Personal Injury Compensation

Birth Negligence Compensation

If you or your child have suffered an avoidable injury due to a medical mistake during the delivery process, you may be entitled to claim birth negligence compensation. A claim for birth negligence compensation should take into account the long-term consequences of a birth injury – such as preventing the mother from having children in the future or a child who has to go through life with a permanent disability – and needs to show that “in the circumstances and at the time” a competent physician would have chosen a different course of action which would have prevented the injury from occurring. For legal advice which is relevant to your personal situation, call our Legal Advice Centre and discuss your birth negligence compensation claim in confidence with an experienced birth negligence compensation solicitor.

Seven-Figure Interim Settlement Awarded for Delayed Caesarean Section

January 21st, 2017. By Compensation News.

A young boy from Cork who sustained severe birth injuries after a failure to operate has been awarded a €1.35 million interim settlement of compensation.

The claim for compensation was made on behalf of a six-year-old child who was delivered by Caesarean section at the Cork University Maternity Hospital in March 2010. The claim alleged that the staff at the hospital failed to correctly interpret the results of a CTG scan that indicated the boy was suffering from foetal distress syndrome.

Due to this alleged negligence, the Caesarean section that was needed to prevent any injury was not carried out in a timely manner. Due to a lack of oxygen, the boy suffered from hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and was born with severe brain damage.

The boy’s birth injuries have left him blind, mute and suffering from daily seizures. He is reliant on constant care, which he receives from his parents and extended family. They receive additional home support from the Jack and Jill Foundation.

The boy’s mother consulted a medical negligence solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE contested the allegations of negligence, though they agreed to pay an interim settlement of compensation of €1.35 million without admitting liability. The boy’s case will then be assessed to evaluate the costs of his future care needs.

As the claim was made on behalf of a minor, the settlement had to be approved in the High Court of Dublin. At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told of how hard it was for the boy’s family to get compensation for the delayed Caesarean section, and of their relief that the process was over. Wishing the family the best for the future, Judge Cross approved the settlement and adjourned the case for three years.

Medical Negligence Claim against Kerry General Hospital Heard at High Court

February 18th, 2015. By Compensation News.

The High Court has approved an interim settlement of a medical negligence claim against Kerry General Hospital after hearing the circumstances of a young girl´s birth.

At the Kerry General Hospital on 22nd April 2011, Skye Worthington was born. Her mother – Colleen – had been given syntocinon to speed up her labour and, although the drug had caused Colleen´s contractions to accelerate, they also caused Skye´s heartbeat to decelerate.

The deceleration of the foetal heartbeat was ignored by medical staff, and Skye was born with cerebral palsy due to a lack of oxygen in the womb. Skye – now three years of age – has to be fed through a tube, has difficulty sitting still, and can only communicate by using her eyes.

A review of the management of Skye´s birth found that if she had been delivered fifteen minutes earlier, her devastating injuries could have been avoided. Subsequently Colleen Worthington made a medical negligence claim against Kerry General Hospital on behalf of her daughter

The hospital acknowledged that errors had been made in the management of Skye´s birth, and an interim settlement of the medical negligence claim against Kerry General Hospital was agreed while an assessment is carried out to consider Skye´s future needs.

As Skye was unable to represent herself, the interim settlement of compensation had to be approved by a judge. Consequently, at the High Court, Judge Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of Skye´s birth and the devastating injuries she suffered as a result.

The court also heard an apology read to Skye´s parents stating that lessons had been learned from the review of Skye´s birth – in which her parents had participated – which had helped the hospital clarify a number of important issues.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross then approved the €2.32 interim settlement of the medical negligence claim against Kerry General Hospital, explaining to Skye´s parents that he was adjourning the case for three years.

He also explained that when they return to court after Skye´s assessment, they will have the option of receiving annual periodic payments – subject to legislation being passed – or taking a lump sum payment in final settlement of Skye´s medical negligence claim against Kerry General Hospital.

Compensation for Birth Injuries due to Doctor Negligence Approved by Judge at High Court

November 19th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A High Court judge has approved a second interim payment of compensation for birth injuries due to doctor negligence for an eight-year-old girl, who sustained severe paraplegic cerebral palsy after a paediatrician failed to act on blood test results.

In October 2011, the Sheehan family from Mallow in County Cork had an interim settlement of €1.9 million compensation for birth injuries due to doctor negligence approved in the High Court in respect of an injury claim made on behalf of their eight-year-old daughter, Isabelle.

Isabelle was born by emergency Caesarean Section at the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in November 2004 with severe paraplegic cerebral palsy, after the consultant paediatrician treating Isabelle´s mother had failed to act on blood test results which revealed a conflict of antibodies.

At the hearing in 2011, the consultant paediatrician – Dr David Corr – admitted that he had mismanaged the later stages of Catherine Sheehan´s pregnancy, and acknowledged that he should have referred Catherine to an expert in foetal medicine when the test results revealed the potential dangers to Isabelle´s health.

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill approved the original €1.9 million settlement of compensation for birth injuries due to doctor negligence, and adjourned Isabelle´s case for two years to allow time for legislation to be passed which would enable a structured system of compensation to be introduced.

As no such legislation has yet been introduced, Isabelle´s case was heard again recently at the High Court by Mr Justice Kevin Cross; who was told that a second interim payment of compensation for birth injuries due to doctor negligence had been agreed, which would cover Isabelle´s care expenses for the next two years.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the interim payment of €635,000, after being told that Isabelle was keeping up with the other children at her mainstream school and that she was an intelligent and bright young girl. The judge wished Isabelle good luck in the future and adjourned her case for two more years when a further review will be conducted of her needs.

Obstretic Negligence Claim for Birth Injuries Resolved in Court

April 28th, 2013. By Compensation News.

The family of a girl, Alex Butler, who suffered brain damage at her birth have had their obstretic negligence claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff resolved at the High Court in Dublin.

Alex (8) from Dunmore East, County Waterford, was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital in April 2005; however, due to the hospital´s failure to have an appropriate amount of properly trained competent medical staff to deal with the Alex´s delivery, and to ensure that an adequate and properly competent obstetrician was available, Alex´s delivery was delayed by twelve minutes – during this she suffered brain damage which led to permanent tetraplegic injury.

Through her mother – Sonya Butler – Alex made a obstretic negligence claim for birth injuries, alleging that her consultant obstetrician had been given clearance to take leave at the same time as the hospital´s two other obstetricians and that the hospital had employed a locum obstetrician without ensuring that he was indeed competent. They went on to claim that Sonya´s pre-operative assessment was substandard and there was a failure to recognise the necessity for a Caesarean section.

The High Court was told that the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted liability for Alex´s injuries, and the claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff against the consultant obstetrician – John Bermingham – and locum obstetrician – Mahmud Khbuli – were dismissed by the judge. A representative from Waterford read out an apology for the mismanagement of Alex´s birth and accepted that the mistakes that were made should never have happened.

The Court also heard that an interim settlement of Alex´s claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff amounting to €1.4 million had been agreed upon between the HSE and Alex´s parents. The obstretic negligence claim for birth injuries settlement is to be reviewed again in two years when an assessment of Alex´s care needs for the future has been made, and by which time it is hoped that the option of a structured settlement is available.

Medical Misadventure Compensation Awarded

October 18th, 2012. By Compensation News.

The family of a woman who passed away giving birth to her second child has been awarded 850,000 Euros in compensation for medical misadventure following a High Court hearing.

Evelyn Flanagan (38) from Castlebar in County Mayo passed away at Mayo General Hospital on October 19, 2007, following the birth of her daughter Niamh as a result of serious complications. An initial post-mortem suggested that Evelyn´s death was attributable to an amniotic fluid embolism; however Evelyn´s family contested the findings – alleging that the deterioration in her condition was due to a postpartum haemorrhage which could have been prevented with greater care.

Inquest proceedings in 2008 and 2009 lead to a verdict of death by medical adventure, following which Evelyn´s husband – Padraic Flanagan – filed a claim for medical misadventure compensation against the Health Service Executive and consultant obstetrician, Dr Murtada Mohamed. It was  claimed in the action that Evelyn suffered a postpartum haemorrhage as a result of a rupture of her uterus which was not detected or adequately dealt with.

Mayo General Hospital at first denied that negligence had occurred but, as Mr Justice Michael Peart heard at the High Court, an acknowledgement of liability had been made during mediation prior to court proceedings. The judge awarded the family 850,000 Euros in compensation for medical misadventure to include the highest amount allowable 25,395 Euros for mental distress and payments for each of Evelyn´s two children as they grow older.

Compensation Claims against the State Forecast Expected to Rise

October 15th, 2012. By Compensation News.

The State Claims Agency has predicted that compensation claims against the State for hospital negligence could increase by more than a quarter in 2012.

Commenting in the Clinical Indemnity Scheme newsletter, Ciaran Breen – Director of the State Claims Agency – said that “It appears that people, injured as a result of a medical negligence event, are more likely to sue doctors, dentists and hospitals in these more difficult economic times” after attributing the increase on the economic downturn.

Mr Breen´s remarks were in complete contrast to those made by Patricia Byron – Chief Executive of injuriesboard.ie -after the Injuries Board Interim Report was released last month, which saw only a 4.1 percent increase in claims over the first six months and not the “recessionary spike” that had been predicted. However, both public officials referred to the fact that there had been a significant increase in claims related to the DePuy hip replacement recall.

As 345 compensation claims were filed against the State in the first six months of 2012 (as opposed to 542 in the whole of 2011), and the Statute of Limitations expired in August 2012 for many victims of the DePuy hip replacement recall, Mr Breen´s outlook may appear unjustifiably depressing. However, some compensation claims filed against the State are finding their way to court long after they might previously have been time-barred.

In July this year, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court judgement in favour of Olivia Kearney who, forty-three years beforehand, had went throufh a symphysiotomy procedure which the High Court determined was “entirely unjustified and unwarranted”. Should the remaining two hundred survivors of the symphysiotomy procedure be permitted to make compensation claims against the State, Mr Breen´s forecast could be very conservative indeed.

Compensation claims against the State for hospital negligence account for a small number of claims managed by the State Claims Agency – the majority are for public liability and employer liability – but account for almost 90 percent of the value of claims each year. In 2011, the value of the 542 compensation claims against the State for medical negligence amounted to 860 million Euros.

Lack Of Oxygen at Birth Compensation Approved in Court

August 30th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman, who was starved of oxygen at birth and has suffered a lifetime of learning difficulties, has had a settlement of lack of oxygen compensation approved at London´s Royal Courts of Justice.

Susanne Turner (45) from Wittersham in Kent was given birth to at Buchanan Street Hospital in St Leonards-on-Sea after a delayed Caesarean operation due to neither a surgeon nor an anaesthetist being available to perform the procedure. Due to this, Susanne was deprived of oxygen in the womb, unable to breathe independently when she was born and sustained serious brain damage.

Susanne´s parents – Christopher and Sandra – raised Susanne without financial assistance, and unaware that they were entitled to claim compensation for lack of oxygen at birth, until they read a magazine article which explained Susanne´s rights to compensation.

When they sought legal advice about the situation they found themselves in, Christopher and Sandra discovered that – as Susanne did not have the mental capacity to bring a claim for mismanaged birth compensation herself – they were still within the time frame allowed to sue the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority for the negligent situation which had occurred in 1967.

After reviewing the claim for lack of oxygen at birth compensation, South East Coast Strategic Health Authority quickly admitted their liability for Susanne´s birth injury and, at the Royal Courts of Justice, issued a formal apology for the mismanagement of Susanne´s birth.

Approving the settlement of lack of oxygen at birth compensation, which will take the form of annual payments and a lump sum payment to pay for a specially-adapted home for Susanne, judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies paid tribute to Christopher and Sandra´s “love and devotion”. The settlement is believed to be worth 4.2 million pounds and will provide Susanne with the care she needs for the rest of her life.

Birth Brain Damage Compensation Settlement Approved

October 23rd, 2011. By Compensation News.

An eleven year old girl, who was starved of oxygen during her birth and is now permanently brain damaged, has had a birth brain damage compensation settlement of 1.75 million pounds approved at the High Court.

The anonymous girl was born at West Sussex Hospital in 2000 but, during her delivery, obstetric staff failed to notice signs of foetal distress. The girl is not able to walk or talk, and uses an electric scooter for mobility and a computer to communicate.

“I am constantly amazed by the triumph of hope over adversity” ssaid Mr Justice Butterfield, as he approved the  birth brain damage compensation settlement against the West Sussex NHS Trust which includes an immediate lump sum payment of 1.75 million pounds and annual payments to fund a lifetime of care.

Mr Justice Butterfield also had words for the girl´s parents, stating that “The devotion and care of her parents is undoubted and we very much hope that this sum of money will provide her with the very best possible future.”

Settlement for Cerebral Palsy at Birth of 1.4 Million Euros Approved in Court

October 16th, 2011. By Compensation News.

A young woman, who was found to have cerebral palsy shortly after her birth, has had a settlement for cerebral palsy of 1.4 million Euros approved in the High Court.

Deborah French, aged 24, of Ballymitty, County Wexford, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after her birth in August 1987 at Wexford General Hospital. Her parents brought a claim for birth injury compensation against consultant obstetrician Harry Murphy and the South Eastern Health Board, claiming that Dr Murphy had been negligent in the hours leading up to and during Deborah´s birth.

The case was settled without an admission of liability by the defendants, a course of action supported by Mr Justice John Quirke as he approved the settlement, stating that the conflicting opinions offered by medical experts may have put the family at risk of getting nothing in a trial.

The judge recommended that the funds should be released to Deborah´s parents – Ann and John French – in annual increments of 100,000 Euros.

Birth Cerebral Palsy Girl Awarded Compensation

July 25th, 2011. By Compensation News.

A twelve-year-old girl, who sustained brain damage due to errors made during her delivery, has been awarded 5 million pounds in a birth cerebral palsy compensation settlement.

Sophie Clarke (12) from Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf, was born in 1998 at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. However, a gross abnormality of Sophie´s heart rate was not recognised, despite it being picked up on monitoring equipment.

Had staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital recognised Sophie´s condition, they would have intervened and delivery her by Caesarean Section. However, they allowed the birth to continue naturally, causing Sophie to suffer from a lack of oxygen in the womb.

Sophie suffers from severe cerebral palsy as a result of the mistakes made and now needs twenty-four hour care, is fed via a tube and is confined to a wheelchair.

Solicitors acting on behalf of the family sued the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board for birth cerebral palsy negligence, and in a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court the negotiated settlement of 5 million pounds was approved.


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