16-Year-Old Girl Awarded €23.5m Birth Injury Compensation due to Injuries Sustained during Delivery

Today at the High Court a €23.5 million birth injury settlement was approved for 16-year-old Kameela Kuye, who suffered catastrophic brain injuries during her birth in 2004,This is the largest lump sump of birth injury compensation ever to be awarded in the Irish State.

With an address at Upper Clevedon, Kilmoney, Carrigaline, Co Cork, Kameela Kuye had taken the legal action, via her father, against the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to the circumstances of her delivery on December 22, 2004 at St Finbarr’s Hospital in Cork.  The HSE denied liability in the case.

The High Court heard Kameela was in good condition at the beginning of her delivery labour but was ‘next to death’ by the time she was born. It was argued by the legal representatives of the Kuye family that there had been an inadequate watch maintained on Kameela’s foetal heart beat during her delivery. Due to this, they informed the Judge, the catastrophic and life-changing injuries that she sustained could have been avoided.

Additionally the legal team claimed that the infant was deprived of oxygen for a period of time and then sustained a significant brain injury due to her state of distress not being recognised. If it had been discovered more quickly a speedier delivery could have avoided any deprivation of oxygen. The Judge was informed that, rather that using continuous electronic monitoring, Kameela’s heart rate was recorded at 15-minute intervals during the initial stage part of labour and then at five-minute intervals throughout the second part of labour. When she was delivered, the infant had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.

Legal representatives for the HSE said, in defence, that there had been no indication that there was any need to additional for concerns due to the fact that this was the third child that Kameela’s mother was given birth two and there had been no complications in her previous two deliveries. Her mother was 28-years-old at the time of Kameela’s birth and in good health.

According the HSE there had been no sign that there was an issue while the infant’s heart rate until eight minutes before she was delivered. When the potential heart rate deceleration was noticed finally noticed an obstetric registrar was contacted. It was added that, even if the issue had been identified more quickly, it is unlikely that delivery would have taken place any more quickly. This claim was supported with defence documents stating the amount of time it took for the obstetric registrar in question to arrive on the scene and the number of potential interventions that would have required anaesthesia. Due to this the legal team for the defence argued that result of the delivery would have been the same, and infant would have suffered the significant brain injuries, regardless of the course of events that took place.

The birth injury compensation settlement was approved by the Judge without an admission of liability.

Kameela’s mother, Ganiyat, is currently participating in a Masters in Social Work programme while her father works in logistics. The court was told that family was satisfied with settlement. In a statement read to the High Court by the Kuye family’s legal team they said that the compensation award will ‘assist in her future care and give her a better quality of life’. They added that no amount of money can change Kameela’s life and the damages will not make up for the significant injuries that she suffered during her birth.

 

 

 

 

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Alleged Negligence Hospital Compensation Settlement €68,000 Approved for Family of Deceased Woman

The relatives of a woman who passed away following suffering from a sepsis infection brought on by peritonitis have had a €68,000 compensation settlement from the HSE for alleged negligence in her treatment approved.

72-year-old Rose Malley passed away at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin, on March 19, 2015. Ms Malley, who had a history of pancreatitis, allegedly died after suffering from septic as she was having a Peg feeding tube shifted to address her health issues.

Yesterday at the High Court Justice Garrett Simons gave his approval for a compensation settlement in relation to Mrs Malley’s untimely death. Mrs Malley was mother to a family of six and lived in Crossmolina, Co Mayo at the time of her death.

The HSE medical negligence includes the complete €35,000 solatium – the statutory payment according to the Civil Liability Act – €8,402 in special damages, and all other measured legal expenses.

Catherine O’Malley – daughter of the deceased woman – from  Latchford Green, Clonee, Dublin submitted the legal action on behalf of her family. They were represented in court by Alistair Rutherdale BL.

IMr Rutherford told the court that it was being claimed that there was negligence involved in the insertion, monitoring and application of a Peg tube. This, he said, resulted in Mrs O’Malley sustaining the sepsis infection that lead to her death.

Mrs O’Malley was receiving treatment in relation to cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder. Due to this she was scheduled for the surgery in October 2012 at Mayo General Hospital. It was alleged by the plaintiff that choosing to leave gallstones in place lead to a heightened danger of more problems, such as acute pancreatitis, occuring.

