Medical Law Experts Secure Settlement And Back Referral To GMC
A successful banker left with devastating injuries after a privately paid obstetrician made a series of errors during the delivery of her first child, has confirmed she will make a formal complaint to the General Medical Council (GMC) in the hope no other woman is subjected to the same ordeal.
Sarah Davison was awarded a seven-figure settlement at the High Court in London today (18 October) for her injury, lost earnings and medical treatment following a five-year legal battle led by an expert medical team at Irwin Mitchell.
The Judge heard how the injury that Consultant Obstetrician Craig Leitch inflicted on Sarah during the birth of her son at the private Portland Hospital in December 2008 left her with a devastating bowel injury and forced her to leave her successful role at a City bank.
He compounded his actions by failing to tell her what had happened, failing to inform her GP and failing to advise her that she should seek to undergo urgent repair surgery. His notes fell woefully short of documenting what had happened and his alleged attempts to repair the damage. Mr Leitch denied liability throughout Sarah’s five-year ordeal until a matter of weeks before a full trial was due to take place.
Irwin Mitchell’s investigation found that Mr Leitch:
- Negligently performed a midline episiotomy even though it was not recommended practice in the UK.
- Failed to warn Sarah of the dangers of the procedure, whilst also failing to factor in several aggravating factors at the time of birth.
- Failed to tell her about her injury and that she would require further surgery to repair the damage. He also crucially failed to pass this information on to her GP, and his medical records fell silent on the severity of her injury and his alleged repair.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines do not recommend midline episiotomies and provide guidelines for how to repair significant tears following childbirth.
It was not until Sarah returned for a six-week review that he finally referred her to a specialist surgeon.
Medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office:
Expert OpinionSarah suffered a horrendous, life-changing injury as a result of this doctor’s negligence, which is shocking and simply not acceptable.
“Sarah chose to go through private care for the birth of her son thinking it was the safest option for her but, from the care she was received from Mr Leitch, this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
“The consequences of his actions will stay with Sarah forever and mean she can no longer work in the profession which she worked so hard in. Sarah was on the path to even greater success and this was simply cut short by the actions of Mr Leitch.
“Although the settlement awarded today provides financial stability for Sarah, nothing can turn back the clock. We fully support Sarah in her referral to the GMC and will help provide any evidence that could be useful in subsequent investigations to ensure Mr Leitch is held fully to account.”
Shivi Nathan - Senior Associate Solicitor
Sarah added: “I am relieved legal proceedings have come to an end. It’s hugely disappointing that I had to invest five years fighting to understand what happened and receive any form of acknowledgement that misconduct took place. As yet, there has been no apology from Mr Leitch despite an admission of medical negligence.
“I hope that my case can benefit other women looking to minimise unnecessary risk at childbirth and enjoy safe and effective care. To that end I will be writing to the GMC petitioning for a formal investigation.
“I feel an immense debt of gratitude to my legal team at Irwin Mitchell, Shivi Nathan and Rachel Thompson, and Michael Mylonas QC for all their hard work and unwavering support during this lengthy process. They deserve recognition for securing the answers that should have been immediately available to me five years ago.”
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of delivery negligence, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.