Anaesthetist loses £1m damages bid

  • Posted

A doctor has lost his £1 million High Court damages claim for injuries sustained in an operating theatre at a London hospital.

Consultant anaesthetist Aubrey Bristow claimed he injured his back when he was knocked unconscious by a theatre light, but judge Simon Brown QC ruled he was more likely to have slipped upon his own spillage.

Dr Bristow, of Hawbridge Court, Buckinghamshire, said he was struck on the back of the head by the light, fell and was hit in the back with a heavy door during an operation on a cancer patient at St Bartholomew's Hospital in February 2007.

But the hospital and the London NHS Trust said the accident occurred due to the "over-enthusiastic manner" in which Dr Bristow applied disinfectant to the patient's body.

The judge dismissed the case on liability, and said: "If he had been so struck by such a heavy object somehow 'boomerang-ing' around him, knocking him out, one would have expected him to be very severely head injured with bleeding both external and internal.

"It is far more likely he was knocked out when he fell flat on his back."

The judge said Dr Bristow, 54, did not remember anything about the incident and had relied on a flawed incident report form. He said his account was "wholly implausible".

London NHS Trust, which had offered £45,000 to settle the case, said: "The trust, whilst sorry that Dr Bristow sustained an injury, is obviously pleased with the judgment.

"We hope that today's judgment will draw a line under this incident."

IBB Solicitors has built a reputation for quality of service in pursuing compensation in cases involving accident, illness or death. If you would like advice on personal injury issues, you can contact a member of IBB's Personal Injury team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.