Shoulder dystocia occurred during A’s birth. Shoulder dystocia is an obstetric emergency where the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the maternal pubic bone. Injury to the brachial plexus can occur if force is applied to the fetal head. Rather than panicking and applying force midwifery staff are trained to manage this emergency in a structured way with a series of recommended manoeuvres.
The parents had made a complaint to the Trust and following an internal investigation the Trust had reported that the management of the birth was satisfactory.
Having investigated the claim we concluded that there was evidence to suggest that midwifery care provided during the delivery was substandard. We raised this with the Trust informally, but they continued to maintain that they were not liable for A’s injury.
We issued Court proceedings and a formal Defence was filed by the Trust. Tozers (Clair Hemming) subsequently entered into negotiations with the Trust solicitors, and agreed a compromise with the Trust who ultimately agreed to accept liability for the injury.
The compromise was approved at the Royal Courts of Justice in early May 2022.
A is too young for there to be an assessment of damages and proceedings will therefore be stayed until she older.
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