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Suicidal mother wins $4.8M in damages

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BLACKPOOL, England, Dec 6, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A British court has awarded a woman $4.8 million as she is now brain-damaged as a result of an attempted post-partum suicide attempt.

The damages were charged to the Lancashire Ambulance Service, whose staff took 26 minutes instead of 10 to reach the woman after her husband had called them four years ago.

After the birth of her second child, Claire Burchell, now 25, swallowed alcohol with a large number of painkillers. However, the ambulance got lost, and by the time it arrived, Burchell had suffered a heart attack and permanent brain damage, The Times of London reported.

Burchell's lawyer told the judge the woman would never work again and that she required 24-hour care. She is confined to a wheelchair with weakness in her limbs, is disorientated and has a memory span measured in seconds or minutes.

The ambulance service agreed to pay the damages, but denied any negligence or liability. It admitted that there had been a delay in the ambulance arriving, but said that it was justified.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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