Girl gets €9m over treatment at birth

Isabelle Sheehan

An 11-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair yesterday settled for €9m her High Court action over her care around the time of her birth.

This brings to a total of €11.6m the amount paid out to Isabelle Sheehan, from Mallow, Co Cork, who had sued consultant obstetrician David Corr.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly approving the final settlement in the case congratulated the parents of Isabelle and said she would not have made the progress she has made without the love, care, and attention they have lavished on her. He complimented “the truly remarkable care” Colm and Catherine Sheehan have given their daughter and he thanked them on her behalf, commenting that the final settlement of the case was a fair and reasonable one.

When told that the family had wanted a final lump sum payout because this was their third trip back to the High Court after a total of €2.6m had been paid out in interim payments, Mr Justice Kelly said it was understandable that Isabelle’s parents were weary with interim settlements and it underscored the acute necessity for legislation to be brought in relation to periodic payments.

Through her mother Catherine, of Millbrook, Mallow, Co Cork, Isabelle had sued Dr Corr, of the Cork Clinic, Western Rd, who was carrying on a private practice at the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital, Cork, when Isabelle was born there in 2004.

It was claimed Dr Corr failed to act on blood tests carried out on Mrs Sheehan during her pregnancy which showed a significant risk to the health of the baby.

Dr Corr admitted liability and his counsel in court five years ago read out an apology on behalf of his client in which Dr Corr said he “very much regrets the outcome in relation to the birth” of Isabelle.

Isabelle, known as Izzy, suffers from severe spastic quadriparetic cerebral palsy, with both her arms and legs affected, the court heard. She was described as “bright and intelligent” but requires lifelong care. Mr Justice Kelly was told she attends a Gael Scoil near her home and can speak some words in Irish.

Outside court yesterday, the family’s solicitor Michael Boylan said the Sheehans were relieved the case was finally over. He said the family would give up the money “ in a heartbeat” if they could reverse what happened to Izzy.


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