The doctor who was sacked from Great Ormond Street after she failed to spot Baby P's broken back is demanding compensation from the hospital.
Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat, a paediatric consultant who was the first person sacked in the wake of the scandal, has launched legal action against the hospital following her dismissal nine months after Baby Peter's death.
The 17-month-old could be alive today but Dr Al-Zayyat decided against conducting a full medical examination two days before he died in August 2007 because he was 'miserable and cranky'.
A source close to the case told the London Evening Standard that Dr Al-Zayyat, who lives in Ilford, had launched legal action for unfair dismissal.
The claim could be worth a six-figure sum, the minimum which would be £100,000.
The action will spark anger that a doctor roundly blamed for her part in Baby P's death should seek compensation.
Sharon Shoesmith, who was head of children's services at Haringey, caused outrage when she sued the council for unfair dismissal.
It is understood Dr Al-Zayyat, who trained in Pakistan and worked in Saudi Arabia before coming to the UK, will argue she has been made a scapegoat for wider failures.
She was suspended from practice by the General Medical Council in November last year.
She was employed on a rolling six-month contract by Great Ormond Street on a salary of more than £75,000.
The world-famous children's hospital runs the child development centre at St Ann's Hospital in Tottenham, where Baby P was brought shortly before his death.
Dr Al-Zayyat is expected to claim she was never shown the child's full medical history and so didn't realise he was the long-term victim of abuse.
An official report recently criticised the hospital for failing to employ enough consultants to run the clinic. Dr Al-Zayyat's case may focus on a shortage of doctors which put her under huge pressure.
Dr Al-Zayyat had no contact with Peter's social worker before or after the appointment and was given no details about the child's previous hospital admissions, the commission noted.
She was one of only two consultants at the specialist children's clinic at St Ann's, when there should have been four.
She is represented by lawyers working for the Medical Protection Society, the body which provides professional indemnity for doctors.
A Great Ormond Street spokesman said: 'We can confirm we have received notice of legal action. The trust will vigorously defend its position.
'We believe we acted fairly and in the interests of patients. Detailed rebuttal of Dr Al-Zayyat's claims will have to wait for any hearing.'
The spokesman added: 'We didn't scapegoat her. The case surrounds her dismissal from GOSH following the decision not to renew her fixed-term contract. The trust denies that the issue in the case is systematic failures.
'Even a junior doctor should have recognised the risks in a situation where there was a letter on file clearly stating that there were child protection concerns, and the child had visible bruises.
'This should have prompted any doctor to contact the social worker. It is also basic training to strip a child in order to carry out a full investigation.
'Two serious case reviews have questioned her practice.'
A source told the Evening Standard: 'Dr Al-Zayyat is claiming Great Ormond Street unfairly ended the contract and she is entitled to damages because of that.'
Baby P's body was found in a blood-spattered cot at his Tottenham home.
A post-mortem examination found 17-month-old Peter had probably suffered serious injuries, including a broken back and fractured ribs, before he was examined by Dr Al-Zayyat.
In November the paediatrician spoke of her distress at what happened to Peter.
In a statement released through the Medical Protection Society, which gives professional indemnity to healthcare professionals, she said: 'Like everyone involved in this case, I have been deeply affected by the shocking and tragic circumstances of this young child's death.
'My professional career has been devoted to the care of children. I will cooperate with any investigation to identify whether lessons can be learnt from this case.'
Peter suffered 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over the final eight months of his life.
His mother, 27, was given an indefinite sentence with a minimum term of five years at the Old Bailey last month after pleading guilty to causing or allowing her son's death.
Her boyfriend, 32, was jailed for life with a minimum of 10 years for raping a two-year-old girl.
He was also given a 12-year term to run concurrently for his 'major role' in Peter's death.
The couple's lodger, Jason Owen, 37, of Bromley, south east London, received an indefinite sentence with a minimum term of three years for failing to take steps to save the little boy.
Click to view image: '51e44529d9e6-article11941610285e6a7000005dc995_224x423.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|