Man with cerebral palsy settles High Court action over his birth circumstances for €9m

Mother tells court during case against Rotunda Hospital that her son cannot tell the time and is unable to look after himself

A 25-year-old man with cerebral palsy who sued over the circumstances of his birth at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin has settled his High Court action for €9 million.

The man, who cannot be named by order of the court, needs constant care, the court heard.

Jonathan Kilfeather SC, for the man, told the court it was their case that the baby boy suffered a hypoxic brain injury. He had epilepsy at one-year-old and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two.

The man’s mother, counsel said, has until now been caring for her son and her other children with no assistance or support. “She has given up everything to look after her son,” counsel said.

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The settlement was reached after mediation talks.

The man had, through his mother, sued the Rotunda Hospital, Parnell Square, Dublin over the circumstances of his birth in 1998. It was claimed that his mother was overdue and admitted into the hospital in October 1998 for labour to be induced.

It was claimed that she was not seen by a doctor until 8.30pm, when it was contended there were large decelerations of the foetal heart rate. The baby boy was delivered by the ventouse method at 10.20pm.

An alleged deficient and inadequate standard of care was provided, it was claimed, during the first stage of labour. It was further claimed there was a failure at different times to stop the Syntocinon infusion in circumstances where there was a deceleration or an abnormal foetal heart rate.

There was a failure, it was contended, to carry out a Caesarean section after the mother was seen by a doctor at 8.30pm. It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to provide an adequate standard of care to the baby and his mother during the second stage of labour.

Counsel told the court liability was admitted in the case.

The mother told the court her son cannot tell the time and is unable to look after himself.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said it was fair and reasonable and he wished the man, his mother and family well for the future.

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