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Home / News / Teenager settles case over birth at hospital for €1.5m

Teenager settles case over birth at hospital for €1.5m

The High Court has approved an interim settlement of €1.5m in the case of a now 19-year-old man who sued over the circumstances of his birth at a Limerick hospital in 2005.

The 19-year-old, who cannot be identified by order of the court, had sued the Health Service Executive (HSE) over the management and care provided at the Limerick Regional Maternity Hospital to himself and his mother during labour and delivery in 2005.

In his High Court action for damages, it was claimed he suffered a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain and should have been delivered sooner by C-section.

He suffered an intellectual delay and is unable to live independently.

It was also claimed the baby was acutely and severely asphyxiated at birth and there was attempted head cooling without the necessary equipment and allegedly without counselling or obtaining consent from his parents.

The HSE admitted a breach of duty and accepted that the baby, following delivery, suffered an initial lack of oxygen consistent with an episode of hypoxia ischaemia prior to delivery.

It was also accepted the attempted cooling provided was not to appropriate standards.

However, the HSE contended that the care provided during labour and at the time of delivery was of a reasonable standard and that the CTG trace during labour was reassuring with no indication for intervention or an earlier delivery.

The HSE further contended that neonatal care following the boy’s delivery was appropriate and in line with 2005 standards.

The HSE denied that any of the injuries alleged were caused or contributed to by any alleged lack of care.

Senior Counsel Patrick Treacy told the court the case had been settled after mediation.

He said that very tragically, the young man at the time of his birth suffered an insult to the brain and he has an intellectual delay and is not able to live independently on his own.

The interim settlement of €1.5m is for the next five years when the man’s future care needs will be assessed. Mr Justice Paul Coffey approved the settlement.

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