NHS Trust Settles Body Decomposition Claim

Matthew Gold of Gold Jennings has succeeded in a claim against an NHS Trust for failing to properly preserve the body of Paul Murray by freezing it.   Matthew settled a claim for Caroline Murray after the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust failed to properly preserve the body of her husband Paul causing it to badly decompose so that it became unviewable.    The NHS Trust admitted it had failed to follow internal procedures in carrying out timely checks of the body after Paul died on the 20th November 2020.    Mrs Murray claimed that the failure to show Paul’s body dignity and respect was in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights*.

The death of a family member will always be upsetting to the family.  A failure to preserve the body resulting in it badly decomposing so that it cannot be viewed after death only ads to the upset and heartache suffered by the family.  The way we treat our dead is an important priority of a civilised society that should not be disregarded.  Fortunately, the Human Rights Act provides the only legal route for families to hold NHS Trusts to account and hopefully improve procedures to prevent further catastrophes from occurring.  The claim was reported by the Guarding on the 2nd January 2023 and can be viewed via this link https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/jan/02/nhs-trust-pays-damages-after-letting-mans-body-become-unviewable

Matthew also represented the family of Emily Whelan in successful claim against the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust when judgment was given against the Trust for failing to preserve Emily’s body in breach of Article 8 of the ECHR.  More detail of the case can be found on our website at http://www.matthewgold.co.uk/landmark-judgment-caramella-brennan-leon-clark-tammy-clarke-rita-clarke-kingsley-leader-and-guiseppina-saia-v-leeds-teaching-nhs-hospitals-trust/


“The case has also been reported by ITV News and can be found on this link https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2023-01-05/grieving-widow-sues-nhs-after-late-husbands-body-left-to-decompose-in-mortuary


Matthew Gold can be contacted at mg@goldjennings.co.uk or on 02084459268

*Article 8 of the ECHR – Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and correspondence.