All Posts in Category: Childbirth Medical Negligence

HSE Agree to pay Compensation Settlement in relation to Death of Infant

A High Court legal action against the Health Service Executive has been settled in favour of a mother whose baby died ten months after being delivered at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise.

While the terms of the settlement are confidential, Justice Garrett Simons was informed that settlement was agreed between Katelyn McCarthy’s mother Sharon McCarthy and the HSE.

In an RTÉ Prime Time in 2014 Katelyn was portrayed as Baby X in a documentary report that investigated the deaths of a number of babies at the hospital in Co Laois. 

Representing Ms McCarthy in Court, Alistair Rutherdale BL instructed by solicitor Roger Murray, informed Justice Simons that after the documentary was broadcast in 2014, two investigations were conducted, but Katelyn’s parents were not informed about the findings of these.

It was claimed that a delay in getting the opinion of an obstetrician and a subsequent failure to speed up the child’s delivery by emergency caesarean section resulted in further complications for the infant. Ms McCarthy informed the court that the medical expert for the plaintiff would argue that Katelyn should have been delivered prior to 2am. Additionally it was claimed that there was a failure to investigate the foetal well-being by obtaining a foetal blood sample. Following the delivery of her daughter Ms McCarthy was informed by medical staff that the outcome was unavoidable.

The court was also informed that there have already been two separate HSE investigations to look into Katelyn’s death. These investigations resulted in two reports, one in July 2009 and another in March 2012 being produced. Ms McCarthy was not involved in any way in either investigation and was not even informed of the existence of the reports until 2014.

She told the court: “I subsequently heard of media coverage of certain deaths in Portlaoise Hospital and only learned at that time that Katelyn was one of these”.

Justice Simons said he was giving his approval for the compensation settlement and the division of a statutory mental distress payment which in this case was just over €25,000. he remarked that was connected to the sad passing of the infant Katelyn McCarthy. he also ruled the solatium should be divided between the parents Sharon and Thomas as he said they had experienced the most severe emotional distress.



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€1.25m Wrongful Death Compensation Awarded to Man Whose Wife Died Days After Giving Birth

At the HIgh Court a €1.25m settlement has been agreed for a man whose 38-year-old wife died just days after giving birth to her first baby.

Anne Casey passed away at Cork University Maternity Hospital just 11 days after suffering cardiac arrest during a lung scan. Mrs Casey, who had a previously experienced cardiac complications was over 37 weeks pregnant at the time of the cardiac arrest. She had attended hospital to have a marked cough, that had caused her to become breathless during the previous three weeks, reviewed by medical staff. The decision was taken to admit her that Friday but there was no consultant available to tend to her during the subsequent weekend.

Mr Casey’s counsel Dr John O’Mahony SC informed the Judge that Mrs Casey was treated for a respiratory infection and no other action was taken when it appeared that this was not addressing the issue. He said that she (Mrs Casey) went into cardiac arrest during the  lung scan and a team of up to 12 doctors were required for the attempts to save her and deliver her baby, he said. Additionally Mr O’Mahony informed the Court that Mrs Casey had been diagnosed with insulin-requiring diabetes and was also overweight.

The baby was delivered through emergency caesarean section on the X-ray table. Initially Mrs Casey regained a pulse and was taken to the ICU for further treatment and observation. Sadly it was discovered that she had sustained a devastating brain injury and the situation didn’t not alleviate over the following nine days.

A decision was taken to remove life support on March 7, 2012 and she died just two days later.

An inquest at the hospital in relation to Mrs Casey’s death resulted in a recommendation that all individuals  with complex medical conditions and new symptoms must be seen to by by a consultant in less 24 hours following their admission.

Mrs Casey’s now 49-year-old husband Dominic Casey – with an address at Lettergorman, Dunmanway, Co Cork – had taken the wrongful death legal action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death on March 9, 2012. The claims include in the legal action said that there was a failure to properly assess, diagnose and treat Mrs Casey when she presented in the emergency department with breathlessness and that it had been mistakenly assumed she was suffering from a respiratory infection.

The HSE refuted all of the claims were denied and a submitted a full defence to the case.

As he was giving hi sapproval for the compensation settlement, presiding Judge Justice Cross offered his sympathies to the Casey family.

Speaking during the hearing Mr Casey detailed how he had been outside the X-ray department at the time his wife went into cardiac arrest. He said: “I saw the chaos. I felt numb and stunned. I thought my wife and baby son were both gone.”



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Childbirth Negligence Compensation Settlement of €3m for Limerick Man (27)

27-year-old Kennedy O’Brien from Limerick has settled his High Court birth negligence compensation in relation to the care he received at t Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick in 1993.

The legal action, was was referred to as ‘enormously complex, was settled with no acceptance of liability.

The young man’s legal representative in court informed the Judge that they were alleging that it had taken more than three hours for the medical team to review the new born baby’s blood sugar levels. This was at the time of Mr O’Brien’s delivery in 1993.

An additional claim stated that, following Mr O’Brien’s birth, there was a failure to feed him inside of the first hour post delivery or review blood sugar levels in a timely fashion as is so vital. This alleged absence of monitoring post delivery until Mr O’Brien was more than three hours old had a massive impact on him, it was claimed. Counsel alleged that a major delay in reacting to Mr O’Brien’s severe hypoglycaemia then impacted his long-term neurological condition.

Taking the legal action via his mother, Helen Egan O’Brien, Mr O’Brien with an address at Knockbrack West, Lisnagry, Co Limerick, sued the Health Service Executive in relation to the standardof care following his delivery at the hospital. At the time of his birth at 9.13am on September 14, 1993 Mr O’Brien weighed 2.6kg. It was claimed he was growth-­restricted and in particular danger of ­hypoglycaemia in the neonatal period. Counsel told the High Court that the newborn baby should have been fed early and blood sugar measurements should have been taken soon after this.

However, when the blood sugar levels were finally tested at around 12.25pm, it was discovered that claimed the measurement was so low it did not register on the glucometer which was used. Allegation were made that this situation should have resulted in emergency treatment for the infant.

The following day, September 15 1993, it seen that Kennedy was jittery. However, he was feeding regularly and still having some dextrose intravenously. After this he experience seizures and was diagnosed with cognitive delay. All of these allegation were denied by the counsel for the defence.

Mr O’Brien underwent an MRI brain scan when he was aged 16. It was alleged that this scan indicated there were some changes and which allegedly may have been caused by hypoglycaemia in the neonatal period.

As he was giving his approval for the childbirth negligence compensation, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the figure of €3m was a very good one. Kennedy’s father, Kennedy Snr, informed the court the family was satisfied with how everything has gone so far and added that his son needed ongoing support and “we are there for him”.

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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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