Waldrons Solicitors successful in securing compensation for client after failed sterilisation

Tuesday 14th May 2024

Adam Smith of Waldrons Solicitors was successful in recovering compensation for a lady that underwent a sterilisation procedure that failed, resulting in her becoming pregnant and which led to further complications.

What happened?

In October 2017, our client attended at Walsall Manor Hospital to discuss undergoing a sterilisation procedure due to not wanting any further children, her family being complete. It was agreed that she would undergo sterilisation by filshie clips (a type of clip that closes the fallopian tube, therefore preventing pregnancy).

Shortly thereafter, the procedure was carried out, apparently without complication and successfully.

However, in  July 2018, our client attended hospital with lower abdominal pain. A pregnancy test was conducted, which confirmed that she was pregnant. She was informed that the sterilisation had failed due to an unusual complication (1 in 200 cases), and that in rare cases eggs are able to get through a small gap between the attached filshie clips.

During her pregnancy our client suffered a number of complications. She developed a bleed in her placenta, an amniotic band and was further diagnosed with Strep B infection.  The baby was subsequently born without any difficulties, however, our client was diagnosed with post-natal sepsis and her and the baby were administered IV antibiotics for several days prior to their discharge.

Following the birth, she also experienced shivering and a severe headache and was prescribed antibiotics.

In December 2019, our client was shocked to discover that her left tube was in fact patent following a hysterosalpingogram.

She subsequently required a further operation to secure sterilisation, which took place in September 2022.

How Waldrons were able to help

Adam Smith, a specialist clinical negligence Solicitor, was instructed to investigate the circumstances of our client’s treatment.  This required obtaining an independent expert report from a Consultant Obstetrician.

The expert confirmed that the less than nine month interval between the sterilisation and pregnancy demonstrated that the Defendant Trust likely had failed to use the correct surgical technique. He stated that when correctly applied, Filshie clips are a highly successful sterilisation method, thus the failure of the sterilisation demonstrated the Defendant’s negligence (meaning the care fell below the standards expected). The expert further opined that there was evidence of the Claimant’s fallopian tube being patent (from the scan), demonstrating that the tube was not adequately clipped.

Our client had also suffered distress and other psychiatric symptoms, so a report was commissioned from a specialist Psychiatric expert, and confirmed that she had suffered from a depressive episode of whilst pregnant and continued to suffer from generalised anxiety disorder.

Following writing a formal letter of claim to the Defendant Trust, they admitted that there was a failure to place the clip correctly on the Claimant’s fallopian tube, however, it was denied that hysterosalpingogram demonstrated that the fallopian tube was not clipped, or this would have been corrected. They also admitted that had the sterilisation been carried out correctly, the Claimant would have avoided the inevitable pain and suffering associated with the pregnancy and birth.

Following negotiation with the Defendant Trust, we were able to secure a settlement for our client to compensate her without the need to issue Court Proceedings.