Court Approves Interim Compensation Settlement for Medical Negligence

A second interim compensation settlement has been approved by a judge for failure to act on CTG readings of a woman in labour, resulting in her son being born with cerebral palsy.

When Luke Miggin, now aged eight from Athboy in Co. Meath, was born in February 2006 he was starved of oxygen in the womb. Luke was born at the Mullingar General Hospital, where his mother’s obstetrician – Mr Michael Gannon – did not act upon abnormal CTG readings that indicated a slow foetal heartbeat.

Luke had to be resuscitated upon his birth and transferred to a special unit, where the diagnosis of cerebral palsy was made. Luke is now reliant on round-the-clock care, and is unable to walk.

Emily, Luke’s mother, made a claim for compensation on her son’s behalf against Mr Gannon and the Health Service Executive. In 2010, the HSE admitted liability for Luke’s injuries, and an initial interim compensation settlement was approved by Mr Justice John Quirke. The case was then adjourned to allow legislation to pass that would entitle Luke to a more suitable settlement.

However, when the case was heard again this year, the aforementioned legislation had not yet been passed. The case was heard at Dublin’s High Court, where Ms Justice Mary Irvine criticised the Minister of Justice for this failure, saying that it prevented many families from moving on from their tragedies.

Judge Irvine proceeded to approve a second settlement of compensation for Luke, and the case was adjourned for a further three years.