Woman sues doctor responsible for her birth, wins millions

In what is being considered a landmark ruling, a 20-year-old woman, Evie Toombes, sued her mother’s doctor for millions claiming that she should’ve never been born. The HC ruled in Evie’s favour giving her the right to huge sums of money in damages.

Toombes is a para-showjumping star residing in Lincolnshire who was born with a condition called spina bifida. Due to this condition, the patient suffers from a gap in her spine as it failed to develop properly while she was in her mother’s womb. Evie sometimes spends 24 hours a day attached to tubes owing to her illness.

Toombes sued her mother’s medical practitioner, Dr Philip Mitchell, in November 2021 due to his “failure to prescribe vital supplements to her mother before she got pregnant.” Evie launched a “wrongful conception” case against him claiming he failed to prescribe folic acid supplements during her mother’s pregnancy which led to her condition.

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Evie’s mother, Caroline, claims that Dr Mitchell failed to inform her to intake the supplements during her pregnancy. Judge Rosalind Coe QC ruled that if Caroline were given the correct advice, it would have delayed her attempts at conceiving. This would’ve resulted in a later conception of a normal healthy child and Evie, with her spina bifida condition, would’ve never been born. 

“In the circumstances, I find that Mrs Toombes was not pregnant at the time of the consultation with Dr Mitchell,” she said in her judgment.

“She was not advised in accordance with the guidance to take folic acid prior to conception and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.”

‘In the circumstances, there would have been a later conception, which would have resulted in a normal healthy child. I, therefore, find that the claimant’s claim succeeds on liability,” she added.

Dr Mitchell states he gave her “reasonable advice” during Caroline’s pregnancy but she claimed ”He told me it was not necessary. I was advised that if I had a good diet previously, I would not have to take folic acid,”

The amount Toombes is set to receive has not been calculated yet but it would be “big” enough to cover her lifelong healthcare expenses. 

This verdict is particularly groundbreaking as it means that medical professionals can be held responsible if a child is born with a serious health issue due to misleading pre-conceptive advice on part of the doctor.

Despite her condition, Evie has made a career for herself in showjumping where she competes against both disabled and able-bodied riders. She has 21k followers on Instagram where she often documents her life for her fans.

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