Family Hopes NHS Trust Learns Lessons after Tragic Loss of Baby

Author:
David Thomas
Partner, Medical Negligence Lawyer
Date:
23/06/2021

Baby Zuzannah tragically died just 36 hours after being born at West Middlesex University Hospital because mistakes were made during the delivery.

Following a fairly uneventful pregnancy, Marzena Michulec went to West Middlesex University Hospital to have her baby.

But complications arose during the delivery and the labour lasted 11-and-a-half hours. Tragically, their new baby daughter Zuzannah died only 36 hours after her birth.

Devastated Family Seek Answers

Marzena and her husband Grzegorz contacted our Medical Negligence Solicitors, raising concerns about the care she’d received during her labour at West Middlesex University Hospital.

Our specialist birth injury lawyer David Thomas agreed to help Mr and Mrs Michulec, and with the help of Polish-speaking Paralegal Joanna Ziobro, we represented them both at the Inquest hearing and during the compensation claim process.

The Inquest concluded that had the correct protocol been followed during the delivery, Zuzannah’s injuries could have been avoided and she wouldn't have died.

Following representations by David and Jo, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust accepted that mistakes had been made with the delivery, acknowledging that Zuzannah should have been delivered earlier and that the decision to delay an emergency caesarean section caused her death.

The Trust also formally apologised to Mr and Mrs Michulec. This meant the family could pursue a compensation claim without the added upset of having to go to Court.

Of course, no amount of money would make up for the trauma they’d experienced, but a substantial compensation settlement would help the family feel that justice had been done.

How We Helped the Family

We brought two separate claims on behalf of Zuzannah’s distraught parents. Mrs Michulec was considered the primary victim, so we claimed for the pain, suffering and financial losses she had suffered and she was also entitled to claim bereavement damages.

Mr Michulec could be classed as a secondary victim, as although he personally wasn’t physically injured, he did go through the mental trauma of seeing his wife’s difficult labour and the loss of his child. He was able to recover compensation for psychiatric injury and CBT therapy.

We obtained independent medical evidence to support these claims, and began negotiating a settlement with the NHS Trust.

What was the Outcome?

Mrs Michulec was awarded £41,000 in compensation and her husband received £9,000.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust also pledged to learn lessons from what happened, introducing new measures to reduce the chances of similar mistakes being made in the future.

Speaking after the settlement was agreed, Mrs Michulec welcomed the Trust’s commitment to improving its processes.

“Whilst it’s a step in the right direction that the Trust has recognised where it went wrong, I can only hope that the Trust truly learns from the mistakes and takes action across the whole of the NHS, and ensures that this doesn’t happen again to anyone else’s baby.”

Marzena Michulec, Zuzannah's mum

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