Jim Duffy, instructed by Stephen Hooper of Hempsons, successfully defended a GP surgery in a claim brought by a former patient alleging a failure provide her with contraception, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy.

On 2 November 2012, the Claimant attended a GP in order to have her contraceptive implant removed. It was accepted that the implant had exceeded its 3-year expiry dated, but the Claimant cited literature to suggest its efficacy lasted up to 5 years. Condoms were to be used until a future appointment to discuss a contraceptive injection.

Later in the same month, the Claimant received an injection. She later discovered that she was pregnant, having conceived after the implant was removed but before she had had the injection. She decided against termination and later gave birth to a healthy child.

After a 5 day trial via video link, the Judge found for the Defendants – the GP practice and an individual doctor. He concluded that the Claimant had not in fact asked for the injection on 2 November, and that the GP practice had sufficient stocks of contraception.

In any event, it was not unreasonable for the GP to ask the Claimant to return for an injection and to rely on condoms in the meantime. The Judge found that the Claimant could have booked an appointment for the injection before the date she likely conceived, but did not.

Jim’s client also defended the suggestion that the GP practice would have been liable not only for its own acts and omissions, but also vicariously liable for those of the GP. The GP was employed by another GP practice licensed to provide implant and coil removal services. The Court accepted that on the day in question she was merely delivering a service on behalf of that practice using the premises of the Defendant surgery.

Read more on Hempsons website here.