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British Woman Wins Millions in First ‘Wrongful Conception’ Lawsuit

Evie Toombes says she should have never been born

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Millions of dollars have been awarded in the first “wrongful conception” lawsuit in London’s High Court on December 1. 20 year-old Evie Toombes sued Dr. Philip Mitchell, the physician who oversaw her mother’s pregnancy when she was in utero. Toombes is suing for “wrongful conception [and] having been born in a damaged state.”

The lawsuit claims Dr. Mitchell failed to properly advise Toombs’ mother about vitamin supplements before her conception. Toombes, a horse showjumper, insists that as a result, she suffers from spina bifida, has limited mobility and chronic bowel and bladder issues. On occasion she has to be hooked up to medical equipment for 24 hours, and her condition will progress as she ages, likely making her increasingly dependent on wheelchairs.

In her lawsuit, Toombes alleges that the doctor did not explain to her mother, Caroline, that folic acid supplements could possibly minimize risk of spina bifida. Timcast.com reports “Her mother testified in court that, had she been aware of this, she would have delayed trying to become pregnant.”

The judge, Rosalind Coe QC, ruled in favor of Toombes’ allegation that Dr. Mitchell had not advised Caroline on the importance of folic acid before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy. Coe awarded Toombes the right to a “compensation payout.”

According to the New York Post, “her lawyers earlier said the amount Evie is claiming had not yet been calculated but confirmed it would be ‘big’ since it would cover the cost of her extensive care needs for life.”

In her ruling, the judge said if Caroline had known the risks, she would have delayed trying to get pregnant and would have, as a result, had “a different, totally healthy, baby” genetically different from Evie.

Caroline said in court that the doctor did discuss folic acid with her at her appointment, but not its connection to spina bifida. “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” she said.

Evie was diagnosed with lipomylomeningocoele (LMM), a form of neural tube defect to the spine causing permanent disability.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Sue

    December 4, 2021 at 10:12 am

    You’ve got to be kidding. We’re all told about taking vitamin supplements when we’re pregnant. Did the mom not read “What to Expect when you’re Expecting”?? Didn’t she ask other mothers or didn’t she ask maybe her pharmacist or friends or family? Seriously? This is on the mother, not on the doctor. We, as expecting mothers, are responsible for our own actions (i.e. eating healthy – not taking drugs or alcohol – taking vitamins). By the way, show-jumping? – alot of other young women would love to be able to do this – even those without any medical issues.

  2. Terry Gardner

    December 4, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Then why don’t she do something to eliminate herself. Problem solved

  3. Sandy

    December 5, 2021 at 11:55 am

    Hindsight is 20/20. Unless there was a genetic predisposition that was known to the doctor, this is a really far reach. Could this disability have been detected at the time? Was the mother at particular risk of this condition in her baby? Many questions. But I think this is in the class of burning your lip on hot coffee. No doctor will deal with obstetrics if this suit is won by the plaintiff.

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