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Burnett v Lynch [2012] EWCA Civ 347 - 21/03/12


Judge Entitled To Prefer Patient's Evidence To That Of GP As To Whether A Consultation Took Place:-

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellant GP's appeal against a decision giving judgment for the respondent patient in the underlying clinical negligence claim for damages arising out of the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. It was the patient's case that she had a consultation with the GP in 2006 during which the GP had examined her breast and wrongly diagnosed it as a blocked milk duct and thereby delaying the diagnosis and treatment of her breast cancer. The GP denied that such consultation had taken place, on grounds there were no notes of such consultation and had she seen such a lump, she would have referred the patient to a breast clinic. The Court of Appeal held that the Judge had been entitled to prefer the evidence of the patient as to whether the consultation had taken place and at which the GP had misdiagnosed the lump. In particular, the Court of Appeal held that in deciding that both witnesses were truthful, it was open to the Judge to accept part of such witness' evidence and reject other parts.