Mr Rutherdale said the family were arguing that Mrs O’Malley should not have been discharged on December 3 after attending Blanchardstown hospital on December 27, 2014. She had been suffering with symptoms including vomiting at the time. On January 5 she was readmitted and diagnosed with pancreatitis and pneumobilia.

Counsel for the plaintiff told the court that their mother was completing a slow recovery and, as part of that, she had a Peg feeding tube inserted on March 13, 2015. Tragically, it appears that the tube had moved and peritonitis developed which lead to her death.

A €68,000 settlement was agreed and the family released a statement to say that they submitted the action to “highlight the deficiencies” in their mother’s treatment.

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€4.7m Interim Compensation Settlement for Girl who Sustained Serious Brain Injury in Car Crash

A €4.7m interim car crash injury compensation payout has been approved in a High Court action taken by a five-year old girl who suffered a serious brain injury when, as a baby, she was a involved in a road traffic collision.

When the head on car crash occurred Luna Vezignol McGuinness was just over three months old. She was on  holidays with her parents in Lissycasey, Co Clare on February 27, 2016.

Luna’s counsel, Oonah McCrann SC, instructed by Ernest Cantillon, solicitor, said the compensation action was being taken as a result of the ‘tragic circumstances; of the accident. She informed the court that Luna’s father, who is originally from France a French national was driving the family car at this time of the crash. He was pulling out from a petrol station and suffered from “a momentary lapse of concentration”. Unfortunately he drove onto the road prior to the infant being fully strapped in and secured in the baby seat.

Luna sustained multiple skull fractures and she was rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Limerick and later moved to Dublin, where she underwent surgery. She was not sent home from hospital until the end of April 2016 and she then spent four months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital. Counsel said Luna is very much loved and brings joy to all her family.

It was alleged in the legal action that Luna’s father Mr Vezignol drove the hire car on the incorrect side of the carriageway and the collision took place an oncoming vehicle. It was also claimed there was an alleged failure to see to it that the intended path of travel was safe and free of vehicles and an alleged failure to keep any proper regard for other road users.

Liability was accepted in the legal action, which was before the court for assessment of damages only.

The Judge was informed that Luna suffers with a type of cerebral palsy and is a beautiful little girl. While her father remains in full-time employment, her mother devotes “every minute of every day” to her daughter’s care. Despite Luna’s uncle and mother both suffering injuries in the crash they had not brought compensation claims in relation to said injuries.

Luna was taking the legal action – through her mother Orla Vezignol McGuinness who has an address at Donadea, Co Kildare – against her own father Laurent Vezignol, and the owner of the car, Flynn Bros Rent a Car Ballygar, Athlone Road, Roscommon town.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, in giving his approval for the interim compensation settlement,  praised both parents for the care that they are providing for the their daughter. He said that Luna has progressed greatly due to this care and that the claim was necessary claim. Additionally he remarked that other significant claims by Luna’s mother and uncle had not been pursued.

The case to due for further consideration in five years when her future care needs will be assessed.

 

 

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Childbirth Negligence Compensation Settlement of €3m for Limerick Man (27)

27-year-old Kennedy O’Brien from Limerick has settled his High Court birth negligence compensation in relation to the care he received at t Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick in 1993.

The legal action, was was referred to as ‘enormously complex, was settled with no acceptance of liability.

The young man’s legal representative in court informed the Judge that they were alleging that it had taken more than three hours for the medical team to review the new born baby’s blood sugar levels. This was at the time of Mr O’Brien’s delivery in 1993.

An additional claim stated that, following Mr O’Brien’s birth, there was a failure to feed him inside of the first hour post delivery or review blood sugar levels in a timely fashion as is so vital. This alleged absence of monitoring post delivery until Mr O’Brien was more than three hours old had a massive impact on him, it was claimed. Counsel alleged that a major delay in reacting to Mr O’Brien’s severe hypoglycaemia then impacted his long-term neurological condition.

Taking the legal action via his mother, Helen Egan O’Brien, Mr O’Brien with an address at Knockbrack West, Lisnagry, Co Limerick, sued the Health Service Executive in relation to the standardof care following his delivery at the hospital. At the time of his birth at 9.13am on September 14, 1993 Mr O’Brien weighed 2.6kg. It was claimed he was growth-­restricted and in particular danger of ­hypoglycaemia in the neonatal period. Counsel told the High Court that the newborn baby should have been fed early and blood sugar measurements should have been taken soon after this.

