Augustus Cullen Law wins €1.35m in interim damages against the HSE and a consultant obstetrician for injuries Luke Miggin sustained at his birth. Several articles reporting on the case are reproduced below.

Boy awarded €1.35m for injuries at birth

The Irish Times – Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"THE HIGH Court has approved an interim settlement of €1.35 million for a boy who suffered severe brain damage as a result of negligence in the circumstances of his birth at Mullingar General Hospital.

Luke Miggin (four) has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair and requires 24-hour care as a result of the injuries suffered during his birth at Mullingar General Hospital on February 28th, 2006.

Through his mother Emily Miggin (46), Ballinadrimna, Athboy, Co Meath, he had sued the Health Service Executive and consultant obstetrician Michael Gannon of Mullingar hospital. Liability was admitted by both defendants.

Mr Justice John Quirke heard the interim €1.35 million settlement was approved on the basis that legislation to deal with lifetime care in catastrophic injury cases will be enacted within two years. If not, the case is to be relisted for further consideration.

A sum of €200,000 was included in the award towards Luke’s special accommodation needs and will be reconsidered on the basis of a forthcoming judgment related to how the courts should deal with housing requirements in cases such as this, said Bruce Antoniotti SC, for the child.

Ms Miggin, a qualified health therapist who gave up her business to look after Luke, was hoping to buy a specially-adapted home in Dublin but that matter could only be fully dealt with when the awaited judgment is delivered, counsel said.

In the boy’s statement of claim, it was alleged the defendants were guilty of negligence and breach of duty towards the child in the circumstances of his delivery.

It was claimed the child was healthy when his mother was admitted to the hospital at 5.30am on February 28th, 2006.

Dr Gannon, it was claimed, failed to note and/or appreciate decelerations in the child’s heart rate on a CTG trace. By 2pm it was claimed the doctor failed to have adequate regard to an abnormal CTG trace and failed to carry out a Caesarean section. By 3.30pm, having been informed by phone of CTG trace findings, he ordered Ms Miggin be given the labour-inducing drug syntocinon. Dr Gannon attended at 4.40pm and Luke was born by forceps delivery at 5.05pm but required resuscitation and was transferred to the special baby care unit.

Speaking after the settlement yesterday, Ms Miggin said an apology about the matter would have “been nice”. She added she would “give it all back five-fold if I could see Luke kick a football”.

‘I would give back the €1.35m to watch Luke kick a football about’

Irish Independent – Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"A MOTHER whose four-year-old son was awarded €1.35m for brain damage at birth said yesterday she would give it all back just to see him kick a football.

Emily Miggin (46), of Ballinadrimna, Athboy, Co Meath, was speaking after the High Court approved the interim settlement to her son Luke.

Luke suffered severe injuries which left him with cerebral palsy, wheelchair-bound and requiring 24-hour care as a result of medical negligence arising out of his delivery at Mullingar General Hospital on February 28, 2006.

Speaking after the settlement, Ms Miggin said an apology about the matter would also have “been nice”.

She would “give it all back five-fold if I could see Luke kick a football”.

Last night, Ms Miggin told the Irish Independent that the interim settlement was not the end of the case and that she would be back in court again this week in relation to the proceedings. Because of the brain damage to her son, her own business had suffered.

“Luke is the light of my life and he is a very bright boy but you can’t help but think what could have been. Two people’s lives have been ruined here,” she said.

Through his mother, Luke had sued the HSE and consultant obstetrician Michael Gannon of Mullingar Hospital. Liability was admitted by both defendants. The court heard the €1.35m settlement was on the basis that promised legislation to deal with lifetime care in catastrophic injury cases like these will come in within two years. If not, the matter will come back before the court for further consideration.

In Luke’s statement of claim, it was alleged the defendants were guilty of negligence and breach of duty towards the child who was healthy when his mother was admitted to hospital at 5.30am on February 28, 2006.

Dr Gannon, it was claimed, failed to note and/or appreciate decelerations in the child’s heart rate on a cardiotocograph (CTG) trace. By 2pm that day, he failed to have adequate regard to what was an abnormal CTG trace and failed to carry out a caesarean section. By 3.30pm, having been informed by phone of CTG findings, he ordered Ms Miggin be given the labour-inducing drug Syntocinon.

Dr Gannon attended at 4.40pm and the child was born by forceps delivery at 5.05pm but required resuscitation."

If you have any further queries, please contact any of the following from our Medical Negligence Group:

04 February 2011

    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.

    BB

    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.

    Julie

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