Wrongful Birth Case
In August 2020 Lanyon Bowdler obtained a large six figure sum in damages for Claimants, Mr and Mrs XB in connection with a claim arising out of the wrongful birth of their twin daughters, A and E who tragically passed away aged only 8 and 14 months respectively. The allegations were that there was a failure at 33 weeks pregnancy to advise the Claimants appropriately of the risk of their twin daughters being born disabled following ultrasound scans which revealed abnormalities, namely that A’s head circumference was in the very low percentile scale.
Mrs XB was aware that the measurements were low and had sought reassurance more than once which had been provided.
We obtained expert medical evidence that if the abnormalities had been flagged up Mrs XB would have been referred for a detailed MRI scan which would have revealed that both twins would have been likely to have been born with significant neurological abnormalities and the Claimants would have been offered a late termination which they would have chosen. The Claimants had already discussed the possibility of having a baby with neurological damage and had agreed that they did not want of feel able to bring up a severely mentally disabled child. As a result of the failings Mrs XB gave birth to twin daughters who were diagnosed with microcephaly within three days of their birth.
The little girls had significant health needs and lived with pain and suffering every day. They required 24 hour care and both parents could not return to their work as planned leading to loss of earnings and financial strain. There were associated additional expenses as every attempt was made to alleviate their daughters’ suffering. There was a significant claim for the additional cost of care provided as a result of the twins’ injuries.
Tragically the twins each succumbed to their injuries and died. The parents had not been prepared for this and had to go through two separate funerals within a period of six months. Both of them had sustained a psychiatric injury as a result of the impact of the negligence. We were able to claim damages for Mrs XB for her own injuries to include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
To prove the case, it was necessary for us to instruct an expert Obstetrician and Neonatal Paediatrician.
We sent the Defendant a Letter of Claim in March 2018 which set out our formal allegations and invited the Defendant to commence their own investigations. The Defendant responded in October 2018 and made full admissions of negligence in that the hospital should have identified the areas of concern in the growth scans at 33 weeks gestation.
Court proceedings were issued on Mr and Mrs XB’s behalf as the Defendant failed to make reasonable offers of compensation. Thereafter, the Defendant proposed a mediation in order to try and resolve matters prior to going to trial.
The acting solicitors took lengthy, detailed statements from the Claimant parents and other key witnesses to demonstrate the extent of the care required for their daughters due to the extent of their suffering and the impact on their lives and careers. The Defendant’s Solicitor commented in negotiations that these detailed statements supported by expert and documentary evidence had made the difference in negotiations.
The mediation took place in July 2020 during which the Defendant agreed to settle the claim for a sum sufficient to compensate for the additional care provided to the twins, loss of past and future earnings for Mrs XB, and compensation for her unnecessary pain and suffering involved with the delivery and her psychiatric injury to include money for future, treatment and therapy.
Mr and Mrs XB each courageously read out their own personal statements at the mediation focusing on the impact of the negligence and the loss of their daughters upon their lives. The Defendant also provided Mr and Mrs B with a full and open apology and reassurance that lessons would be learned from their case which was much appreciated.