Tort law problem urgent help requiredWatch
Is anybody able to help me with this tort law problem please?
If a woman is in a long-term partnership, and has given birth to a disabled baby due to medical negligence, is there any way her long-term partner is able to claim for psychiatrist injury as a secondary victim, even though she fails to meet the Alcock criteria of being either a spouse or parent of said child?
Would really appreciate any help because I'm struggling.
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I am no law expert but I would say no, the answer is right in the end. She is not his spouse or wife in anyway so the husband can **** off. Secondary victim? I have never heard of that term before, I always thought there was one victim not any secondary victims like with a chain of reactions
It's been a few years since I looked at any of these cases, so all of the following might be nonsense. However, I note that you've already said that your proposed claimant falls outside the criteria set down by the House of Lords. Given that policy dictated those restrictive criteria, you might consider it an uphill battle to argue for any liability beyond that envisaged in the first place.
If you want to argue for liability in this case, you'll probably want to look for a way to argue that this liability is no different in principle to that envisaged in Alcock, and that it does not threaten the policy justifications behind the criteria set down in that case. You'd have to find a coherent way to keep any further class of potential claimants safely restricted.
I note you describe the woman's partner as a 'she'. You might be able to come up with some argument that it is discriminatory against a lesbian partner, and therefore contrary to principle, that not being the child's biological parent rules her out of a claim. On the other hand, you might not. 'Spouses' are already allowed, and gay people can marry now.
You might also want to consider any policy arguments relating to birth related claims.
Your reasoning and consideration of the cases is most likely going to be more important than your ultimate answer. Go come up with something.