A woman who sued her mother’s doctor – claiming that she should never have been born – has won the right to millions in damages.
Evie Toombes, a star showjumper from the UK, launched the landmark “wrongful conception” case against her mother’s doctor as she was born with spina bifida. The spinal defect means that Evie sometimes spends 24 hours a day connected to tubes, reports The Sun.
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The 20-year-old took Dr Philip Mitchell to court over his failure to properly advise her mother while she was pregnant. Evie Toombes claims that if Dr Mitchell had told her mother she needed to take folic acid supplements to minimise the risk of spina bifida affecting her baby, she would have put off getting pregnant. This, in turn, would have meant that Evie would never have been born.
Judge Rosalind Coe QC backed Evie’s case in a landmark London High Court ruling on Wednesday, reports Daily Mail. The judge ruled that had Evie’s mother been “provided with the correct recommended advice, she would have delayed attempts to conceive.”
“In the circumstances, there would have been a later conception, which would have resulted in a normal healthy child,” she said, awarding Evie Toombes the right to a huge payout.
Evie’s lawyers have said that the exact sum has not been calculated, but would likely be a big number as it would need to cover the cost of her lifelong care needs.
Evie Toombes’ mother had earlier told the court that had Dr Mitchell advised her correctly, she would have put off her plans of getting pregnant. “I was advised that if I had a good diet previously, I would not have to take folic acid,” she told the judge.
The ruling is considered to be a ground-breaking one because it means a healthcare professional can be held liable for improper pre-conception advice if it results in the birth of a baby with serious health conditions.