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Dental practice vicariously liable for negligence of independent dentist

Judgment has today been handed down by Her Honour Judge Belcher in a decision in the County Court called Ramdhean v (1) Agedo and (2) The Forum Dental Practice Ltd in which the Court held, on the facts, that the Second Defendant, a limited company offering dental services to NHS patients such as the Claimant did owe a non-delegable duty of care, and was also vicariously liable for the dental work provided to the Claimant by the First Defendant even though he was not an employee of the Practice.

The case is important because although the First Defendant did have a policy of professional indemnity insurance, he had not notified his insurers of the claim against him and they had accordingly declined to offer an indemnity to him, as they are entitled to do under the terms of his policy.

The Claimant’s only hope of obtaining an effective remedy, therefore, was to persuade the Court that the Practice where the dentist was working at the time owed a duty of care to the Claimant and/or was vicariously liable for any negligence on his part.

The Court found for the Claimant on both of these issues. You can download the judgment here.

William Poole was for the Claimant. He was instructed by Matthew Gascoigne of Atherton Godfrey LLP.