Brain damaged girl’s parents given judicial apology

Jacqueline and Andrew MacLeod failed in their bid to prove that doctors at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness acted negligently. Picture: Google
Jacqueline and Andrew MacLeod failed in their bid to prove that doctors at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness acted negligently. Picture: Google
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The parents of a brain damaged teenager who sued doctors for £10.5 million have received an apology for the time it took for a judge to issue his decision.

Jacqueline and Andrew MacLeod failed in their bid to prove that doctors at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness acted negligently when delivering daughter Rowan in June 1999.

The girl is said to have suffered brain damage after being born. She now has cerebral palsy and is dependent on her family for everything.

Judge Lord Kinclaven took almost a year to issue his decision that lawyers acting for the couple had not proven that medics acted incorrectly.

However, the family’s legal team returned to the Court of Session to argue that Lord Kinclaven took too long to issue his opinion.

They also argued that his decision demonstrated “that he had an adequate grasp of the relevant medical science to make his findings in fact”.

The family’s lawyers also claimed that the judge gave “little or no explanation as to why he preferred certain expert evidence.”

They claimed that the case needed to be heard again before a new judge.

Yesterday, judges Lord Brodie, Lady Dorrian and Lord Drummond Young ruled that the judge acted correctly in dismissing the compensation claim.

However, the appeal judges ruled that Lord Kinclaven took too long to issue his opinion.

The appeal opinion tells of how Rowan, who lives with her family in Fort William, was born in the early hours of 2 June 1999.

Lawyers acting for her family claimed that the medics who delivered her acted negligently during the birth.

They claimed that medical staff at Raigmore did not monitor Rowan properly during the birth. It was also claimed that she suffered brain damage as a consequence of the actions of the medical team.

Lawyers acting for Highland Health Board claimed that Rowan’s mother was a diabetic and that diabetes is “associated with significantly higher incidents of foetal abnormality and morbidity”.

Evidence was led during 22 days of proceedings at the Court of Session in 2012. He did not issue his opinion until January 2014.