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12-year-old Boy Awarded €10.5m Birth Injury Compensation Settlement

A €10.5million birth injury compensation settlement has been awarded to Samuel Forde (12) who took a legal action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) with regard to the manner his delivery at Sligo General Hospital in August 2006.

Submitting the medical negligence action on his behalf Samuel’s mother Deborah Forde, through legal representative Des O’Neill SC, claimed that he (Samuel) was not swiftly diagnosed and treated for his condition prior to delivery. He added that there was a perceived failure to admit Mrs Forde to hospital on August 19, 2006 so that she could be observed and treated accordingly. Finally, he said that the pregnancy was allowed to go on too long beyond the due date resulting in the failure to deliver the baby at the proper time.

Legal counsel for the HSE denied all of these allegations.

At the High Court Justice Kevin Cross was informed how Mrs Forde had attended a check up on August 15, 2006 which had shown anything unordinary. However, when she went for a further review two days later, as she felt she was in labour, a CTG was applied to observe the baby’s heartbeat . Mrs Forde, who now resides at Glenview Park, Grange, Co Sligo was then told that she could return home after a number of tests were carried out.

When a midwife checked in by phone with Mrs Forde on August 20 she (Mrs Forde) said that there was little movement she was told to attend the hospital immediately. A CTG and checks were carried out again and Samuel was delivered via cesarean section August 20,2006. Following delivery he had to be intubated.

The High Court in the High Court was told that Samuel has cerebral palsy from birth which has totally impacted his life. He now requires lifelong care.

The Forde family submitted a legal action once Samuel’s medical card was withdrawn a few years ago.

After the approval of the compensation settlement Solicitor David O’Malley for the Fordes said the family longed for their son to live his life “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 said the Fordes had tended to their son’s needs “over and above”.

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