INQUEST REACTION: ‘Lessons should be learnt from this tragedy’

James Merritt.
James Merritt.
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The family of James Merritt, who died after falling down a lift shaft, said they hope lessons will be learnt from his death.

After a five-day inquest at the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington, a jury has ruled today (Friday) that the award-winning health and safety expert died due to misadventure.

James Merritt, 39, who was from Hampton Magna, tumbled down the empty shaft of a passenger lift while working at a three-storey building in Warwick.

Jeanette Whyman, head of Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Group at law firm Wright Hassall, is representing the family of James Merritt.

She said: “James was much loved and our thoughts are with his wife and their two young children and the rest of the family.

“This has been an extremely difficult time for James’ family. The evidence we heard at the inquest into James’ death, revealed many serious shortcomings which exposed James to unnecessary danger. The family hope that the other parties represented at the inquest will carefully consider everything that has been said to ensure that such a tragedy can never happen again.”

A statement from Kimberley Merritt on behalf of the family said: “James was a kind, caring and intelligent man who was loved by all who knew him. He was hardworking, diligent and always gave his best in everything he did.

“James adored his two children and he would be extremely proud of the legacy he has left behind in them.

“James devoted his career to ensuring that people were safe and this tragic incident has taken him from us all too soon. Our lives, and indeed the lives of others are a lesser place because of this.

“Our thanks go to all of the emergency services who cared for James throughout this tragic incident.”