Inquest Into Death Of Young Father Hears Of NHS Failings That Contributed To His Death

Family To Continue Battle For Justice With Help From Expert Lawyers


Medical negligence experts representing the partner of a 22-year-old man who died at a Birmingham mental health unit attended an inquest into his death today (28 March) which heard that hospital failings contributed to his death.

Thomas Cooper was under the care of the Bruce Burns Mental Health Unit in Solihull and was receiving ongoing treatment for psychosis when he died in the early hours of 12 January 2012 of choking and inhalation of vomit. His death came the day after he took an inadvertent overdose of his prescribed medication, Lorazepam. At the time he was also being treated with the prescribed anti-psychotic medication, Clozapine.

Thomas’ partner of two years, Nicola, instructed medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell to represent her at the inquest held at the Birmingham Coroner’s Court today, before the Senior Coroner, Mrs Louise Hunt.  Mrs Hunt provided a narrative conclusion, stating that there was a failure by staff to review Thomas’ medication following his admission to the Bruce Burns Unit which was inappropriate and that, on the balance of probability, the medication Clozapine caused his death.

Now, Nicola has vowed to continue her battle for justice with the help of her legal team at Irwin Mitchell in the hope that she, and the couple’s three-year-old son, can one day begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

Victoria Blankstone, is a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office.

Nicola, age 26, added: “Thomas’ death has devastated the family and whilst the inquest has provided answers to our questions about his death, we remain determined to get to the truth of what happened to Thomas so that his son can one day understand why he lost his father when he was so young.

“Nothing can turn back the clock and bring Thomas back but we hope that by pursuing legal action it will prevent further vulnerable patients from being put at unnecessary risk.”


If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of mental health negligence, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.