Settlement and apology from West Hertfordshire NHS Trust for parents of stillborn | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Settlement and apology from West Hertfordshire NHS Trust for parents of stillborn

Christina Gardiner has settled a negligence case on behalf of the parents of baby Elsa who was stillborn in April 2018 following mistakes by staff at the birthing unit of Watford General hospital.

First-time parents Emelie Nilsson and Thor Swain initially contacted partner Iona Meeres-Young because of her previous, similar case at the same hospital, reported in the press.

Following a critical internal investigation report into the management of Emelie's pregnancy, Christina obtained expert evidence from a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. The hospital trust subsequently admitted breach of duty and failure to induce Emelie's labour within 24 hours after she was admitted into hospital at 41+2 weeks' gestation.

The trust admitted failures in initiating CTG monitoring of the baby and failing to identify and respond to abnormal recordings. Had staff reacted earlier, Emelie would have had a C-section and Elsa would have survived. The trust apologised to Emelie and Thor for shortcomings in its care.

Following the trust's admission, Christina also pursued a secondary victim claim on behalf of Thor who witnessed the stillbirth of his daughter. Witness evidence was obtained from a consultant psychiatrist on Thor's behalf.

The defendant made no admission in this respect but following presentation of a without prejudice schedule of loss for Emelie and Thor, the trust offered settlement of £ to be divided appropriately between them.

Following settlement, Emelie and Thor said:

"We want to say a massive thank-you to Fieldfisher for all the help and hard work over the last two-and-a-half years.

"You have all been extremely helpful, professional and caring in these difficult times for us.
Hopefully now we can get full closure and move forward."

Contact us

For further information about stillbirth claims and birth injury claims, please call Christina Gardiner on 03304606746 or email


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win no fee. Find out more about no win no fee claims.