Medical Negligence Resulting in Cerebral Palsy
The Senior Partner, Emmet Halley, represented a 17-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who has secured a final payment of €12,500,000.00 for settlement of his High Court action over the circumstances of his birth at University Hospital Waterford (formerly Waterford Regional Hospital).
This brings the total settlement to in excess of €15,600,000.00, as there were a number of interim settlements previously. He is a Ward of Court and cannot, therefore, be identified.
The recent settlement, which was achieved at mediation, was approved by The President of the High Court at a remote hearing at the end of July and will go towards the future care needs of the young man. She said that he is a source of great joy to his family and the settlement will give him the best quality of life.
It was commented on that he is thriving and that is due to the care provided for him by his parents over the past number of years.
He was born by emergency Caesarean section at 28 weeks gestation. Amongst the claims made, it was alleged that the decision to perform the emergency Caesarean section was negligent and also that the baby’s sodium levels had dropped unnoticed, endangering the development of the brain cells. He suffered from a series of complications associated with pre-term birth including respiratory failure and depleted sodium in his bloodstream. Two years later, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in all four limbs and later with epilepsy.
In 2013, a High Court judge ruled that a doctor’s diagnosis of abruption, which led to the decision to perform the CS, was on the balance of probabilities wrong. The decision to proceed to delivery by emergency CS in a non-emergency situation was negligent, the judge ruled.
The HSE had indicated it’s intention to appeal the decision, but later agreed to compromise the action on terms.