Court Approves Interim Compensation Settlement for Birth Injuries

An interim compensation settlement worth €1.35 has been approved by Dublin’s High Court on behalf of a disabled child.

In March 2010, the young boy in question was born at Cork University Maternity Hospital. However, his parents allege that staff at the hospital failed to correctly interpret the results of a CTG scan that indicated their child was suffering from foetal distress syndrome.

As the staff did not believe the foetus was in any danger, there was a delay in performing a Caesarean section to deliver the baby. As such, the boy suffered from hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy in the womb and was born with severe brain damage.

The child, now six years old, was left blind and unable to speak. He also suffers from daily seizures and is cared for by his parents and extended family. The family also receive support from the Jack and Jill Foundation.

Acting on her child’s behalf, the boy’s mother made a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE denied the allegations of negligence, but offered to pay an interim settlement of compensation without admitting liability. The €1.35  settlement allows for an assessment of the boy’s condition and future care needs.

Before the settlement could be awarded, it had to be approved by a judge in Dublin’s High Court.  Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who oversaw the approval hearing, was told of how hard it was for the boy’s family to get compensation for the delayed Caesarean section, and of their relief that the process was over. Wishing the family the best for the future, Judge Cross approved the settlement and adjourned the case for three years.