All Posts in Category: Childbirth Medical Negligence

Additional Birth Injury Compensation of €3m Awarded to Boy (14)

An additional birth injury compensation settlement of €3m has been approved for Luke Miggin, who has cerebral palsy.

This brings the total amount of compensation awarded to Luke to over €6m the amount in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Mullingar General Hospital in February 2006.

This interim settlement is the result of mediation talks and should account for Luke’s needs over the coming six years. He took the legal action, in relation to his injuries sustained at birth, via his mother Emily Miggin. They sued the health Service Executive and consultant obstetrician, Michael Gannon, of Mullingar Hospital.

On February 28 2006 Luke was delivered shortly after 5pm on February 28th 2006. In a previous action the Judge was informed that Luke would not have sustained his injuries if he had been delivered one hour earlier. Liability was accepted by the HSE and Dr Gannon.

Justice Kevin Cross was informed by Luke’s legal representative, Denis McCullough SC, for the boy, that he (Luke) is happy at school and is a bright and enthusiastic child. Emily, who had been working as a therapist, is now tending to her son and providing care in a full-time capacity.

During the hearing Ms Miggin told the Judge that this is her son’s fifth time in court and he had first settled the compensation in 2011 with the first interim payment amounting to €1.35m. Since that time, she informed the Court, Luke has had to have 80 assessments to date in preparation for the court approved payouts. She said: “The system should be easier”.

Ms Miggin told Justice Cross that Luke is a fabulous child who has complex needs and they were blessed with very good carers and she would give the money back fivefold to see her son kick a football. She said she was heartbroken and both her son and she had lost an awful lot.

Justice Cross praised the care and love that Ms Miggin has given to Luke and wished her well for the future. The case is due for further review in six years’ time when Luke’s future care needs will be reviewed.

 

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€6.5m Medical Negligence Settlement for Disabled Teenager

At the High Court a 19-year-old man with cerebral palsy has settled a High Court action, taken in relation to injuries his sustained at the time of his birth in the Rotunda Hospital, for €6.5m.

The settlement includes €500,000 related to past care and several thousand euro is to be dedicated to allow the man question, Ross McNally, to invest in assisted technology. Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross gave his approval for the agreed €6.5m settlement figure and praised both sets of legal teams on successful mediation talks.

The court was informed by Siun Leonowicz BL, instructed by solicitor Tim O’Hanrahan, that this settlement for Mr McNally was the result of the mediation talks which begun in the last few weeks. Prior to the mediation beginning liability in the case had been conceded.

Ms Leonowicz this week told the court that Mr McNally suffered a hypoxic ischaemic injury at the time of his birth.

The legal action was taken by Mr McNally, Sherrard Court, Dublin, via his mother Samantha McNally, against the Rotunda Hospital in relation to the events that took place during his delivery on March 8, 2001.

Due to the the onset of labour and CTG tracing, his mother was taken to hospital on March 7, 2001, On the morning of March 8, analysis showed that the foetal heart-rate pattern on the CTG was deteriorating, according to those monitoring Ms McNally.

The court was informed that the Syntocinon treatment, which allows the muscles of the womb to contract, was started at 5.30am and steadily increased, despite the worsening appearance of foetal heart rate on the CTG tracing. In addition to this it was alleged that labour was allowed to progress at 8.15am despite the pathological appearance of the CTG. At 9.20am a decision was made to deliver Ross. An emergency caesarean section was carried out and he was born at 9.50am. However he was in a cyanosed condition.

The legal action that was taken alleged that there was a failure to identify atypical deceleration on CTG tracing and that it was pathological. In addition to this it was claimed that there was a failure to manage or appropriately manage the second stage of labour and the baby’s delivery was delayed by 65 minutes.

Ms McNally informed the court, via an affidavit to the court, that she is happy with the settlement.

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HSE Sued by Boy with Cerebral Palsy Following Claims Doctor was Struck Off in UK

A boy with cerebral palsy who is taking a legal action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) linked with the circumstances his birth is alleging that his care was entrusted to a doctor who had previously been struck off in the United Kingdom.