However, when the blood sugar levels were finally tested at around 12.25pm, it was discovered that claimed the measurement was so low it did not register on the glucometer which was used. Allegation were made that this situation should have resulted in emergency treatment for the infant.

The following day, September 15 1993, it seen that Kennedy was jittery. However, he was feeding regularly and still having some dextrose intravenously. After this he experience seizures and was diagnosed with cognitive delay. All of these allegation were denied by the counsel for the defence.

Mr O’Brien underwent an MRI brain scan when he was aged 16. It was alleged that this scan indicated there were some changes and which allegedly may have been caused by hypoglycaemia in the neonatal period.

As he was giving his approval for the childbirth negligence compensation, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the figure of €3m was a very good one. Kennedy’s father, Kennedy Snr, informed the court the family was satisfied with how everything has gone so far and added that his son needed ongoing support and “we are there for him”.

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Girl who Lost Mother to Breast Cancer after Birth Awarded €900,000 Compensation

In the High Court a nine-year-old girl has settled for a wrongful death of family member action for €900,000.

Eugene Gleeson SC , acting on behalf of Gracie Hamilton informed the Court that she Garcia was delivered at 28 weeks and five days gestation due to the fact that her mother Melissa was suffering from Stage 4 breast cancer. He informed the the young mother died of breast cancer after two missed opportunities to diagnose the disease.

In a previous compensation action in 2015, Gracie’s father, Séamus Hamilton and his two other daughters Jessica (now 15) and Darcey (now 11) settled their High Court actions for €1.35 million in relation to the same incident. Melissa was just 34 years old a the time of her death on September 8, 2011, just eight days after the birth of Gracie. Melissa has only been diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks previous to her death.

In the earlier legal action Letterkenny General Hospital issued an unreserved apology that Melissa Hamilton’s cancer was not diagnosed and dealt with at an earlier stage. The letter, which was read out in court expressed “deepest and sincere regrets” on the devastating loss of Melissa to Seamus and his daughters. It read: “I realise no words can make up for the loss that you and your children have experienced and our thoughts are with you all in these difficult times.”

The Health Service Executive (HSE) it was alleged had been responsible for failings in the the control, management and operation of the Breast Centre North West triple assessment clinic in Letterkenny General Hospital. In addition to this it had a duty to take all reasonable steps to safeguard Mrs Hamilton’s life and a duty to those close to her including Gracie.

It was further claimed there was a failure to diagnose Mrs Hamilton’s cancer at an earlier treatable stage and negligent delay in achieving a cancer diagnosis. Liability was accepted in the case.

Mr Gleeson SC informed presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross that  Gracie suffers with congenital sensory neural deafness and has undergone a nine-hour surgical procedure in order to insert an implant in her ear to try and address this. Gracie, he informed the Judge, is doing very well at school but her options for a career in future will be severely restricted. Gracie Hamilton , Sallywood, Killygordon,Lifford, Co Donegal took the legal action against the HSE via her father Seamus Hamilton.

Mr Hamilton, speaking in court, said that Gracie is a “fighter” and that, while the settlement would not bring back his wife, he was satisfied with the outcome. He added: “We are overcoming the hurdles.”

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, in approving the cancer misdiagnosis settlement, said he was delighted to hear Gracie is doing so well.

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Boy Awarded €22.5m Delayed Diagnosis Birth Accident Compensation Settlement at High Court

At the High Court an eight-year-old boy has had an €22.5m brain damage at birth compensation settlement approved. He had contracted meningitis infection in the days after his birth.

An apology was read out in court by Cork University Maternity Hospital to the boy in question, Calum Spillane and his family, in relation to “the delay in diagnosing Calum’s infection and the injuries he suffered. We can only express our sincere regret to you and your family for what has happened and wish you both and your two boys Calum and Tom the very best for the future.

“CUMH have learned important lessons from your experience and we continue to educate out staff regarding the importance of optimal communication and escalation across all our multidisciplinary team.”

The settlement is one of the highest before the High Court for a person who has suffered extensive brain damage at birth.

Calum’s legal counsel Dr John O’Mahony SC informed the court that the young boy’s speech is “enormously limited” and he suffers with dyskinetic cerebral palsy requiring 24-hour care and  is confined to a wheelchair.

