Roberts v SAAFA & Allgemeines Krakenhaus Viersen: an ongoing cross border claim from 20 years ago

Harry Roberts’s case arose out of brain damage sustained during his birth in Germany in June 2000. Infant brain injury cases can be among the most expensive claims if, as is usual, there is a high annual care need and a lengthy life expectancy. This case has added complications because of the cross-border setting and because of a dispute on limitation despite the claimant’s minority.

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Supermarkets, sexual assault, surrogacy and shipping

These were the settings for four Supreme Court judgments today, delivered by video link given the prevailing restrictions. Principles of vicarious liability were raised by two cases. Recovery of by way of damages of sums paid under a commercial contract for surrogacy was raised in a third and the fourth concerned recovery by an insurer of a settlement which it argued was vitiated by misrepresentation. This blog is necessarily short and serves only as a summary of today’s judgments.

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Does a decision change the law if it turns on its own facts?

The orthodox answer to this question is no, on the basis that it is the peculiarities of the facts which give rise to the outcome, rather than any new legal approach. In two decisions this week in the tort of negligence, the clinical claim Darnley in the Supreme Court and the vicarious liability claim Bellman in the Court of Appeal, the higher Courts worked from the initial findings of fact and applied the existing law to them to drive different outcomes from those reached in the courts below.

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