Inquests for insurers: why they are relevant – Mills & Reeve

Posted April 15th, 2021 in coroners, inquests, insurance, news by sally

‘Inquests are valuable to insurers as Neil Ward explains. They offer a unique opportunity to hear evidence on all of the key issues which are likely to arise in determining liability arising out of any claim following a death.’

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Mills & Reeve, 13th April 2021

Source: www.mills-reeve.com

Towuaghantse v GMC [2021] EWHC 681 (Admin) Coroner’s findings, independence of experts and registrant denials: this case is not one to put on the “read later” pile – 2 Hare Court

‘It is difficult to know where to start with Towuaghantse v GMC [2021] EWHC 681 (Admin). I will give you a briefest account of the facts in a moment, but potentially Mostyn J’s judgment in this case stands as authority for the following principles:
a. The factual findings of a coroner, and any narrative conclusion, are all admissible against a registrant.
b. Authors of expert reports do not have to be independent in the sense of uninvolved with the institution or any of the players in a case, they are merely subject to a Porter v McGill style test of bias or apparent bias.
c. The capacity of a registrant to remediate sincerely should be judged by reference to evidence unconnected with their denials of the factual charges, unless the fact-finding decision included findings of blatant dishonesty by the registrant (a refinement of the same judge’s recent pronouncements in GMC v Awan [2020] EWHC 1553 (Admin)).’

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2 Hare Court, 30th March 2021

Source: www.2harecourt.com

Mary Agyapong inquest: Public Covid inquiry needed as soon as ‘practicable’, coroner says – The Independent

Posted March 31st, 2021 in coronavirus, coroners, inquests, inquiries, news by tracey

‘The coroner in charge of the inquest into the death of a 28-year-old senior nurse last year has urged the government to hold an inquiry into the pandemic “as soon as practicable”. Emma Whitting made the plea at the end of the inquest at Bedfordshire and Luton Coroner’s Court, after ruling that Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong had died of multiple organ failure and coronavirus.’

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The Independent, 30th March 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Judges will be allowed to retire at 75 – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted March 9th, 2021 in coroners, judiciary, magistrates, Ministry of Justice, news, retirement by tracey

‘Judges, magistrates and coroners will be allowed to work up until the age of 75, the government announced today. The current standard mandatory retirement age of 70 dates from 1993. The Ministry of Justice said the change seeks to address the fact that people now work later into their lives and the government did not want to lose valued members of the judiciary.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 8th March 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Highways England referred to Crown Prosecution Service over smart motorway death – The Independent

‘Highways England has been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider if corporate manslaughter charges are appropriate following a smart motorway death.’

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The Independent, 11th February 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Rachel Johnston: Neglect contributed to woman’s teeth removal death – BBC News

‘A disabled woman whose brain was starved of oxygen after an operation to remove all her teeth would probably have survived if care home staff acted sooner, an inquest heard. Staff at Pirton Grange Care Home, near Worcester, failed to spot Rachel Johnston was developing hypoxia. A coroner concluded neglect contributed to her death just over two weeks after she was taken to hospital.’

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BBC News, 11th February 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

The woman who live-tweets inquests – BBC News

Posted February 10th, 2021 in autism, coroners, disabled persons, inquests, internet, news by sally

‘George Julian is crowdfunding to attend coroners’ courts and live-tweet the inquests of people with learning disabilities and autism.’

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BBC News, 10th February 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Inquest finds mother took overdose after removal of disability benefits – The Guardian

Posted January 28th, 2021 in benefits, coroners, government departments, inquests, mental health, news, suicide by sally

‘A severely mentally ill young mother died from a deliberate overdose after the removal of her disability benefits left her destitute, trapped in a months-long state of high anxiety and haunted by suicidal thoughts, an inquest has concluded.’

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The Guardian, 27th January 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Reflections on Maughan: disclosure in inquests – Henderson Chambers

‘Inquests are not adversarial proceedings. However, the Supreme Court decision in Maughan (lowering the standard of proof for an inquest conclusion of ‘unlawful killing’ to the balance of probabilities) has left practitioners concerned about the ability of the coronial process to protect Interested Persons (“IPs”) from the serious reputational damage such a conclusion will inevitably cause. This article looks at one critical part of the process, namely disclosure.’

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Henderson Chambers, 19th January 2021

Source: www.hendersonchambers.co.uk

Widow leads fight over smart motorways after landmark crash inquest – The Independent

‘The widow of a motorist who died on a smart motorway is leading the fight to have them banned after a coroner concluded they pose “an ongoing risk of future deaths”.’

