Our personal injury and clinical negligence team were instructed to act on behalf of the family of Lesley Benson at an inquest into her death in February 2016 at Harefield Hospital. The inquest took place on 26 January 2017 at West London Coroners Court.


Mrs Benson suffered with heart disease. She underwent surgery (angioplasty and stent insertion) on the afternoon of 10 February 2016 at Harefield Hospital. The procedure initially appeared to have been successful. Mrs Benson then developed worsening chest pain overnight and was also noted to be light headed and pale.

The following day, Mrs Benson was taken back to theatre where it was revealed that she had developed thrombosis (blood clotting) of a stent in the circumflex artery. She underwent a repeat angioplasty procedure just after 12pm during which there was a severing of a coronary artery which required repair.

One hour later Mrs Benson suffered a cardiac arrest. Although she was initially resuscitated, Mrs Benson died later that afternoon after suffering another cardiac arrest.

The inquest

The evidence at the inquest revealed that Mrs Benson had developed chest pain sometime around 9pm on the night of her first procedure and there were also worrying changes on her ECG monitor. Mrs Benson was reviewed by the junior doctors and the on-call consultant overnight but no significant action was taken.

The consultant cardiologist who performed the procedure on 10 February 2016 provided evidence to the Coroner and confirmed that it was clear Mrs Benson’s condition should have been investigated sooner in light of her worsening picture overnight.

The inquest evidence also confirmed that during the second procedure Mrs Benson’s artery was damaged by the use of an incorrectly sized balloon which may also have impacted on her ability to survive.

Tragically, the Coroner concluded that there was a missed opportunity to intervene and investigate Mrs Benson further on the night of 10 February 2016 and that had the second procedure been performed earlier on the balance of probabilities Mrs Benson was likely to have survived.

Russell-Cooke LLP has been instructed to pursue the case against the hospital on behalf of Mrs Benson’s husband and her estate.