A High Court judge has praised a solicitor for conduct 'of which the legal profession should be proud' over his dealings with a dishonest clinical negligence claimant.

Paul Wainwright, head of the counter fraud and intelligence team at Browne Jacobson in Birmingham, had 'numerous communications' with Sven Raymond Bogmer, who has been found in contempt of court for claiming he lost the use of his right hand after surgery.

The judge also thanked counsel Romilly Cummerson, instructed by Browne Jacobson, 'for the fair and balanced manner in which she assisted the Court in the prosecution of the application'.

Bogmer brought a claim against Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in October 2017 for negligent medical treatment. His claim form said he had suffered 'significant injury to his right arm' which 'prevents [Mr Bogmer] from undertaking simple day-to-day activities such as opening a bottle or crisp packet'.

Video surveillance was carried out in January 2020, the High Court heard. Footage showed Bogmer walking his dog, pressure-washing his car, carrying shopping and operating a petrol pump, all while using his right hand normally and without signs of discomfort. In a statement, Bogmer said the activities depicted in the surveillance had not required significant effort or heavy use of the right arm, adding: 'I have good and bad days'. 

The claim had been resolved in January 2021 after the trust made a drop hands offer, which was accepted by Bogmer. 

In September 2022, the trust applied to bring committal proceedings against Bogmer. Despite the 20-month delay, permission was granted for the proceedings to go ahead.

Mr Justice Constable, convicting Bogmer, said the defendant 'had no honest belief' in the truth of the claims he made about his injuries and 'made them with the deliberate intention of deceiving the experts and in due course the court'.

'To the extent any of the representations of loss of function and deterioration were accurate (which I do not accept), Mr Bogmer in any event falsely, and dishonestly, represented that the symptoms he said he experienced and the associated impacts were caused by the…surgery, when (to the extent they existed at all) they predated the surgery and were unrelated to it.'

During the course of his judgment, published on Monday, Constable praised Wainwright for the way he had communicated with Bogmer. Wainwright had spoken to Bogmer’s wife in June about the defendant’s decision not to attend his trial for contempt. 

Bogmer - who represented himself - has cancer and said in an email: 'My GP and Oncologist advised me not to worry over this case and focus on my own well-being, after being given a very s[h]ort life expectancy.'

Constable said Wainwright had 'quite properly and with a great deal of sensitivity' been staying in communication with Bogmer and his wife in the lead up to the committal hearing. The High Court judge thanked Wainwright and said his dealings with the Bogmers 'exemplify the great professionalism, courtesy and sensitivity in dealing with difficult matters of this nature with a litigant in person, of which the legal profession should be proud'.


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