Bank of America intern died of natural causes says coroner

The coroner hearing the inquest into the death of Moritz Erhardt, the 21 year old summer intern at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has said that he died of natural causes, as a result of an epileptic fit.

Coroner Mary Hassell told Poplar Coroners Court today:

One of the triggers for epilepsy is exhaustion and it may be that because Moritz had been working so hard his fatigue was a trigger for the seizure that killed him.
But that's only a possibility and I don't want his family to go away with the thought that it was something that Moritz did that causes his death.

It also emerged at the inquest that Moritz Erhardt took medication for his epilepsy but had not mentioned this or his condition in a health questionnaire for his internship.

Erhardt, who was a German national, was found dead on 15 August after reportedly working "exceptional" hours at the investment bank.

His death prompted calls to look at the culture of City working hours. The court heard evidence from Bank of America, who said there is not a formal monitoring system for working hours.

Jurgen Schroeder, who was the development officer for the 21 year old student, said:

I think interns in general do work long hours and sometimes past midnight.
I would say it's not only the case at Bank of America Merrill Lynch - it's the case at most banks in London, it's the case in Germany, it's the case in, I think, most parts of the world as well.

Bank of America has interviewed over 200 individuals to date, after launching a global review into issues that include staffing and working hours.