Inquests & Public Inquiries
Julia is regularly instructed to represent companies, individuals and families at inquests. She has extensive experience of inquests, including those concerning accidents at work, deaths of care home residents, fatal road traffic accidents, inadequate medical care and fire safety.
- Six-week Article 2 inquest into the deaths of two fire fighters in a blaze in a high rise block of flats. The case involved a large number of witnesses and complex expert evidence standard fire-fighting procedures had not been adhered to. Led by Mark Balysz, representing Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
- Represented the principal contractor and CDM coordinator at a week-long inquest into the deaths of four ground workers who died when a reinforced steel structure they were erecting collapsed. The case involved complex technical arguments pertaining to potential design flaws by the structural engineer retained for the project.
- Article 2 inquest into the death of a lady attending a leisure centre who died from internal bleeding having waited almost 3 hours for an ambulance to arrive.
- A week-long inquest into the death of a dementia patient who repeatedly escaped from his care home. Following his final escape he drowned in a river. Inadequate steps had been taken to deprive the patient of his liberty and ensure security at the home. Represented the care home.
- Represented a fire safety advisor at an inquest into the death of a woman in a high rise block of flats where the fire alarm and other fire safety features failed to function during a fire.
- Death of a dementia patient who fell next to a radiator and sustained fatal burns from the hot pipes which had not been covered. Failure to administer insulin to patient may have contributed to fall. Represented the care home.
- Death of a worker who was lifted in the bucket of an excavator in order to undertake electrical work at height. The hydraulics failed causing the bucket to tip and two men fell 30 feet onto concrete, one suffering fatal injuries. A cherry picker should have been provided for the works. Representing a director of the company.
- Inquest into the death of a 17 year-old employee who was electrocuted when his head touched overhead power lines while using a cherry picker he had not been trained to use. Represented the employer.
- Death by self-immolation of a schizophrenic patient living in sheltered accommodation. Represented the provider of sheltered accommodation. The deceased had been known to be using illegal drugs and to be concerned about drug debts in the weeks prior to his death. Cannabis use had been identified as a potential trigger for deterioration of his condition.
- Represented a leading cardiologist who was alleged to have caused the death of a patient undergoing an angiogram by causing dissection of her artery with a catheter. After complex medical evidence from numerous specialists the coroner was persuaded that the dissection was spontaneous rather than iatrogenic.
- Inquest into the death of a man who aquaplaned and lost control of his car due to the presence of significant volumes of water on a dual carriageway. Other aquaplaning incidents had occurred at the same location both before and after this fatality. Represented the contractor responsible for ensuring the highway complied with safety standards.
- Death of a newborn baby due to rhesus disease resulting from a failure by a GP surgery to undertake appropriate maternal blood tests during pregnancy. Had blood tests been undertaken the mother would have been given medication which would have prevented the death. Representing GP surgery.
- Inquest into the death of a 13 year old girl hit by a car which was being pursued by the police. The case will involve detailed consideration of the police Tactical Pursuit and Containment protocols.
- Representing a national company appointed by a spa to undertake precautions against legionella. A customer died and her husband suffered serious health issues after contracting Legionnaires’ disease at the spa. Inquest due to take place December 2014.
- Week long inquest into the death of an experienced scaffolder who fell from scaffolding that had not been erected in compliance with guidelines. The family of the deceased alleged sabotage by the owner of the property. Represented the owner of the property.
- An inquest into the death of a mother during childbirth due to vaginal tears causing excessive blood loss. An in depth investigation with many expert witnesses. Alleged failure of medical staff to recognise that the amount of blood lost by the mother should have been considered significant due to the small size of the mother. Acted for the husband.
- Acted for a mother whose baby was still-born due to a failure by health workers to recognise the baby’s distress in utero. The mother had presented complaining of lack of foetal movement but only limited CTG scans were taken and not referred to a consultant. Emergency steps should have been taken to deliver the baby which would have survived had it been delivered two days earlier.
- Numerous inquests into deaths caused by falls at care homes. Issues explored at these inquests include: the adequacy of risk assessments, staff to patient ratios, training, use of pressure mats, administration of medication and the 1:1 supervision of high risk patients.
- Death of a 17 year-old cyclist hit by a lorry on a cycle path which crossed an access route into York Race Course. Inadequate signage and safety barriers played a role. Represented the local council.
- Represented a company which failed to undertake regular lung function tests and ensure ventilation equipment was working properly in a paint making factory. A worker died from lung fibrosis caused by long-term exposure to paint powder.
- Mesothelioma death of administrative worker who may have been exposed to asbestos in the course of her work for a local council. The council had removed significant amounts of asbestos from the buildings in which she worked. Her family allege she had access to areas containing old asbestos lagging around heating pipes before it was removed. Inquest due January 2015.
- Inquest into a death caused by carbon monoxide poisoning at residential premises where workmen had been carrying out works affecting the flue to the boiler. Inquest due February 2015.
- Harmsworth Entrance Exhibitioner, Middle Temple
- Queen Mother Scholar, Middle Temple
- CPE (City)
- BA (Oxon)
Health and Safety Lawyers Association (HSLA)
“Excellent with clients, has a good manner in court and is on top of all the instructions.”
Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018