At the High Court it was revealed that Tadhg McKenna, of Sruth An Mhuillan, Emyvale, Co Monaghan, is now pursuing a compensation claim for aggravated damages due to the involvement of Dr Aamir Iqbal Malik was allegedly working on his birth.

In May, Dr Malik was suspended by the High Court from the medical register in Ireland pending further order.

That court was informed that Dr Malik, who qualified as a doctor in Pakistan in 1989, had been struck off the medical register in the UK in 2018 for professional misconduct due to dishonesty in relation to his conduct as a doctor in that country.

The case is based on allegations that the care of Tadhg, who has quadriplegia cerebral palsy, was entrusted to Dr Malik during his care at birth in Cavan General Hospital. It is alleged that Dr Malik was not professionally qualified or competent enough to provide the required care either at all or without the correct supervision.

It is claimed that the HSE owed a duty to ensure the employment as well as deployment of a medical team, specifically medical doctors. The HSE also should have carried this out in such a way as to ensure that any doctors registered with a non national registration authority were appropriately qualifiedand that any disciplinary investigation or sanction imposed was made known.

Justice Kevin Cross was informed that the new revelations have lead to more stress for the McKennas but they would would like to avoid the case being delayed. Legal representatives for the HSE said it is currently reviewing the new revelations.

Liability had previously been conceded in relation to breach of duty but causation had remained at issue. Tadhg, through his mother Emma Louise McKenna, sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth on August 31, 2017.

The case was listed for further hearing in September.

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€1.5m Settlement for Family of Woman Kept on Life Support over Eighth Amendment Worries

The family of a deceased young mother who was pregnant and kept alive on life support due to doctors’ concerns about the Eighth Amendment have been awarded a €1.5m settlement including expenses.

Ms Perie was pronounced brain dead in late November 2014 at 26 years of age when she was 15 weeks pregnant. She had been kept alive on life support for an additional four weeks after this due to doctors’ concerns about the implications of the Eighth Amendment – since repealed – for the foetus. Life support was discontinued after her family obtained High Court orders to that end on December 26, 2014.

Of the final settlement, that was awarded for failings in care at Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar, €1.3m will go to Natasha Perie’s two children, now aged 11 and nine. Her father Peter Perie later took proceedings in which the main claim was for damages for his two grandchildren, the girl now aged 11 and the nine-year-old boy, in relation to the loss of their mother’s care. Both children, who were born to separate men, had been residing with their mother in Mr Perie’s home but, since her death, have been living with their respective fathers.

The HSE admitted liability in the case but argued the extent of damages sought, some €3.2m. The State Claims Agency which had offered some €1.5m on behalf of the HSE. Nervous shock claims by seven family members were previously settled and Ms Perie’s daughter received €150,000 in those proceedings.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy heard the larger fatal dependency case, beginning yesterday, after a mediation failed to secure agreement and the €1.5m offer made earlier this week was not accepted.

An apology had been issued by the HSE for the family last November from the Mullingar hospital and the HSE in relation to issues with Ms Perie’s care at the hospital in late 2014. She was pronounced brain dead days after her admission there on November 27, 2014, but was then kept on life support.

Evidence was presented to Justice Murphy, from members of his extended family and the children’s fathers and relevant medics, in relation to the impact on the children of seeing their mother on life support. Dr Frances Colreavy said Ms Perie’s eyes did not shut properly. She said nurses informed her the children, especially the then six-year-old girl, were upset, with both refusing to touch their mother. The condition of the girl was referred to as “inconsolable”. A care expert also told the Court that both children would require live-in nannies until they left home. The judge expressed reservations about that and certain other aspects of the legal action.

However yesterday morning, following mediation talks, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was asked by Jonathan Kilfeather SC, instructed by Gillian O’Connor solicitor, of Michael Boylan Litigation, to approve the €1.5m offer.

