Psychiatric Injury - strike out application
High Court, Queen’s Bench Division: Mr Justice Jay
1 May 2015
The defendant’s application to strike out the claimants’ claims for psychiatric injury was allowed, as they were not parties to the action and they therefore had no remedy against the defendant for alleged harm caused by the defendant in settling the claim. Further, the claimants’ claim for psychiatric injury was not sufficiently made out in law.
The Police Commissioner had settled a claim brought by a suspect who alleged that the claimants, all police officers had seriously assaulted him. The claimants had previously attended a conference with the Commissioner’s legal team and had been assured that the claim would be “vigorously defended” and that their interests would be protected.
The claimants brought proceedings against the defendant for economic loss, reputational damage and psychiatric injury. They argued that a client/solicitor retainer and/or a contractual relationship had been created between them and the defendant’s legal team, that assurances were given during a conference with the defendant’s counsel that the claimants’ interests would be protected and that by later reneging on these assurances and settling the claim the defendant had breached its duty of care to the claimants, causing harm.
The defendant applied to strike out/for summary judgment of the claimants’ claims.
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