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D gave birth to her first child on 7 January 1997, then aged 26.  She suffered from a traumatic Delivery by a Neville Barnes forceps due to fetal distress. 

The baby weighed 9lb 10oz and an episiotomy was performed.  D suffered a third degree tear and damage to her external anal sphincter which was repaired in theatre. 

Following the birth, D suffered from faecal and flatal incontinence and because her underlying condition of Crohn’s Disease, this was particularly disabling.  D had never  been incontinent before.  In addition she suffered perineal pain and became depressed. 

In 1997 D underwent anal ultrasonography which showed the damage to her sphincter but this was not followed up and D was not told of the result. 

Samantha Critchley conducted an investigation with appropriate experts which identified two areas of potential negligence:-

  • Failing to identify the extent of the tear and therefore a failure to carry out a full repair; and
  • Using the wrong suture material. 

The Defendants vigorously denied liability.  A trial was fixed for December 2003.   

A week before trial a Round-Table Meeting was held to attempt to settle the claim. Settlement was not achieved at that meeting.  Shortly afterwards the Claimant accepted the sum of £135,000 in full and final settlement of her claim and the Defendant Trust provided a formal letter of apology.  This was an important part of the settlement for D.  The case was conducted on a “no win no fee” basis.


Contact us

For further information or if you have a birth injury claim please call Samantha Critchley on 020 7861 4263 or email

For further information or if you have a birth injury claim please contact our team:

  1. You can speak to our clinical negligence solicitors on freephone 0800 358 3848
  2. e-Mail us at
  3. Complete our short enquiry form

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