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Henderson v Dorset University NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 3275

By Oxbridge Law TeamUpdated 29/07/2023 01:23

Judgement for the case Henderson v Dorset University NHS Trust

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Tort Law Notes

Tort Law

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Tort Law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge. These notes cover all the LLB tort law cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London).

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  • The claimant's conviction served as conclusive evidence that she experienced a mental abnormality, leading to her mental responsibility being significantly impaired under section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957. The sentencing judge's statements were correctly understood to suggest that the claimant had a reduced level of personal responsibility.
  • Claims were dismissed.


  • The claimant, Ms. Henderson, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, fatally stabbed her mother due to the defendant's breaches of duty in failing to respond appropriately to her deteriorating mental condition.
  • Both parties agree that the tragic incident would not have occurred if the defendant had fulfilled their duty adequately.
  • Now, the claimant has initiated a negligence lawsuit seeking general damages under various categories, special damages, and compensation for future losses. The defendant argues that all claims should be rejected on grounds of illegality or public policy.


  • This case underscores the complexities of the defence of illegality and the need for a nuanced approach when determining its applicability. It highlights the importance of considering the individual circumstances of each case to ensure a fair and just outcome in negligence claims involving individuals with mental health issues.
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