RL v Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
Sarah Pritchard recently represented the Defendant at trial in this birth injury claim (shoulder dystocia causing brachial plexus injury). The Claimant succeeded in the claim on a narrow issue of fact but the Judge disallowed 25% of the costs of the action pursuant to CPR 44.2(6). The Claimant’s claim initially included a number of allegations relating to the conduct of the emergency responders (the Midwives who attended once shoulder dystocia had been diagnosed by the delivering Midwife). Those allegations were abandoned (by an amended pleading) 4 months before trial. At trial the Claimant’s Midwifery expert (Ms. Charlene Francois) conceded in cross examination that she had never held the view that the emergency responders had acted in breach of duty. The Judge distinguished this case from Webb v Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust on the basis that it was unreasonable of the Claimant to pursue allegations dealing with Midwifery care that had never had relevant expert evidence to support them.