Care Provider Admits Failings After Wheelchair Bound Woman Fell Into River Thames

Specialist Personal Injury Lawyers Secure Admission From Care Home After ‘Horrendous Ordeal’


A furious family is taking legal action after a care worker looking after their disabled daughter negligently lost control of her wheelchair causing her to fall into the River Thames, thereby putting her in a life-threatening situation.

Kelly Maderasz, from Hackney, London suffers from Retts Syndrome, which is a genetic condition causing severe physical and mental disability. She is also epileptic, suffers from Type 1 Diabetes and is wheelchair dependent.

On 4 December 2013, Kelly was taking a trip to Radnor Gardens, Twickenham with her carer who was employed by Roy Kinnear Charitable Foundation, owned by Choice Support. The carer was pushing Kelly’s wheelchair along the path beside the River Thames when she failed to take care, and lost control of the wheelchair and Kelly fell eight feet into the water putting her in a life-threatening situation.

Kelly’s distraught family are now taking legal action against the care provider, instructing lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to bring justice for their daughter. They have now secured an admission of liability from Roy Kinnear Charitable Foundation/Choice Support which paves the way to secure a settlement for Kelly for the horrific ordeal she has been through.

The family described the incident as ‘totally unacceptable’ and say that they hope that action is taken to prevent similar incidents from happening again in future.

A report following an investigation by the social services found 10 possible failings by Roy Kinnear Charitable Foundation, now owned by Choice Support, saying essentially that they failed to action or provide any adequate supervision for Kelly and as a result she and her wheelchair fell into the River Thames which should have been prevented.

Kelly, 26, was struggling in the dirty cold December water for some considerable time before the paramedics arrived; she suffered a fractured wrist, fractured cheekbone, extensive bruising and cuts to her body and a blood infection. She was rushed to intensive care at West Middlesex University Hospital.

Katrina Elsey, a personal injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said: “This is a truly shocking incident; Kelly’s life was put at risk as she fell into the water and struggled until paramedics came to rescue her.

“Kelly has suffered enough through life as she has battled through various disabilities and conditions. The family put their trust in the care providers to ensure Kelly could have a safe and fun day out but sadly it seems as though this was not the case.

“We are pleased that we have now secured an admission of liability from Choice Support which owns the Roy Kinnear Charitable Foundation and runs the care home and will work towards a settlement to conclude this traumatic incident for the family so they can move forward. We hope that lessons can be learned from the care home to ensure that all of their patients receive the best quality care.

“Kelly suffered multiple injuries as a result of this accident and it has left her traumatized. To Kelly her wheelchair is a safe place to be and in her mind carers should be safe people to be with, but this trust has been shattered and she is forced into yet another setback in her life. 

“For the sake of Kelly and her family we hope that this situation is concluded quickly so they can move on with her life and refocus attention on getting the best care for her.”

Speaking of the incident, Kelly’s mother said: “I am absolutely devastated at what Kelly has been through. My vulnerable daughter was placed in the carers hands to be looked after and protected and they are in a position of trust. 

“Kelly has suffered with a number of conditions all her life but this will leave a lasting mental scar. Trust has to be earned with my daughter and she has always previously felt safe in her wheelchair but this horrendous ordeal has left her severely traumatized.

“Their actions were totally unacceptable and far below what we expected from the people looking after our daughter. 

“I am relieved that we have received an admission of responsibility from the care home and we are looking forward to the future so we can begin to put this behind us and ensure that Kelly receives the best possible care.

“For us, this legal action is about ensuring that lessons are learnt so that no one else has to suffer a similar incident in future.”