The claimant claimed damages in negligence against his mother’s GP as a result of the GP’s failure in 1983 to diagnose premature rupture of membranes when the mother was pregnant with the claimant. The GP diagnosed the claimant’s mother as suffering from cystitis. She later gave birth to the claimant prematurely at home with no medical support and hours from the nearest hospital. The claimant suffered numerous medical problems associated with cerebral palsy. It was later discovered that the claimant’s mother had lost amniotic fluid through a premature rupture of membranes in her womb. The claimant argued that, if the GP had diagnosed this, the claimant would have been born in hospital. However, he would still have suffered from severe disabilities.
The judge held that the GP was not liable. The claimant’s mother had not informed him of key facts such as previous episodes of incontinence and other features strongly suggested that there had been no substantial fl uid loss prior to her visit. The GP had correctly made a diagnosis of cystitis which was the reason for the mother’s visit. Signifi cantly, the judge commented that, if the GP had been found negligent, he would have been liable for the whole of the claimant’s liabilities following the recent case of Bailey v Ministry of Defence.
Ingram v Williams [2010}