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Judge Approves Compensation in Birth Negligence Claim

A judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a young boy who suffers from cerebral palsy due to negligence surrounding his birth.

A baby boy (now six-year-of-age) was delivered at the Sligo General Hospital in May 2010. A CTG trace had been taken at 5:30pm, and it is alleged that it indicated the boy was suffering from foetal distress syndrome. However, no emergency Caesarean section was arranged and his delivery was delayed by two hours.

The delay meant that the boy suffered from a lack of oxygen in the womb, and suffered from brain damage. He underwent medical assessment for disabilities, and he was diagnosed with suffering from cerebral palsy. The boy, originally from Ballagharderreen, Co. Roscommon, his family have since moved to Canada.

Acting on her son’s behalf, his mother made a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Sligo General Hospital and the Health Service Executives (HSE). The HSE quickly admitted liability and initiated negotiations concerning a settlement of compensation. They also offered a formal apology to the boy and his family for their failings, explaining why there was a delay in delivery.

The negotiations resulted in a €704,000 interim settlement of compensation, which should provide for the child’s care over the next five years. The case then proceeded to the High Court of Dublin such that the settlement could be assessed by Mr Justice Kevin Cross.

At the hearing, Judge Cross heard the circumstances of the birth and the reasons behind the delayed delivery. He further heard that the young boy was a “bright and sociable” child. Whilst praising the boy’s family for the care they provided him over the past six years, he also commended the HSE’s cooperation and provision of an explanation. Judge Cross proceeded to approve the settlement. The case was adjourned the case for five years for the next settlement to be assessed.

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