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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H01M33S

A pregnant barmaid named Clara was working in a public house when the defendant negligently steered his horse-drawn carriage into the bar. Clara suffered nervous shock which resulted in a miscarriage. 

What would be your advice to her regarding a claim for 'nervous shock'?

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Clara would successfully be able to sue the defendant for causing nervous shock, as she reasonably believed herself to be in danger, despite suffering no direct physical injuries. In Dulieu v White [1901] 2 KB 669, it was established that a claimant can recover damages for nervous shock if they reasonably feared for their own safety due to the defendant's negligence. The fact that Clara was in a state of genuine fear for her own safety at the time of the incident makes her eligible to claim for nervous shock. 

Key Point: The case of Dulieu v White is pivotal in the realm of nervous shock claims. It set the precedent that a claimant does not need to suffer physical injury to claim for psychiatric harm if they genuinely feared for their own safety. This principle extends protection to individuals who experience severe emotional distress as a direct result of negligent actions.

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