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  • Overview

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who negotiated a settlement of £85,000 for the wife and daughter of a man who died after being allowed to wander out of a psychiatric ward.

    The patient died on a London street, most likely from a seizure. He had been allowed to leave a psychiatric ward to which he had been admitted in November 2007 in an acute confusional state. He was found two days later dead in a doorway some distance from the hospital.

    Patricia Fearnley was instructed to represent the family at the two day inquest. The pathologist advised that the cause of death was sudden death in epilepsy. The coroner advised that he could not accept this conclusion given the various explanations heard during the inquest. One theory was that he had died of hypothermia, being allowed to leave in just a t-shirt in November. The coroner concluded that he could not determine the primary cause of death following the deceased absconding from hospital. He recorded the cause of death as unascertained. 

    What was apparent from the evidence given by the medical staff looking after the deceased was that he was in a very confused and agitated state. For example, he was unable to find his way back to his bed after going to the toilet. The nurse who was looking after him also had eight other patients to look after. He left the ward unnoticed when he should have been kept under investigation.

    Following the inquest, we represented the deceased’s wife and young daughter in a clinical negligence claim against University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Settlement was achieved at £85,000.

    Read more about our experience in inquests and fatal accidents.

    Patricia Fearnley specialises in inquests and fatal cases. If you would like to ask 
    Patricia a question about a potential case involving an inquest or fatal accident or you have a general query about medical negligence contact Patricia on 01892 701319 in confidence.

    We have one of the largest and most experienced specialist medical negligence teams in Southern England including London. Our team of highly experienced lawyers has the depth and range of expertise essential in this sensitive and often complex area of law. Our clinical negligence team is very proud to be ranked Number 1 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK.

  • Related Services

    Clinical Negligence Compensation Claims

    We have one of the most well-established and experienced clinical negligence teams in the country. Our clinical negligence lawyers have a reputation for winning complex medical negligence cases and we have helped thousands of people claim compensation.   

    Inquests & fatal accident claims

    When medical negligence results the death of a loved one, we provide a caring service and practical advice. We have a long history of representing families at inquests and recovering compensation in fatal accident claims. Contact one of our specialist lawyers for a free initial consultation to find out if we can investigate your case with the financial security of a no win no fee agreement.

    Claims for general medical problems

    Clinical negligence claims are often highly complex. If you have suffered as a result of negligence at a hospital or GP surgery, our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will investigate your medical negligence claim thoroughly and independently. Contact one of our specialist lawyers for a free initial consultation to find out if we can investigate your case with the financial security of a no win no fee agreement.

    Children

    An unfortunate but not uncommon side effect of relationship breakdown is that issues can arise regarding the arrangements for the care of children. We always have the best interests of the children in mind and will provide you with sensible and practical advice about what can be the most emotive of issues.

    Fatal accident claims

    When an accident results in death the legal process that follows is difficult for those left behind. We offer a caring service with practical advice. We can represent families at inquests as well as help with the compensation.  

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