Dr O’Mahony continued: “He was born in good condition and a bad infection developed. The hospital were not alert when they should have been, Calum developed meningitis and there were devastating personal sequelae for him and for the rest of his life.”

In the legal action it was alleged that there was a delay, following Calum’s birth on August 1, 2012,  in diagnosing and treating his Group B streptococcal infection to the point where it progressed to the stage where he suffered meningitis and significant brain injury. In addition to this it was also alleged there was a failure to ensure the proper assessment of the baby when midwifery personnel had recorded their concerns for the baby on three occasions on the afternoon/evening of August 2.

Liability was accepted in the case and the settlement was agreed by all parties in the legal action.

Speaking to the court following the approval of the settlement, the family said they hope their son will now receive the treatment he needs. Calum’s mother Linda informed Mr Justice Kevin Cross how Calum and her family have suffered. She said: “We want him now to have a team working with him and to have one to one for speech and other therapies. He always has a big smile on his face and he is very sociable.”

In approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he felt it was a good one and should not be thought of as  a “bonus” by anybody. Rather it is to provide assistance and treatment to Calum for the remainder of his life. He concluded by wishing the family well for the future and praised the parents for the support that they have provided to Calum.

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€35,000 Wrongful Death Compensation Awarded to Family Due to ‘Very Tragic’ Death of Infant Son

A wrongful death compensation payment of €35,000 has been approved at the High Action in a legal action taken by the family of an infant boy, who died a few hours after he was delivered, against the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.

Richard Kean SC, instructed by solicitor Caoimhe Haughey for the plaintiffs said that the case arose out of what the untimely and “very tragic” death of baby Rory.

The November 19 2015 death of infant  Rory Jason Sweeney Butler at the maternity hospital resulted in his parents, Assumpta Sweeney and Jason Butler, submitted a medical negligence compensation action against the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital. The alleged that the hospital had behaved in a negligent manner and that, due to their son Rory’s wrongful death in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit they experienced nervous shock for a number of months.

The defendant in the case accepted liability.

Mr Justice Robert Eager formally approved the statutory compensation award, referred to as the solatium for distress, to the family of the infant at the High Court. The award will be paid to Assumpta and Jason, who live in Drimnagh, Dublin 12, and to Rory’s  brothers and sisters. The court was informed that family members had waived any entitlement to any payment out of the award.

The Court was also informed that there are due to be additional, but separate, legal proceedings taken in relation the the circumstances of Rory’s death.

This not the first time that the Coombe Hospital has been directed, by the Courts, to pay compensations in relation to complications arising during the birth of a child. In 2013 the maternity  hospital was found liable in a dyskinetic cerebral palsy medical negligence compensation claim which was taken by the parents of a then 10–year-old boy who was born suffering from near total acute hypoxic ischaemia,  which a subsequent investigation into the claim for dyskinetic cerebral palsy revealed was due to medical negligence. €65,000 medical negligence was award to a boy, Dara Brennan, who sustained a facial injury during his delivery at the Coombe Hospital on November 12, 2009 and €15m was awarded to Eoin McCallig from Dunkineely in Co Donegal and his parents in relation to the injuries he sustained his birth. These injuries were caused by Eoin being deprived of oxygen at birth.

 

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Additional Birth Injury Compensation of €3m Awarded to Boy (14)

An additional birth injury compensation settlement of €3m has been approved for Luke Miggin, who has cerebral palsy.

This brings the total amount of compensation awarded to Luke to over €6m the amount in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Mullingar General Hospital in February 2006.

This interim settlement is the result of mediation talks and should account for Luke’s needs over the coming six years. He took the legal action, in relation to his injuries sustained at birth, via his mother Emily Miggin. They sued the health Service Executive and consultant obstetrician, Michael Gannon, of Mullingar Hospital.

On February 28 2006 Luke was delivered shortly after 5pm on February 28th 2006. In a previous action the Judge was informed that Luke would not have sustained his injuries if he had been delivered one hour earlier. Liability was accepted by the HSE and Dr Gannon.

Justice Kevin Cross was informed by Luke’s legal representative, Denis McCullough SC, for the boy, that he (Luke) is happy at school and is a bright and enthusiastic child. Emily, who had been working as a therapist, is now tending to her son and providing care in a full-time capacity.

