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DJ guilty of contempt of court after NHS compensation bid

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Atwal appeared in a music video during the period in which he claimed he was unable to work
A DJ who tried to claim more than
Atwal - whose stage name is Sunny KMS - was found guilty of 14 counts of contempt of court.The trust said the ruling highlighted the consequences of submitting "dishonest and exaggerated claims".On 20 June 2008, Atwal, who was working in his family's taxi firm, was injured in an attack with a baseball bat and went to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. He was treated for fractures to the index finger of his right hand and the ring finger of his left hand and a laceration to his lower lip.
Atwal could now face up to two years in prison
He later brought a claim for negligent treatment, which was admitted by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, who offered ?30,000 to settle the case.But Atwal asked for ?837,109, including very substantial sums for future loss of earnings and future care, on the basis he was unable to work and grossly incapacitated.In order to justify the much larger claim, Atwal said he was suffering from disability, self-consciousness about his lip and hands, had becoming a social recluse, suffered alcohol dependence and reliance on pain killers and was unable to work as a DJ or a courier between 2010 to 2015.
But the NHS trust was suspicious, put Atwal under surveillance and investigated his social media postings which "gave the lie" to much of what he was asserting, said the High Court judge Mr Justice Spencer.Surveillance footage showed Atwal working and making music with no visible signs of discomfort - leading the trust to accuse him of fraudulent exaggeration. In March 2016, Atwal said he would accept the trust's compensation offer made nearly five years earlier.However, the whole of the ?30,000 compensation went to pay the trust's costs, with Atwal ending up after eight years of litigation owing it ?5,000.
Heavy bags
At the High Court, Mr Justice Spencer ruled that 14 allegations of contempt relating to false statements by Atwal had been proved. They included:
Claiming he was unable to work as a DJ because of the loss of strength and dexterity in his hands
Telling a specialist that he had lost the confidence to perform as a professional DJ and had to delegate to an assistant
Telling a consultant it was impossible for him to do any lifting that was part of the job of a courier driver
Telling a care expert that he was unemployed
Saying in a witness statement that he was unable to carry heavy bags
Asserting that he needed ongoing physical and psychological support
The case is believed to be the first time an NHS trust has brought contempt proceedings against someone for making a dishonestly inflated medical negligence claim.Atwal is due to be sentenced on 1 June unless he can bring a successful challenge against the ruling. The maximum sentence for contempt is two years imprisonment. NHS Resolution, on behalf of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said the case should be seen as a demonstration of its committment to combating fraud but should not deter genuine claimants.
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