7th July, 2023

Unreasonable Conduct and Strike Out of Claims

Vashistha v Heath Education England and Ors

The Claimant was a trainee post-graduate doctor, removed from training following an ARCP outcome 4 and dismissal by the Lead Employer Trust followed. He issued proceedings against Health Education England, St Helens & Knowsley NHS Trust (as Lead Employer) and a cohort of GPs who had participated in his training.

Following detailed preliminary hearings, the matter was listed for final hearing (32 days). Two months before the hearing date, the Claimant applied to vacate in order to support a close family member through treatment in India. The application was refused, and the case remained listed. The Claimant pursued an expedited appeal to the EAT.

Before the appeal could be heard, and shortly before the scheduled start date, the Claimant once more applied for the case to be postponed. He then left for India. He had not instructed Counsel or Solicitor to attend the hearing.

Given the Claimant's absence, the Judge removed the case from the list. Unaware of this development, the EAT listed the appeal. HH Judge Barklam dismissed the appeal. Thereafter, the Respondents applied for the claims to be struck out on the grounds of the Claimant’s conduct in the proceedings. Following a further preliminary hearing, Judge Quill dismissed all claims.

Ed Morgan KC appeared for HEE and St Helen's & Knowsley NHS Foundation Trust (instructed by Hill Dickinson).

The full judgment may be accessed here.

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