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Case Study

£1 million for loss of mother during pregnancy

This claim concerned events which are amongst the most tragic which could be imagined. Nikita was born on 15 November 2005 with profound and catastrophic brain damage. Kelly, her mother, at the time of birth, was unconscious and died the following day from the effects of a brain bleed.

Kelly’s mother and aunt had died during pregnancy as a result of a genetic pre-disposition to brain bleeds during pregnancy. The Hospital’s midwives and obstetricians ought to have investigated the family history and treated Kelly during the pregnancy.

The knowledge of Kelly’s personal and family history should, with competent care, have resulted in the pregnancy being classed as “high risk” and being supervised by a consultant obstetrician.

In addition Kelly should have recieved prophylactic doses of low molecular weight heparin. With such treatment Kelly would, on the balance of probabilities, have survived.

In fact the referral for consultant led care made by a midwife was not acted upon. Throughout the pregnancy Kelly did not see a consultant obstetrician as she should have done.

Unfortunately when Kelly began to suffer the effects of her genetic condition these were never acted upon and sadly Kelly died on 16 November 2005 and was unconscious at the time of Nikita’s birth.

Nikita herself was born with devastating injuries but it was difficult to establish that earlier treatment to Kelly would have made a difference to her condition.

Proceedings were issued and the defence accepted that Kelly should have been referred to a consultant obstetrician and consultant neurologist and that she should have been carefully monitored throughout the pregnancy. The Trust admitted that once Kelly was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital she should have been treated with low molecular weight heparin which would have saved her life.

No such admission was made in relation to Nikita and the Defendants argued, with the support of expert evidence, that her injuries were coincidental and unrelated to her mother’s collapse.

A global offer to settle the claim was made in the sum of £1,000,000 which included an award for sums for the loss of dependency of Nikita on her mother in her injured state and damages for her father’s psychiatric injury and loss of earnings.

The settlement enabled this very tight knit family to purchase adapted accommodation for Nikita so that she and her father can move from their unsuitable present accommodation into an adapted house. The remainder of the damages will be used to ensure that Nikita is cared for in so far as the family are unable to do so.

Contact us

For further information about birth injury to the mother and medical negligence claims, please call Paul McNeil on 0330 460 6804 or email


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