Gregg v Scott

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Gregg v Scott
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Court House of Lords
Decided 27 January 2005
Citation(s) [2005] UKHL 2
Keywords
Negligence, loss of a chance

Gregg v Scott [2005] UKHL 2 is an English tort law case, on the issue of loss of a chance, in causation. It affirms the principle of Hotson v East Berkshire Area Health Authority, on a narrow margin of 3 to 2. Lord Nicholls' dissent is of particular note, in arguing that loss of a chance should be actionable.

Facts[edit]

The defendant, Dr Scott, misdiagnosed negligently the plaintiff's malignant cancer, stating it to be benign, this had the effect of delaying Mr Gregg's treatment by nine months, reducing his chances of surviving ten years from 42% to 25%.[1]

Under the earlier decision of Hotson v East Berkshire Area Health Authority, the view taken at first instance, and by the Court of Appeal, the claimant could not establish the defendant had prevented him being cured, as his original chance of a cure was below 50%. The plaintiff argued that he was entitled to recover for the loss of the 17% chance the defendant had deprived him of.

Judgment[edit]

On appeal to the Lords, the majority upheld the earlier decision of Hotson, though Lord Nicholls (joined by Lord Hope) dissented in arguing that loss of a chance should be actionable:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]