Louis Browne QC successfully applies for privacy claim to be struck out

November 10, 2021

 In an important case regarding the law on privacy, Louis Browne QC from Exchange Chambers has successfully argued that a claim by a patient against a former midwife was without any legal basis and should be struck out.

Michelle Pryor was a patient who gave birth to her fourth child at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. She had stories published in Take a Break and the Liverpool Echo regarding her experiences.

Jo Lumsden was a midwife formerly employed by the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Ms Pryor claimed that the memory of the birth of her child had been ruined by the knowledge that she had received post-natal care from Ms Lumsden who had allegedly earlier been in a relationship with the baby’s father. Despite it being reported that Ms Lumsden delivered the child, Ms Lumsden was in fact not on duty when Ms Pryor gave birth.

Ms Pryor subsequently brought a claim against Ms Lumsden (and against the Trust) for damages arising out of alleged breach of her privacy rights and breach of duty.

Acting for Ms Lumsden, Louis Browne QC successfully argued that the claim failed to plead any legally coherent cause of action.

He submitted that the claim should be struck out under CPR 3.4 (2)(a) as showing no reasonable grounds for being made, and/or that the claim has no real prospect of success and that summary judgment should be granted in Ms Lumsden’s favour under CPR 24.2.

The Senior Master agreed, striking out the claim.  She further ordered the claimant to pay Ms Lumsden’s costs on the indemnity basis.

All claims against the Trust were also struck out with the claimant ordered to pay the Trust’s costs.

Louis Browne QC was instructed by Manleys Solicitors.

He has a specialist practice in the areas of data protection, breach of confidence and misuse of private information.  He is ranked by Legal 500 as a Tier 1 Leading Silk in the area of IT, Telecoms and Data Protection.

To view the full judgement, click here.