Cardiac arrest: Liability of sports physicians and club

The DLA Piper ‘Health Alert’ this week draws attention to Hamed v Mills & Ors [2015] EWHC 298 (QB).

The claimant suffered a cardiac arrest during a football match. In the litigation he argued that the cardiac arrest and consequent brain damage resulted from the negligence of a cardiologist who had screened him for the risk of cardiac events, the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (through two specialist sports physicians employed by the club).

The cardiologist

By the end of the trial the cardiologist had admitted liability. The only issues outstanding were whether the Club had breached its duty of care and, if so, apportionment.

The sports physicians

The detailed factual discussion (and the finding of breach of duty for which the club was vicariously liable) turned on the failure to communicate certain risks, which remained after testing, to the claimant or his parents and the failure to arrange reviews. Causation was not disputed.

The club

The judgment included a finding of breach of duty on the part of the Club itself, for failure to keep appropriate medical records for the player. Causation was not disputed.

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