The Minor Plaintiff was born in 2008 at a regional maternity hospital. He was described as being shocked at birth with apgar scores of 6 and 8 at one and five minutes. He required vigorous resuscitation and was admitted to the Special Care Baby Unit where he was noted to have suffered seizures in the early neonatal period which required treatment with anti-convulsant medication. Following his discharge from hospital, the Minor Plaintiff was followed up by the Central Remedial Clinic and provided with occupation therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy. He was diagnosed as having Cerebral Palsy with spastic quadriplegia and delay in both gross and fine motor activities. His intellectual function however was relatively well preserved and he is attending main stream primary schooling where he is doing well.
The Plaintiff’s parents had concerns in relation to the management of the labour and contacted Augustus Cullen Law to investigate whether or not there were grounds to allege negligence against the Defendant for the management of the said labour. Independent expert evidence was obtained from obstetric, midwifery, neurological and neuroradiological experts based in England. Criticisms were raised of the manner in which the Minor Plaintiff’s Mother’s labour was managed by the staff at the hospital and in particular, the failure to respond to evidence of a persistent tachycardia with numerous decelerations in the presence of oxytocin infusion. The Plaintiff’s experts described the CTG in the hour prior to his birth as profoundly abnormal and the failure of the staff to recognise this as “inexplicable and grossly sub-standard”.
Proceedings were issued and a Defence delivered in which the HSE admitted negligence in relation to the management of the Minor Plaintiff’s labour. The question of causation however was left in issue, but later withdrawn in further correspondence from the HSE’s solicitors. A Mediation was held shortly after the full admission of liability and a settlement in the sum of €2,562,567.00 agreed upon on an interim basis for the period of 7 years to allow for the introduction of periodic payment legislation should this be acceptable to the Minor Plaintiff.
If you have any further queries, please contact Jamie Hart, Partner in our Medical Negligence Group.
10 December 2018