The case of Evie Toombes, who has a severe condition Spina Bifida, is unprecedented as the 20-year-old woman successfully sued her mother's doctor for allowing her conception.
The "wrongful conception" lawsuit against Dr. Philip Mitchell came out in 2021.
Though London's High Court awarded Toombes with a large, undisclosed amount of money (reportedly millions), it remains one of the most talked about cases because of its complexity.
Despite the win, the former para-showjumping star from Lincolnshire, UK, often spends 24 hours connected to the tubes.
Evie Toombes vs. Dr. Philip Mitchell – The Landmark Ruling
Spina Bifida is a fatty mass at the base of the spinal cord affecting the nerves of the legs, bladder, and bowel.
The daughter of Caroline Toombes claimed in the lawsuit that Dr. Mitchell did not advise his patient on the importance of taking supplements, especially folic acid, during pregnancy, which could have prevented Spina Bifida.
If the mother had been told, she would have had to wait before thinking of bringing life to the world, the lawsuit claimed. Caroline testified that she was told by Dr. Mitchell, "rather bluntly," to go home and have "lots of s..x".
The 50-year-old mother claimed she was ready to start the family as soon as possible since she lost her parents at a young age. She also confirmed that she would have started treatment with folic acid and revisited the pregnancy plans.
Judge Rosalind Coe QC ruled that if Caroline had been given the correct advice, she would have avoided her attempts to conceive and would later have a healthy baby.
The Judge explained her decision by saying:
"She was not advised in accordance with the guidance to take folic acid prior to conception and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy."
"In the circumstances, there would have been a later conception, which would have resulted in a normal healthy child. I, therefore, find that the claimant's claim succeeds on liability."
Dr. Mitchell claims he holds no liability, as his side argues that he did give Caroline "reasonable advice." His defense argued that Caroline was already pregnant when she came to visit him in February 2001, but the Judge did not believe these claims since Evie was born in November 2001.
Evie Toombes's Life Today
Evie, like her mother, has a passion for horses. She is actively trying to raise awareness for invisible illnesses and is the first teenage ambassador who talked to students about her condition.
Evie's spinal cord did not develop properly in the womb, but despite the everyday challenges, the young woman lives by the motto, "Find A Way Not An Excuse."
She enjoys writing on her blog, but according to the latest Facebook updates, Evie has been in and out of the hospital. She cannot ride her horse, Daisy, and when she is at home, Evie spends time sleeping, recharging, and playing with her new puppy.
Evie was diagnosed with a lipomylomeningocoele (LMM), a form of neural tube defect to the spine leading to permanent disability. She appeared on ITV's Hidden Disabilities: What's The Truth? and works at Nottingham University.
In 2018, Evie won the Inspiration Young Person Award at a Wellchild charity event, an award given to her by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Folic acid has been introduced as the main prevention for Spina Bifida since the major clinical trials conducted in 1991.
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.