A girl with severe cerebral palsy who has already secured €3.3m in settlement of her High Court action for negligence during her birth at the National Maternity Hospital is to get another €1m towards her care needs for the next three years.
Charlotte Barry, now aged 10, of O’Connell Gardens, Bath Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin, was born severely disabled at the Holles St, Dublin, hospital on September 9, 2005, and will require lifelong care.
She had sued the hospital through her mother, Aisling Campbell. The hospital accepted liability and the first interim payment of €1.6m was made in 2010.
In the proceedings, it was claimed the treatment given to Charlotte’s mother by the hospital at birth was negligent and caused the child to suffer profound hypoxic-ischaemic insult resulting in cerebral palsy.
Ms Campbell attended hospital on August 28, 2005, after her waters broke and was discharged the same day.
She was not admitted again until September 8 and Charlotte was born the next day. It was claimed that the hospital failed to properly manage and monitor the labour, delivery, and birth.
The High Court had previously heard Charlotte can only communicate through facial and eye movements and uses a computer system known as a Big Mac which can pick up eye movements whereby she can communicate with others.
Her mother, Aisling Campbell, yesterday told the High Court the family were happy with the settlement and that it will provide for her for the next three years.
“But I am increasingly frustrated that the correct and appropriate legislation is not in place and it is very important to say that it is taking too long,” she said. “This is our fourth time in court. When we come back in three years time it will be our fifth. It is very tiring and draining, especially on Charlotte.”
Approving the interim settlement Mr Justice Kelly said the word “tiring” was an understatement for what parents like Ms Campbell and their children endured, in the absence of periodic payment legislation, first proposed in October 2010.
He commended her on her fortitude, but said he would not blame her if she sought a lump sum when the case returns to court in 2019.
The case will come before the court again in three years time when Charlotte’s future care needs will be assessed.
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