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Mother loses baby injury case

Posted in: Birth Injury Medical Negligence Shoulder Injuries 

A mother who attempted to sue the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over the injuries suffered by her baby during delivery has had her case rejected. 34-year-old Lisa Everard claimed damages for her newly born baby after she felt that excessive force was applied to her daughter Sophie’s head when doctors diagnosed her with shoulder dystocia, leaving her ”with weaknesses in her left elbow and shoulder.” She said that the doctor who delivered her daughter was panicked and “muddled”, which led him to apply excessive grip on her head to allow a rapid delivery. The HSE denied all medical negligence claims.

Permitted to use force

Mr Justice Michael White ruled that Ms Everard was not entitled to compensation. He made the reserved judgment that the doctor responsible for the baby’s delivery was permitted to use force, with shoulder dystocia permitting a delivery that “requires additional obstetrics manoeuvres to release the shoulders after gentle downward traction has failed”. The HSE also denied all allegations that injury was caused during the baby’s delivery.

Ms Everard’s case, concerning legal costs, has been adjourned to a date in October after Judge White dismissed the claim. He ruled that the doctor was a “very experienced practitioner” and that there could have been a number of other reasons behind Sophie’s arm injuries.

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