Labor Law Case Study: Cassidy V. Ministry Of Health

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Law of Torts CASE STUDY: Cassidy vs. Ministry of Health [1951] 2KB 343 Cassidy vs. Ministry of Health is an English tort law and UK labour law case which concerned the scope of protection for people to employment rights. The facts of the case are as follows: Mr. Cassidy was operated upon for contraction of the third and fourth fingers of the left hand by a whole-time assistant medical officer. After the operation Mr. Cassidy’s (the plaintiff) left hand and forearm were bandaged to a splint for fourteen days. During this period, he complained of severe pain. Sedatives were prescribed, but no effort was made to examine the hand and forearm to find out the cause of the pain. When the splint and the bandages were removed, all 4 fingers were found to be stiff and the hand was practically useless. The aggrieved plaintiff filed a suit against the hospital authorities for negligence. The case was decided in the Court of Appeal. The judge presiding over the case was Denning LJ. The defendants (hospital authorities) were held liable due to the negligence of the surgeon and other staff. In his judgement in this particular case, Denning LJ stated that “the liability of hospital authorities for the negligence of a doctor on the permanent staff of the hospital does not depend on whether he is employed under a contract for services. It depends upon who employs him; where the patient himself selects and employs the doctor, the hospital authorities will not be held liable for

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