British GP faces financial ruin

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 18 May 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1245

A British general practitioner is facing financial ruin from crippling legal costs more than five years after winning a High Court slander action against his former partner. Dr Malcolm Smith made legal history in October 1991 when he won record slander damages of £150000 ($225000) and costs estimated at £160000 ($240000) from Dr Alanah Houston. Dr Houston, who practised from the same premises as Dr Smith, had accused him of groping her and her staff.

But Dr Houston declared herself bankrupt within two …

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