Claim for Delay in Delivering Child Resolved after Hearing at the High Court

A claim for the delay in delivering a child, made on behalf of a thirteen year old girl against the Coombe Hospital in Dublin, has been resolved after a hearing at the High Court.

Katie Martin from Trim in County Meath was born on November 9th 2000 at the Coombe Hospital after her mother – Fiona – had been admitted to the hospital very early in the morning complaining of having irregular contractions.

Following her admission into hospital, Fiona underwent a CTG trace which – it was alleged in court – registered abnormal readings that suggested Katie was being deprived of oxygen in the womb.

However, it took nearly an hour and a half for an emergency Caesarean Section to be organised and, when Katie was delivered, she showed no signs of life having suffered a cardiac arrest.

Staff at the hospital were fortunately able to resuscitate Katie, but the infant had suffered severe brain injuries due to a lack of oxygen in the womb and she will require constant care for the rest of her life.

Fiona Martin made a compensation claim for the delay in delivering a child on her daughter´s behalf, but the Coombe Hospital denied its liability for Katie´s injuries, and argued that Katie was deprived of oxygen in the womb before her mother arrived at the hospital.

The hospital argued that that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent Katie´s brain injury and prepared a full defence against the compensation claim for the delay in delivering a child.

However, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that a settlement of €4 million compensation for a delayed birth injury had been negotiated without admission of liability from the hospital, and that the case was before her for approval of the settlement.

The judge was told the circumstances of Katie´s brain damage before approving the settlement and commenting that it was a good one in the circumstances.