Yorkshire mother Jenny Larkin and her partner Tim Galloway were billed for a $65 taxi cleaning fee, after Larkin gave birth in the backseat of a cab on her way to the hospital.
The couple called for a cab in the early hours of the morning, explaining to J&P Taxi driver Steven Morrell that it was for maternity. Morrell said that he would still drive and put plastic on top of the seats.
“We got on the A174 and I said the baby was coming,” Larkin said. “By the time we were pulling up at the hospital, the baby was already coming out.”
Five midwives rushed out to help Larkin, when Morrell turned to Galloway and said he wanted the cleaning bill.
Larkin and her baby were admitted to James Cook University Hospital’s maternity unit, and were later discharged the same day.
The following Monday, Morrell personally delivered a $65 cleaning bill to the couple at their home.
Larkin said she was mortified by the bill, especially since the couple is on benefits and could hardly pay for the taxi fare alone.
Morrell, however, said that he had been unable to work for two days because the cab was wet.
“Unfortunately, someone’s got to pay for it,” Morrell said. “I don’t think I’m being nasty asking for the valeting cost back.”
Craig Walker, who owns J&P Taxis, said Morrell had the right to pass on his bill in accordance with a council bylaw.