Mediation in dental negligence claims

Whilst most dental negligence claims settle without reaching court, negotiation can sometimes become “deadlocked”.  Mediation can, in selected cases, be a valuable ADR method to bring about a successful resolution or at the very least narrow the issues.  It can also create innovative solutions, cost savings and a speedier outcome than protracted litigation in the right case.

A party which unreasonably refuses to engage in mediation may face costs sanctions and it is now established that silence in the face of an invitation to mediate will generally be seen as an unreasonable refusal.

I have recently been involved in two dental negligence cases which successfully employed mediation to resolve the claims.

In the first, the claimant was a “celebrity”.  Both parties were very keen that confidentiality be maintained at all times.  Mediation was the ideal solution for both the claimant and the defendant dentist.

In the second, a retired defendant rather unusually did not appear to have adequate “run-off” indemnity cover and was faced with the prospect of having to fund his own defence.  Understandably keen to contain costs, mediation provided the opportunity for a relatively early resolution with which the claimant was satisfied.

As a mediation advocate in this scenario, I am able to combine my expertise as a barrister with my detailed understanding of the dental issues, both clinical and practical, in order to represent my client during principled mediation negotiation.

 Contact Heather Beckett

Instructing solicitors are warmly invited to contact Heather at Goldsmith Chambers h.beckett@goldsmithchambers.com:

Telephone:  0207 353 6802
e-mail:  clerks@goldsmithchambers.com