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Case settles for family of wood-carver with an international reputation

Riccardo Giaccherini was an internationally renowned wood carver and picture framer. He was the personal framer of Lucian Freud and his frames were hung in many major galleries, both here and abroad

Riccardo Giaccherini carrying a picture frame he carved in 1994 for J Nelson Shanks’ portrait of Princess Diana Photo courtesy of Paul Adams

13 December 2005

Riccardo Giaccherini was an internationally renowned wood carver and picture framer. He was the personal framer of Lucian Freud and his frames were hung in many major galleries, both here and abroad. Riccardo’s family - his wife and two children - were totally financially dependent on him.

Nosebleed and an operation

Around midnight on 25 March 2000, Riccardo was admitted by ambulance to the Royal Free Hospital with a persistent nosebleed. He was 49 years old. The following evening he was given an operation to cauterise the bleeding vessels.

The operation - which the family had been told would take 20 minutes or so - lasted over 2 hours and Riccardo emerged severely brain injured. He was later diagnosed as being in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) and died a year later, in April 2001, having made no real recovery.

It was difficult finding out from the hospital what had happened. Eventually it became clear the problem occurred when Riccardo was coming round from the surgery - the doctors did not act soon enough to ensure he got an adequate oxygen supply.

Problems for the business

Without Riccardo at the helm, his successful London picture framing business naturally suffered - though it has now been taken over by one of his former colleagues and thrives once more.  His wife had to sell the family home in London. After Riccardo died, she and the children had to move to Italy, because it was cheaper to live there than in the UK.

Substantial settlement

The trial of the widow’s claim against the hospital was due to start at the High Court in London on 12th December 2005. The case settled on 17 November for £650,000.

Nothing can bring Riccardo back, and of course, money does not solve all problems. But it does solve the severe problems that result from being broke. Riccardo’s widow and children are looking forward to their first Christmas free of financial worries, since Riccardo was so tragically injured.

 

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Clinical negligence

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