An initial compensation settlement of €2.1 million has been awarded to an 11 year old boy who has suffered with cerebral palsy since his birth at St Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick,in 2009.
Rory Pender from Kildysart, Ennis, Co Clare had sued the Health Service Executive in relation to the circumstances of his birth at the hospital. The High Court was informed that Rory has a condition know as spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. This means that he can walk without assistance but has difficulty jumping and only learned to run in the last few years. He is unable to speak but attends school and has a special needs assistant.
As part of proceedings counsel for Rory, Alastair Rutherdale BL, informed the judge that a Zoom video mediation conference this month had resulted in a settlement with liability being conceded.
The payout includes an initial payment of €1.2 million in the case as well as €500,000 to be paid in general damages and €400,00 in past special damages. The case will be revisited in five years time so Rory’s future care needs will be assessed.
Rory, through his mother Catherine Pender, sued the HSE, arguing that Rory should have been delivered substantially earlier. Counsel for the Penders presented a medical expert who claimed that Rory the baby should have been delivered at 1am when in fact he was born one hour and forty nine minutes later on May 1, 2009.
Due to this delayed delivery, it was argued, an over-stimulation of labour by the use of oxytocin took place and there was also a failure to stop the oxytocin infusion and complete a medical assessment and do a fetal blood sample. The medical expert said that these would have led to an emergency caesarean section or instrumental delivery.
Finally it was alleged that the baby suffered hypoxia during the final stages of labour and soon after birth the baby showed signs of respiratory distress and hypoglycemia. Following an MRI scan on January 7, 2010, when Rory was seven months old, his mother was informed for the first time he might have a brain injury. The boy was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
The case was adjourned the case until May 2025. after Justice Kevin Cross approved the initial settlement.