Case study: failure in care provided by psychiatric unit

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Our client’s husband had a history of anxiety and Bipolar Disorder type 2. He left his psychiatric facility without an escort, against the advice of the treating Psychiatrist. He later smashed a train window and jumped through it to his death.

A four-day inquest was attended with counsel and the Coroner found that there were numerous failings in the care of the Deceased, but no link between these failings and his death.

A Consultant Psychiatrist obtained a breach report and confirmed that there was a systemic failure in the care provided. A second report was then obtained incorporating the findings of the Coroner’s expert report.

Our team sent a Letter of Claim on behalf of our client and their three dependent children. The Defendant denied breach of duty and causation. Proceedings were issued including a Human Rights Act claim.

A psychiatric report commented upon life expectancy, employment, childcare and household tasks in the absence of breach. Both an Employment Consultant and a Chartered Accountant provided advice to assist with our preparation of the schedule of loss, including a complex pension element (over £900,000).

The Defendant made two Part 36 offers which were rejected. A Joint Settlement Meeting took place, and a settlement was agreed in the sum of £500,000. Trusts were created for the children and our client, and the settlement subsequently received Court approval.




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