Edwina Rawson acted for Deborah Higgs following the death of her daughter, Crystal, who was aged 21. We represented Deborah at an inquest that took place in March 2011 and also obtained compensation for her young son.
Crystal had a history of mental health problems, and was admitted to the psychiatric ward of Edgware Hospital for treatment run by Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust.
In July 2006, Crystal was accompanied by a nurse to a shop outside the hospital grounds. The nurse was too junior to be caring on her own for a patient with Crystal’s condition.
As a consequence, Crystal absconded. She got on a bus, went to Brent Cross Shopping Centre, and tragically jumped to her death from the top of the multi-storey car park.
Shortly before the inquest, the hospital admitted that the care it provided it had been "sub-standard" in allowing an inexperienced nurse to care for Crystal on her own.
The verdict of the jury was that "a breakdown in communication could have resulted in relevant information not being made available during the decision-making process and this could have been a factor in preventing her death."
Crystal's mother, Deborah, instructed Edwina Rawson to obtain compensation for her grandson, who was only 3 years old at the time of his mother's death. The family are now able to to try to move on, safe in the knowledge that Crystal's son will have some financial support throughout his life.
Click here to read an article related to the inquest that appeared in the Guardian on 27th March 2011.
Alternatively you can contact our Medical Negligence team.
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