Cyprus: Medical Negligence Cases And The Award Of Damages By The Courts Of Cyprus

Medical negligence is a specialized area which falls under the umbrella of general personal injury cases. Such cases are attributed great significance as they embrace the social norm of the importance of the provision of quality services in health care.

The protection of the human right to life and health care, the right to physical and mental integrity and safety and the right to dignified treatment in health care is afforded in Cyprus pursuant to the Safeguarding and Protection of the Patients' Rights Law of 2004, Law 1(I)/2005 and the Private Hospitals (Establishment and Operation Assessment) Law of 2001.

A patient who alleges medical malpractice shall prove four elements: a) that a duty of care was owed by the professional, b) that the duty was breached by the professional, c) that the patient suffered loss and damage and d) that the damage suffered was caused by the conduct of the professional.
As to the first element, it is rarely an issue in litigation as once a doctor agrees to offer treatment to a patient the duty arises, irrespectively of whether payment was made for the services offered by the professional. In this context, hospital authorities are liable for the malpractice of their employees or agents pursuant to their non-delegable duty of care, as the duty is not discharged simply by delegating its performance to someone else.

The degree of care required by law is proportional to the risk created. As the Courts have accepted, if a person holds himself out as possessing special skill and knowledge he owes a duty of using caution in providing treatment. The measure of the duty of care owed to the patient is "the standard of the ordinary skilled man exercising and professing to have that special skill" (Bolam v. Friern H.M.C. (1957) 1 W.L.R. 582).

The burden a litigant has in proving malpractice is that the said malpractice had a direct causal link with the loss and damage suffered by the patient. An error of practice of itself will not alone give rise to negligence. The issue is whether the error in question evidenced a failure of professional competence. Examples of professional malpractice derived by case law include not taking a full medical history from the patient, not paying attention to the complaints expressed by the patient, failing to take measures to further investigate the condition of a patient, failing to take into consideration that the patient did not respond to the treatment initially provided, failing to use available diagnostic means, misinterpreting the examination results of a patient etc.

Expert opinion is also required in proving medical negligence. The expert's duty is to assist the Court understand the scientific criteria required for each condition and treatment so that the Court is able to reach its own conclusions on the disputed matters taking into consideration the expert's assistance on the said matters. Thus litigants shall chose experts with an in-depth knowledge on their subject in order to provide the Court with subjective and justified evidence on the disputed matters.

Proof of damage may include both the physical effects of the malpractice as well as psychological effects on the patient.

It is noted that medical negligence cases shall be brought within 3 years from the date of accrual of the tortious event; claims brought after the said period will be dismissed.

The remedies awarded by the Courts in medical negligence cases are damages. Special damages are awarded for the actual economic loss suffered by the patient such as loss of earnings and the expenses incurred following the damage. General damages are awarded for the pain, suffering and emotional distress suffered. Legal interest on the damages is also awarded; the current legal interest awarded by the Cyprus Courts is set at 5,5% as of 15/10/2008 and at 4% as of 1/1/2015. Additionally, the winning party is awarded the legal costs of the proceedings, calculated on the basis of the scale of damages sought.

General damages have always attracted theoretical elaboration and criticism for the reason that pain, suffering and emotional distress cannot by their nature have a definite price. Quantification lies at the discretion of the Court, which takes each case on its own facts. Guidance is given by preceding case law, however the judge hearing the case retains the discretion to award the amount considered just under the specific circumstances of each case.

Courts take into consideration that the general damages awarded have to be "socially acceptable" (Paraskevaides Overseas Ltd v Christofis (1982) 1 CLR 789). Particularly, in cases of severe damage the Courts have accepted that any amount is "manifestly inadequate" (Mavropetri ν Louca (1995) 1 J.S.C. 66). Case law also suggests a steady increase in the amounts of general damages awarded, a trend that reflects greater sensitivity to human suffering, the agony of disability and mental anguish due to the marginalization from the usual human activities, thus affording significance to the quality of human life.

Cyprus Courts have not hesitated to award significant amounts in medical negligence cases. For instance, over the last years the Courts have awarded the sum of €200.000 for a failed surgical treatment of a compression fracture of the first lumbar vertebra that infected the neurological system of the patient and the sum of €180.000 for a failed laparoscopic gallbladder surgery and improper diagnosis that caused neurological problems to the patient, kidney and liver failure and anemia, among others.

Our law firm has successfully represented various clients bringing medical negligence cases before the Cyprus Courts. In August 2014 a judgment of the District Court of Limassol was entered by which our client was awarded with the amount of €40.000,00 as general damages and €1.606,09 as special damages plus interest and legal costs for failed posterior cruciate ligament surgery that caused damage to the tibial and sensory nerves and paralysis of a muscle. Also, in December 2016 a judgment of the District Court of Limassol was entered by which our client was awarded with the amount of €225.000 as general damages, €209.492 for loss of future earnings and €33.689,45 as special damages plus interest and legal costs. The client was treated in a private clinic which had failed to diagnose that the patient suffered from acute myocardial infarction. The infarction was detected at a very late stage when a large percentage of the heart had already been necrotized. As a result, the client was held totally unfit for work and lost the opportunity to live a normal life.

Specialist advice shall be sought if a person considers that a medical negligence case might have arisen for the provision of professional advice on the merits of the potential case.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions