BBC presenter wins £1.6million payout after being used as crash test dummy

A BBC TV presenter has won £1.6 million in damages from the broadcasting corporation for injuries that he sustained on the job.

The presenter, who is taking home a sizeable chunk of money, volunteered to take part in a "human crash-test dummy" while hosting a BBC science show.

Jeremy Stansfield, who is better known as Jem, successfully sued the BBC claiming he lost his broadcast career after suffering life-changing injuries when on set shooting a risky episode.

He sued the broadcaster for £3.7m after he was injured while filming BBC popular science show Bang Goes the Theory.

Mrs Justice Yip oversaw a trial at the High Court in London earlier in the year, with the ruling announced on Friday, October 1.

The 46-year-old presenter claims that he suffered disabling whiplash, brain damage and psychological scars in the aftermath of the risky stunt.

Jem claims that he was injured when he was strapped into a specially designed rig and catapulted along a track and into a metal pole to mimic the effect of hitting a lamppost in a car.

In April, the court heard Jem's lawyers say that he was injured while filming an episode for series two of Bang Goes the Theory.

In the episode in question, Jem and his co-hosts took a hands-on approach to "investigating the science behind the headlines".

In court documents, his lawyers said the stunt left him with “soft tissue injury to the structures around the spine”.

The documents also stated that Jem incurred a “subtle brain injury” caused by “the repeated acceleration/deceleration forces generated by the crash-tests".

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Other alleged health problems accident include dizziness, psychological damage and a possible carotid or vascular injury.

In court documents, Mr Stansfield's lawyers state that his pre-accident medical history was "unremarkable".

The documents also stated that the current chances of further significant recovery are "poor".

They claimed that without the effects of the crash testing he could now be earning up to £500,000 per year, and that he had dazzling prospects as his talents spanned creativity, writing, presenting and engineering.

His lawyers said he would have been earning a similar salary as top TV stars, adding that "Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond…may provide a good source of comparison".

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The ruling was not an assessment of liability but the extent of Mr Stansfield's injuries and the damages owed.

The BBC agreed to pay Mr Stansfield two-thirds of the full value of his claim after a discount for his own "contributory negligence".

In the broadcast footage of the crash test process, the presenter could be heard saying that he felt nervous, before adding that tests make him confident he will walk away, "but what we don’t know is how my body will behave."

In the footage his cart is then seen slamming into the metal pole and his head jerking back before he announces: "There’s definitely an impact."

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