€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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