Thursday 13 January 2022
The Defendant (D) appeals the order of Deputy High Court Judge Heather Williams QC dated 26 July 2021 sitting in the QBD following her judgment dated 21 July 2021 on a trial of preliminary issues.
The Judge gave judgment for the Claimant (C) in relation to the Preliminary Issue of whether D was liable to C for the acts and omissions of four Treating dentists (TD) on the basis of vicarious liability and on the basis of D owing C a non-delegable duty of care.
Claim for alleged negligent dental treatment provided to C between 2009 – 2012 from 4 TD at D’s dental practice. C did not receive any dental treatment from D, the owner of the practice. D had a contract with the PCT to provide a certain amount of NHS dental services.
D accepts he was vicariously liable for one of the TD’s treatment (as that dentist was a trainee with a contract of employment) but denies responsibility for the other 3 TD’s as D asserts they were self employed independent contractors engaged under Associate contracts using the British Dental Association’ s standard template contract (BDA). Each of the Associate dentists paid D a licence fee for the use of D’s premises but had clinical control.
D also asserts he did not owe C a non delegable duty of care in respect of any of the four TD.
The Judge found the relationship between D and the Associate dentists sufficiently akin to employment.