South Tipperary General Hospital has apologised to the family of a seven-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who has settled a legal action over the mismanagement of her birth for €6.7m.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross in the High Court was yesterday told by counsel for Katie Manton that the Manton family thought the apology was “ too little, too late”.
Michael McGrath, for Katie’s parents Aoife and Raymond Manton, from Cashel, Co Tipperary, said he had been instructed to tell the court the apology was “too little, too late in the circumstances”.
He said Katie brought the action over the alleged below-standard management of her mother obstructed labour and the excessive delay in delivering her at South Tippeary General Hospital, Clonmel, on September 17, 2008.
At the outset of the hearing yesterday, an apology was read to the court.
In the apology, the general manager of South Tipperary General Hospital, Grace Rothwell,expressed “our sincere and unreserved apologies for the failings that caused the injuries to Katie and the tragic outcome”.
She added: “I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that valuable lessons have been learned by the hospital and its staff.”
Outside court, Aoife Manton said they were relieved the case was finished.
“It has been a very difficult time for the family,” she said. “Since Katie’s birth in 2008 we have tried to do our best for Katie with limited means and resources.
“It is regrettable that, even though the HSE admitted liability in these proceedings, it was not until today that there has been a semblance of an apology or an expression of regret from the HSE for its admitted negligence and failures.
“In light of the circumstances surrounding our daughter’s birth, and with regard to issues that remain to be addressed, it is simply too little, too late.
“The failures on the part of the HSE and South Tipperary General Hosptial have affected the lives of everyone in our family, and more particularly our wonderful daughter Katie, whom we all love dearly and of whom we are very proud.”She said that, after seven years, they now had the opportunity to provide Katie with the very best of care and assistance, to which she is entitled.
Katie had, through her father, Raymond Manton, of George’s Land, Dualla Rd, Cashel, Co Tipperary, sued the HSE as a result of the alleged inadequate and below-standard management of Aoife Manton’s obstructed labour and the alleged excessive delay in delivering Katie, who suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain.
It was claimed there was was an alleged failure to deliver, by caesarean section or otherwise, the baby in a timely manner and an alleged failure to properly diagnose the CTG readings either properly or at all and to deliver the baby in a timely manner.
The claims were denied.
Counsel said Katie is severely and permanently disabled and that the family had been put to tremendous expense in the past seven years and had even bought a site to build a home for her. Aoife Manton said she was happy with the settlement and was glad the case was over.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement and said it would be good for Katie. He said her parents were heroes for how they had brought Katie through her early years, and he hoped the settlement would make Katie’s life as good as it could possibly be.
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