During the hearing Ms Miggin told the Judge that this is her son’s fifth time in court and he had first settled the compensation in 2011 with the first interim payment amounting to €1.35m. Since that time, she informed the Court, Luke has had to have 80 assessments to date in preparation for the court approved payouts. She said: “The system should be easier”.

Ms Miggin told Justice Cross that Luke is a fabulous child who has complex needs and they were blessed with very good carers and she would give the money back fivefold to see her son kick a football. She said she was heartbroken and both her son and she had lost an awful lot.

Justice Cross praised the care and love that Ms Miggin has given to Luke and wished her well for the future. The case is due for further review in six years’ time when Luke’s future care needs will be reviewed.

 

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€6.5m Medical Negligence Settlement for Disabled Teenager

At the High Court a 19-year-old man with cerebral palsy has settled a High Court action, taken in relation to injuries his sustained at the time of his birth in the Rotunda Hospital, for €6.5m.

The settlement includes €500,000 related to past care and several thousand euro is to be dedicated to allow the man question, Ross McNally, to invest in assisted technology. Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross gave his approval for the agreed €6.5m settlement figure and praised both sets of legal teams on successful mediation talks.

The court was informed by Siun Leonowicz BL, instructed by solicitor Tim O’Hanrahan, that this settlement for Mr McNally was the result of the mediation talks which begun in the last few weeks. Prior to the mediation beginning liability in the case had been conceded.

Ms Leonowicz this week told the court that Mr McNally suffered a hypoxic ischaemic injury at the time of his birth.

The legal action was taken by Mr McNally, Sherrard Court, Dublin, via his mother Samantha McNally, against the Rotunda Hospital in relation to the events that took place during his delivery on March 8, 2001.

Due to the the onset of labour and CTG tracing, his mother was taken to hospital on March 7, 2001, On the morning of March 8, analysis showed that the foetal heart-rate pattern on the CTG was deteriorating, according to those monitoring Ms McNally.

The court was informed that the Syntocinon treatment, which allows the muscles of the womb to contract, was started at 5.30am and steadily increased, despite the worsening appearance of foetal heart rate on the CTG tracing. In addition to this it was alleged that labour was allowed to progress at 8.15am despite the pathological appearance of the CTG. At 9.20am a decision was made to deliver Ross. An emergency caesarean section was carried out and he was born at 9.50am. However he was in a cyanosed condition.

The legal action that was taken alleged that there was a failure to identify atypical deceleration on CTG tracing and that it was pathological. In addition to this it was claimed that there was a failure to manage or appropriately manage the second stage of labour and the baby’s delivery was delayed by 65 minutes.

Ms McNally informed the court, via an affidavit to the court, that she is happy with the settlement.

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HSE Sued by Boy with Cerebral Palsy Following Claims Doctor was Struck Off in UK

A boy with cerebral palsy who is taking a legal action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) linked with the circumstances his birth is alleging that his care was entrusted to a doctor who had previously been struck off in the United Kingdom.

At the High Court it was revealed that Tadhg McKenna, of Sruth An Mhuillan, Emyvale, Co Monaghan, is now pursuing a compensation claim for aggravated damages due to the involvement of Dr Aamir Iqbal Malik was allegedly working on his birth.

In May, Dr Malik was suspended by the High Court from the medical register in Ireland pending further order.

That court was informed that Dr Malik, who qualified as a doctor in Pakistan in 1989, had been struck off the medical register in the UK in 2018 for professional misconduct due to dishonesty in relation to his conduct as a doctor in that country.

The case is based on allegations that the care of Tadhg, who has quadriplegia cerebral palsy, was entrusted to Dr Malik during his care at birth in Cavan General Hospital. It is alleged that Dr Malik was not professionally qualified or competent enough to provide the required care either at all or without the correct supervision.

It is claimed that the HSE owed a duty to ensure the employment as well as deployment of a medical team, specifically medical doctors. The HSE also should have carried this out in such a way as to ensure that any doctors registered with a non national registration authority were appropriately qualifiedand that any disciplinary investigation or sanction imposed was made known.

Justice Kevin Cross was informed that the new revelations have lead to more stress for the McKennas but they would would like to avoid the case being delayed. Legal representatives for the HSE said it is currently reviewing the new revelations.

Liability had previously been conceded in relation to breach of duty but causation had remained at issue. Tadhg, through his mother Emma Louise McKenna, sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth on August 31, 2017.

The case was listed for further hearing in September.

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