We are delighted to report that our client Miss Jade Pawley was successful in her appeal today in the Court of Appeal after a unanimous verdict in her favour overturned a series of lower court judgments. An attempt by a dental corporate to force the Dental Law Partnership’s client to sue treating dentists, in addition to the corporate body, was roundly dismissed in a judgment which will be of interest to all involved in civil litigation.
The judgment in Pawley v Whitecross Limited & Petrie Tucker and Partners Limited handed down by the Court of Appeal, led by its Vice President LJ Underhill, confirms that it is for the claimant to decide whom she sues, and so, as was the case here, she cannot be forced to bring proceedings against defendants whom she does not wish to sue. Additionally the Court held that it is for the claimant to decide which causes of action she pursues against her chosen defendants.
In rejecting the dental practice owner’s attempt to insist that treating dentists be joined as co-defendants against Miss Pawley’s wishes, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that a patient has a free choice to sue the practice rather than the individual treating dentists.
Miss Pawley was represented in the Court of Appeal by Ben Collins QC of Old Square Chambers, his full written commentary on the case can be found here