Actor Jamie Thomas King has lost an offer of damages against the NHS Bath trust after claiming he missed the opportunity to play a role in the film Dunkirk when his five-day-old son died.
Benjamin King died of severe brain damage in May 2016 after being born from an emergency Caesarean section at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath, reports PA.
He is likely to have been deprived of oxygen after his mother, Canadian actress Tamara Podemski, had his cesarean delayed by 12 hours despite being delayed by 14 days, according to a 2017 investigation.
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The RUH Bath NHS Trust then admitted responsibility for Benjamin’s death, agreeing that had he been delivered sooner he would have survived.
Mad Men and The Tudors actor Mr King, 39, has taken legal action against the NHS Trust for damages and lost profits.
Mr King sought damages for psychiatric injury, which should be based on a “single shocking event” of what he saw and was told on his first visit to see Benjamin in the nursing unit neonatal intensive care units (NICU).
“The stress of the following days which resulted in the applicant and his wife having to make the terrible decision to go to palliative care and therefore to allow Benjamin to die as he did on May 10, 2016, cannot do part of this request. Said Judge Philip Mott QC.
The actor was diagnosed with PTSD, with two experts agreeing that it was due to his son being gravely ill in the NICU on his first visit.
Describing seeing his son after he was born on May 5, 2016, Mr King said: “There were a lot of different people working around the cot and there seemed to be a lot of panic.”
He continued, “Looking at Benjamin, I had a stomach ache. I desperately wanted to hold him but I couldn’t. It was all hooked up to machines, looking like a science experiment and I couldn’t get close to it. HIM At that point, I remember my knees were weak.
Recounting his feelings when Benjamin died five days after his birth, Mr King said, “I felt my world crack… the whole experience was deeply traumatic.
Doctors at the hospital denied that there was any sense of panic and the trust lawyer said that while it would have been distressing for Mr King, it was not legally a “shocking” event.
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Mr King’s lawyers have argued he was “on the verge of a big break-up” before his son’s death, with his future loss of earnings exceeding £ 8.5million, including the loss of a chance to play a role in the critically acclaimed film Dunkirk.
In February 2016, Mr. King was invited to a meeting with director Christopher Nolan, who was preparing to start the film, which would go on to win three Oscars.
Mr King said that although his agent told him he had “nailed” the audition, he had withdrawn from the fight for a role after Benjamin’s death.
The court heard testimony from director Mike Leigh, who described Mr. King as “a talented actor who I would expect to have a successful career ahead of him.”
But Judge Mott declined to award damages, ruling that the trust was not responsible for its loss of income and that it was not a legally “shocking” event.
He said: “He was expecting the birth of his second child, which should have been a joyous event, and instead he was told that Benjamin was gravely ill and in danger of dying. It would be a nightmare for any parent.
“I have no doubt that the Applicant is someone particularly affected by visual triggers and with an ability to imagine and empathize with the suffering that is invaluable to him as an actor.”
Judge Mott also refused to award money for loss of earnings, finding that there was “a substantial and significant chance of a big break for the plaintiff if he had not suffered from PTSD, but it was very far from certain ”.
He continued, “The claimant was unable to work at all for 12 months due to his PTSD. Afterward, he was fit to audition and find work, but there were still a few roles he couldn’t take on as they would trigger callbacks from Benjamin.
The judge said there was a 75 percent chance of getting a sufficiently important role in Dunkirk, adding that “the chance of ending up with an important role which remained in the final film was a very uncertain process”.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-17 21:05:49