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Doctor claims damages from NHS

Posted in: Employer Negligence Public Transport Spine & Back Injuries 

A doctor from Bristol has claimed damages from the NHS after suffering a “serious spinal injury” on a boat trip seven years ago. Dr Kathleen Feest had been involved in a team building exercise alongside 10 other colleagues when the accident happened. The party had been on a 9m inflatable boat, called the Celtic Pioneer, which left Cardiff Bay for an hour-long trip to the Bristol Channel.

Dr Feest claims that she suffered a severe back injury while on the boat trip in August 2008. She is now suing the authority that was her employer at the time of the accident, the South West Strategic Health Authority, for substantial damages.

Health authority’s claim had come too late

The health authority, however, blamed the boat operators, Bay Island Voyages, for Dr Feest’s injury. The firm raised the point that Dr Feest’s injury was not caused by the carrier, its agents or employees. Bay Island Voyages additionally argued that, under International Laws covering the transport of passengers by sea, the authority’s claim had come too late.

The firm’s argument initially succeeded, but three London Appeal Court judges ruled in favour of the health authority. Lord Justice Tomlinson, Laws and Kitchin ruled that the health authority could attain a contribution from Bay Island Voyages for the compensation claimed by Dr Feest.

The compensation figure is yet to be agreed.

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