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High Court Awards Final Settlement for Birth Injury

Posted: May 6th, 2016

The High Court of Dublin have awarded a teenage girl suffering from cerebral palsy a final compensation settlement of €5.6 million. 

On the 11th October 1999, Mary Malee was born at the Mayo General Hospital. However, though Mary had been diagnosed with foetal distress syndrome, there was no consultant available to assist the delivery and her birth was delayed by eight minutes. However, when she was delivered by emergency Caesarean section, she had already sustained dramatic brain damage because of the oxygen deprivation. 

Mary has since suffered from cerebral palsy and, acting on behalf of her daughter, Maura Malee made a claim for birth injury compensation against the Health Service Executive for a delayed delivery. In the claim, Maura alleges that – had a consultant paediatrician been made available at the hospital quickly enough after the detection of a slow foetal heart rate – Mary would not have been deprived of oxygen.

An interim settlement of compensation worth €1.5 million was awarded by Ms Justice Mary Irvine in March 2014. However, the case was then adjourned for two years such that a new system of structured periodic settlements could be introduced. However, two years on and there has been no such introduction of a new system. As such, Mary returned to the High Court so that a final settlement could be approved. 

A representative for Mayo General Hospital read an apology to Mary at the hearing, apologising for “the many challenges that you have faced as a result of the treatment provided to your mother Maura at the time of your birth” . Mr Justice Peter Kelly was then informed that negotiations had lead to an agreed settlement of €5.56 million. 

Mary testified that “the stress of ongoing engagement with the HSE and the courts is not what I want”, after which the judge approved the settlement. He also commended Mary for her heroism in facing the difficulties of her disability. 

Categories: Birth Injury Compensation Claim

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