Death following childbirth is nowadays thankfully rare but, when it occurs as a result of negligence, expert lawyers are there to ensure that bereaved loved ones are justly compensated. In one case, the NHS paid seven-figure damages to the widower and two children of a mother who died five days after giving birth.
After the widower launched proceedings, the NHS trust that ran the hospital where the mother died admitted liability in full and agreed to pay £1.25 million in settlement of the claim. Of that total, her children, aged five and seven, received six-figure sums which will be held in trust for them and invested to provide a nest egg when they reach adulthood.
The trust also agreed to pay £10,000 each to the mother's parents as some modest recognition of the care they had given their grandchildren since their daughter's death. The couple had donated those sums to the children and, in approving the settlement, the High Court noted that their generosity spoke volumes about their approach and that of the family as a whole.
The Court noted that what should have been a happy time for the family had been marred by tragedy and paid tribute to the widower's devoted and dedicated care for his children. He had stepped into the breach and performed the roles of both father and mother, insofar as that was possible. The law could only compensate the children in monetary terms and the Court had no doubt that they would, in a heartbeat if given the option, choose to have their mother back rather than the money.