Intended for healthcare professionals


Surgeon who acted as expert witness must pay £88 000 in costs, says judge

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 21 February 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m706
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A consultant spinal surgeon who acted as an expert witness for a patient suing an NHS trust for negligence has been ordered to pay £88 800 (€105 000; $114 000) in costs incurred by the trust in defending the case.

In a case she described as “highly unusual,” Judge Claire Evans said that Firas Jamil was unable to answer questions about the legal test for breach of duty, the key question for determining whether a doctor was negligent.1

At the time of the trial in March 2019 Jamil was experiencing mental health and cognitive problems that had led to his being on sick leave from work from November 2017 and retiring from clinical practice in 2018. He had continued with medicolegal work but should have stepped down as an expert in November 2017, Evans ruled.

Jamil, who qualified in Iraq in …

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