Assault during reconstructive facial surgery at Ipswich Hospital | Professor Ninian Peckitt | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Assault during reconstructive facial surgery at Ipswich Hospital | Professor Ninian Peckitt

Jonathan Zimmern has successfully concluded a case for GF, who suffered serious facial damage and psychological injuries after a surgeon at Ipswich Hospital repeatedly punched him in the face during an operation. The surgeon, Professor Ninian Peckitt, has since been struck off by the GMC.

GF was being treated for severe facial injuries which he had suffered during an industrial accident at work in January 2012. He was taken to Ipswich Hospital where Professor Peckitt operated to reconstruct his face. This was reported as successful. The following week, GF apparently fell over at the hospital and was taken for further surgery, again performed by Professor Peckitt. It is recorded during the procedure that Professor Peckitt tried to reduce GF's facial fractures by using "external pressures". This was unsuccessful and GF's jaw was subsequently wired shut to allow the fractures to heal. 

GF instructed solicitors to handle his personal injury claim and received compensation.

Dramatic information then surfaced following a GMC hearing into Professor Peckitt's actions. He was reported by theatre staff during the operation as repeatedly punching GF in the face. He had even asked a dental surgeon present to hold GF steady while he assaulted him. 

Professor Peckitt did not attend the GMC hearing and offered no explanation for his actions. He was struck from the register in April 2015.

GF was completely unaware of these events before the GMC hearing and only found out about the horrific assault from an online Daily Mail article about the hearing. While he was not named in the article, he soon realised that it referred to him. Discovering what had happened pushed him into depression.

GF instructed Jonathan Zimmern to investigate his claim. Jonathan instructed a facial surgeon expert to comment on the care provided. Unsurprisingly, the expert was very critical of and shocked by Professor Peckitt's conduct. 

Jonathan then took steps to quantify the claim, which was complicated by the previous settlement of GF's personal injury claim. Following negotiations with the hospital, Jonathan was able to agree a further settlement for GF, in addition to the sum he had already received for the personal injury claim.

Image credit: The Garrett Anderson Centre, Ipswich Hospital
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Richard Rogerson -

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