Extra €635k for girl with cerebral palsy over mistakes at birth

Isabelle Sheehan pictured in 2011

An 8-year-old Cork girl with cerebral palsy who had sued a consultant obstetrician has further settled her case with a payment of damages for the next two years totalling €635,000.

Two years ago the High Court approved an interim settlement of €1.9m in the case of Isabelle Sheehan, of Millbrook, Mallow.

Her parents Catherine and Colm Sheehan had sued consultant Dr David Corr, who was carrying on a private practice from Bon Secours Maternity Hospital, Cork.

Dr Corr had two years previously admitted liability and had apologised saying he very much regretted the outcome in relation to Isabelle’s birth on Nov 29, 2004. Dr Corr said he had made a “mistake” in not referring Mrs Sheehan to an expert in foetal medicine which had “disastrous consequences” for Isabelle and her family.

Mrs Sheehan’s GP carried out a blood test for antibodies on May 17, 2004. Further tests in October revealed an alarming rise in the presence of certain blood group antibodies and the consultant was informed.

Dr Corr was also informed of her husband’s blood type, which, the court heard, the antibodies in the mother’s blood were “programmed to attack”.

Counsel for the Sheehan family argued that the consultant should havereferred her for advice from an expert in foetal medicine who would have recognised the difficulty.

As a result, when Isabelle was delivered by caesarean section she was in extremely poor condition.

Yesterday in the High Court, counsel for the Sheehans, Denis McCullough SC, said there had been full and final settlement in relation to the issue of damages for the next two years and his side was recommending the court approve of the €635,000 figure.

The case will come before the court again in two years time when a judge will be asked to asses Isabelle’s future needs.

Approving the two-year payment, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said that he had been extremely impressed by the care and love displayed by Isabelle’s parents in looking after her. He wished Isabelle a very good future.

Isabelle suffers from severe spastic quadriparetic cerebral palsy with both her arms and legs affected.

The court heard she is “bright and intelligent”, requires intensive physiotherapy, and needs a special needs assistant at home to help her keep up with children in her mainstream national school class.


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