D gave birth to her first child on 7 January 1997, then aged 26. She suffered from a traumatic Delivery by a Neville Barnes forceps due to fetal distress.
The baby weighed 9lb 10oz and an episiotomy was performed. D suffered a third degree tear and damage to her external anal sphincter which was repaired in theatre.
Following the birth, D suffered from faecal and flatal incontinence and because her underlying condition of Crohn’s Disease, this was particularly disabling. D had never been incontinent before. In addition she suffered perineal pain and became depressed.
In 1997 D underwent anal ultrasonography which showed the damage to her sphincter but this was not followed up and D was not told of the result.
Samantha Critchley conducted an investigation with appropriate experts which identified two areas of potential negligence:-
- Failing to identify the extent of the tear and therefore a failure to carry out a full repair; and
- Using the wrong suture material.
The Defendants vigorously denied liability. A trial was fixed for December 2003.
A week before trial a Round-Table Meeting was held to attempt to settle the claim. Settlement was not achieved at that meeting. Shortly afterwards the Claimant accepted the sum of £135,000 in full and final settlement of her claim and the Defendant Trust provided a formal letter of apology. This was an important part of the settlement for D. The case was conducted on a “no win no fee” basis.
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