 

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€10.5m Cerebral Palsy Compensation Awarded to Young Boy

12-year-old Samuel Forde , who who sued the Health Service Executive in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Sligo General Hospital has settled his High Court Cerebral Palsy Compensation action for €10.5million.

Samuel, who lives at Glenview Park, Grange, Co Sligo had taken the birth injury compensation action through his mother Deborah Forde. Through his legal counsel, Des O’Neill SC, it was claimed there was an alleged failure to promptly diagnose and act upon the baby’s condition,  there was an alleged failure to admit Mrs Forde to hospital on August 19, 2006 when her condition and that of the baby could be monitored and acted upon appropriately and that the pregnancy was allowed to continue well past its due date resulting in the failure to deliver the baby at an appropriate stage.

The claims were denied by the legal team for the Health Service Executive.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was informed that Mrs Forde had gone for a check up on August 15, 2006 which indicated that nothing was out of the ordinary. However, two days later she attended the hospital as she thought she might be in labour. At this point in time a CTG was applied to monitor the baby’s heartbeat .

Mrs Forde attended the hospital again two days later but was told she could return home after a number of tests were carried out. Following this a midwife checked with her, over a phone call, regarding the baby’s movement and when she reported less movement on August 20 she was told to return to hospital at once. A CTG and checks were completed again and Samuel was born by cesarean section August 20,2006 and he had to be intubated.

The High Court was informed that Samuel has cerebral palsy which has completely impacted his existence and the requirements for the future are thorough extensive including lifelong care.

The Judge was informed that the Forde family only initiated court proceedings after they sought legal advice a few years ago when Samuel’s medical card was withdrawn a few years ago.

Outside court solicitor David O’Malley for the Fordes said the family wished for Samuel to have a life which is “as happy and as included as possible. Hopefully the financial settlement can bring him that stability. Mediation was a very effective mechanism to resolve this case”.

In approving the settlement, without admission of liability, Justice Kevin Cross said the Fordes had looked after their son “over and above” and he wished “the loving and protective family” the best for the future.

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€7.25m Settlement for Autistic Teenager Agreed with Hospital

€7.25m birth injury compensation has been awarded to a 13-year-old boy at the High Court in relation to the issues that occured during his birth at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH), Dublin on July 30, 2005.

Legal counsel for the the boy, Finn Phillips, who is on the autism spectrum, Jeremy Maher SC said that the basis of their case was the protracted labour and difficult birth were the alleged cause of Finn’s autism. He went on to say that this was a test case as this issue had never been determined by a court in Ireland, the UK “or anywhere”.

Legal counsel for Finn, who took the legal action through his mother Lisa Marie Murphy, argued that he (Finn) is on the autism spectrum due to complications which arose during his birth at the hospital. The National Maternity Hospital denied all of these claims.

Finn was delivered via ventouse delivery and it is claimed he was unnecessarily exposed to both asphyxia and trauma from the vacuum extraction. Due to this, the Judge was told. he was allegedly unnecessarily exposed to their potential long term consequences. The injuries he sustained suffered, it was alleged, included developmental delay and autism. There was an alleged failure to oversee Finn’s mother’s labour appropriately and an alleged failure to intervene in time. Finally there was a claim from his legal team that Finn was pulled an excessive number of times and he had been allegedly subjected to excessive tractions.

Outside court, Finn’s mother Lisa Marie Murphy said: ” (her son) is a wonderful boy. He would have been a fantastic man if everything had gone according to plan. Now we can make strides to help him be the best man he can be,” she said. The settlement means as parents we don’t have to worry, Finn’s care is there. It means we can go privately for his care.”

Justice Kevin Cross was informed that mediation talks had taken place last Monday and a settlement was reached to bring before the court. In approving this settlement, Justice Cross said he was glad to hear it had been reached. He wished Finn and his family all the best for the future.

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€60k Caesarean Section Accident Compensation Sought by Boy (15) Due to Cheek Scar

15-year-old Rory Saunders has taken a €60,000 birth injury compensation action against the master of the National Maternity Hospital and Dr Stephen Carroll, the surgeon who performed the Cesarean section procedure as he medical negligence at childbirth inflicted him with a cut on his cheek.

