Tredget and Tredget v Bexley Health Authority: 1994

(Central London County Court) As a result of the defendant hospital’s negligent management of Mrs Tredget’s labour, her baby was born in a severely asphyxiated state and died two days later. The actual birth of the child with its ‘chaos’ or ‘pandemonium’ was for those immediately and directly involved as each of the parents was frightening and horrifying. The event of the delivery was a powerful factor in contributing to the pathological grief reaction each suffered afterwards.
Held: Each of the plaintiffs had established liability even though full appreciation of the gravity of the child’s condition only came during his short struggle for life in intensive care during the forty-eight hours that followed his birth. It is unrealistic to separate out and isolate the delivery as an event, from the other sequence of happenings from the onset of labour to Callum’s death two days later, as a whole. . . Although lasting for over forty-eight hours from the onset of labour to the death, this effectively was one event. . . The law should be, and in my judgment is, ‘fluid enough’ simply to recognise one type of traumatic event and shut its eyes to another such as that upon which this claim is founded whether or not it is necessary – and in my judgment it is not – to pray in aid the concept of the ‘aftermath.’


His Hon. Judge White


[1994] 5 Med LR 178

Cited by:

CitedNorth Glamorgan NHS Trust v Walters CA 6-Dec-2002
A new mother woke in hospital to see her baby (E) fitting. E suffered a major epileptic seizure leading to coma and irreparable brain damage. E was transferred to a London hospital and the following day the claimant was told by a consultant that E’s . .
CitedJD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust and others HL 21-Apr-2005
Parents of children had falsely and negligently been accused of abusing their children. The children sought damages for negligence against the doctors or social workers who had made the statements supporting the actions taken. The House was asked if . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Personal Injury

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.183345