Stillbirth mental harm claims

KS and XT v Calvary Health Care ACT trading as Calvary Hospital and Dr Andrew Foote [2018] ACTSC 84 is a recent decision of the ACT Supreme Court dealing with claims by a mother and a father for mental harm, following the still birth of their daughter, who had apparently died in the lead up to the performance of a caesarean section. It became common ground that there were CTG abnormalities for about an hour before Dr Foote was called to attend and ordered the performance of the c/section, which ultimately led to delivery about an hour later.

During the course of the hearing the hospital effectively conceded liability, and Dr Foote made limited admissions of  breach of duty without conceding liability: [6].

The judgment focused on consideration of the evidence on breach of duty and causation.

The trial judge assessed damages for each claimant and apportioned damages as between the two defendants: [311]-[312].

With thanks to Associate Professor Tina Cockburn for noting this matter.

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