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Case Study

£5.25 million claim against Queen's Medical Centre after consultant radiologist fails to recognise a brain defect

Edwina Rawson successfully pursued a wrongful birth claim resulting in a settlement of £5.25 million.

Ms Lunnemann had an antenatal ultrasound scan at Pilgrim Hospital, Lincolnshire, when her baby was 21+2 weeks. A brain abnormality was seen, and the sonographer told Ms Lunnemann that there was a problem.

A few days later, Ms Lunnemann had a further private ultrasound scan.  Ms Lunnemann was reassured on this occasion that all was fine, and was advised to see a particular consultant radiologist at Queen's Medical Centre if she still had concerns.

For peace of mind, Ms Lunnemann had a further ultrasound scan by the consultant radiologist at Queen's Medical Centre. She explained that an abnormality had been identified by Pilgrim Hospital. However, she was told that everything was fine and that no abnormalities could be seen. 

Unfortunately, after Grace was born in May 2005, it was confirmed that she did, in fact, have a gross brain abnormality that would affect her very significantly. She needs care and assistance with all of her daily needs.

Edwina Rawson pursued a claim against Queen's Medical Centre.

We argued that the consultant radiologist failed to recognise that Grace had a brain defect on the ultrasound scan. If the scan had been done properly, the abnormality would have been diagnosed and investigated further. Grace's parents adore her, but at the time this would have led to Ms Lunnemann electing to terminate the pregnancy in the light of advice that would have been given. 

The case was very strongly defended by the hospital. However, we eventually reached settlement of £5.25 million for, of which Grace's parents were paid £4.2 million to reflect that liability was settled on an 80% basis.

Edwina Rawson said that she was pleased to have reached settlement after such a hard battle. Although the hospital had argued that the claim should only be possible until Grace reached age 18, we successfully negotiated settlement based upon the life expectancy of her longest surviving parent. This is reflected clearly in amount paid. Grace will now receive the care, education, and support that she needs.

Grace's parents said:

"Edwina is a truly fantastic solicitor, and she has been a driving force in bringing about a successful outcome for us.  We have always felt that our daughter has been at the heart of everything that Edwina has fought for on our behalf and she has a genuine passion in promoting the rights of brain injured children.

"Edwina fought against all the odds, when things became difficult she was determined to secure a positive result to enable us to provide the very best care and education for our daughter."

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