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  • Overview

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who recently recovered £11,150 for a young boy who suffered facial injuries during instrumental delivery at his birth despite the hospital not admitting negligence.

    J's mother was admitted to Hospital in Dartford and after about 10 hours, it was agreed that she would be taken to theatre for a trial of instrumental delivery and if that failed, to proceed to caesarean section.

    There was dispute as to how many attempts were made with the forceps but the midwife’s notes suggested that five pulls were performed, including the pull which affected delivery. After he was born J's parents recalled that, his face and head were very badly marked. The injuries matched the forceps blade positioning. 

    There were a number of criticisms of the management of labour but primarily, it was alleged that the Registrar should have abandoned instrumental delivery after two pulls, having achieved little descent by then and that excessive force had been used. A forceps delivery, safely and correctly performed, would not leave the permanent scars and indentations, as this delivery did, and the presence of the scarring itself supported the allegation that the Registrar had used inordinate and unacceptable force in extracting the baby.

    At age 4 years and 4 months, J's expert confirmed:

    (a) a permanent scar adjacent to his right eye measuring 16mm by 5mm which was clearly visible at conversational distance and beyond;

    (b) slight discolouration of the right cheek which was barely visible at conversational distance but which increased in visibility during hot weather and increased emotional states; and

    (c) indentations in front of both ears that were visible at conversational distances with the most prominent of the two, the left, visible to some degree beyond a conversation distance. 

    The case was settled on a full liability basis with £11,150 being invested for J, ready to be paid out to him with interest when he reaches the age of 18.

    Read more about our experience in birth injury and claims on behalf of children.

    Jonathan Herbert has significant experience of dealing with medical negligence cases. If you would like to ask Jonathan a question about a potential case involving a retinal injury or you have a general query about medical negligence contact him on 01892 701226 in confidence.

    We have one of the largest and most experienced specialist medical negligence teams in Southern England including London. Our team of highly experienced lawyers has the depth and range of expertise essential in this sensitive and often complex area of law. Our clinical negligence team is very proud to be ranked Number 1 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK.

  • Related Services

    Clinical Negligence Compensation Claims

    We have one of the most well-established and experienced clinical negligence teams in the country. Our clinical negligence lawyers have a reputation for winning complex medical negligence cases and we have helped thousands of people claim compensation.   

    Obstetrics claims

    If you suffered an obstetrics injury during pregnancy or childbirth and think it was caused by medical negligence, you may be able to make a compensation claim. We have in-depth experience with obstetrics claims. Contact one of our specialist lawyers for a free initial consultation to find out if we can investigate your case with the financial security of a no win no fee agreement.

    Claims for general medical problems

    Clinical negligence claims are often highly complex. If you have suffered as a result of negligence at a hospital or GP surgery, our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will investigate your medical negligence claim thoroughly and independently. Contact one of our specialist lawyers for a free initial consultation to find out if we can investigate your case with the financial security of a no win no fee agreement.


    An unfortunate but not uncommon side effect of relationship breakdown is that issues can arise regarding the arrangements for the care of children. We always have the best interests of the children in mind and will provide you with sensible and practical advice about what can be the most emotive of issues.

    Birth injury claims

    Birth injury claims on behalf of children are among the most complex of medical negligence claims. We are specialist in this area and have vast experience of dealing with compensation claims for birth injuries sustained in hospitals throughout London, Kent, Sussex and the South East.

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