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Mrs Thompson (named changed to protect confidentiality)

Clinical Negligence Solicitor Guy Pomphrey secured over £600,000 in compensation for a woman who sustained permanent bowel injury (including severe faceal incontinence) because of a doctor’s failure to properly repair a serious 3rd degree perineal tear sustained after the assisted delivery (by forceps) of her baby daughter.

The Facts

Mrs Thompson experienced difficulty in the final stages of her labour.  Concern was raised about her baby’s heartrate so an obstetric doctor was called.  He decided to proceed by way of an assisted delivery and performed an episiotomy before delivering Mrs Thompson’s baby with forceps. Difficulty was then encountered with the placenta.

The doctor unfortunately snapped the umbilical cord while trying to deliver the placenta so Mrs Thompson was taken for surgery instead to remove this and to repair a serious 3rd degree tear that she had sustained at some point during labour.

The same doctor performed the surgery.  A few days later, whilst recovering, Mrs Thompson started to notice unusual problems with bowel incontinence and excess wind.  She was reassured by Community Midwives that everything was fine despite complaining of a lot of pain where the 3rd degree tear had been apparently repaired.   

Mrs Thompson’s bowel problems (incontinence) worsened making it very difficult for her to care for her baby daughter and maintain her relationship with her husband.

After months of further Hospital investigations it was found that her anal sphincter was still very seriously damaged as a result of the original 3rd degree tear.  She underwent sphincter repair surgery but this had very little positive impact on her symptoms.  

As a high-flying financial professional woman the bowel problems Mrs Thompson suffered had a significant impact on her ability to work and further her career goals. 

Our Investigation

Our team of expert lawyers were instructed to investigate.  We instructed experts in obstetrics and colorectal surgery and they were both clear in their opinions that the doctor had not properly repaired Mrs Thompson’s 3rd degree tear in theatre.  

A Letter of Claim was served on the Defendant Hospital Trust.  They subsequently disputed liability arguing that Mrs Thompson’s 3rd degree tear was a recognised and non-negligently arising risk from childbirth and that any breakdown in the doctor’s repair was due to an infection that they argued happened in the months after birth. 

Court Involvement

The Defendant refused to re-consider their position so we issued the claim at Court. On receipt of the Hospital’s formal Defence we made a request for additional information about the doctor’s experience, qualifications and level of supervision during his attempted 3rd degree repair surgery.   

Shortly before a Court Hearing the Defendant changed tact and sent through a relatively low opening settlement offer which was rejected.  They then confirmed that the doctor was not physically supervised when operating on Mrs Thompson’s 3rd degree tear and had not performed this particular type of complex surgery before.     

Settlement

There was uncertainty as to Mrs Thompson’s prognosis because she had undergone Sacral Nerve Stimulation modulator surgery.  Our colorectal expert found that these SNS modulators would improve Mrs Thompson’s bowel symptoms over the next 5 years but then as she aged and went through the menopause they would deteriorate.    

Based on this evidence, time was spent mapping out the impact of Mrs Thompson’s bowel condition on her professional career and her loss of earnings, pension and benefits that lost promotions and a shortened career would cause her.

A Schedule of Loss setting out these and other awards of damages was served on the Defendant and “Out of Court” settlement negotiations began.  Eventually, a sensible compensation figure of over £600,000 was agreed with the Defendant NHS Trust.

Client Comment

Very professional service received from Guy Pomphrey.

Guy supports you throughout the whole process and has been very passionate about putting the client first and getting the best for each situation.

Why we can help you

The Minton Morrill medical negligence team are top ranked for medical negligence claims.  This complex and hard fought claim for Mrs Thompson underlines the level of service and dedication our team of passionate lawyers provide to clients.

Click here to read why you should choose us to help.

Click here for information about birth injury claims.