Compensation for a Wrongful Death due to a Delayed Diagnosis Approved in Court

A mother´s settlement of compensation for a wrongful death due to a delayed diagnosis has been approved in the High Court following the premature death of the woman´s 10-month old son.  

Kaiden Costello was just six-months old when he was first admitted to Temple Street Children´s Hospital in April 2009 due his mother – Kate Costello – noticing that her son was off his food. Kaiden was diagnosed with ‘Failure to Thrive’ (FTT) but in June was diagnosed with a brain tumour following an investigative MRI. Kaiden underwent surgery the following month to remove the tumour, but three days later died in hospital.

Kate Costello and Kaiden´s father, Eric Hunter, made a compensation claim for a wrongful death due to a delayed diagnosis against Temple Street Children´s Hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE), alleging that Kaiden could have received chemotherapy treatment that would have extended his life by five to ten years had an MRI been conducted when Kaiden was first admitted to the hospital and the tumour identified earlier.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard at the High Court that liability for Kaiden´s premature death had been admitted by Temple Street Children´s Hospital, and a settlement of compensation for a wrongful due to a delayed diagnosis had been agreed upon amounting to €180,000 – €145,000 of which was to be awarded to Kate Costello for the nervous shock she experienced following the death of her son.

As a condition of the settlement, Mona Baker – CEO of Temple Street Children´s Hospital – read out a statement apologising for the errors that had been made in Kaiden´s treatment and expressing her understanding that no amount of compensation for a wrongful death due to delayed diagnosis could ever made up for the continuing heartache that was felt by the family every day.

Once the statement had been made, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement.