Who? Ellen Parry, 33, clinical negligence solicitor at London firm Leigh Day.
Why is she in the news? She is acting for a mother who lodged a claim in the High Court on 27 January against a doctor who was on duty at an after-hours GP clinic when, after she had repeatedly asked for help, her seven-week-old son died.
Linda Peanberg King’s baby, Axel, died of pneumonia in November 2012 while in the care of Harmoni plc, a profit-making company running the London borough of Camden’s out-of-hours GP service.
In February 2013, St Pancras Coroner’s Court ruled that Harmoni’s doctors had no case to answer. However, in May 2013 the Care Quality Commission (CQC), after an unrelated inspection, found that Harmoni ‘did not have enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs’.
Neither the coroner nor the CQC criticised or even mentioned the doctor in question, but Peanberg King began her legal action is a bid to achieve clarity. The doctor has so far declined to respond to press requests for comment. He has until mid-February to respond to the claim.
A Harmoni spokesman said: ‘We will never compromise clinical safety and will always maintain the safest possible rotas.’
Thoughts on the case: ‘This is an extremely upsetting case, not least because Axel was so young. He would have been two and a half this spring and should be pottering around now, making his family laugh with toddler observations. We are alleging basic, fundamental errors. Put simply, it was not rocket science and Axel should not have died. Unfortunately, the coroner’s inquest did not allow us to get to the bottom of all the issues arising out of Axel’s treatment and death – hence the litigation.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I always loved the analytical side of studying English literature and I also enjoyed acting. The law, it seemed to me, brought them both together as a career.’
Career high: ‘Every time we win an admission of clinical negligence and are awarded the damages to improve lives.’
Career low: ‘When science can only go so far and we are unable to know exactly how someone died. The bereaved families have to live the rest of their lives with unanswered questions.’