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Couple Compensated $230K for the Psychiatric Injuries After a Stillborn Birth

Case Overview
  • The couple was looking forward to the birth of their second child.
  • Due to medical negligence, a stillborn birth occurred that would have been avoided if the baby had been delivered sooner.
  • GMP helped the couple get compensation of $230,000 for their ongoing anguish.

An expected birth of a child is meant to be a joyous experience. Failure to adequately manage and monitor a pregnancy can quickly change this into a traumatic experience filled with grief.

After a successful first pregnancy, a couple were looking forward to another new arrival. 20 weeks into the pregnancy, it was detected that the foetus was underweight and had an irregular heartbeat. At the time, the doctors did not consider that the findings were grounds for significant concern.

At 32 weeks gestation, the mother was admitted to hospital with shortness of breath, vomiting, tightness and abdominal pain. An ultrasound identified oligohydramnios, effaced cervix and growth below normal percentile. Despite these indications, the doctors refused to refer her to a specialist and urged the mother to persist with the pregnancy and to continue monitoring her progress first.  

“An ultrasound a week later identified that the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. A growth scan also indicated low amniotic fluid index, which is essential in a healthy pregnancy. ”


Leslie Abboud
Our Approach

Unfortunately, two days later the doctors decided to induce the pregnancy as the foetus had not survived. The funeral, held in the holiday period, was distressing for the family. The couple continued to experience sensation of the baby’s presence, suffered severe grief at the loss of their child and their personal relationship was affected. The couple continued to be emotionally affected by the events.

GMP investigated into whether the mother had received appropriate antenatal care. The team received a report from one of its obstetrician and gynaecologist experts, who indicated that a stillborn birth could have been prevented had delivery been induced earlier when there was evidence of a compromised pregnancy. Psychiatric evidence was also obtained in relation to the couple’s state of mind and the effect of the loss of their child on their psychiatric wellbeing.

Gerard Malouf & Partners will strive to seek compensation for you for the grief and pain following the unexpected and avoidable loss of a family member. Although the value of a life is immeasurable, GMP will seek compensation to help you move forward and receive assistance you may require. Call us now on 1800 004 878 to speak to one of our experienced medical negligence lawyers.

The Result

The mother and father received compensation in the sum of $140,000 and $90,000 respectively for their ongoing anguish.

Leslie Abboud

Special Counsel
Knowing what the reasonable clinical practice is allows me to ask the right questions that establish the defendant’s liability. Inexperienced lawyers just fumble through this delaying your rights.
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

If you have been injured or an existing condition has got worse following a medical procedure, or even just a visit to the doctor, then you may have been the victim of medical negligence and you may be eligible to make medical negligence claims against the professional who caused your injury.

If you can first show that you have suffered harm, and secondly, that a medical professional failed in their duty of care towards you then you may be entitled to compensation.

Negligence is a failure to exercise the care that another in the same position would prudently exercise. The harm caused by negligence is considered to be due to carelessness, rather than a specific intent or determination to cause harm.

While negligence can include misconduct in a variety of circumstances, malpractice is reserved for professionals who fall grossly short of their obligations — and harm others in the process. As a result, malpractice is often called “professional negligence”. If a licensed professional (such as a doctor, lawyer, or accountant) fails to provide the accepted standard of care and subsequently causes harm to the plaintiff, this form of negligence may be known as malpractice.

Medical malpractice is specifically used in reference to medical workers who have committed acts of negligence.

Demonstrating that a doctor fell short of their duty of care can be a challenging process. While most doctors try their best to correctly diagnose conditions and provide timely medical treatment, they can’t always be right. In every state, protections are in place to shield practitioners from some litigation. These give practitioners peace of mind on the job and protect hospitals that are doing their best with limited resources. However, these laws also set the bar for receiving compensation incredibly high.

Overall, to win a favorable judgment, you must be able to prove Duty, Breach and Damages.

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 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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