Due to the panic buying, Lori was very anxious about getting food and some cleaning products. She had been asking her husband Rick to drive her to the largest supermarket in town for the whole morning. Rick was annoyed because he wanted to keep playing online video games with his BFF Daryl. Eventually, after a big fight, Rick agreed to pause the game and drive Lori to the supermarket.
Glen has just passed his driving test two weeks ago and he was not a very confident driver. He had his new girlfriend, Maggie, in the car, and he was showing off his driving skills. This had led Glen to negligently crash into Rick’s car, i.e. Rick did not contribute to the car accident. When Glen got out of the car, he was visibly shaken, however, his girlfriend Maggie (who did tort law in school), told him not to worry because he had just passed his driving test and he would escape liability due to his inexperience.
Rick was uninjured but Lori had sustained an injury to her leg. The pain was unbearable, and they decided not to wait for an ambulance and drove to the nearest A&E. In A&E, there were no consultants available at the time of their arrival. A nurse asked a junior doctor to have a look at Lori’s leg which had already turned blue. The junior doctor decided not to perform any tests apart from a general assessment and told her to go home. The reason behind his decision was that Lori was a healthy young woman and it seemed simply like the impact had caused a bruise.
In the morning, the pain got worse and Lori developed a high fever. They went to the hospital and it turned out that she had a rare blood disease which was dormant until the accident. The first sign of the disease would normally be the limb turning blue and which would look very different from a simple bruise. The examination had shown that the disease was triggered by the impact and the stress following the car accident.
Lori was very upset because she was a professional athlete and her leg had to be eventually amputated. She argued that had the junior doctor recognised the first sign of the disease, then her leg would have been saved. The junior doctor, however, argued that he had acted in accordance with a respectable body of the medical profession. In addition, the junior doctor contended that even if he had recognised and diagnosed the disease, he would still not be able to save the leg due to the unique features of her blood disease. However, the junior doctor’s statements are yet to be confirmed by medical evidence.
Lori seeks your advice on whether she has any claims against Glen and/or the NHS for the amputated leg. In particular, she would like to know:
A. Does she have a claim against Glen for the amputated leg?
B. Does she have a claim against the junior doctor for the amputated leg? Can she sue the NHS instead?
Please answer both A and B. For the purposes of this scenario, assume that the duty of care has already been established. Get Nursing Help Today
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