All Posts Tagged: birth accident compensation action

Court Approves Interim Settlement of Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy Compensation

The High Court has approved an interim settlement of dyskinetic cerebral palsy compensation for a twelve year old girl who suffered birth injuries due to the negligence of an obstetric consultant.

Mary Conroy attended the Midland Regional Hospital in Portloaise on 10th November 2001 believing that her waters had broken while pregnant with her first child. Mary was sent home after being reassured that everything was fine, but three days later attended the clinic of her private consultant obstetrician – Dr John Corristine – and, following an ultrasound, Mary insisted she be admitted into hospital.

At the Midland Regional Hospital, a CTG scan failed to show any sign of contractions, and Mary was advised to take a bath – however insufficient hot water was available at the hospital in order for her to do so. Dr Corristine then prescribed medicine that should induce labour and left the hospital. He failed to return during Mary´s labour or when she gave birth to her daughter.

Roisin was born the following morning, but suffered seizures soon after her birth and was transferred to a hospital in Dublin with more suitable neo-natal facilities. However, Roisin´s condition failed to improve and she was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy – as a result of which she is permanently disabled and can only communication with eye movement.

Mary blamed herself for Roisin´s devastating birth injuries, and insisted on having two further children delivered by Caesarean Section. Both she and her husband Kevin gave up their jobs to care for Roisin, believing what the hospital had told them that nothing could have been done to prevent the tragedy and that they were “just unlucky”.

However, after speaking with a solicitor, an investigation was launched into the events prior to Roisin´s birth, and the couple made a claim for dyskinetic cerebral palsy compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Dr Corristine.  Both defendants denied their liability for Roisin´s injuries for almost two years until – five weeks before a court hearing was due to take place – both the hospital and Dr Corristine admitted that mistakes had been made in the management of Mary´s pregnancy.

An interim settlement of dyskinetic cerebral palsy compensation amounting to €2.3 million was negotiated and, at the High Court in Dublin, the settlement was approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine after an apology was read to the family by an HSE representative and Dr Corristine. Ms Justice Mary Irvine then adjourned the case for two years so that a study of Roisin´s future needs can be made and to allow time for legislation to be passed allowing a structured compensation payment system.

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Judge Approves Compensation for Failing to Refer a Patient to a Specialist

A High Court judge has approved an interim settlement of compensation for failing to refer a patient to a specialist which resulted in a young girl being born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

Isabelle Sheehan from Mallow in County Cork was delivered by emergency Caesarean Section at the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in November 2004, after the results of an earlier blood test on her mother – Catherine – had revealed a sudden increase in the presence of antibodies.

Although the antibodies would have been in conflict with those of Isabelle´s father – Colm – Catherine Sheehan´s paediatric consultant had failed to refer Catherine to an expert in foetal medicine; and, when Isabelle was born, she was diagnosed with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

On Isabelle´s behalf, Catherine Sheehan made a claim for compensation for failing to refer a patient to a specialist; alleging that, had an expert in foetal medicine seen the results of the blood test in good time, Isabelle would not have been born with such devastating birth injuries.

At a hearing in October 2011, the paediatric consultant – Dr David Corr – admitted that he had made a mistake by failing to refer Catherine to specialist and, on that occasion, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill approved an initial settlement of compensation in the amount of €1.9 million.

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill adjourned the original hearing for two years to allow for a structured compensation payment system to be introduced, but with no such facility yet in place, the case was heard again by Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that a further interim settlement of compensation for failing to refer a patient to a specialist amounting to €635,000  had been agreed to pay for the care Isabelle will need for the next two years – by which time it is hoped that a more suitable solution is available as an option.

After hearing that Isabelle is “bright and intelligent”, and keeping up with children in her mainstream national school class with help from an assistant, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the second settlement of compensation for failing to refer a patient to a specialist, and adjourned the case for a further two years.

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Couple Agree Compensation for Emotional Trauma after Baby´s Death

A young couple from Dublin, whose child could not be resuscitated after she was born by emergency C-Section, have agreed a settlement of compensation for an emotional trauma after their baby´s death.  

Jane Farren and Feidhlimidh Wrafter from Rathgar in Dublin both suffered nervous shock when their new-born baby could not be resuscitated after being delivered by an emergency Caesarean Section at the Rotunda Hospital on 16 October 2008.

They made a claim for compensation for an emotional trauma after a baby´s death against both the Rotunda Hospital and consultant gynaecologist Professor Fergal Malone, alleging that during the period immediately before their daughter´s delivery, Jane´s labour had been mismanaged.

Jane had been admitted to the hospital on the previous day due to a spontaneous membrane rupture. She had been given Syntocinin to induce her labour and, at 3.45am in the morning, a vacuum delivery had been attempted.

Half an hour later, Jane and Feidhlimidh´s daughter – Molly – was delivered by an emergency Caesarean Section, but staff at the hospital could not resuscitate her, and Molly was declared dead twenty minutes later.

In their compensation claim for an emotional trauma after a baby´s death, Jane and Feidhlimidh alleged that Professor Malone and nursing staff at the hospital had failed to identify abnormalities in the foetal heart rate at an early enough stage, and when the abnormalities were noticed, failed to act upon them in a timely manner.

It was also alleged that the couple had been misinformed during Jane´s labour and the delivery of their daughter, and that they were led to believe after Molly´s death that the cause of death could not be explained and there was nothing that could have been done to prevent it.

The Rotunda Hospital and Professor Malone denied their liability for Molly´s death; however the High Court was told that a settlement of compensation for an emotional trauma after a baby´s death had been negotiated amounting to €150,000 without admission of liability and that the case could be struck out.

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Undisclosed Settlement in Birth Accident Compensation Action

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has apologised to a family for the death of their young son from meningitis at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, County Louth, and resolved a claim for birth accident compensation in an undisclosed out of court settlement.

The family of four month old Dean Patrick Kenny from Drogheda, County Louth, brought a birth accident compensation action for wrongful death against the hospital and HSE, claiming that the hospital staff had failed to diagnose their son’s condition and discharged him when it was unsafe to do so.

The family claimed in their birth accident compensation action that Dean had been referred to the hospital with suspected meningitis by the family GP early in the morning of July 1st 2002. Dean was tended to and discharged, and the family went home where Dean’s condition continued to deteriorate.

After a later visit to their GP – where meningitis was confirmed – they returned to the hospital, but it was too late to save little Dean, who passed away that evening.

In their defence, the hospital and HSE denied birth accident negligence, and pleaded it had complied with general approved medical practices. They alleged that Dean did not show clinical features of bacterial meningitis and was feeding as normal.

However, shortly before High Court proceedings were about to commence, Mr Justice John Quirke was informed that the HSE had made an undisclosed offer of birth accident compensation settlement, which was accepted by the family, and the case was to be struck out.

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