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Care home under investigation

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Amber Valley Borough Council has instigated an investigation following the death of Thomasina Bennet, aged 80, who was found dead underneath a wardrobe in her Care Home in 2012.  It has been alleged that a breach in health and safety regulations lead to Ms Bennet being suffocated when a wardrobe fell on top of her at Milford House Care Home in Derbeyshire on 9 April 2012.  Employee Gerald Hudson, 71, from Ambergate, has been accused of negligence following the incident.  It is alleged that Mr Hudson failed to ensure that staff were correctly trained and that he failed to check monitoring systems.  Mr Hudson denies all charges against him.

“systematically unsafe”

Derby Crown Court heard that post mortem tests carried out at the time of Ms Bennet’s death proved inconclusive and that the monitoring system designed to alert staff to patients getting out of bed failed to work.  Prosecution barrister, Jonathan Owen told the Court that emergency procedures and the monitoring system were “systematically unsafe”, and stated that staff “reacted in a state of disarray”.

It has been suggested by the defence that residents are able to get out of bed in a way that does not trigger their movement, calling into question the efficiency of the system. 

It has been stressed by the Judge, Stuart Rafferty QC, to the jury that “This isn’t a murder trial, it is a case which deals with health and safety.  The real issue is if there were in place sufficient systems to ensure the care and protection of that lady”.  The trial continues.

If you have been affected by healthcare negligence, and are looking to claim compensation, please contact us. 


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