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Chester v Afshar [2004]

Facts

  • The claimant asked about the potential risks of an operation
  • The surgeon failed to warn about the 1% chance of being permanently paralysed (an inevitable consequence, not caused by negligence)
  • The claimant was subsequently paralysed

Issue

  • Could the defendant claim for the paralysis?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • The claimant did not need to prove that the operation would not have taken place if relevant advice had been given
  • Dissent from Lord Hoffman and Lord Bingham, claiming that the case was a coincidence case and advice of warning would only have delayed the date of the operation, in which paralysis would still have occurred
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