ACL secures further interim settlement to cover Eoghan Dunne’s care needs for a further period of 5 years in the sum of €2,012,000.00
Eoghan’s case had been initially dealt with by the Courts in July 2016 when an interim payment in the sum of €2,437,238.00 was agreed following a successful Mediation in respect of the case taken on Eoghan’s behalf against the Health Service Executive. The case arose out of the circumstances surrounding Eoghan’s admission to Portiuncula Hospital in August 2012 when he was just eleven and a half months old. Eoghan had presented with a high fever and rapid onset of severe breathing difficulties and was referred immediately by his General Practitioner to Portiuncula Hospital for review and treatment. Eoghan was admitted to the hospital and following initial assessment at the Emergency Department, the impression was formed that he was suffering from a severe respiratory illness. Despite a note in the records indicating that Eoghan should receive antibiotic treatment, for unknown reasons, the necessary broad spectrum antibiotics were not administered to him for a period of six hours by which stage his condition had deteriorated significantly. Eoghan was in very poor condition and required transfer to Temple Street where unfortunately he suffered a cardiac arrest and required intensive resuscitation.
Eoghan remained extremely ill in Temple Street Hospital with multiple organ dysfunction and evidence of overwhelming bacterial infection. Whilst Eoghan’s condition gradually improved with treatment at Temple Street Hospital he was left with severe neurodevelopmental disability including spastic quadriplegia, cortical visual impairment and profound communication difficulty. An MRI scan suggested acute ischaemic injury on Eoghan’s brain and he has been left with significant care needs for the rest of his life. Proceedings were brought against the HSE following receipt of expert evidence which criticised the standard of care Eoghan received at Portiuncula Hospital and in particular, the failure to administer broad spectrum antibiotics in a timely fashion, particularly in circumstances where it was clearly documented in his chart that a decision was made to administer medication at 6.00pm and yet these were not administered for a further period of 6 hours. There were also failings in his care in that blood gas levels were not performed prior to his transfer to Temple Street Hospital and there was a complete failure to have Eoghan reviewed by a Consultant Paediatrician following his admission to Portiuncula Hospital and for a further period of 8 hours, by which stage his condition was critical unstable.
Negligence was admitted by the Defendant in their Defence though causation of Eoghan’s injuries was put in issue. However, several months before the initial trial date was due to commence a Mediation was held at which a settlement was arrived at to cover Eoghan’s needs for a period of 4 years whilst the necessary legislation for Periodic Payment Orders was introduced. The case came back then before the Courts in 2020 and a further interim payment was agreed again following a successful Mediation in the sum of €2,012,000.00 to cover Eoghan’s needs for the next 5 years.
18 February 2021