A woman who underwent surgery to avoid falling pregnant has recently been awarded more than $400,000 for medical negligence after she unexpectedly conceived another child.

The 39-year-old, referred to by the pseudonym Jodie Lee, commenced proceedings against her obstetrician and gynaecologist over the elective tubal ligation surgery she performed in 2014.

FACTS

At trial, the Plaintiff was 39 years old. She is the mother of four children. On 1 March 2016, her fourth child, who was the subject of the proceedings, was born by means at the Wagga Wagga Referral Hospital.

In April 2014, plaintiff’s family doctor who was also her longstanding treating general practitioner obstetrician, referred her for an elective tubal ligation procedure to occlude her fallopian tubes with the aim of preventing further pregnancies.

The procedure was supposed to permanently block, the plaintiff’s fallopian tubes using Filshie clips, a 14-millimetre-long titanium medical devices which lock into place using a hinge.

However, within a year of the procedure, the plaintiff began experiencing nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to food smells. In July 2015, she was confirmed to be pregnant.

DECISION

The District Court Judge Levy awarded $408,700 plus costs to plaintiff. Judge Levy noted there was no doubt the child at the centre of the case was “loved and cherished”.

However, the pregnancy and birth had “significant adverse effects on the plaintiff’s life, on the amenity of her life, on her emotional wellbeing, and on her capacity to work”. The Court also found that the psychological impact continues to effect the plaintiff.