Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Compensation expected to be sought against Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust following death of Offham teacher Frances Cappuccini

The family of a teacher who died following a caesarean section are expected to sue the NHS Trust that treated her.

Frances Cappuccini, 30, died of a heart attack after she delivered her second son, Giacomo, in October 2012.

Legal history was made when Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells became the first NHS trust to face corporate manslaughter charges.

Frances Cappuccini
Frances Cappuccini

But last week the charges against the organisation were dismissed by a judge at a trial at the Inner London Crown Court.

Dr Errol Cornish, the consultant anaesthetist that treated the Offham Primary School teacher, was also told he had no case to answer.

Another doctor which treated her, Nadeem Azeez, was not on trial as he was no longer in the country.

While Mr Justice Peter Coulson QC ruled that mistakes made did not cross the criminal threshold, the trust admitted that the care Mrs Cappuccini received fell short of the standards expected.

Now her family are expected to seek a civil settlement, accusing the trust of being liable for her death, which requires a lower standard of proof than the test for gross negligence.

Frances Cappuccini died shortly after giving birth at the Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury
Frances Cappuccini died shortly after giving birth at the Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury

The legal firm representing Mrs Cappuccini, Kingsley Napley, said: “The pre-inquest review which was held in November 2013 heard that liability was admitted by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and that there would be a civil claim for damages.

"The family have no further comment to make at this sensitive time.”

Mrs Cappuccini suffered severe bleeding and never regained consciousness after surgery. It was found she had high levels of acid in her blood due to a lack of oxygen and it was alleged the anaesthetists failed to re-intubate her quickly enough.

The trust itself was accused of failing to check that the doctors were properly qualified.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More