A man made a claim against his GP for a missed diagnosis. An expert witness was instructed to provide advice on the case, and in keeping with normal practice she was supplied with the notes of the claimant – only the notes were mixed in with other family members, and the expert attributed some of the notes of the claimant’s son to the claimant himself.
This resulted in some of the expert’s conclusions incorrectly assuming that the claimant had a history of diverticulitis, and that the doctor in question should have taken this into account when he treated/diagnosed the patient. The confusion was identified before the trial commenced and the claim was ultimately withdrawn – although there were additional factors in this decision – and the doctor in question narrowly avoided unwarranted criticism.
The disclosure was also a clear breach of the confidentiality of the claimant’s son.