The highest court will once again consider the basis and application of the doctrine that no recovery should flow from illegal acts (often cited in Latin as the ex turpi causa rule), something which has been before the Supreme Court on several occasions in recent years in very different factual settings. The latest case involves a claim by a psychiatric patient against an NHS Trust for losses arising from the death of her mother. She had killed her mother while under the Trust’s care and it was agreed this would not have happened but for failings in the care provided to her. Seven Justices will hear the case by video conference in mid-May.
An horrendous sequence of events left the claimant with a serious brain injury and the first defendant on a charge of attempted murder. He had twice deliberately driven at the claimant, first forcing him onto another car and second pushing him 30 metres along the road surface at around 20 miles per hour. In between these attacks, the claimant was thrown from the bonnet of the other car as it was driven off. The High Court decision of 8 April 2020 deals with attribution of his injuries across the incident as a whole and whether there were breaks in the chain of causation.
QOCS – Qualified One-way Costs Shifting – was a key element of the Jackson reforms of 2013. Seven years on, technical issues as to its scope continue to reach the Court of Appeal. Last week the court had a second look at Ho v Adelekun, this time considering the question of set off within the QOCS rules.