Rory’s legal representative Barrister Mark O’Connell informed  Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that his (Rory’s) cheek was cut when he was being delivered by Cesarean Section on September 9, 2003.

O’Connell told the judge that the Caesarean delivery injury compensation action as Rory’s left cheek was cut by the scalpel used in the clinical procedure that Dr Carroll carried out. After the clinical procedure was completed the cut was cleaned out  and Steri-Strips were put implemented.

Rory’s permanent 2.5cm cheek scar can be seen when standing close by to him and is more visible during the summertime. The cheek scar has become stressful for Rory as he has been on the receiving end of negative comments during school and among his friends.

The claims were not accepted by Dr Carroll, who is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and an expert in high-risk pregnancies, and the National Maternity Hospital. Plastic surgeon Matt McHugh said that they were of the opinion that the scar was not going to improve in the future.

Judge Groarke considered the medical reports provided by two eminent consultants into court and was also told that a birth injury compensation offer of €25,000 had been put on the table.

He (Judge Groarke) said he was not happy with the compensation offer before the court. he was of the opinion that one of the medical reports appeared to give “a very blunt view” on the injury. He felt this particular expert, who had not seen his colleague’s medical report before formulating an opinion, should be asked to review the other medical report.

The birth injury compensation proceedings were adjourned until such time as the authors of the reports can reconsider the facts.

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Record Medical Negligence Award for Boy (9) who Sustained Brain Injury as an Infant

Benjamin Gillick, a nine year old boy who sustained permanent brain damage after medical staff made a delayed diagnosis of infection following surgery when he was just an infant, has been awarded €32 million medical negligence compensation at the High Court award has been approved for a nine-year-old boy – the largest award in the history of the State.

The parents of the boy, Miriam and Andrew Gillick, pleaded with the judge not to approve the proposed award as they believed the money was not a sufficient amount for the rest of his life. They told the Judge: “It leaves us with a shortfall that will be imposed on ourselves or our children, or possibly our grandchildren.”

The Judge commented in Court that , when added to the interim settlement of €7.4m made thee years previously, this brings to over €32m the total amount of the compensation that will be paid out to the boy.

Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross explained that only a small part of the the awarded compensation, under €500,000, was being handed over in relation to the tragic injuries inflicted on Benjamin. The vast majority of the compensation awarded is being made in relation to the cost of Benjamin’s complex treatment, educational and accommodation needs for the rest of his life.

Judge Cross, in giving his approval for a final settlement offer of €25m, commented: “When the headlines come to be written it should be noted that no one is getting a bonanza”.

He went on to explain that Benjamin would only have been awarded around  €450,000 in relation to general damages for the injuries he still suffers from. The rest of the money to be made by the Children’s University Hospital at Temple Street to cover the expenses related to his future medical treatment.

Judge Cross told those present that compensation figure was already very high as, in relation to Benjamin, “thankfully he has a higher life expectancy and would have to be cared for long after his parents have departed”. The judge said it was very difficult to tale into account his (Benjamin’s) position in life in 60 years’ time when calculating to figure to be awarded.

Andrew Gillick, the boy’s father, told the Judge that he is worried with regard to the money being insufficient when compared to rates of return on investment in England, where the family have moved to. He went on to say that there has recently been a similar case decided in the UK where the compensation award was approximately €45m due to the costs of carers, therapies, aids and appliances, transport and education.

Benjamin was delivered prematurely at his birth along with his identical twin brother. After delivery he had to undergo a clinical procedure when he was just  11 months  of age at Temple Street Children’s Hospital to drain fluid from his brain. A shunt was placed to deal with this and the boy was later returned to hospital due to vomiting and feeling quite sick.

The High Court was informed that a shunt infection is a common complication of the process and the cause of the negligence was that for up to three days this possibility was not investigated. The court was also informed that Benjamin suffers with cerebral palsy, is quadriplegic, and cannot communicate verbally like other children of the same age.

