The Not So Strange Tale of Mr Bux – A Biased Expert With a Conflict of Interest Gets His Due
Mr Zuber Bux was a doctor who was removed from the Medical Register in 2019. He has just lost his appeal against the General Medical Council in March 2021. Mr Justice Mostyn in dismissing the appeal confirmed that Dr Bux deliberately and dishonestly wrote formulaic expert reports confirming food poisoning.
Mr Justice Mostyn noted that the then Dr Bux produced expert medical reports on an industrial scale. He started undertaking medico-legal work in 2008. He acted for a variety of solicitors. In and around 2011 he stopped doing this work but resumed it in 2016 and wrote 684 reports in the years 2016 to 2017 which generated him income of £123,120. Dr Bux prepared these later reports having been instructed by one firm of solicitors where his wife was a salaried partner. This connection was never disclosed in his reports. He gave deliberately false answers to questions that had been posed to him as the expert and he made diagnoses without proper evidence and without identifying the existence of a range of opinions.
These reports were all in connection with holidaymakers suing for alleged food poisoning against travel companies. Mr Justice Mostyn described the reports being written, “… on a boilerplate basis. They were invariably superficial, unanalytical, devoid of any differential diagnoses, and were invariably supportive of the claim. They would generally conclude with the words (or words to the same effect): “I am of the opinion that symptoms are due to infective gastroenteritis as a consequence of food poisoning. On the balance of probabilities, this was due to inadequate food preparation and food handing at the hotel …”
Faced with these decisive reports insurance companies would pay out on behalf of the holiday companies. It was no doubt commercially sensible to do so having been presented with a strong expert report firmly in favour of the claimant and this had to be balanced against the level of damages being claimed.
It is believed that Dr Bux never wrote a report which was unfavourable to a claimant. It was perhaps inevitable that with these hallmarks of corrupt practice that this scheme with the one firm of solicitors would be exposed and in 2018 the General Medical Council received complaints about Dr Zuber Bux. It is clear that Dr Zuber Bux did not understand the role of an expert and in particular the need to be impartial and independent or he deliberately chose to ignore this and he is now no longer a doctor.
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