Contraceptive coil blunder costs £2 million

Posted: 28th November 2014

SurgeryA seven-year-old boy who was brain damaged when he was born prematurely after his mother was fitted with a contraceptive coil when already 14 weeks pregnant has won more than £2 million in damages to cover the costs of a lifetime of care.

The boy was struck down by cerebral palsy after he was born 11 weeks prematurely in 2007. His mother had earlier been fitted with the coil by her GP but it was not known until she began bleeding that she was pregnant at the time. He suffered damage to the white matter of his brain, causing physical disability, but he escaped intellectual impairment.

On behalf of the GP, the Medical Defence Union agreed to settle the damages claim for £2.25 million, of which £200,000 would go to the mother, who had to go through a pregnancy which she had not planned. It was conceded that fitting a coil to the woman when she well into her pregnancy was negligent.

Approving the compromise, the judge said, "I am entirely satisfied that it represents a fair and proper settlement and the best that could be achieved by negotiation. I cannot leave the case without paying tribute to the devotion and loving care that this boy has received from his parents and all his family.

"I can see for myself he is a delightful little boy, very bright and cheerful despite his difficulties. This order will bring the family the peace of mind which they have been seeking and I wish them all well."