Chris Percy with his partner Lauren Brooks, who tragically died three years ago. Picture: Facebook
Chris Percy with his partner Lauren Brooks, who tragically died three years ago. Picture: Facebook

Hospital’s $900k payout after mum’s tragic death

TWO young boys, the sons of a much-loved young Brisbane fashion designer who tragically died of a brain seizure three years ago, are set to receive $920,000 in a quietly done settlement with Queensland's largest public health district.

Alfie Percy, 7, and Sonny Percy, 5, of Wilston in Brisbane's inner northern suburbs, are set to receive the payment as part of an out-of-court settlement for a claim of loss of dependency brought by their father, landscape architect Chris Percy against Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS).

The payout was for the death of their mother Lauren Sian Brooks, 36, who died on September 28, 2017 just days before her 37th birthday.

Affidavits read during the court application and believed to contain details of what happened to Brooks at the MNHHS were put in a sealed envelope and marked "not to be opened without an order of the court".

Lauren Brooks and her partner Chris Percy. Picture: Facebook
Lauren Brooks and her partner Chris Percy. Picture: Facebook

Alfie will be paid $425,000, while Sonny will be paid $495,000 to maintain and support the boys via investments through a trust managed by Australian Executor Trustees.

Brooks' funeral was held on October 16, 2017 at Walkabout Creek function centre at The Gap and her ashes were flown back to the UK where a second memorial service was held at St Bridget's Church, West Kirby, near Liverpool.

Her brother Gareth Brooks described her on Facebook as his "beautiful, brilliant and incredibly naughty little sister" and said "Lauren was the sunshine in our lives and although she has gone, the sun will shine on".

"Lauren had the superpower of friendliness, and cared so much about all those around her," her friend Colleen Donaghy, from Bardon, said.

Ms Donaghy set up a GoFundMe fundraiser which raised $49,285 for the boys from 356 donors.

"Tragically she has been taken away from her family and all those she loved too soon," Ms Donaghy posted on the fundraiser.

UK-born Brooks ran an organic baby clothing business Baby Baumbach with her father Roger, using some of his artwork for clothing prints.

She started the baby business, named after her Dutch grandparents, in 2014 after a successful career in fashion in London designing for the likes of H&M, Zara, Topshop and Mango.

Baumbach was initially a women's fashion label but morphed to children's fashion after Alfie, Brooks' first son, was born.

Brooks, who was born in Chester in England moved to Australia in 2008 with husband Chris.

She also wrote poetry and loved to travel to favourite places including Stradbroke Island and Byron Bay.

Her friends and family shared a poem online she wrote about the transience of life several years before her death.

Justice Susan Brown agreed to green-light the settlement payout to the boys on October 27, court documents state.

Barrister Geoff Diehm QC, for the young boys, told the court in submissions that the court needed to green-light the settlement "to ensure that the proposed settlement is in the best interests of the children".

Mr Diehm said the court was exercising a "protective jurisdiction".

MNHHS has also agreed to pay the childrens' legal costs.

A MNHHS spokeswoman said they were unable to comment on individual patient matters due to privacy and confidentiality reasons.