Mother loses damages award

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The Independent Online
A mother who suffered serious health problems after the "horrendous" delivery of her first child yesterday lost her pounds 64,000 damages award. Samantha Knight's daughter weighed in at a healthy 11lb 2oz when she was born with the help of forceps at Maidstone Hospital in July 1987.

The consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, who delivered the child, later described it as "one of the most horrendous" he had had to carry out during his career.Mrs Knight, now 34, later needed repeated treatment under general anaesthetic to repair damage caused by the birth, but her gynaecological problems had persisted and triggered depression.

She had a second child by Caesarean section in November 1990 and underwent a hysterectomy in April 1991. In March last year, a High Court judge awarded Mrs Knight, of Appledore, Kent, pounds 64,059 damages after ruling that West Kent Health Authority was liable for her injuries.

Yesterday, Lord Justice Kennedy, sitting with Lord Justice Morritt and Lord Justice Chadwick in the Court of Appeal, allowed the authority's appeal against the decision. They ruled that she was entitled to less than pounds 1,000 damages for the authority's admitted negligence in failing to intervene at a time which would have saved her from another two and a half hours of labour.