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GPs admit filmmaker’s heart attack death errors

3 October 2008

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Substantial damages have been awarded to the widow and children of filmmaker Nick Rossiter, who died of a heart attack at the age of 43, after three GPs failed to diagnose and treat his hypertension.

Mr Rossiter suffered a cardiac arrest in July 2004. Henry Whitcomb, counsel for Mr Rossiter’s widow, Beatrice Ballard, told Mr Justice Foskett at the High Court in London that his death would have been avoided had he received the right medication from December 2003 onwards.

GPs Dr Pearl Chin, Dr Cathy Benson and Dr Sharon Alikhani – of the Westbourne Grove Surgery in west London – admitted failing to identify his hypertensive condition and failing to prescribe appropriate medication.

The amount of the damages settlement was not disclosed in court.

Mr Rossiter’s work included documentaries on Princess Diana and the Prince of Wales.

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After the hearing, John Pickering, of solicitors Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said: “”Doctors Chin, Benson and Alikhani failed to establish and enforce a system of monitoring Nicholas’ blood pressure and did not treat him with antihypertensive medication as they should have done.

“His family are relieved that this matter is now closed and they can move on with their lives.”

Mrs Ballard, daughter of novelist J G Ballard, said: “No amount of money can replace my children’s father, but it will help in securing their future.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Irwin Mitchell