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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Parents to sue after son choked
Martin Hardy
Martin Hardy died in the care home in February
The parents of a disabled man are to sue the owners of a care home where he choked to death on a pickled onion.

Martin Hardy, who was 27 and from Clay Cross in Derbyshire, died in February at the Leonard Cheshire Home in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

Last week an inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death, but the coroner highlighted a catalogue of failings.

The care home owners said action was being taken, following the comments made at the inquest.

Mr Hardy, who had cerebral palsy, choked to death after a volunteer worker put a pickled onion into his mouth, having not seen his care sheet, which specified he should have no solid food.

We have expressed our regret publicly and privately to the family
Colin Young, care home operations director

The coroner's criticisms of the home - owned by firm Leonard Cheshire - included the fact untrained staff were employed, that there was a lack of supervision and inadequate emergency procedures.

Mr Hardy's father, Terry, said the home was receiving 1,400 a week to look after his son and the care "obviously didn't work" so the family will now sue.

Colin Young, Leonard Cheshire's Director of UK Operations, said: "We have expressed our regret publicly and privately to the family.

"We can assure them and the wider community that action has been taken in response to the comments raised by the coroner.

"Martin's tragic death shocked and stunned us all. He will be greatly missed by his fellow residents and staff.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this distressing time."

Martin Hardy's family talk of events leading to his death

Disabled resident choked on onion
10 May 07 |  Nottinghamshire

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