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Court of Appeal reasserts Hillsborough 
cases limiting secondary victim claims

The recent Court of Appeal case reaffirming the limit on secondary victim claims is logical, believes Charles Bagot 

10 April 2013

In the first Court of Appeal case on secondary victims for ten years, in Taylor v A. Novo (UK) Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 194, the Court of Appeal has revisited the Hillsborough cases concerning secondary victims of psychiatric injury and reaffirmed that the existing limitations should be applied unless parliament intervenes. This case is significant for those conducting both personal injury and clinical negligence litigation where relatives may suffer psychiatric damage by reason of injury to or clinical negligence suffered by a loved one.

The claimant failed in her attempt to argue that a less strict and more liberal approach had been taken by the courts to such claims in the 21 years since the key Hillsborough case of Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire [1992] 1 AC 310. Alcock was the 1992 House of Lords appeal arising out of claims for psychiatric injury made by relatives of the Hillsborough stadium disaster victims. Those claims failed because they did not meet the str...

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