure rules or.. court orders.”

The judge ruled that the “interests of both parties” needed to be considered in a just handling of the claimant’s application, observing that “a considerable amount of court time has been devoted” to the consequences of the claimant’s failure to engage with the litigation process.