The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for a mismanaged pregnancy in favour of a man who now suffers from cerebral palsy.
Stephen Ryan was born on 27th December 1983 at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin a day after his mother Linda – who had a history of reduced foetal movement – had been admitted to the hospital following the spontaneous onset of labour.
Linda had previously been admitted for five days between 12th December and 17th December because of her condition, but had been discharged – allegedly without any proper assessment of the risks associated with prolonging the pregnancy being conducted either while she was in hospital or up to the delivery of her son.
As a result of the prolonged pregnancy, Stephen – now thirty years of age – was born with cerebral palsy, is severely and permanently mentally and physically disabled, and will always require constant care and supervision.
In 2002, Stephen made a claim for compensation for a mismanaged pregnancy through his mother; claiming that had the National Maternity Hospital fulfilled their duty of care, Stephen would have been born sooner and the terrible birth injuries he sustained could have been avoided.
The National Maternity Hospital denied their liability for Stephen´s birth injuries up until the beginning of this year, when a settlement of €6 million compensation for a mismanaged pregnancy was negotiated without an admission of liability.
The settlement was approved at the High Court by Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who said that it had been a long struggle for Stephen´s parents, and she praised the Ryans for the care and attention they had provided for their son in his home environment until he was twenty-four years of age.
Footnote: Up until six years ago, Linda and her husband Eamon were able to take care of their son, and he now lives in a residential care unit. However, Stephen´s parents are hoping this settlement of compensation for a mismanaged pregnancy will enable him to live in his own home with a care package suited to his specific requirements.