Interim Settlement Approved in Claim for Birth Injuries due to Hospital Negligence

A €2 million interim settlement of compensation has been approved at the High Court for a family who made a claim for birth injuries due to hospital negligence on behalf of their son.

Dylan Kenny was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital in January 2010 after a catalogue of errors by the hospital´s medical staff had left him deprived of oxygen in the womb. Dylan subsequently suffers from cerebral palsy, is unable to walk independently and has difficulty expressing himself verbally.

On behalf of their son, Claire O´Brien and Lloyd Kenny from Waterford made a claim for birth injuries due to hospital negligence in which it was alleged that there had been a failure to monitor the foetal heart rate during Claire´s labour, acknowledge there were problems after a worrisome CTG trace, and to react within a reasonable time to signs of foetal distress and hypoxia.

It was claimed that, had Dylan been delivered earlier, his birth injuries would not have been so severe; and, in June, the Health Service Executive (HSE) acknowledged that mistakes had been made in the management of Claire´s labour, admitted liability for Dylan´s brain injuries and issued an apology.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice John Cook was told that the case was before him for the approval of a €2 million interim settlement of compensation for birth injuries due to hospital negligence. Judge Cook heard that the interim settlement was to provide care for Dylan for a period of three years to allow for his future needs to be assessed and for the possible introduction of a structured compensation scheme.

After hearing that Dylan´s parents were happy with the interim payment, and preferred it to the lump sum payment proposed by the HSE and State Claims Agency, Judge Cook approved the settlement of compensation for birth injuries due to hospital negligence.