Daughter who sued mother’s GP wins

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Daughter who sued mother’s GP wins. Evie Toombes, 20, has won her court case against the doctor that advised her mum she would not need to take a supplement that could have prevented spina bifida. 

Evie was born with a condition called spina bifida. It is a condition where the baby’s spine and spinal cord don’t fully develop during pregnancy. It means that the para-showjumping star was born with spina bifida – a condition where a baby’s spine and spinal cord fail to develop in the womb, leaving a gap in the spine. There are days when Evie’s condition leave her connected 24-7 to tubes.

Evie claimed Dr Philip Mitchell was liable for a “wrong conception charge” after failing to advise her mother, Caroline Toombes, to take vital supplements before getting pregnant. Doctors routinely advise prospective mums on the benefits of taking folic acid before conceiving and up until the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is why Caroline’s daughter sued her mother’s GP.

But despite discussing folic acid during the consultation, Mrs Toombes insisted “she was not told by Dr Mitchell of its significance in spina bifida prevention”.

“He told me it was not necessary,” Caroline told the judge. “I was advised that if I had a good diet previously, I would not have to take folic acid.”

Michael De Navarro QC, insisted it was Dr Mitchell’s defence that he gave “reasonable advice about the desirability of folic acid supplements being taken. It was his common practice to tell potential parents that 400 micrograms should be taken by those gearing up for pregnancy and all through their first trimester. He claims he surely would have advised the mother to have a good diet and good folic acid levels and denies saying supplements were not necessary”

However, Judge Coe ruled against the doctor yesterday, December 1. The daughter who sued her mother’s GP wins a case that could quite possibly open the door to others who feel they are victims of bad advice from health professionals

The case will later return to court to decide the full amount of Evie’s compensation, unless this is agreed upon by the parties outside of court.


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