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£44,000 in damages for wrongful birth
Bernice Quadling had gone for a routine doctor's appointment to replace a contraceptive implant, considered one of the most effective forms of birth control. She left believing she had adequate, safe, contraception when she did not.
Bernice had received a placebo implant in error. She began to experience some of the symptoms of pregnancy, which she thought impossible because she believed she had a contraceptive implant. Eventually, a pregnancy test confirmed Bernice was indeed expecting.
She decided to continue with the pregnancy and later discovered she was carrying twins. She was assured by the NHS Trust responsible that a full investigation was ongoing into what the Trust declared was a 'Never Event'. However, no explanation was ever forthcoming as to why a placebo device was used.
Bernice had thought her family was complete and looked forward to full time work. The birth of her twins, loved though they are, meant that those plans had to be put on hold. Bernice instructed us during her pregnancy. Shoosmiths got the Trust to admit liability and obtained an interim payment of £10,000 to help prepare for the birth.
Due to a ruling by the House of Lords, which makes unplanned child care costs recoverable only if the child suffered birth injuries, further legal action had to wait until after the birth of the twins. Happily, both were healthy when born and Bernice was awarded an out of court settlement of £44,000 in damages.