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Recent Wrongful Birth Claims

The Clinical Negligence Team have recovered very substantial sums of compensation for clients in a number of medical negligence claims. Here are a selection of our most recent successful cases:

£90,000 awarded for negligent treatment during pregnancy

Simon Elliman, Partner in the Clinical Negligence Team, acted for Miss P following negligent treatment during her pregnancy.

Miss P became pregnant despite a history of complications with her reproductive system. Throughout her pregnancy she was admitted to hospital on numerous occasions with bleeding and complaining of pain, swelling in her tummy and constipation. Various tests and scans were carried out and she was reassured that there should be nocomplications.

Labour was induced and then continued for three days but no progress was made. Eventually a caesarean sectionwas performed due to the failure to progress. During the caesarean section the surgeon identified that her baby was in fact ectopic (outside of the uterus) and the placenta had become fused to Miss P’s bowel. The surgeons were required to cut away a significant section of her bowel, remove her uterus and one of her ovaries and form an ileostomy. Following the surgery she wore a colostomy bag for five years before having to undergo surgery to reverse the colostomy. Unfortunately she will also be unable to have any more children.

A claim was brought on the basis that the ectopic pregnancy should have been diagnosed from scans undertaken during pregnancy and, if it had been, Miss P should have been advised to terminate the pregnancy early on due to the significant complications she would encounter and the risk to her life in continuing with the pregnancy. It was extremely fortunate that Miss P and her baby survived the pregnancy and labour, and thankfully the baby suffered no injury. The defendant hospital admitted liability and the case settled out of court for £90,000.

£1,800,000 awarded for ultrasound diagnosis failure

Kerstin Kubiak, Partner, acted for Mrs Williams, whose son James was born missing both of his upper limbs and suffering from other related genetic disorders. The hospital failed to diagnose on a routine ultrasound scan, when James was a fetus, that his upper limbs were missing.

Had they done so Mrs Williams would have been advised that he was also likely to suffer from a genetic syndrome and would have been offered a termination of pregnancy, which she would have accepted.

Mrs Williams was therefore able to claim for the additional costs of raising a disabled child. James needed a lot of extra help at home and at school so that he could live his life to the full and be as enabled to be as independent as possible.The compensation allowed Mrs Williams to purchase a new family home, adapted to meet James’ needs and to purchase the specialist equipment he needed.

£3,000,000 awarded for not highlighting pregnancy risks

Simon Elliman, Partner in the Clinical Negligence Team, represented Mrs V after doctors failed to warn her that continuing her pregnancy was risking her health and that of her unborn child.

An ultrasound taken during Mrs V’s pregnancy was sufficiently abnormal that it should have led to further investigations, which in turn should have led to Mrs V and her husband being given the opportunity of terminating the pregnancy for the sake of both mother and child.

As a result of the complications during her pregnancy Mrs V’s son was born with severe disabilities and now needs constant care and assistance. Following the settlement the family now have peace of mind that their son’s care needs can be provided for now and in the future. Since receiving the award the family have moved into a suitably adapted family home which allows him to be involved with his family all over the house now that he can get around in his wheelchair without difficulty.

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