A British actor who was left partially blind after he was accidentally shot in the face during a performance of Stephen Sondheim's play Passion has won damages. David Birrell sued bosses at the Donmar Warehouse in London's West End after he suffered serious damage to his right eye when a prop gun misfired onstage in 2010.
He has now agreed to accept an undisclosed settlement after the theatre company admitted liability.
In a statement, Birrell thanked officials at acting union Equity for helping him take the case to court, saying, "Without the support, assistance and encouragement of Equity and its solicitors, I could never have hoped to fight this difficult, lengthy and complex case in the way we did, had I not been a member."
A representative for the Donmar Warehouse tells theatre publication The Stage, "The Donmar has nothing further to add other than to restate that the company's priority throughout has been and continues to be David Birrell's welfare."
Birrell has now returned to acting, but still requires treatment on his damaged eye.
David Birrell was admitted to hospital with a serious eye injury following the 2010 incident at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
Bosses launched an investigation, and Birrell, who lost the sight in his right eye and suffered permanent disfigurement, has now taken legal action against executives at Donmar Warehouse Projects Ltd.
He claims the "cosmetic disability" has blighted his career and personal life, and he is demanding $400,000 in damages.
The theatre company has admitted liability, but denies negligence and is seeking a contribution to any damages payout from prop makers History in the Making Ltd, which bosses say supplied the gun, according to London's Evening Standard newspaper.
Lawyers for History in the Making state that "the guns supplied had been competently serviced and cleaned prior to supply".
David Birrell was admitted to hospital with a serious eye injury following the incident during Saturday's (02Oct10) performance at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
British reports suggest there was a fault with a prop gun used on stage, which was meant to fire blanks.
A spokesperson for the venue says, "During the matinee performance of Passion on Saturday David Birrell sustained an injury to his eye for which he is currently being treated in hospital.
"Our priorities are to David's well being and recovery; and to theatregoers who have purchased tickets for performances in the coming days."
All shows have been axed until Wednesday (06Oct10) at the earliest and an investigation is ongoing.