Autistic Teenager and Hospital Agree €7.25m Birth Injury Compensation Settlement

An autistic Teenager and the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) have agreed a €7.25m Birth Injury Compensation Settlement.

The award was made to a 13-year-old boy at the High Court due to the complications that took place occured during his birth at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH), Dublin on July 30, 2005.

Legal representatives for the the boy, Finn Phillips, who is on the autism spectrum, Jeremy Maher SC said that the their case was founded based on the protracted labour and difficult birth being the alleged cause of Finn’s autism. He added that this was a test case as this issue had never been determined by a court in Ireland, the UK “or anywhere”.

Finn, who took the legal action through his mother Lisa Marie Murphy, argued through his legal team that he is on the autism spectrum as a result of the complications which arose during his birth at the hospital. The National Maternity Hospital refuted all of these allegations.

Finn was given birth to through a ventouse delivery and it is alleged he was unnecessarily exposed to both asphyxia and trauma from the vacuum extraction. As a result of this, the Judge was informed he was allegedly unnecessarily exposed to their potential long term effects. The injuries he encountered it was alleged, included developmental delay and autism. It was claimed that there was an failure to manage Finn’s mother’s labour properly and an alleged failure to take action in appropriate time. Finally there was a claim made by the the legal team that Finn was pulled an unnecessary amount of times and he had been allegedly subjected to excessive tractions.

COmmenting on the award 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.”

Presiding Justice Kevin Cross was told that mediation talks had taken place last Monday and a settlement was agree to put before the court. Justice Cross said he was happy to hear it had been agreed. He wished Finn and his family all the best going forward.