Family sue council over pensioner’s death after fall from hoist

An example of a hoist used to help less-able people. (library picture)

A family is suing council bosses after a Tayside pensioner died in a fall from a hoist in her own home.

Grace Rennie, 74, died at her house in Arbroath in December 2014.

The Tele understands she was a housebound pensioner who received regular care and that she required the use of a mechanical hoist to get out of bed.

Grace is understood to have fallen while in the care of Angus Council staff, and did not recover.

An investigation was launched in the aftermath of the pensioner’s death.

The workers who had been in the house with Grace at the time were withdrawn from duty while a probe took place.

It’s not known whether they ever returned to work with the local authority.

Now, the Tele can reveal that Ms Rennie’s family has launched a bid to sue the council for medical negligence through the civil courts.

Tracey Rennie, Ms Rennie’s daughter, has lodged an action at the Court of Session on behalf of her and other relatives.

If successful, it’s understood the family could receive in excess of £100,000.

Law firm Digby Brown is representing the family, and a spokesman confirmed that the action had been raised.

He said: “We can confirm that we are acting for member’s of Grace Rennie’s family and that the case has been raised in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. This was a tragic event.

“However, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further as the legal process is ongoing.”

At the time of the incident, residents living in the area expressed their shock at the news of Ms Rennie’s death.

Alexandra Wrona, a care assistant, said: “I saw two ambulances outside of her home at some point and we wanted to know what had happened, especially as we hadn’t seen her since then.

“We only know that she received regular care.

“It’s such a terrible thing to happen, though.”

Resident Royston Macdonald added: “I’d like to pass on our condolences to the family. It’s shocking to hear about this.”

Any cases raised in the Court of Session must be worth £100,000 or more.

All cases must be raised within three years of the incident.

A spokesman for Angus Council said it would not be appropriate to comment on the case while legal proceedings were under way.

A relative of Ms Rennie’s declined to comment when approached by the Tele.