Here at Farleys Solicitors, our Civil Litigation and Inquest department work closely with one another on numerous cases in order to obtain compensation for family members following the wrongful death of a loved one.
Most recently, we have secured a substantial settlement for the family of Mr W who died after having a heart attack whilst being held in Police Custody.
Mr W had known heart conditions and had a variety of medication that he needed to take as part of his treatment. He had previously suffered two heart attacks and underwent operations for them.
On the 6th March 2011, Mr W was arrested on suspicion of assault after attending a party with his partner. He was taken to Preston Operating Centre and detained. Mr W was seen by a nurse and a doctor during his detention after he reported that he had an existing heart condition for which he requested medication.
At around 12:30am on the 7th March he was charged and remanded in custody. He had tried to explain that he was having chest pains and that he required his angina spray. This request was ignored. An interpretation service was provided by a company in America. It was clear from the interview transcript that Mr W had disclosed his concerns about his chest pains to the interpreter but due to the one-sided transcript it was not possible to see whether the interpreter had failed to translate Mr W’s concerns or whether the police had failed to take heed of what the interpreter had said.
Early in the morning of the 7th March, Mr W was found to be unresponsive in his cell. He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead.
An Inquest was held and exposed numerous failings by the police, Medacs healthcare staff and Language Line in respect of the diagnosis of Mr W’s condition, administration of his medication, and communication between the staff themselves and also between the staff and Mr W.
Following the Inquest, a civil claim was pursued on behalf of Mr W’s family under the Fatal Accidents Act and the Law Reform (miscellaneous provisions) Act.
The civil claim was not without its difficulties. There were issues surrounding the liability of the police and the interpretation service used. There were also issues surrounding the relationships between the family members. Mr W’s partner had two children who were not his own, however, he did provide for them and did treat them as such.
A joint settlement meeting was held between the parties. After some careful negotiation an agreement was reached.
If you are currently facing an Inquest into the death of a loved one and would like advice and/or assistance, please contact a member of our experienced Inquest team. We will advise and guide you through the difficult Inquest process as well as review any potential civil claim you may be entitled to following the Inquest.
To arrange a free initial consultation with a specialist inquest solicitor call Farleys on 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete the online enquiry form.