MC v Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust [2016] EWHC 1334 (QB) (08 June 2016)

M gave birth to J on 13 February 2010… J was born with cerebral palsy caused by oxygen deprivation during labour. M suffered a dangerous loss of blood and had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy to save her life. They claim that the injuries which they sustained are attributable to substandard advice and care at the hospital and seek damages against the defendant trust which is responsible for its safe running. D denies that the advice and care provided fell below the requisite standard and contends that, even if it did, the injuries would have happened in any event.

“…the claimants have failed to discharge the burden of proof on this issue. I readily acknowledge that in the vast majority of cases in which there is evidence on an issue the judge will rightly be expected to resolve that question one way or another. On this issue, however, the factors which I have identified above preclude me from being able to make a rational or logical choice between the stark alternatives [chronic hypoxia or abruption]…” (paragraph 93)

The claims of M and J fail on grounds both of breach of duty and causation.