A child´s claim for an avoidable deterioration of hearing against the HSE has been resolved with the approval of a €340,000 compensation settlement.
In April 2006, when Clodagh Enright was four years of age, her mother – Eileen – noticed that she was having speech difficulties. She contacted the local health nurse responsible for speech and language, who referred Clodagh to the audiology department of her local hospital to have her hearing checked.
The initial hearing test came back all clear; but, still worried about her daughter´s speech, Eileen Enright persisted with her concerns. A second hearing test was arranged in May 2007, that detected Clodagh had a significant hearing impediment.
Clodagh underwent a cochlear implant and had hearing aids fitted to help resolve the problem. However her parents claimed that, had the problem been identified in the first examination, Clodagh´s hearing impediment would not have deteriorated to such an extent, and she would not have lost ground in her education.
Through her mother, Clodagh made a claim for an avoidable deterioration of hearing against the Health Service Executive (HSE). An admission of liability was made by the HSE and a settlement of the claim negotiated amounting to €340,000.
As the claim for an avoidable deterioration of hearing had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be resolved in order to ensure it was in Clodagh´s best interests.
Consequently, at the High Court in Cork, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of Clodagh´s injury and the progress she had made in the intervening years. The judge approved the settlement, saying it was a good one in the circumstances, and ordered that it be paid into court funds until Clodagh reaches the age of eighteen in four years.