A woman wins millions in a lawsuit against her mother’s doctor after she was allowed to be born

20-year-old Evie Toombes has won a landmark legal case against her mother’s GP, claiming that she ‘should never have been born. Toombes is seeking millions of pounds in damages, arguing that her spina bifida has drastically reduced her quality of life.

Dr. Mark Wright failed to diagnose Toombes’ mother’s ectopic pregnancy, which led to her being born with spina bifida.

A court heard how failure to timely diagnose an ectopic pregnancy resulting in a baby born with spina bifida was the root of the problem. Evie Toombes is seeking millions of pounds in damages.

Toombes, who can’t walk without help, has to deal with the side effects of her condition every day, and she claims she won’t live past 40.

She had sued GP Dr. Mark Wright and Newham and East Metropolitan Hospital NHS Trust for £8million in compensation based on ‘loss of expectation of life and loss of earnings.

Dr. Wright defended his position by saying that the congenital disability was partly genetic and would have happened even if he had diagnosed Cathy Toombes’ ectopic pregnancy. He did not contest the case and did not turn up at court. He is now claiming through legal aid.

Her lawyers claim that the GP should have recognized the risk of spina bifida and advised her mother to terminate the pregnancy. Toombes’ case is the first of its kind in the UK and could set a precedent for other people with disabilities who feel that they were not born into the best possible circumstances.

Toombes told reporters: “I’m not saying that my life is not worth living, but I deserved better – and so do others like me. I feel as though I am carrying around a ton of bricks all the time.”

The lawyers for Toombes claim she had to give up her dream of becoming a showjumper due to her disability, having to give up her independence, and needing constant care.

Toombes seeks compensation for all medical costs relating to her condition since birth and educational costs and legal fees. As the case continues, Toombes was spotted yesterday buying her first house with her boyfriend.

Spina bifida is a congenital disability characterized by incomplete development of the spine and membranes around the spinal cord. The vertebrae don’t close completely to protect the spinal cord because of abnormal growth. Spina bifida usually results in problems with the spinal cord, like paralysis or other symptoms.

Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect (NTD) that occurs when the spine and backbones do not form properly. The result for many is lifelong disability and surgery to correct the problem. In some cases, surgery can also lead to disability.

In severe cases, Bifida can also cause hydrocephalus (ex the baby’s spinal cord may emerge from an opening in the back. This opening is usually closed a few days after birth, but if it is not, a shunt may be necessary to drain excess fluid from the brain and reduce pressure on the spine. Spina bifida can cause bowel and bladder problems, too.


  1. And people wonder why their medical bills are so high! I knew an OBGYN who, when he started practice, paid around $15,000 a year for malpractice insurance. In 1990 he quit because his policy premium had hit over $300,000. Now think about that for a moment. A $300,000 bill just for opening his doors. The $300,000 is gone and he’s yet to pay for staff, equipment plus upgrades, continuing education, rent and almost certainly a dozen or more business taxes.

    Let’s say he works 50 weeks a year. That’s $6,000 out the door each week in overhead just for an insurance policy. And you wonder why medical bills are so high? Look at what the legal profession has done and you get some of your answers.

  2. A very difficult decision to make. As a mother, myself, I believe I would have taken the chance of having the baby. One never really knows for sure what the outcome could be, sometimes it is just the opposite of that which is expected. It’s hard to believe that the daughter could be so chalice wanting to sue her mother for giving her birth.

    1. No offense, but you don’t know what it’s like to live a day in her shoes. If she had it her way, she’d rather not be born. She has every right to be “chalice” she has to live with this condition for the rest of her life– not her mother–not you–not her doctor. I have more compassion and sympathy for her than anyone else in this story. Her quality of life was stunted and shortened. And the sad part is this may have been prevented if proper prenatal care took place, like making sure the mother’s b-vitamin levels were up-to-date as severe b-vitamin deficiency (esp. b12) can lead to spina bifida.

  3. Something about this story doesn’t make sense. Specifically the ectopic pregnancy part because there is no way a pregnancy could have been supported to term outside the uterus. If the fertilized egg attaches elsewhere (ectopic) and is left to grow, it is life threatening to the mother for one thing and cannot sustain a developing embryo for more than a number of weeks.

    1. Thank you. You said exactly what I was thinking when reading this. An ectopic pregnancy is fatal for the fetus.

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