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Widow wins pounds 827,515 over death of husband.

The widow of former Legal and General chairman Sir Christopher Harding won pounds 827,515 damages yesterday against a GP she blamed for his death.

Lady Anne Harding claimed that, had her husband received appropriate treatment from Dr Nigel Scott-Moncrieff, he would have survived and carried on working until he was 70.

Instead, 60-year-old Sir Christopher, who was feeling unwell and short of breath, died at his London home in Sunderland Terrace, Bayswater, from a cardiac arrest.

The GP, of Devonshire Place, Kensington and Chelsea, who was backed by the Medical Protection Society, denied liability.

He said that he did not regard Sir Christopher's condition, when he saw him at 2.05pm on December 13 1999, as a medical emergency.

The doctor did not consider there was any real risk of deterioration or sudden death within the next couple of hours and his concern was simply to get his patient into hospital that afternoon.

After spending ten minutes in the house, he left and spent the next 50 minutes outside in his car trying to make arrangements for a private ambulance to take him to a private hospital.

But, Mr Justice Buckley, at London's High Court, held that the GP was in breach of his duty in that an NHS 'blue light' ambulance should have been summoned at about 2.15pm.

There was also a breach of duty in the GP's failure to administer a diuretic or aspirin, which all the experts agreed was standard practice.

It was accepted during the hearing that the GP's failure to stay with Sir Christopher was a breach of duty.

The judge said that the result of his findings was that from a medical point of view, Sir Christopher could, after a two or three month holiday, have continued his career until 70, if he wished.

Afterwards, Lady Anne, who has a seven-year-old daughter, Emily Rose, said: 'It is devastating to know that, had the doctor treated Christopher properly, he would not have died.'
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 24, 2004
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