Data Processing: Johnson v MDU

April 4, 2007

In David Paul Johnson v The Medical Defence Union [2007] EWCA Civ 262, the Court of Appeal refused the appeal of Johnson against the ruling of Rimer J ([2006] EWHC 321 (Ch)). The case is concerned with the claim of Johnson, which is of a quasi-contractual nature, to the effect that the MDU processed data relating to him unfairly and that this led it to withdraw its cover for him (with substantial effects on his capacity to work as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon).

Johnson’s case was rejected by all three judges but on the point which has caused most interest, the meaning of ‘processing’, there was a division of views. The judgments of LJJ Arden, Buxton and Longmore need to be read in full by all data protection lawyers.