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Tom Gibson

Tom Gibson in unusual ‘non-Bolam’ clinical negligence trial

Tom Gibson represented the defendant NHS hospital trust in Muller v King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, a High Court clinical negligence trial on breach of duty, causation, and quantum. The case involved an allegedly negligent 8-month delay in diagnosing an acral lentiginous melanoma (a very rare type of skin cancer). On breach of duty, Mr Justice Kerr decided that, at law, the Bolam test did not apply to the reporting of a punch biopsy sample by a consultant pathologist. Instead, as a “pure diagnosis” case, the Court of Appeal case of Penney v East Kent Health Authority [2000] PNLR 323 (concerning the inapplicability of the Bolam test to questions of objective fact) should be followed. Applying the law in this…

News 22 Feb, 2017

Tom Gibson succeeds in ‘Jackson-themed’ case management appeal

Tom Gibson represented the successful defendant in Green (Deceased) v Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (County Court at Central London, 28 April 2016, HHJ Baucher) in a ‘Jackson-themed’ case management appeal about single joint experts. This clinical negligence claim was brought after Mr Green, who was suffering from terminal cancer, died suddenly while he was an in-patient at the Defendant’s hospital. In its defence the Defendant admitted breach of duty, in failing to monitor Mr Green adequately, and apologised to his widow. However the causation of Mr Green’s death was disputed. Because of Mr Green’s limited life expectancy, the Claimant’s case was said to be worth between £20,000 and £25,000 at the first Case and Costs Management Conference. At the…

News 9 May, 2016

Tom Gibson & Nicholas Hill appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown

We are pleased to announce that Outer Temple members Tom Gibson and Nicholas Hill have been successfully appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown. The appointments are effective as of 29th February 2016, for the duration of five years.

News 25 Jan, 2016

Experts’ literature – an undervalued resource?

Introduction Experts’ literature is an area that is often overlooked in clinical negligence cases – at least until a trial is almost upon the parties. However experts’ literature deserves more attention in the earlier stages of cases because of the devastating effect that it can have at trial, as the recent High Court case of Sardar v NHS Commissioning Board [2014] EWHC 38 (QB) demonstrates. This article reviews the law and procedure on experts’ literature and examines the practical use of experts’ literature at trial in Sardar v NHS Commissioning Board, before drawing conclusions applicable to all clinical negligence practitioners. Experts’ Literature – The Law & Procedure What happens (in theory) In theory, all literature should be served with an…

Legal Blog & Publications 22 Jun, 2014

Tom Gibson appears for successful NHS Trust in ‘Mitchell-type’ strike out application

Tom Gibson appeared recently for an NHS Trust in a successful Mitchell-type strike out of a clinical negligence claim. The case (HP v Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust) involved an alleged failure to consent the claimant properly for an operation. The defendant Trust had denied liability. Applying the landmark case of Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd, DJ Russell (Norwich County Court) held that the claimant’s claim should be struck out for two failures to comply with court orders: a failure to serve a condition and prognosis report (which had been served 10 days late) and a failure to serve witness evidence (which was 5 days late and counting at the date of the hearing). The claimant’s two…

News 24 Apr, 2014

The Jackson Reforms: Costs Budgets and Strike Outs

Tom Gibson recently wrote an article – ‘A Costs Budgeting Horror Story’ – about a (true) story of a costs budget being struck out for a technical error in an early post-Jackson personal injury case. The article was published in PI Brief Update and is available at http://www.pibriefupdate.com/content/law-journal-summaries/news-category-2-53514/2250-a-costs-budgeting-horror-story-tom-gibson-outer-temple-chambers Since the article was published, several other stories of costs budgets being struck out – or not struck out – for exactly the same technical error (with a budget’s statement of truth wording) have emerged from county courts around the country. With several appeals currently in progress, 2014 looks set to be a busy year for early post-Jackson case law.

News 22 Jan, 2014

Tom Gibson wins in Court of Appeal pro bono case

Tom Gibson appeared for the successful appellant in the Court of Appeal in Duffy v George [2013] EWCA Civ 908 (http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/908.html). In allowing the appeal and remitting the case, the Court of Appeal set out useful guidance on how employment tribunals should set fair procedures for accommodating vulnerable witnesses. In particular, the Court of Appeal said that in sexual harassment cases employment tribunals could consider (1) putting questions to a party itself rather than allowing a claimant to be cross-examined by a respondent in person, (2) hearing evidence from each party separately and in the absence of the other party, and (3) allowing witnesses to give evidence from behind screens, as happens in the criminal courts. Tom appeared for the…

News 24 Jul, 2013

Thomas Gibson appears in Court of Appeal pro bono employment case

Thomas Gibson appeared recently in the Court of Appeal (Mummery, Patten and Pitchford LJJ) in Duffy v George, on appeal from the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The appeal raised interesting questions on the way employment tribunals should handle potentially vulnerable witnesses in sexual harassment cases, and the extent to which an individual respondent, acting in person, should be allowed to cross-examine them. Judgment was reserved. Tom appeared pro bono for the appellant via the Free Representation Unit (FRU), a charity that provides pro bono legal advice, case preparation and advocacy (see www.thefru.net).

News 19 May, 2013

Tom Gibson wins in ‘whistleblowing’ employment appeal

Tom Gibson appeared recently in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Octavian Continental Ltd v White (UKEAT 0406/12/RN) for Mr John White, the Respondent, who successfully resisted his employer’s appeal against his ‘whistleblowing’ unfair dismissal. At first instance, the Bristol Employment Tribunal had found that Mr White – a Security Officer who had reported concerns over irregular cash handling procedures at the Swindon shopping centre and car park where he worked – was a “conscientious employee”who had taken “proper steps to report his concerns to his employers”. Conversely, the Employment Tribunal found that Mr White’s managers had “closed minds which were fixated on finding” that Mr White was guilty of gross misconduct. The Tribunal found that Mr White’s managers had “gnored…

News 14 Feb, 2013

Tom Gibson appears in pro bono employment appeal

Outer Temple pupil Tom Gibson appeared recently in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Duffy v George UKEAT 0517/11/CEA. The appeal raised interesting questions on the way employment tribunals should handle potentially vulnerable witnesses in sexual harassment cases, and the extent to which an individual respondent, acting in person, should be allowed to cross-examine them. Judgment was reserved and is expected shortly. Tom appeared pro bono for the appellant via the Free Representation Unit (FRU), a charity that provides pro bono legal advice, case preparation and advocacy (see www.thefru.net).

News 25 Jun, 2012

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