Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust  EWCA Civ 1841
3rd August 2018
Angus Moon QC and Cecily White have been successful in defeating claims against an NHS Trust brought by a woman who killed her mother whilst suffering a psychotic episode, and who was subsequently convicted of manslaughter. The Trust admitted liability for the woman’s mental health treatment but contended that the doctrine of illegality precluded her claims for damages arising out of her own unlawful act, on grounds of public policy. The claims were dismissed at first instance and the Claimant appealed.
The Court of Appeal accepted Angus and Cecily’s submissions that the authorities governing the doctrine of illegality in tort (Clunis v Camden and Islington Health Authority  QB 978 and Gray v Thames Trains Ltd  UKHL 33) were binding and have not been impliedly overruled by the more recent judgments of the Supreme Court in Patel v Mirza  UKSC 42. The appeal was therefore dismissed.
The instructing solicitors were Mark Ashley and Justin Whitmore of DAC Beachcroft and in Mark’s case, NHS Resolution. Judith Ayling of 39 Essex was also a junior in the case.
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