Kate Rohde and Richard Lodge acted for a client in connection with a Fatal Accidents Act claim arising from the death of his long-term partner.
Our client’s partner was suffering from a severe depressive episode and required hospitalisation. She was admitted to a secure psychiatric unit as a voluntary patient. Following assessment by a consultant psychiatrist she was treated by medication and talking therapy. She was allowed escorted leave with staff, her parents or partner as long as it was authorised by one of the medical team.
Unfortunately, her condition deteriorated and she became suicidal, frequently speaking of her desire to end her life. This increase in risk was noted by medical staff but not acted upon. Instead, she was persuaded to go on escorted leave the hospital garden with a group of patients. During this escorted leave she was able to leave the group and abscond from the hospital by passing through reception unchallenged. She made her way to a local railway station and took her own life by stepping in front of a train.
The claim was pursued on the basis that had she received adequate medical care she would not have left the ward and taken her own life. In addition to pursuing conventional claims on behalf of the Deceased’s Estate for her pain and suffering, a loss of dependency claim on behalf of our client for his loss of financial dependency on his long-term partner, a claim was also advanced under the Human Rights Act for violation of the Deceased’s European Convention Article 2 Right to Life.
After assessing her likely career progression and calculating our client’s loss of dependency the settlement figure in the sum of £450,000 was agreed.
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