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Case report - Settlement following negligent management of labour

20 Aug 2021

Lauren Hall, Senior Associate in our Clinical Negligence team at Hay & Kilner has acted on behalf of a Claimant who tragically lost her newborn child following the negligent management of her labour.

The Claimant’s child passed away at only 25 days old.  The Claimant was advised following the death than nothing could have been done to prevent the death however she sought legal advice.  Independent expert evidence was obtained and it was argued, that having reviewed the labour records, signs of foetal distress would have been identifiable had competent monitoring of the foetal heart rate been undertaken before delivery.  It was argued that the Defendant failed to appropriately record the foetal heart rate and the Defendant inaccurately recorded and inadequately monitored the foetal heart rate during labour.

Had competent monitoring taken place decelerations would have been identified and a CTG been commenced.  This would have led to the earlier delivery of the Claimant’s child and the child would have survived.  The Claimant’s child was born in very poor condition and suffered seizures, renal failure and on-going acidosis. She passed away as a result of cystic encephalomalacia caused by a prolonged period of hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) before birth.

Article 2 inquest

A Letter of Claim was served on the Defendant who denied liability.  Despite ongoing correspondence and the Claimant’s supportive expert reports the Defendant continued to deny liability and therefore the Claimant issued proceedings at Court and served Particulars of Claim.  Days before the Defendant was due to serve their Defence, an offer of settlement was made by the Defendant.  Following negotiation, settlement was reached on behalf of the Claimant.

Lauren comments “I am pleased to have reached settlement in what was an extremely traumatic case for the Claimant which was strongly defended.  I am pleased for my client that she is able to move forward and this litigation is now behind her”.

For more information or how we could help you or your family please contact Lauren or a member of our Clinical Negligence team .