Loss of a chance

Loss of a chance

In Tabet v Gett the High Court determined that damages are not available for the loss of a chance of a better medical outcome. In 1991 Reema Tabet was admitted to hospital when she was experiencing headaches and vomiting. After a period of delay before undergoing a CT scan, she was diagnosed as suffering from a brain tumour. Following surgery she was left with permanent brain damage. The argument in the case brought on behalf of Reema Tabet for compensation was that as a result of the negligent medical treatment causing a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of her condition, she had lost a chance of obtaining a better medical outcome. However, the High Court held that she was required to prove on the balance of probabilities that the negligent medical treatment had caused her injuries. This is an unfortunate decision, particularly for people who negligently receive a delayed diagnosis of a serious medical condition. In such cases it is often difficult to establish on the balance of probabilities that the delay caused the physical injury or earlier treatment would have prevented the injury from occurring and, therefore, an injured Plaintiff in these circumstances will now not be compensated for the value of the chance of avoiding the injury suffered.

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