Author Topic: Daughter, 20, who sued mum's GP for millions for allowing her to be born wins..  (Read 431 times)

Cocopops

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/daughter-20-who-sued-mums-25590450?utm_source=mirror_newsletter&utm_campaign=daily_evening_newsletter2&utm_medium=email&pure360.trackingid=%7B%7ETrackingId%7E%

Daughter, 20, who sued mum's GP for millions for allowing her to be born wins case

Today's ruling now means a healthcare professional can be found liable for negligent pre-conception advice which results in the birth of a child with a serious health condition

By Florence Freeman & Alahna Kindred News Reporter

14:01, 1 Dec 2021 Updated 18:21, 1 Dec 2021

A daughter who sued her mum's GP for millions for allowing her to be born has won her landmark legal case.  Evie Toombes, 20, was born with spina bifida and has won her case against a doctor who advised her mum she would not need to take a supplement that could have prevented the condition.  She also educates children about invisible illnesses and works at Nottingham University.  Evie claimed Dr Philip Mitchell was liable for a "wrong conception charge" after failing to advise her mother, Caroline Toombes, to take vital supplements before getting pregnant.  Doctors routinely advise prospective mums on the benefits of taking folic acid before conceiving and up until the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  The supplement is known to reduce the risk of spina bifida.  Susan Rodway QC told the court that had Evie’s mother been advised by her GP she would not have proceeded with her pregnancy as hastily as she did.  If she had been put off getting pregnant, she would have had a "normal, healthy" baby but one who was a "genetically different person" to Evie, the QC added.

This was accepted by the court in the landmark ruling in London today.  But Dr Mitchell denies the claims, stating he provided Mrs Toombes with "reasonable advice".  The High Court heard how 50-year-old Mrs Toombes went to visit Dr Mitchell at the Hawthorn Medical Practice in Skegness to explain her plans on having her first baby in February 2001. "This was a very precious decision to start a family, because she herself had lost her parents when she was young," Mrs Rodway told the judge.

"They had been refraining from sexual intercourse until after they had received advice at this consultation."

But despite discussing folic acid during the consultation, Mrs Toombes insisted she was not told by Dr Mitchell of its significance in spina bifida prevention.  "He told me it was not necessary," Evie told the judge. "I was advised that if I had a good diet previously, I would not have to take folic acid."

Michael De Navarro QC, insisted it was Dr Mitchell's defence that he gave "reasonable advice" about the desirability of folic acid supplements being taken.  It was his common practice to tell potential parents that 400 micrograms should be taken by those gearing up for pregnancy and all through their first trimester.  He claims he surely would have advised the mother to have a good diet and good folic acid levels and denies saying supplements were not necessary.  He also suggested that Mrs Toombes might already have been pregnant when she went to see Dr Mitchell.  However, Judge Coe today ruled against the doctor.  "In the circumstances I find that Mrs Toombes was not pregnant at the time of the consultation with Dr Mitchell," she said in her judgment

"She was not advised in accordance with the guidance to take folic acid prior to conception and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  She was not advised about the relationship between folic acid supplementation and the prevention of spina bifida/neural tube defects.  Had she been provided with the correct recommended advice, she would have delayed attempts to conceive.  In the circumstances, there would have been a later conception, which would have resulted in a normal healthy child. I therefore find that the claimant's claim succeeds on liability."

The case will later return to court to decide the full amount of Evie's compensation, unless this is agreed upon by the parties outside of court. The decision could pave the way for Evie to now claim damages related to her disability which will ensure she is supported properly for the rest of her life.  During the case, the court heard of how Evie's mobility is very limited and will need a wheelchair more than ever as she grows older, whilst suffering from bowel and bladder.  The ruling could open the doors for other healthcare professionals to be found liable for negligent pre-conception advice which results in the birth of a child with a serious health condition.

heartbroken

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Amazing she won as it's so difficult to sue doctors/NHS.