Ms N approached Farleys’ medical negligence team after a devastating labour experience at hospital left her seeking redress.


Ms N had experienced a normal pregnancy and had reached 40+1 weeks when she started to have contractions. She called the Birth Suite at the Royal Blackburn Hospital at 10pm when her contractions were occurring every 20 minutes. She was told to call back at 11.30pm. By 11.30pm, her contractions had increased to once every 5 minutes so she called back as advised and was brought in for an assessment.

In the early hours of the morning, the assessment was completed and the foetal cardiotocograph was reviewed as normal so the monitor was removed. By 4.30am she was 3cm dilated and by 05.04am there was difficulty in locating the foetal heart rate and intrauterine death was confirmed. The baby was delivered via c-section later that evening.

A Root Cause Analysis Report was completed and it transpired that the overwhelming root cause of the baby’s death was the misinterpretation of the foetal cardiotocograph when Ms N was initially admitted. It was concluded that a second opinion from the doctors should have been made at that time. This would have resulted in Ms N’s waters being broken and a clip placed on the baby’s head to monitor more closely or, if the cervix was too closed for that, the decision may have been made to do a caesarean section.

How Farleys Were Able to Help

Ms N instructed Laura Murphy of Farleys’ specialist birth injury claims team to pursue a claim against the hospital trust for negligence.

Laura and her team submitted the letter of claim to the hospital trust who admitted a breach of duty but causation was raised as an issue.

Laura instructed medical experts to provide evidence to support the case including a psychiatrist to assess the psychological impact of the incident on Ms N. It was found that Ms N had suffered significant psychiatric injuries as a result of her trauma and was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and grief reactions. As a result of her psychiatric injuries, Ms N also needed care and assistance at home.

Through successful negotiation, Laura and her team settled the matter for £40,000 which covered Ms N’s pain, suffering and loss of amenity, care and assistance, funeral expenses, bereavement damages, and future treatment.

Laura commented;

This was a very sad case and, while no amount of money will bring back Ms N’s baby, we hope that the compensation recovered can go some way to providing a sense of closure and funding any future therapy Ms N needs. The best wishes of everyone at Farleys go to Ms N and her family.

If you have experienced the loss of a baby due to negligent hospital, midwife, or GP services, you can speak to our specialists in confidence. We will handle your case with the sensitivity it deserves and proceed at a pace you are comfortable, keeping you informed at each stage of the process. Contact us today on 0845 287 0939 or get in touch by email.