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Woman wins millions in wrongful conception case

Woman wins millions in wrongful conception case

In 2021, a landmark case was heard in London’s High Court. A woman sued her mother’s doctor, claiming she should not have been born, and she won.

Twenty-year-old Evie Toombes was born with spina bifida as a direct result of bad advice from her mother’s general practitioner. Dr. Philip Mitchell failed to tell Caroline Toombes, Evie’s mother, to take folic acid and delay conception until her levels of the nutrient were high enough. Instead, Mitchell gave Caroline Toombes the green light to conceive.

[Caroline Toombes claimed]( in her testimony that Mitchell told her to go home and have “lots of sex,” which was “somewhat blunt.” She went on to say, “He told me \[the supplement\] was not necessary. I was advised that if I had a good diet previously, I would not have to take folic acid.”

Evie Toombes' diagnosis of spina bifida has left her with “very limited” mobility. She also has considerable “bowel and bladder issues.” She will eventually be dependent on a wheelchair as she grows older.

Mitchell claimed he gave “reasonable advice” to Caroline Toombes. Judge Rosalind Coe disagreed in her ruling in favor of the mother and daughter. “She was not advised in accordance with the guidance to take folic acid prior to conception and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. She was not advised about the relationship between folic acid supplementation and the prevention of spina bifida/neural tube defects. In the circumstances, there would have been a later conception, which would have resulted in a normal healthy child. I, therefore, find that the claimant’s claim succeeds on liability,” [Coe stated](

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