Timothy Connolly secures £276,250 in damages for “Wrongful Birth” Claim

May 24, 2019

Timothy Connolly was instructed by Nigel Smith, Senior Solicitor and Head of Serious Injury and Catastrophic Law at Clear Law Solicitors in Manchester.

The Claimant brought proceedings following the failure of an NHS Trust to properly analyse antenatal scans and identify that the unborn Daughter of the Claimant was missing the left forearm and hand.

The Claimant already had considerable care responsibilities including for her husband, who was wheelchair bound following an accident, and a son with ADHD.

Had the Defendant correctly identified that the unborn child had congenital left upper limb deficiency, the Claimant would have been referred to an Obstetrician and Foetal Medicine Specialist to carry out further ultrasound scans. She would have been advised on her options, including the option to terminate her pregnancy. Given her existing care responsibilities, the Claimant would have chosen to terminate her pregnancy.

An agreement was previously reached with the Defendant in relation to Breach of Duty and Causation, with an agreed 15% reduction in damages. This was agreed by the Claimant in order to reflect the risks she faced of not succeeding at Trial in relation to Breach of Duty and Causation.

The parties agreed to engage in ADR in the form of a Joint Settlement Meeting to deal with the Quantum of Damages and avoid the need for the matter to proceed to trial.

The Claimant recovered damages for the additional costs of raising and caring for a child with a congenital upper limb deficiency, in addition to the General Damages to compensate for her own psychological suffering.  The Claimant relied on expert evidence in fields of Orthopaedics, Psychiatry, Prosthetics and Care.

The Claim was settled on the basis that the responsibilities of a parent, in the circumstances, do not cease when the child reaches 18 years and that those responsibilities would likely continue into the child’s adult life.  The Claimant would likely continue to provide assistance, care and financial support to her daughter well into her adult years, including with the provision of personal care, rehabilitation, adaptations to her environment and prosthetics.

Gross damages agreed at the Joint Settlement Meeting were £325,000.00, minus the 15% reduction agreed previously.