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Claimant solicitors respond to MDU.


In response to an unprecedented rise in the number of clinical negligence claims the Medical Defence Union recently stated that the rise in claims was likely to be attributed to the availability of "no win-no fee" agreements. Deborah Evans, Chair of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has replied with a comprehensive letter rebutting many of the MDU’s arguments.  

Addressing the comments made by the MDU regarding the increase in litigation in 2011 being caused by "no win - no fee" agreements Evans highlighted that the 10 per cent rise in claims is also coupled with an 8 per cent rise in the number of safety incidents reported by the National Patient Safety Agency.

Evans also noted the steep rise in disciplinary actions and General Medical Council investigations and went on to state “it is difficult to see why the MDU has ruled out the possibility of diminishing standards as a potential explanation for the increase in claims.”

Commenting on  levels of compensation and the MDU’s wish to have damages reduced Evans made it clear that damages awarded represent a fair amount and they are not just “arbitrary figures” and closed by saying “There is no justification for injured patients to face any further reductions and there is no justification for them to be treated any differently from other litigants.”

Speaking on the issue, Richard Wood of CNCI said, "Claims for compensation only succeed when there is clear evidence of substandard care and injury. Clinical negligence claims are by their nature challenging and complex. There may be many reasons for an increase in numbers of claims but it is simplistic to identify "no win - no fee" agreements as the main cause".