A CORONER has dismissed a family’s fears that a 64-year-old relative’s death may have followed a surgeon’s error.

Pensioner Edna Sayers, who suffered from chronic lung problems, died from an internal injury, an inquest was told.

Mrs Sayers, 64, of Navigation Road, off Walmgate, York, had undergone a series of operations at York Hospital prior to her death, but coroner Donald Coverdale ruled out any “medical mishap” as a cause of death.

Recording a verdict that she died from natural causes, he said there was no evidence that a bowel might have been “nicked” during one of the operations, as was suggested by her family.

The inquest heard that Mrs Sayers, who was a leading protester against plans to build student flats in the area in 2006, had a medical history of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which meant she could only walk a few yards and used a wheelchair.

She went into hospital in May 2008 for hernia surgery and then needed two further operations after complications developed.

Pathologist Dr Daniel Scott said she was well enough to return home in July but returned to the hospital in the August suffering from increasing shortness of breath, coughing and vomiting.

He said it emerged later that her oesophagus had ruptured. “There was no suggestion there had been a slip of the hand or a knife had slipped,” he said.

• The coroner later ruled out asbestos as a cause of the death of a 77-year-old retired York builder, Kenneth Taylor, of Hempland Lane.

An inquest into his death heard that he had been in an occupation where he could have been exposed to the deadly dust, and he had been diagnosed in 2007 as suffering from pleural plaques, scarring of the lungs which can be caused by asbestos exposure. But a pathologist said there was no evidence that asbestos had caused the lung carcinoma Mr Taylor was suffering from when he died. Mr Coverdale said it was not an asbestos-related death, and recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.