Actor blinded in onstage accident, seeks £250k in damages

The personal injury lawyers for an actor injured in an onstage accident that left him bind in one eye and permanently disfigured have asked for £250,000 in personal injury compensation from the London theatre company where the injury occurred.

David Birrell had been appearing in a production of Passion, a Stephen Sondheim play, at the Donmar Warehouse theatre in October of 2010 when the injury occurred. Mr Birrell’s replica gun backfired unexpectedly as the 45 year old award-winning actor performed at the Covent Garden theatre, causing him to lose sight in his right eye and permanently disfiguring him as well.

Mr Birrell is seeking compensation for the damage that has done not just to his personal life but to his career as well, as his injuries have left his right eye ‘blind, shrunken an unsightly’ according to court documents lodged by his personal injury solicitor. The actor has no choice but to conceal his injuries through the use of a ‘cosmetic shell,’ the documents also said, and his cosmetic and functional disability has left him in a disadvantaged position in his chosen line of work.

Mr Birrell will indeed be receiving a damages award, as the theatre company has already admitted its liability in the incident. However, it has not admitted negligence and is instead looking to the makers of the replica gun, a prop company named History in the Making Ltd, to make a contribution to the compensation figure.

History in the Making’s legal representatives have denied any liability as well, stating that prior to supplying the gun to the theatre company, it had been cleaned and serviced competently.

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