CHANGES TO THE FIXED COSTS RULE 1: WHEN CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS MUST BE ALLOCATED TO THE MULTI TRACK

There are a number of significant changes taking place to the fixed costs rules, coming into force on the 6th April 2024. These are introduced by The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2024.  Here we look at the change to the rules about allocation of clinical negligence claims.  The rules provide that clinical negligence cases, where liability is admitted, need not be allocated to the Multi Track.  The new rules make it clear that the admission must be in full and the admission must be made in the pre-action letter of response.

CURRENT WORDING

10) A claim must be allocated to the multi-track where that claim is—

(b)one which includes a claim for clinical negligence, unless—

(i)the claim is one which would normally be allocated to the intermediate track and

(ii)both breach of duty and causation have been admitted;

 

NEW WORDING

Sub-paragraph (i) remains the same.  There is now an elaboration of what is meant by breach of duty and causation being admitted. A new (iii) makes it clear that the admission must be made in the defendant’s letter of response to the claimant’s protocol letter.

26.9.10

(ii)there has been an admission of liability in full, which means that the defendant accepts that the claimant has suffered loss, including the injury set out in the letter of claim under the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes, caused by the defendant’s breach of duty of care; and

(iii)the admission in paragraph (ii) is made in the defendant’s letter of response provided in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes,

provided that the defendant has not raised a defence to the claim under the Limitation Act 1980(3);;