All Posts in Category: Claim for Birth Injury

Boy Awarded €22.5m Delayed Diagnosis Birth Accident Compensation Settlement at High Court

At the High Court an eight-year-old boy has had an €22.5m brain damage at birth compensation settlement approved. He had contracted meningitis infection in the days after his birth.

An apology was read out in court by Cork University Maternity Hospital to the boy in question, Calum Spillane and his family, in relation to “the delay in diagnosing Calum’s infection and the injuries he suffered. We can only express our sincere regret to you and your family for what has happened and wish you both and your two boys Calum and Tom the very best for the future.

“CUMH have learned important lessons from your experience and we continue to educate out staff regarding the importance of optimal communication and escalation across all our multidisciplinary team.”

The settlement is one of the highest before the High Court for a person who has suffered extensive brain damage at birth.

Calum’s legal counsel Dr John O’Mahony SC informed the court that the young boy’s speech is “enormously limited” and he suffers with dyskinetic cerebral palsy requiring 24-hour care and  is confined to a wheelchair.

Dr O’Mahony continued: “He was born in good condition and a bad infection developed. The hospital were not alert when they should have been, Calum developed meningitis and there were devastating personal sequelae for him and for the rest of his life.”

In the legal action it was alleged that there was a delay, following Calum’s birth on August 1, 2012,  in diagnosing and treating his Group B streptococcal infection to the point where it progressed to the stage where he suffered meningitis and significant brain injury. In addition to this it was also alleged there was a failure to ensure the proper assessment of the baby when midwifery personnel had recorded their concerns for the baby on three occasions on the afternoon/evening of August 2.

Liability was accepted in the case and the settlement was agreed by all parties in the legal action.

Speaking to the court following the approval of the settlement, the family said they hope their son will now receive the treatment he needs. Calum’s mother Linda informed Mr Justice Kevin Cross how Calum and her family have suffered. She said: “We want him now to have a team working with him and to have one to one for speech and other therapies. He always has a big smile on his face and he is very sociable.”

In approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he felt it was a good one and should not be thought of as  a “bonus” by anybody. Rather it is to provide assistance and treatment to Calum for the remainder of his life. He concluded by wishing the family well for the future and praised the parents for the support that they have provided to Calum.

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€35,000 Wrongful Death Compensation Awarded to Family Due to ‘Very Tragic’ Death of Infant Son

A wrongful death compensation payment of €35,000 has been approved at the High Action in a legal action taken by the family of an infant boy, who died a few hours after he was delivered, against the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.

Richard Kean SC, instructed by solicitor Caoimhe Haughey for the plaintiffs said that the case arose out of what the untimely and “very tragic” death of baby Rory.

The November 19 2015 death of infant  Rory Jason Sweeney Butler at the maternity hospital resulted in his parents, Assumpta Sweeney and Jason Butler, submitted a medical negligence compensation action against the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital. The alleged that the hospital had behaved in a negligent manner and that, due to their son Rory’s wrongful death in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit they experienced nervous shock for a number of months.

The defendant in the case accepted liability.

Mr Justice Robert Eager formally approved the statutory compensation award, referred to as the solatium for distress, to the family of the infant at the High Court. The award will be paid to Assumpta and Jason, who live in Drimnagh, Dublin 12, and to Rory’s  brothers and sisters. The court was informed that family members had waived any entitlement to any payment out of the award.

The Court was also informed that there are due to be additional, but separate, legal proceedings taken in relation the the circumstances of Rory’s death.

This not the first time that the Coombe Hospital has been directed, by the Courts, to pay compensations in relation to complications arising during the birth of a child. In 2013 the maternity  hospital was found liable in a dyskinetic cerebral palsy medical negligence compensation claim which was taken by the parents of a then 10–year-old boy who was born suffering from near total acute hypoxic ischaemia,  which a subsequent investigation into the claim for dyskinetic cerebral palsy revealed was due to medical negligence. €65,000 medical negligence was award to a boy, Dara Brennan, who sustained a facial injury during his delivery at the Coombe Hospital on November 12, 2009 and €15m was awarded to Eoin McCallig from Dunkineely in Co Donegal and his parents in relation to the injuries he sustained his birth. These injuries were caused by Eoin being deprived of oxygen at birth.

 

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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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Man settles €21m case after 17-year battle for Cerebral Palsy Compensation

At the High Court yesterday a 24-year-old Connor Corroon with cerebral palsy took a legal action in relation to the circumstances of his birth at a Cork hospital settled for a final lump sum payment of €17.5m.

The High Court approval of the final payment, one of the largest ever recorded in the State, signals the finish to a 17-year legal battle by the Corroon family. It mean the overall amount of payments made to Connor is €21.75m. Connor cannot walk unaided and must use a wheelchair to get around. He is only able to communicate with the help of special eye gaze technology.

Mr Corroon said: “Today represents the end of 17 long years. I feel free and today my life begins.” In relation to the final settlement he said: “I am happy with that. I am proud that for the first time ever I was able to speak in public and let people know what I wanted to convey rather than others guessing what I was thinking. The experience has been so liberating.”

In 2010 Conor’s case was adjourned on an interim as the legislation allowing for annual periodic payments involving the catastrophically injured was awaited. As a result of this Connor’s mother Jude pleaded with the court to permit a lump sum payment so the family could get on with their live. She asked that they allow the family to shif away from the “fishbowl life” as her son endured assessments by different specialists in advance of regular court appearances.

The court was told during an earlier hearing that Mr Corroon, of Copstown, Mallow, Co Cork, sustained catastrophic injuries when he was born at City General Hospital, Cork, in 1995 and will require care for the remainder of his life.

Mr Corroon’s legal representative David Holland SC returned to the High Court last week for a final lump sum birth injury compensation settlement. They informed the Judge that expert advice they received stated that, due to indexation, the annual periodic payment allowed for in the new legislation “will get more and more insufficient over time”. Mr Holland informed the Court that the family found the “burden of coming to court intolerable and horribly intrusive”.

Liability was conceded and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

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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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