Six Figure Settlement Obtained for Psychiatric Injuries Following Traumatic Birth
In March 2021, Lanyon Bowdler obtained a six figure sum in compensation for Mrs XD in relation to the psychiatric injuries that she sustained following the traumatic birth of her twin sons at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
This was Mrs XD’s fourth pregnancy and all of her other children had been born by normal vaginal delivery. However, throughout this pregnancy, Mrs XD developed a strong instinct that something would go wrong with the second twin if delivered naturally. She therefore requested an elective C-section several times, however this was refused and Mrs XD’s concerns were never properly discussed.
When Mrs XD went into labour, there were problems with the interpretation of the CTG trace which was monitoring the twin’s heart rates and delays in expediting their delivery. Fortunately twin one, was born in good condition but tragically, Master FD was not breathing. There were difficulties with his resuscitation and Master FD did not take a breath for 16 minutes. During this time, Mrs XD witnessed frantic efforts to resuscitate her son and felt as if her fears during pregnancy had materialised.
Master FD sustained brain damage and was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Since the birth, Mrs XD has suffered with ongoing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Prior to instructing Lanyon Bowdler, Mrs XD made a complaint to the Defendant and instructed another firm of solicitors in respect of a claim for Master FD. However, she was unable to engage with the claim as a result of her worsening psychiatric condition.
Lanyon Bowdler were then instructed in March 2016 in relation to a claim for Master FD. We identified that Mrs XD also had a potential claim arising out of the alleged negligence and we therefore made an application to the Court to issue the claim urgently, in order to protect Mrs XD’s position as the time limit for her claim was fast approaching and the Defendant would not agree to an extension.
We then proceeded to instruct independent medical experts in order to prove that the injuries that Master XF had sustained at birth were avoidable. We also instructed a Consultant Psychiatrist who concluded that Mrs XD had suffered PTSD as a direct result of her fear that her baby would die and her seeing him resuscitated.
In December 2019, the Defendant served a Defence which responded to our allegations and admitted that Mrs XD sustained PTSD as a result of the events surrounding the birth.
In order to assess the value of Mrs XD’s claim, we obtained evidence from the Consultant Psychiatrist in relation to recommendations for treatment, such as CBT and EMDR and claimed for the costs of these on a private basis. We also instructed another expert to provide a report addressing the additional care that Mrs XD had required from friends and family members as a result of her injuries. In Mrs XD’s case, the care that she had required from her husband and sister was extensive. The Care expert also made a number of other recommendations for treatment, such as weekly acupuncture, the provision of a Case Manager and vocational support.
The Defendant made a number of offers to settle the claim, however we rejected these as they were too low. Nevertheless, Mrs XD was keen to settle her claim as quickly as possible and we therefore arranged a mediation to try and reach a settlement with the Defendant. In the meantime, we obtained an interim sum of compensation for Mrs XD so that she could access the treatment that she required.
The mediation took place in March 2021 and Mrs XD’s claim was settled for a six figure sum sufficient to compensate her for the pain and suffering that she had endured, for her loss of earnings and for funds which would allow her to access treatment and therapy in the future.
Throughout our investigations, Mrs XD found it extremely difficult to talk about what had happened and we therefore liaised with her husband and family members as much as possible so as not to cause Mrs XD any further distress.
Since settling the claim, Mrs XD wrote to Lanyon Bowdler in order to express her thanks and said:
“The whole team was outstanding from start to finish…professional and caring”.