Inquest into the death of Leah Cambridge – Richard Paige Represents FamilyPark Square Barristers
Leah Cambridge died in a private hospital in Izmir, Turkey following an operation for a ‘Brazilian Butt Lift’ (BBL) in August 2018. The three day inquest Into her death was heard by the Senior Coroner for West Yorkshire (East), Kevin McLoughlin and concluded on 22nd November 2019. The hearing attracted significant media interest.
Arrangements for Leah’s procedure were made in the UK by Elite Aftercare with the operation performed by Dr Ali Uckan, a Turkish plastic surgeon. The coroner concluded that Leah had died when fat, which was being injected back into the body during the operation, entered her blood stream, causing a pulmonary embolism.
He concluded that Leah was unaware of the risks that the procedure carried, with the risk of death being 10-20 times that of the next riskiest cosmetic procedure. He was highly critical of the consenting process, some of which required Leah to sign documents which were written in Turkish. She was required to sign over 36 pages of documents within minutes of her admission at the hospital, having arrived early in the morning after an overnight flight.
Dr Uckan failed to attend the inquest despite numerous requests to do so, including an invitation to give his evidence by video link. His conduct was described as cowardly by the coroner.
The coroner also described as “abominable” a letter sent by Elite Aftercare’s former solicitors which contained allegations that Leah’s death may have been contributed to by her taking of illicit drugs. The coroner found that the allegations had no reasonable foundation and toxicology results proved that Leah had not taken such drugs.
The coroner is to send a Report to Prevent Future Deaths to the Secretary of State for Health. A Report is also to be sent to Elite Aftercare’s representative. As Dr Uckan is outside of the jurisdiction a Report cannot be sent to him, but the coroner indicated that he would be writing to the surgeon and the hospital at which Leah died. The coroner also recommended that anyone considering a BBL should obtain independent medical advice.
Richard Paige was instructed by Minton Morrill Solicitors to appear at the inquest on behalf of Leah’s family. Richard is an experienced clinical negligence and inquest advocate and was appointed a Recorder (Civil) in 2019.
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