(ii) Provision of Medical Treatment

In the same way that the burial cases recognize that the claimant may be able to obtain restitutionary relief based on the fact that it was necessary to arrange for the funeral, there is another group of cases which recognized that if the claimant provides medical treatment to the victim of an accident who is in immediate need of such treatment, the claimant may obtain restitution from the defendant who was under a legal duty to arrange for the services to be provided. This group of cases concerned the provision of urgent medical treatment to paupers where the parish officer of the parish where the pauper was at the time of the illness or injury was under a legal obligation to care for the pauper. In these cases the claimant, in providing necessary medical treatment for the pauper, had discharged the parish officers’ legal duty and this was regarded as a sufficient basis to enable the claimant to be reimbursed for the expenses incurred.[1] The fact that the claimant had discharged the defendant’s legal liability meant that the defendant had been enriched by the claimant’s intervention. The ground of restitution in these cases was clearly founded on necessity, because the pauper had to be in urgent need of medical attention.

  • [1] Lamb v Bunce (1815) 4 M and S 273,105 ER836. See also Simmons v Wilmot (1800) 3 Esp 91,170 ER 549and Tomlinson v Bentall (1826) 5 B and C 737, 108 ER 738.
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