The decision of the NSW Supreme Court in Kitoko v Sydney Local Health District  NSWSC 898, handed down by Justice Fagan on 7 August 2023, is a timely reminder of the importance of taking a strategic approach to managing claims made against health care providers by both vexatious and self-represented litigants.
Vexatious litigation may take a number of forms. It may be someone who persistently commences legal actions without sufficient grounds for doing so. It may be proceedings that are an abuse of the courts process, or proceedings issued to harass, intimidate, frustrate or for another wrongful purpose. Whatever the form, decisive action needs to be taken quickly and decisively to respond to the claim and to bring it to a resolution as soon as possible.
Self-represented litigants are not generally vexatious, but do create separate challenges for respondents as they try to navigate their way through what is a very complex process. Matters involving self-represented litigants invariably take longer and consume large amounts of resources. There can be a fine line between assisting a self-represented litigant and running their case for them.
Join us for our next FTC session as BN’s Rob Samut will discuss ways in which these difficult cases might be best managed.