6-year-old who was ‘born dead’ gets €5m

A SIX-YEAR-OLD child allegedly born dead and who only recovered a heart beat after seven minutes of life has secured e5.250m in an approved settlement in the High Court.

The child sued the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, through his mother, Amanda.

A e2m settlement was made also made in another medical negligence settlement case in the High Court where an eight-year-old child was alleged to have been a “fresh stillbirth” and was now a spastic quadriplegic (cerebral palsy).

In both cases liability was not conceded.

The action in the e5.250m case was taken by Leo Conroy, a minor suing through his mother Amanda Riordan of Greenridge Court, Blanchardstown, Dublin.

The hospital denied the claim and when Mr Justice Vivian Lavan was told that liability remained very much an issue in the case with the defendant’s experts saying nothing untoward had occurred.

The judge commented: “It is not an open and shut case”.

When told counsel was recommending the settlement and the family were happy with it the judge said he had no difficulty in approving the settlement and he wished the family every happiness into the future.

Earlier the court had been told by Mr Denis McCullough. for the family that it was the first pregnancy for Ms Riordan, who was 21 years of age at the time. She was admitted to hospital on March 20, 2003, when 36 weeks and one day into gestation. On admission by ambulance Amanda told the hospital she was in constant pain and it was getting worse.

Mr McCullough said the child was born by caesarean section in very poor condition. He was born dead and only recovered a heart beat after seven minutes of life. He had seizures but fortunately survived. He suffered very severe brain damage, cerebral palsy, and would never lead an independent life but would rely on others for all his needs.

Counsel said this was caused by the defendant’s negligence between his client’s admission to hospital and the delivery of her child. They had, he said, failed to deliver the child by caesarean section at an earlier time then was in fact done despite indications that Ms Riordan should have delivered much earlier because of fetal distress.

In another alleged medical negligence case yesterday a settlement of e2m was approved by Mr Justice Lavan for Carlie Brennan, 8, of St John’s Close, Clondalkin, Dublin, who through her mother, Elaine, sued the Coombe Hospital in Dublin for damages arising from alleged severe personal injuries, losses and damages allegedly suffered by Carlie at birth, leaving the child a spastic quadriplegic .

Mr Justice Lavan was told by Mr Bruce Antoniotti SC for the family he wanted to state this was a compromise settlement and the sum involved did not fully compensate his client.

He told the judge liability was a major difficulty in this case and there were significant problems in relation to the liability issue.

It was alleged the hospital failed to expedite delivery and properly monitor the unborn child and made a decision to carry out a caesarean section when the decision should have been made much earlier.

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