Leighton Hospital admit liability for causing devastating brachial plexus injuries to baby at birth | Fieldfisher
Skip to main content
Case Study

Leighton Hospital admit liability for causing devastating brachial plexus injuries to baby at birth

Mark Bowman was instructed by Rachael following the birth of her daughter, Samantha, at Leighton Hospital on 24 September 2013. Due to the circumstances of her birth, Samantha has been left with devastating injuries including rupturing to her fifth, sixth and seventh cervical nerves, avulsion of the eighth cervical nerve and first thoracic nerve, a Horner's Syndrome and right eye ptosis.

At the time of the events in question, Rachael was aged 32. Samantha was, and remains, her first and only child. Throughout her antenatal treatment Rachael had expressed concerns that she might give birth to a large baby, given a family history of doing so.

After a lengthy labour, and having arrived at hospital in the very early hours of 24 September 2013, baby Samantha's head was delivered at 17:15.  In spite of it being clear that Samantha's shoulder was stuck and that she could not be immediately delivered, the emergency buzzer was not pressed until 17:17, some two minutes later. As a result of attempts that were made to deliver Samantha in the period between 17:15 and 17:19, when her body was eventually delivered, Samantha suffered catastrophic injuries to her right brachial plexus, a Horner's Syndrome and a right eye ptosis.

From the time that Rachael first contacted Fieldfisher to investigate a claim on her behalf she was absolutely adamant that the injuries sustained by Samantha were caused by the obstetrician using excessive force on and around Samantha's head in order to try and deliver her.

Rachael and Samantha's medical records were requested and independent reports obtained from experts in the field of midwifery, obstetrics and paediatric plastic and hand surgery. A number of allegations were made on their behalf, including that the only way that Samantha could possibly have sustained her injuries was through excessive force being used by the obstetrician that delivered her. Indeed, such were the extent of Samantha's injures that the paediatric surgeon instructed on her behalf commented that:

"These facts are indicative of one of the most major injuries to the brachial plexus that I have seen in recent times."

In spite of the above, within their Letter of Response dated 01 April 2016, Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust, the NHS Trust with responsibility for Leighton Hospital denied liability and expressly stated that:

"It is expressly denied that excessive traction was applied to the head"

Given the denial of liability, proceedings were promptly issued and served upon Leighton Hospital. Having previously denied liability, Leighton Hospital finally admitted liability within their Defence, conceding that there was in fact excessive traction and that this caused Samantha's injuries.

Following the admission of liability, Judgement has been entered in Samantha's behalf and her claim will now be quantified.

At the time of the admission of liability, Rachael and Samantha's solicitor, Mark Bowman, stated:

"I am pleased that an admission of liability has been received though it is extremely disappointing that this was not received within the Letter of Response. Allegations of negligence remained the same within the Letter of Claim and Particulars of Claim yet the Defendant."

Rachael commented:

"Immediately following the birth of my daughter I knew errors had been made and within 2 weeks of her birth I instructed Fieldfisher to act on her behalf. Mark Bowman picked up my initial email within hours and things started to progress immediately. I have always been really confident in my daughter."

Contact us

For further information about birth injury claims and medical negligence claims, please call Mark Bowman on 03304606794 or email mark.bowman@fieldfisher.com.


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.