A woman in the United Kingdom, who had sued her mother’s gynaecologist for assisting in the process of her birth has won the lawsuit. She will be getting millions in damages. Evie Toombes had sued the doctor for “wrongful conception” as she was diagnosed with spina bifida after her birth in November 2001.
The rare condition occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly, leading to permanent disability. This means that Evie sometimes spends 24 hours a day connected to tubes.
Evie’s mobility is said to be “very limited” and she would depend more and more on a wheelchair as she grows older, while she also suffers from bowel and bladder issues.
The woman, who has a career in showjumping and has competed against both disabled and able-bodied riders, claimed that Dr Philip Mitchell failed to advise her mother to take vital supplements before getting pregnant.
The 20-year-old woman alleged that if the doctor had told her mother that she needed to take folic acid to minimise the risk of spina bifida affecting her baby, she would have put off getting pregnant. This would have meant Evie would never have been born at all.
Judge Rosalind Coe QC backed Evie’s case in a unique ruling at London High Court on Wednesday. The judge ruled that had Evie’s mother been “provided with the correct recommended advice, she would have delayed attempts to conceive.”
This was a landmark judgement in the London High Court. “In the circumstances, there would have been a later conception, which would have resulted in a normal healthy child,” the judge ruled, awarding Evie rights to millions in damages.
Evie’s lawyers have said that the exact sum has not been calculated, but would be a “big” number as it would need to cover the cost of her extensive care needs for life.
Evie met the Duke of Sussex and Megan Markle in 2018 when she won the Inspiration Young Person Award at a Wellchild charity event.