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The Independent, 23rd January 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Standard of Proof and the Chief Coroner’s Law Sheet No.6 – Maughan and Beyond – Parklane Plowden Chambers

‘On 13th January 2021, the new Chief Coroner, HHJ Teague QC, published Law Sheet No.6. This new guidance comes exactly two months after the Supreme Court gave judgment on 13th November 2020 in the case of R (on the application of Thomas Maughan) v. HM Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46 where it ruled by majority that all conclusions in coronial inquests, whether short form or narrative, are to be determined on the civil standard of proof: the balance of probabilities.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 19th January 2021

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Guildford pub bomb police took action to keep files closed – BBC News

‘The police force investigating the Guildford pub bombs has been accused of a conflict of interest after it took legal action to keep archives closed. More than 700 files on the 1974 IRA bombs had been due to open this year but were retained by the Home Office. Inquest papers have shown Surrey Police applied for the files to stay closed.’

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BBC news, 2nd December 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Suicide and the burden of proof – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted December 1st, 2020 in burden of proof, coroners, inquests, news, standard of proof, suicide by sally

‘Although suicide was decriminalised more than 60 years ago, it was still always necessary to meet the criminal standard of proof when reaching a finding that someone had taken their own life. But this month, in a departure from this common understanding, the Supreme Court in R (Maughan) v HM Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46 found that the ‘degree of conclusivity’ required was, in fact, the civil standard – the balance of probabilities.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 30th November 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Landmark inquest to rule if air pollution killed London pupil – The Guardian

‘An inquest is to consider evidence that illegal levels of air pollution caused the death of a nine-year-old girl, in a landmark legal case.’

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The Guardian, 30th November 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

What really happened to Edson Da Costa? – The Guardian

‘He was 25, a father and a car mechanic. Five minutes after being stopped by police on 15 June 2017, he was lying unresponsive on the ground. After an inquest and inquiry, family and friends are still fighting for justice’

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The Guardian, 29th November 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Elizabeth Dixon death investigation reveals “20-year cover-up” – The Guardian

‘The government has apologised for a “20-year cover-up” over the death of 11-month-old Elizabeth Dixon, whose parents have fought an unrelenting battle for the truth.’

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The Guardian, 26th November 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Family who fear daughter was killed sue Leeds NHS trust after body decomposes – The Guardian

Posted November 23rd, 2020 in bereavement, coroners, damages, families, hospitals, inquests, negligence, news, unlawful killing by sally

‘The family of a woman who they suspect was killed is suing a health trust that allegedly stored her corpse incorrectly, allowing it to decompose to the point that experts were unable to rule out third-party involvement in her death, the Guardian can reveal.’

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The Guardian, 23rd November 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

More Likely Than Not: The Civil Standard of Proof Applies to All Short-Form and Narrative Conclusions at Inquests – Ropewalk Chambers

Posted November 19th, 2020 in coroners, inquests, news, standard of proof, suicide, Supreme Court, verdicts by sally

‘By a majority of three to two, the Supreme Court has held that the standard of proof for findings of suicide and unlawful killing at an inquest is the balance of probabilities: R (Maughan) v Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020]
UKSC 46.’

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Ropewalk Chambers, 16th November 2020

Source: www.ropewalk.co.uk

Supreme Court lowers standard of proof for inquests – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted November 17th, 2020 in coroners, inquests, news, standard of proof, suicide, Supreme Court, verdicts by sally

‘The Supreme Court has today lowered the standard of proof for all conclusions in inquest proceedings, including unlawful killing and suicide, in a decision that could have wide-reaching implications for the recording of deaths in England and Wales.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 13th November 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Case Comment: R (on the application of Maughan) v HM Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46 – UKSC Blog

Posted November 17th, 2020 in coroners, inquests, news, suicide, Supreme Court, verdicts by sally

‘The Supreme Court has given judgment in R (on the application of Maughan) v HM Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46, a case dealing with the applicable standard of proof for reaching a narrative verdict of suicide or unlawful killing. A detailed case preview by my colleague Tim James-Matthews is available here, as a useful starting point for the issues arising in the appeal. By a 3-2 majority (with Lady Arden giving the leading judgment), the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the applicable standard of proof is the civil standard (i.e. the balance of probabilities). Lord Kerr gave the dissenting judgment, with which Lord Reed agreed: they would both have allowed the appeal.’

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UKSC Blog, 16th November 2020

Source: ukscblog.com