GT Stewart solicitors have today served proceedings for a civil claim on behalf of the family of Osvaldas Pagirys for negligence, loss of dependency, and breach of human rights against the Governor of HMP Wandsworth, St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust arising out of Osvaldas’ death.

On 11th November 2016, whilst still under suicide and self-harm monitoring procedures in the segregation unit at HMP Wandsworth, Osvaldas rang his emergency cell bell at 1pm. Staff did not respond until 1.37pm when they found Osvaldas hanging in his cell. He was cut down and staff provided first aid. An ambulance crew attended and managed to restart Osvaldas’ heart and breathing. He was taken to hospital. He never regained consciousness. Osvaldas died 3 days later on 14th November 2016.

On 20th February 2018 an inquest into Osvaldas’ death concluded that he had died by accident and that the delay in responding to the emergency cell bell was a failure which contributed to his death. The jury also found that the decision to place Osvaldas in the segration unit was inadequate and there was inadequate communication between prison staff and healthcare staff. St George’s NHS Trust were responsible for the provision of general healthcare services at HMP Wandsworth. South London and Maudsley NHS Trust were responsible for the provision of mental health services at HMP Wandsworth.

Andrew Frederick, a civil liberties and human rights solicitor at GT Stewart Solicitors who is representing the family said:

“The family welcomed the findings of the inquest but feel that there are still questions which need to be answered in relation to the Osvaldas’ death. Whilst the inquest provided answers as to how Osvaldas died, it did not, and could not, attribute liability for his death. The family hope that the civil proceedings which have today been served on the prison and healthcare providers will lead to such a finding.”