Dominic Fairclough, partner in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team, was the advocate for the family of Suzanne Ballantyne deceased, a former real estate partner at Capsticks solicitors whose tragic death was the subject of an Inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court on Wednesday 1st June 2011.
The Inquest heard that on Friday 12th November 2010 Mrs Ballantyne was admitted for induction of labour at St George's Hospital for an intrauterine death, her baby sadly having died at 39 weeks. During delivery, Mrs Ballantyne developed a rupture of the uterus and suffered a postpartum haemorrhage causing her to collapse following which it was not possible to resuscitate her.
The evidence heard at the Inquest revealed that the drug used to induce the labour, Misoprostol, was administered at a considerably higher dose than is now recommended. The Coroner expressed grave concerns at the conclusion of the Inquest that the hospital Trust was unable to point to support for the use of the very high level of dosage in Mrs Ballantyne's case. It is likely that a case will now be pursued against the Trust on behalf of Mrs Ballantyne's estate and on behalf of her widower, Mr Stephen Ballantyne, and their two young children.
The case has been widely reported in the press. To read more on this story, please click on the respective Daily Mail or Evening Standard link.