Failed Female Sterilisation

A “wrongful birth” compensation claim arises where a child is born who would not have been born if it had not been for medical negligence. If you have had another child after being sterilised, you may be able to claim for “wrongful birth.” 

The most common method of female sterilisation in Britain involves application of one or two clips (called Filshie clips) to each Fallopian tube (the tubes which transport a woman’s eggs between the ovary and the womb). On occasions these clips can slip off. Failure of the sterilisation may be due to the clips not being applied properly at the time of surgery. Nowadays, when the sterilisation is carried out via laparoscopy, in order to avoid people suspecting that clips were not fastened appropriately at the time of surgery a still picture of the clips in place will be filed in the patient’s case notes. 

The only alternative way to ascertain what has happened to the clips is during repeat sterilisation surgery. Other than that the only way to find out what has become of the clips is often to wait until the sterilization is repeated, when sometimes the procedure will be overseen by independent experts who will note the findings including any evidence of mistakes from the previous surgery.

The cause of a failed procedure can be unavoidable and non-negligent. One unavoidable risk of sterilisation is that the fallopian tubes can grow back.Warnings of this risk should be given before surgery.

An unwanted pregnancy and child can be devastating and can cause huge unexpected expense and upset for parents who had previously decided their family was complete and will turn to the law to compensate them. In wrongful birth claims, compensation may include:

General damages for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity, incapacity and stress connected with an unwanted pregnancy and birth

Possibly the cost of a further sterilisation operation, 

A sum of £15,000 to compensate losing your right to limit the size of your family

Loss of earnings during maternity leave

Expenses connected with the unwanted pregnancy and birth

Expenses relating to equipment for the baby.

If the child is disabled, compensation for the additional costs of bringing up a disabled child (if the child is not disabled, you will not be compensated for the costs of bringing the child up.

We are specialist medical negligence solicitors and birth injury lawyers and if you have ended up with an unwanted child as a result of  sterilisation failing due to negligence, we can help you obtain compensation. The team of specialist medical negligence solicitors at Chadwick Lawrence is led by Tony May, a specialist birth injury and cerebral palsy solicitor. He has an excellent record in high value and complex cases, many resulting in multi-million pound settlements. Tony has over 20 years experience in dealing with cases in which babies have been brain damaged or sustained other injuries as a result of negligent care and management before, during or following birth. He continues to represent many cerebral palsy children and young adults in medical negligence claims and after settlement he provides ongoing support as the Court of Protection Deputy for many of his cerebral palsy and brain damaged clients.

Tony can be contacted by email on or by telephone on 01484 519999. Alternatively, you could call our team on the freephone number below.

Our dedicated team of specialist clinical negligence, birth injury and cerebral palsy solicitors deal with claims countrywide including claims for unsuccessful sterilization. We are based at our Huddersfield office but can visit you in your home or in hospital if you are unable to attend at one of our West Yorkshire offices. If you believe that your child or a member of your family may have sustained a birth injury or experienced an unsuccessful sterilization as a result of medical negligence and/or negligence by a midwife, please contact our specialist medical negligence Legal Aid and no-win-no-fee lawyers for free legal advice.

Contact Chadwick Lawrence for free legal advice on FREE PHONE 0800 028 2969 or

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