Breaking: High Court awards cash settlement to family of plumber who died of a heart attack the day after visiting Ipswich Hospital’s A&E

Colin Kingsbury and his son Jack

Colin Kingsbury and his son Jack - Credit: Archant

The bereaved widow of a much-loved Ipswich plumber who collapsed and died at home the day after he was discharged from Ipswich Hospital’s A&E department have today won a cash settlement from the NHS.

Colin Kingsbury suffered a heart attack in November 2009.

Despite desperate attempts by his traumatised wife Wendy, two of his four children and neighbours to resuscitate him, the 38-year-old died at his Foxhall Road home.

The High Court in London today heard Mr Kingsbury had been suffering severe chest pains and breathlessness in the days before his death.

Mrs Kingsbury’s solicitor said the plumber had been sent home from Ipswich Hospital’s A&E the day before his death and advised to take pain killers after medics told him his symptoms were unlikely to be heart-related.

They claimed the hospital negligently failed to follow up his case or take account of his history when he arrived at the hospital. Mr Kingsbury suffered his first heart attack in 2004 and his father and uncle both suffered cardiac problems in their 30s.

Mrs Kingsbury and her children, Benjamin, 23, 22-year-old Rebecca, John 19, and seven-year-old Jack all sued Ipswich Hospital for alleged clinical negligence. They all claimed damages for their “loss of dependency” on the husband, step-father and father.

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Rebecca and John, along with their mother, were at home when Mr Kingsbury collapsed and died. They also claimed compensation for the trauma they suffered at witnessing vain attempts to save his life and their grief.

At the High Court, without making any admission of liability, the hospital agreed to a cash settlement with the family.

Despite his family history of heart disease, lawyers claimed Mr Kingsbury’s case was not adequately followed up after the 2004 heart attack he suffered at the age of just 34.

They alleged that, when his wife took him to A&E on November 21, 2009, he was not seen for two hours. Had he been tested immediately, medics would have picked up on signs of the acute arterial disease that was to kill him the following day, it was claimed.

Instead, lawyers alleged that he was told that his pain was probably due to a musculo-skeletal problem and was discharged with advice to take painkillers and see his GP the following Monday.

Mrs Kingsbury and Rebecca were in court to hear Mr Justice Jeremy Baker approve the compromise reached by lawyers.

He told the court: “It seems to me that this settlement is admirably sensible and justified”.