A tv presenter has been awarded £1.6m in damages after he suffered mind and backbone accidents whereas performing as a “crash test dummy” in a science programme.
Jeremy Stansfield received a High Court battle with the BBC on Friday, with Dame Justice Amanda Yip ruling that the accidents he acquired in 2013 had derailed his “successful career in television” and restricted his enjoyment of life.
The BBC had argued that Mr Stansfield suffered “little more than a moderate whiplash injury with depressive symptoms”, however agreed to pay “two thirds of the damages assessed as being caused by injuries”.
An engineer by background, Mr Stansfield, who is called “Jem”, was a presenter on Bang Goes The Theory, which ran for eight seasons between 2009 and 2014.
In the episode which gave rise to the declare, Mr Stansfield assumed the function of a human “crash test dummy” for a characteristic evaluating the security of ahead and rearward-facing little one automobile seats – with two crashes carried out in every course.
He was strapped right into a rig like a go-cart which was propelled alongside a monitor right into a submit, Ms Justice Yip stated, including that, in the introduction to the phase, the presenter defined that he had calculated the experiment to offer the same crash profile to hitting a lamppost in an actual automobile in an city surroundings.
In the episode, he will be heard remarking that he’s “a little nervous” about the stunt, including: “I’m forward-facing, I’m heading for a solid-steel bar. How bad can it be?”
Ms Justice Yip stated: “It is not in dispute, and perhaps not surprising, that the claimant suffered some injury. What is contentious is the extent of that injury and the consequences for the claimant.”
The choose dominated that Mr Stansfield, aged 42 when the tv episode was filmed, suffered damage to his mind, backbone and audio-vestibular system throughout the crash exams.
“While none of the physical injuries were particularly severe, the combined effect together with a psychiatric reaction have caused a constellation of symptoms and problems which have produced a significant impairment in the claimant’s functioning,” she stated in her ruling.
“The effect has been to derail the claimant’s successful career in television as well as to restrict his enjoyment of life more generally.”
Prior to those accidents, the outcomes of a bodily evaluation ordered by the BBC had urged his physique was “performing at the level of a competitive athlete”, the choose added.
“There is strong evidence that prior to the crash tests he was an exceptionally fit man,” she stated. “Video footage from the time shows that he was slim but with strong musculature.
“There are clips of him balancing and walking on his hands and scaling a building using vacuum gloves he created.”
The BBC had contended that “little more than a moderate whiplash injury with depressive symptoms could properly be attributed to the crash tests, such as would give rise to only modest damages”, the choose stated.
Additional reporting by PA