€7.25m injuries at birth compensation has been awarded in favour of a 13-year-old autistic boy at the High Court in relation to the suffering he underwent at the time of his birth at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH), Dublin on July 30, 2005.
Finn Phillips, who is on the autism spectrum, was legally represented .in court by Jeremy Maher SC. Mr Maher said Finn was taking the legal action due to the protracted labour and difficult birth which, it is claimed, were the cause of Finn’s autism. In addition to this he said that this was a test case as this issue had never been looked into by a court in Ireland, the UK “or anywhere”.
Taking the legal action through his mother Lisa Marie Murphy, Finn’s legal team told the court that he is on the autism spectrum due to problems which occurred during his birth at the hospital. The National Maternity Hospital did not accept these claims.
A ventouse delivery was use for Finn’s birth and it is claimed he was unnecessarily exposed to both asphyxia and trauma from the vacuum extraction. The Judge was told that this resulted in Finn being unnecessarily exposed to their possible long term effects. The injuries he experienced, it was claimed, incorporated developmental delay and autism. Court was told that there was an alleged failure to handle Finn’s mother’s labour appropriately and an alleged failure to use appropriate steps in the required time limits. Lastly there was a claim from his legal counsel that Finn experienced an excessive number of pulls and he had also been allegedly subjected to excessive tractions.
Finn’s mother Lisa Marie Murphy said: ” (her son) is a wonderful boy. He would have been a fantastic man if everything had gone according to plan. Now we can make strides to help him be the best man he can be,” she said. The settlement means as parents we don’t have to worry, Finn’s care is there. It means we can go privately for his care.”
Mediation talks had taken place last Monday and Justice Kevin Cross was informed that a settlement was being brought before the court for final approval. In approving this settlement, Justice Cross said he was satisfied to hear it had been come to and he gave his best wished to Finn and his family all the best for the future.