Thursday 9th December 2021
The Defendant/Appellant appeals in respect of the order HHJ Pelling QC, sitting as a High Court Judge, dated 10 December 2020, pursuant to which a judgement was granted in favour of the Respondent/Claimant in the sums of £10,800,782.82 comprising the principal sum and the interest, and the orders on costs were made.
These proceedings arise out of the conduct of a former consultant breast surgeon, and who over a period of at least 14 years inappropriately performed surgical procedures on patients without their informed consent. The Respondent/Claimant (Spire) was responsible for the operation of two private hospitals where he worked. He was convicted of offences under sections 18 and 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Initially he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, but that sentence was increased to 20 years by the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal. The Respondent/Claimant (Spire) had the benefit of a combined liability insurance policy with the Appellant/Defendant (RSA) and it made a claim on the Policy. The Applicant/Defendant accepted that Spire was entitled to an indemnity under section 4 of the Policy in respect of its legal liabilities for the Patients’ Claims, and its defence costs. However, a dispute arose between the parties as to the applicable limit of indemnity.
Lower Court Judgment: