ACL LLP secured a settlement of €7,500,000 for a 12 year old boy from Co Laois who suffered a severe hypoxic ischaemic injury during the days leading up to his birth at a Dublin maternity hospital.
The boy’s mother was under the shared ante-natal care of her General Practitioner and local maternity hospital. It was alleged that both the GP and the hospital were negligent in their management of the pregnancy and as a result her son was born in an extremely poor condition requiring extensive resuscitation. Unfortunately he went on to be diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is full dependent in all areas of his daily life.
The allegations of negligence against the GP centred on a consultation with the Plaintiff’s mother who complained of reduced foetal movements, swelling, nausea and was found to have protein in her urine and slightly elevated blood pressure. She had already been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The Plaintiff’s case was that she should have been referred to her maternity hospital for further investigations as she was demonstrating signs of preeclampsia. Instead she was reassured by her GP and advised to return for a further ante-natal appointment in 7 days’ time.
The allegations against the hospital arose out of the Plaintiff’s mother attending the hospital 6 days following her attendance with her GP complaining of absent foetal movements. She was find to have significantly increased protein in her urine and a CTG that was pathological. An emergency caesarean section was arranged but did not actually take place for a number of hours. It was alleged that there was an unacceptable delay in ensuring that an emergency caesarean section took place which further exposed the baby to a damaging period of hypoxia which contributed to his overall poor condition at birth and long term injuries.
All of the allegations negligence were denied by both Defendants as well as the allegation that all of the Plaintiff’s injuries were caused by a hypoxic injury. As the Plaintiff has two siblings who both have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the Defendants wished to challenge whether or not some of the Plaintiff’s injuries were due to an underlying genetic condition.
The case was specially fixed for trial to commence on 22nd April 2020 but due to the ongoing public health emergency it seemed almost certain that the trial would not proceed for a significant period of time. A mediation meeting was arranged between all parties with each side participating with the mediator and their client through video conferencing technology. Ultimately after eight and a half hours of mediation a sum of €7,500,000 was agreed upon and later approved by the High Court sitting remotely.
For more information, please contact:
Jamie Hart, Partner, Medical Negligence Group
22 May 2020