Following the tragic stillbirth of baby F in March 2015, her mother K instructed Jonathan Zimmern to investigate a claim against Barts Health NHS Trust.
At 14-weeks pregnant, K attended Whipps Cross Hospital. Her blood pressure was found to be a worrying 128/90. NICE guidelines state that, in these circumstances, K should have been referred to a high risk obstetrics clinic. No such referral was made.
K was seen regularly in the antenatal clinic throughout her pregnancy. At each appointment, her blood pressure was found to be high but no action was taken to monitor or treat the problem. In January, a scan at 28 weeks gestation showed the baby's growth had slowed. A repeat scan was ordered for two weeks later.
In February, K was seen again in the antenatal clinic at 31 weeks. No plan was discussed to address her raised blood pressure. Another scan showed further problems with the baby's growth. She was reviewed again in early March, but, despite the ultrasound findings and her high blood pressure, no action was recommended.
A week later, K went to triage at Whipps Cross Hospital complaining of reduced fetal movement and vaginal spotting. Her blood pressure was 153/103. Tragically, an ultrasound scan confirmed that her daughter had died in utero. Because of her high blood pressure, K could not have a caesarean section and had to go through an induced labour and F was delivered stillborn that evening.
K complained to the hospital about the treatment she had received. The Trust produced a report that concluded there had been a failure to monitor her blood pressure levels throughout the pregnancy and that this could have contributed to the death of her daughter.
K instructed Jonathan Zimmern in October 2015. Jonathan wrote a letter of claim to the Trust highlighting the failures in K's care as concluded in their own report. The Trust admitted liability and a settlement was agreed in March 2016, just five months after Jonathan was instructed.
On completion of the case, K said:
"Jonathan was recommended to me by a friend of mine. When I met Jonathan I was so happy I had asked him for help. From day one he has not just been professional but also a lovely person to speak to. You need someone with heart to deal with such issues, especially when you are going through such a horrific time after losing your baby, and Jonathan was very sympathetic to our situation. He was always very nice to talk to and always kept us involved with what was happening with the case. There are no words to describe how grateful my husband and I are to Jonathan for his help".
"There are few things that can be more traumatic than losing a baby and this was such a needless death. Thankfully the hospital trust acknowledged that its staff had not followed the NICE guidelines and they spared the family the upset of a prolonged legal argument. Time and time again we are forced to fight claims that should have been resolved months or even years previously and I was pleased that the Trust on this occasion acted sensibly in relation to this tragic death."
By Jonathan Zimmern, Partner
Jonathan has been dealing with complex, high value medical negligence cases for over ten years, covering areas such as birth injury, delayed diagnosis, inquests and orthopaedic injury amongst other areas. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and is acting on behalf of the Trustees for the vCJD compensation scheme – which manages £67.5m for victims of variant Cruetzfeldt Jakob Disease and their families.
He often handles cases which are reported in regional and national press and regularly takes over cases that have been mishandled by other solicitors. He has particular expertise in dealing with complicated cases of clinical negligence which overlap with pre-existing personal injury claims.
If you would like to enquire about making a medical negligence claim you can contact Jonathan Zimmern direct on
- T: 020 7861 4218
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Fieldfisher has successfully been recognised as an "Occupation and Asbestos Disease Specialists" Fieldfisher are now recognised as assessors
Charities we support
Hugely successful case management day focuses on best practices for clients
Partners Jane Weakley and Anna Bond spoke at a well-attended case management day this week about collaborative working practices to achieve the best outcome for clients.
New NHS sepsis guidelines will prompt earlier diagnosis and save lives
Following a huge amount of work by the UK Sepsis Trust, in conjunction with the Royal College of Physicians and NHS England, new treatment protocols for suspected sepsis have been issued by NHS England.
Client Becky Tyler speaks at Parallel Worlds conference about cerebral palsy and videogames
Hugely talented client Becky Tyler gave a presentation on eye gaze gaming and Minecraft at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the Parallel Worlds conference.
£30m birth injury settlement for delays at Newham General resulting in cerebral palsy
Following approval at the Royal Courts of Justice in November 2018, Jane Weakley has settled a long-running birth injury case for more than £30m against Barts Health NHS Trust, concerning Newham General Hospital.
Bridget Collier leads Fieldfisher sponsored walk for Greater Manchester Asbestos Victim Support Group Charity
Fieldfisher represents parents of Yousef Al-Kharboush who died in ITH Pharma contaminated baby feed case