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Imagine your GP’s negligence caused your chances of recovering from cancer to fall from 60% to 40%. Then imagine your GP’s negligence caused your chances to fall from 40% to nil. In the recent decision of Gregg v Scott [2005], the House of Lords confirmed by a majority (Lord Nicholls and Lord Hope dissenting) that you cannot recover damages in the second of these scenarios. In Lord Nicholls’ dissenting view, the decision leaves the law on loss of a chance in a state that is “crude to an extent bordering on arbitrariness”.

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