Saara Idelbi succeeds in defending claim for battery and breaches of Article 3 ECHR

28 November 2023

Saara was instructed for the Defendant, Serco Ltd, in a claim for damages, arising from a knee joint fracture that the Claimant sustained during restraint in prison. The Claimant had little memory of the events and, relying on the expert report of an orthopaedic surgeon, alleged that the Defendant’s officers had deliberately caused the injury. He argued that a deliberate battery breached Article 3 ECHR and was a common law trespass to his person. In the absence of any intention to commit battery on him, the Claimant argued that the injury was sustained due to the negligence of the Defendant, relying on the maxim res ipsa loquitur. The Defendant’s officers’ evidence was that the Claimant’s injury was sustained when he was restrained by an officer to prevent him from stabbing officers in the neck/face. The Claimant and the officer fell to the ground, during which the Claimant injured his knee.

The trial was heard over five days, with detailed examination of the expert orthopaedic evidence, being the foundation of the Claimant’s case and in light of the uncommon fracture he had sustained (a Schatzker VI fracture). The court accepted the Defendant’s officers’ accounts of the events and preferred the evidence of the Defendant’s expert. All claims against the Defendant were dismissed.

Saara acts in civil claims and judicial review proceedings concerning Article 3 ECHR and other human rights claims, as well as concerning discrimination, data protection/information, and the provision of health and social care. She is ranked as a leading junior in The Legal 500 for Administrative Law and Human Rights, as well as in Inquests and Inquiries and Court of Protection and Community Care.


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Saara Idelbi

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