Young Boy Awarded €10.5m Cerebral Palsy Compensation Due to Birth Injuries

12-year-old Samuel Forde , who took a Cerebral Palsy Compensation action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) as a result of the circumstances of his birth at Sligo General Hospital has settled his High Court action for a sum of €10.5million.

With an address at Glenview Park, Grange, Co Sligo, Samuel had taken the birth injury compensation action via his mother Deborah Forde. His legal representative, Des O’Neill SC, told the High Court that it was alleged there was a failure to promptly diagnose and act upon the baby’s condition, there was also failure to admit Mrs Forde to hospital on August 19, 2006 when her condition and that of the baby could overlooked more closely and acted upon appropriately and that the pregnancy was allowed to continue well past its due date resulting in the failure to deliver the baby when he should have been. All of these claims were denied by the legal team for the Health Service Executive.

Presiding judge Justice Kevin Cross was told how Mrs Forde had gone for a check up on August 15, 2006 which had shown that nothing was out of the ordinary at this point in time. However, two days later she attended the hospital as she thought she might have gone into labour. A CTG was then applied to monitor the baby’s heartbeat .

Mrs Forde returned to hospital again two days later but was told she could go home after a number of tests were completed. A midwife had contacted her to check in by phone in relation to the baby’s movement.  When less movement was recorded on August 20 she was told to return to hospital immediately. A CTG and checks were conducted once more and Samuel was born by cesarean section August 20,2006 and he had to be intubated.

Samuel, the High Court was told, has cerebral palsy which has completely impacted his existence and he will require medical attention for the rest of his life.

The Forde family, the judge was told, only initiated court proceedings after they sought legal advice a few years ago when Samuel’s medical card was taken away a few years ago.

Solicitor David O’Malley, acting for the Fordes family said that they just hoped for Samuel to have a life which is “as happy and as included as possible. Hopefully the financial settlement can bring him that stability. Mediation was a very effective mechanism to resolve this case”.

Justice Kevin Cross, in approving the settlement without admission of liability, said the Fordes had looked after their son “over and above” and he wished “the loving and protective family” the best for the future.