Wrongful birth case against City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust involving a child born with Down syndrome | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Wrongful birth case against City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust involving a child born with Down syndrome

Jenny Urwin successfully concluded a wrongful birth case on behalf of the parents of a child born with Down syndrome in Sunderland Royal Hospital, now part of the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

The child suffers significant learning difficulties and behavioural problems, delayed speech and language and needs constant supervision. He will be dependent on his parents for life, financially and for other needs. 

The mother was under the care of midwives at the hospital who failed to provide adequate antenatal advice about the screening tests for Down syndrome. She was not given the Trust’s leaflet that explicitly explains screening, nor an adequate explanation of the purpose of the screening. To the contrary, the impression given to this young mother, who was in her 20s, was that it was not relevant to her and that such screening was opted for by older women. Later in the pregnancy, abnormalities were noted on scanning but the parents were told there was nothing to be concerned about and nor was an amniocentesis test necessary. Their child was diagnosed with Down Syndrome shortly after birth.

The defendant disputed the facts around what advice was given to the mother and also that termination would have followed had the diagnosis of Down Syndrome been made antenatally. At a joint settlement meeting, the parties agreed a percentage settlement to reflect the risk of litigation and after quantification of the claim, a lump sum settlement of £10.3m was reached. The settlement will provide for the child’s life-long needs.

Jenny said: ‘Wrongful birth cases are always extremely difficult and distressing for the families concerned. All the parents I represent love their children unconditionally and are dedicated to providing for all their child’s complex and additional needs, which will continue throughout their life-time.’

Contact us

For further information about wrongful birth claims, please call Jenny Urwin on 03304606776 or email jenny.urwin@fieldfisher.com.


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.

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