Jo represents the widower of a consultant paediatrician who suffered a cardiac arrest and died a week after undergoing elective surgery. Internal and independent investigations found a number of failings in her care.

The defendant trust sought to withdraw a full admission which had been made the day before the inquest was due to begin, and which was reiterated prior to the resumed inquest. The basis for the withdrawal application was that while giving evidence, the Coroner’s expert had changed his view of the deceased’s underlying condition.

Despite finding that the defendant had a potential causation defence, Master Sullivan refused to allow the admission to be withdrawn. Particular weight was given to the defendant’s conduct and delay in making the application, and the prejudice to the claimant should it be allowed. The effect of pre-inquest admissions on the recovery of inquest costs was also considered. Judgment was entered for the claimant with damages to be assessed, and a significant interim payment secured.

Jo was instructed by Paul McNeil and Nilam Patel of Fieldfisher, in both the inquest and the civil claim.

The full judgment can be found here.