 

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Medical Negligence Compensation Payouts of €268m Made by State Claims Agency in last two years

The overall amount of compensation paid out by the State Claims Agency (SCA) in relation to medical negligence claims totals over half a billion euro in the past two years.

New figures released by Minister for Health Simon Harris show that the amount of compensation paid out by the State Claims Agency (SCA) in 2018 was €268.45m for medical negligence cases – an increase of €18.6 million – or 7.5% – on the €249.77m paid out in 2017. This brings the total amount of compensation for medical negligence paid out in 2017-18 to €518.2m.

The figures were provided by the State Claims Agency (SCA)  in response to a a written Dáil question by Fianna Fáil’s Finance spokesman, Michael McGrath. It also reveals that the highest sum paid out last year under medical negligence was €15.5m in relation to a cerebral palsy case compensation claim.

Cases linked to birth negligence or cerebral palsy accounted for seven of the top ten medical negligence payouts in 2018. The figures release indicate that, in the seven cerebral palsy cases, a total of €60.3m compensation was paid out in order to provide adequate treatment for the individuals concerned for the remainder of their lives.

The remainder of the top ten was made up of cases that in the top ten payments concerned a pay-out of €6.3 million for a clinical procedure at surgery and a separate payout of €5.9m under the same category.

The lowest payout in the top ten was €4.37 million paid out concerning a clinical procedure in the Gynaecology service.

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Delayed Delivery may Have Caused Brain Injury High Court Told in Birth Injury Compensation Action

The High Court has been told that a girl with cerebral palsy may not have been inflicted with any brain injury had she been delivered ten minutes earlier.

Taking the birth injury compensation action through her mother Martine, Faye Walsh (7) sued the Health Service Executive and two consultant obstetricians, claiming that medical negligence and a breach of agreement in relation to the management and circumstances of her birth took place at University Hospital Galway on August 15, 2011. The defendants deny the allegations.

Mrs Walsh was a private patient of Dr Una Conway, a consultant obstetrician, throughout her pregnancy with Fay, Dr Conway and Dr Declan Egan, the second defendant obstetrician, run their own private medical practices at Brooklawn Practice, Brooklawn House, Galway West Business Park, and also practice as consultants in the Galway hospital.

Mrs Walsh opted for a private obstetrician as she had one previous birth by caesarean section and experienced serious abdominal injuries following a road accident in 2008. One of the main disputes in the legal action relates to the information that Mrs Walsh was given regarding the risks of a vaginal delivery. The defendants claim that the options and risks were explained and argue that Mrs Walsh wanted, and agreed to, a vaginal delivery.

The HSE denies that delivery was unreasonably delayed and said that vacuum assisted delivery using a plastic or metal cup attached to the baby’s head was also reasonable.

In her legal action Mrs Walsh says that she was aware that Dr Conway was on annual leave in August 2011 and would not be present at the delivery but claims that she had been advised by Dr Conway that Dr Egan would be there and was familiar with her history.

The defendants do not agree that Mrs Walsh was told Dr Egan would be present. They argue that Mrs Walsh was given an information sheet stating her delivery would be supervised, in the event of Dr Conway being absent, by a covering consultant obstetrician on call for the hospital.

Mrs Walsh claims that neither defendant obstetrician was called to the hospital when, or after, Ms Walsh went into labour about 11pm on Sunday August 14, 2011, despite requests for this by both her and her husband. The court was informed that the on call hospital obstetrician was called to the hospital from his home around 4.30am on the morning of August 15.

The official record of the birth shows that an obstetric registrar was also called and used a Kiwi cup to the baby’s head and that the on-call obstetrician completed the delivery of the baby at 4.55am. Faye was delivered in very poor health and had to be immediately resuscitated. She has spastic quadriplegia, is non verbal, a full time wheelchair user and will require 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Most of her care is provided by her parents and she is a “happy, content and smiling child” who gets on well at her community primary school and loves the TV cartoon Peppa Pig, the judge was told.

The case is expected to last a number of weeks.

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