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Widower Receives £600,000 After Wife Suffers Fatal Injuries in Childbirth

30 July 2015

A widower received substantial compensation after his wife tragically died in childbirth due to hospital negligence.

Slater and Gordon Solicitor: Paul Sankey is a Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.

Settlement Value: £600,000

What happened: Paul acted for a 45-year-old father-of-two whose wife was admitted to hospital in labour in September 2011 following a normal pregnancy with her second child.

Just a couple of hours after she was admitted, delivery of the baby was achieved with forceps. She then proceeded to deliver the placenta, following which she suffered a massive postpartum haemorrhage and the crash team were called to take her to theatre. At this stage it was noted that she had already lost almost 2.5 litres of blood, half of the circulating blood volume.

A massive transfusion of at least 8 units of blood was urgently required to stabilise her. However, she was only given one unit, leaving her hypovolemic and in a position where she had no oxygen carrying capacity. Tragically, she then suffered a cardiac arrest and attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful.

How Paul helped: The client instructed Paul in January 2012. After concluding that there were good prospects of success, Paul agreed to pursue the claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), commonly known as a no win, no fee agreement.

Medical evidence from a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician and a consultant anaesthetist was obtained. Both experts agreed that the care afforded to the client’s wife fell below acceptable standards of care and that, had the appropriate care been provided, she would have survived.

Paul went on to represent the client at the inquest in December 2013. The Coroner identified serious failings in the woman’s management and stated that her death was contributed to by neglect.

Following this, details of the client’s losses and expenses were collated. Paul then instructed a care expert to comment on the loss of services the woman would have provided to her family.

Decision: Proceedings were issued in September 2014 and Paul began negotiations with the defendants. In June 2015, Paul was able to negotiate a settlement in the sum of £600,000.

Impact: Although no sum of money can undo the devastating loss felt by the client and his two young children, it will ensure that they are provided for in the future.

Related practice areas:

Personal Injury

Clinical Negligence

Birth Injuries

Hospital Negligence

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