Manchester woman settles claim against trust following the death of her 3-day old baby


A Manchester woman has agreed an out of court settlement with the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust following the death of her child Lincoln Lee Daniel Dennison who was born at North Manchester General Hospital in May 2008.

The settlement comes at a time when the NHS is under increasing scrutiny in relation to the standard of care provided to pregnant women, infants and children.

Lincoln was the first child of Jennifer Howard and Lee Dennison. He was born at North Manchester General Hospital on 16 May. Although Lincoln was premature it was expected that he would survive his prematurity. However, during the course of Jennifer’s labour there were signs of foetal distress and Lincoln was born in a breech position. Jennifer was convinced that Lincoln’s condition at birth was due to a delay in delivering him when there had been signs of distress, and in addition, the ruptured liver which he sustained was likely to have been a direct result of the attempted breech delivery.

Lincoln was transferred after birth to Salford Royal Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where he died three days later. Jennifer and Lee had to make the difficult decision to give consent to withdraw life support. The cause of Lincoln’s death was recorded as “birth asphyxia and breech delivery”.

As a result of Lincoln’s death Jennifer suffered a severe grief reaction and depression. She frequently visits Lincoln’s grave, buys presents for him at Christmas and birthdays and has numerous photographs and memorabilia of him around the home.

An Inquest was subsequently held into Lincoln’s death, after which Jennifer took legal advice to find out, if his death could have been avoided. Her solicitor, Stephanie Forman from law firm Simpson Millar said: “We sought evidence from an expert in obstetrics and neonatology which suggested that had Lincoln been delivered earlier and with greater care, his chances of survival would have been significantly improved. Instead, a mother lost her son. The family has now received compensation which will allow them to start again but they will never forget their little boy whose life could have been saved.”

On 25 May 2009, Jennifer gave birth to a little girl named Lacey at Hope hospital. Three years later, baby Lola was born on 3 July.

“You can’t imagine the despair and sadness of losing a child. My only hope is that the trust has learnt a lesson from this tragedy. We now just want to move on with our life, enjoy our two little girls and hope that what happened to us never happens to anyone else,” said Jennifer.

Jennifer agreed to settle her claim against the Trust for a five figure sum. The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust settled the claim without any admissions of liability.

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