We pursued a wrongful birth claim for Paula who's son was born with cystic fibrosis. Paula's cousins both have the disease and she should have been offered genetic counselling and ante-natal testing when she was pregnant to find out if her son would have cystic fibrosis.
Paula became pregnant in June 1993. At her first ante-natal appointment she indicated that her two cousins suffered from cystic fibrosis.
The midwife did not offer any advice in relation to the risks of cystic fibrosis in the pregnancy. Paula was not offered or advised to consider any pre-natal testing.
On 8 March 1994, Larry was born and was subsequently diagnosed as suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Larry had a 1 in 320 risk of developing cystic fibrosis and Paula should have been offered genetic counselling and the appropriate ante-natal screening test.
Had such tests been carried out it would have been established that the fetus did in fact suffer from cystic fibrosis and Mrs P would have elected to undergo a termination.
In October 1995, Paula instructed our medical negligence team to pursue a wrongful birth claim on a no win, no fee (also known as conditional fee) basis.
Proceedings were issued on 6 March 1997 with the trial expected on 30 November 1998.
Liability was denied by the Health Authority and expert evidence was served from two obstetricians who concluded that the actions of the hospital were responsible for the failure to offer Paula genetic counselling during her pregnancy in 1993.
We entered into negotiations with the defendant hospital who agreed to pay the sum of £300,000 plus costs which will go towards Larry's cystic fibrosis treatment.
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