Poppy was born with fused fingers and toes, fused eyelids with cysts behind the eye, a heart defect, ambiguous genitalia with no vaginal opening, no ovaries or uterus and irregular anal opening.
Prior to Poppy's birth, her parents Andy and Ellie were advised to terminate an earlier pregnancy due to fetal abnormalities. During that pregnancy, the fetus was found to have no bladder and absent kidneys, which is incompatible with life. The doctors recommended a post-mortem so that Andy and Ellie could be advised about future pregnancies.
At the time of the termination, a midwife told them a post-mortem was not necessary (against the advice of the fetal medicine doctors) and karyotyping (tissue sampling) would be sufficient to assess potential risks in future pregnancies. The midwife did not advise that karyotyping was inferior to a post-mortem.
Consequently, based on the karyotyping, the parents were advised that the risk of genetic abnormalities in future pregnancies was low. In fact, the risk was high at 25 per cent. Had a post-mortem been performed, it is likely that Fraser Syndrome would have been diagnosed in the fetus.
If Andy and Ellie had known about the high risk of Fraser Syndrome, they would have had further genetic testing during the pregnancy with Poppy, or would have avoided the pregnancy completely and opted for IVF, as they did with their third pregnancy.
The defendant - King's College Hospital NHS Trust - denied liability in full. Nilam obtained reports from specialist experts in obstetrics, midwifery, genetics, and perinatal pathology. Liability was compromised at 87.5 per cent, two months prior to trial.
Paul obtained an interim payment of £300,000 for the parents to fund some care, therapy and medical help for Poppy as well as themselves.
Paul and Nilam will now investigate quantum and have instructed experts in various disciplines to assist in valuing the claim.
Poppy's 's parents said:
'Nilam, Paul and the whole team at Fieldfisher have been amazing. It has been a pleasure to work with them. They have been extremely helpful and made our case as stress free as possible.
'Paul is always very quick at responding to any concerns or questions we have had and I would highly recommend him.'
For further information about birth injury claims, please call Paul McNeil on 0330 460 6804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Nilam Patel on 0330 460 6801 or email email@example.com.
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