The High Court has approved a €10m compensation settlement for an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy due to the circumstances of her birth at Mayo General Hospital.
This overall payment means that €12.2m is not the total amount paid to Rachel Gallagher of Straide, Foxford, Co Mayo.
Her legal representative Denis McCullough advised the court that Rachel’s parents felt strongly that they would like to complete the process with a final lump sum compensation payment. This is, he told the Hight Court, the Rachel and her family found the ongoing process – including medical examinations and assessments before court appearances – extremely difficult.
Approving the birth injury compensation settlement against the HSE, President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly stated that this would have been Rachel’s third time in court. Prior to each Court appearance, she had to go through “a battery of tests and assessments” and this created a lot of trauma for Rachel and her family.
The judge said it was a good bith injury compensation settlement that would provide for Rachel for life. Ciara Hynes, Rachel’s mother, the HSE on her behalf in relation to the events around her birth on September 28, 2006.
Ms Hynes was taken to Mayo General on September 27 and the following morning they began to induce the birth and syntocinon was started after midday.
Rachel was delivered in poor condition. It was alleged there was a failure to adequately manage and monitor the labour, delivery and birth of the baby. The court heard negligence was accepted in the case. Senior Counsel Denis McCullough advised the court that Rachel required one-to-one care because she is in danger of falling.
Counsel told the court that she (Rachel) is currently in fifth class at school and it is hoped she will go on to attend both secondary school and university.
When the Judge announced the approval, Rachel put up her hand to be allowed to thank the judge, Mr Justice Kelly.
Mr Justice Kelly remarked said very few judges are thanked and he was very grateful to Rachel. He commented that it was a good settlement, which will provide Rachel with the care she will require for the remainder of her life.