Augustus Cullen Law recover substantial damages, an admission of fault  and apology  following the death of their first born child during birth at  Mount Carmel Hospital.

Coverage featured in the Irish Independent on 22 January 2014:

Consultants' 'breathtaking mistakes' led to the death of our beautiful baby boy

Consultants' 'breathtaking mistakes' led to the death of our beautiful baby boy

The father of a "beautiful baby boy" who died because his wife's labour was botched by two consultant obstetricians has said the loss of his son was "sadly avoidable".

Barrister David Dodd spoke after he and his wife Roberta received apologies in the High Court from Dublin's Mount Carmel Private Maternity Hospital and two consultant obstetricians over the loss of their first baby, Senan, two days after his birth.

The court was told experts witnesses would have described the errors made in the treatment received by Mrs Dodd as "breathtaking".

Outside court, Mr Dodd said: "He was a beautiful healthy baby boy. Having suffered catastrophic brain injury arising from the management of the birth in Mount Carmel, Senan was transferred in the early hours of the morning by ambulance to Holles Street Hospital to receive treatment there.


"He met his extended family, was named and baptised. He passed away two days later. He was much loved. His death was sadly avoidable," he said.

The hospital and obstetricians Valerie Donnelly and Gerry Rafferty acknowledged fault in the management of Mrs Dodd's labour leading to the death of Senan.

The hospital and the consultants sincerely apologised in the court to Senan's parents for the tragic loss and the hurt and suffering that resulted for them from the care provided.

The apology was read out as Mr and Mrs Dodd, of Ticknock Dale, Ticknock, Sandyford, Dublin, settled their action for mental distress and nervous shock for an undisclosed sum.

The couple sued the hospital and the consultants following the death of Senan two days after he was born at the hospital on March 28, 2008.

The baby was transferred to Holles Street Hospital from Mount Carmel where he died on March 30. It was claimed Senan's death was caused by negligence and breach of duty, and the parents had suffered mental distress and nervous shock as a result.

There was a failure, it was claimed, to properly interpret or heed the significance of the serious abnormalities in the foetal heart rate pattern in a sufficiently prompt and timely manner and to ensure the earlier delivery of Senan. The case had been before the court for assessment of damages only.

An inquest in 2011 was told there was a delay in performing an emergency caesarean and the baby suffered severe brain damage. The court heard yesterday that the CTG trace showed the baby's heart rate was slowing at 3.50pm but he was not delivered until four hours later on March 28.

Bruce Antoniotti, counsel for the couple, said an expert witness would have given evidence that if Senan had been delivered within an hour or even an hour-and-a-half of the slow heart rate being detected, he would have escaped injury.

The court heard the obstetricians continued to administer oxytocin - a drug to speed up contractions. It also heard there were no facilities in the hospital at the time to take a foetal blood sample.

Additional Media Coverage

Michael Boylan was also interviewed on RTÉ's Drivetime Radio show in relation to the case.

If you have any further queries, please contact any of the following from our medical negligence group:

23 January 2014

    Gillian and all at Augustus Cullen Law, A million thanks for a great job done. Justice for our son at last!!

    Catherine, Liam & William

    Dear Michael, A great result was achieved because of your efforts and we were truly blessed to have you on our side.

    Kathleen, Medical Negligence Client

    Dear Joice…you are and have been very professional, sympathetic and dignified in all of your dealings with us and I put that down to one simple fact. You listened.

    James, Medical Negligence Client

    Geraldine, Thank you most sincerely for all your hard work and commitment to these children.

    Freda McKittrick, Head of Barnardos Beacon Guardian Ad Litem service

    Neil is an absolute gentleman to deal with – kind, tactful and very efficient. We could not praise him highly enough. He brought us through a horrible time.

    Sean, Medical Negligence Client

    Many thanks again for a job well done. We really appreciate all your hard work and practical advice.

    Corporate client in a commercial litigation matter

    Dear Jamie, You and your team in ACL were so professional, diligent and prompt. I have recommended you and the firm, and will continue to do so

    Lorraine McCarthy

    Gus Cullen and the firm’s approach to addressing the key issues was professional, yet personal, efficient yet attentive.


    The process is a difficult one and when you deal with people who are so professional and yet genuine/real people, it makes it so much easier... so thanks a million.


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