Lack of urgency left Tadgh Costello in wheelchair

A 10-year-old boy who was brain-damaged at birth at Kerry General Hospital yesterday received a €15m lump sum payment in final settlement of his High Court case.

Lack of urgency left Tadgh Costello in wheelchair

This brings to €17.8m the total paid to Tadgh Costello over “devastating” injuries suffered during his birth.

Tadgh Costello, Gurrane East, Sunhill, Killorglin, Co Kerry, needs 24-hour care, cannot speak, and is confined to a wheelchair.

The settlement, said president of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly, made “commercial, common, and legal sense”.

He added that while no money would compensate Tadgh and his family, it was the only form of redress the law could provide.

At a previous court appearance, Mrs Costello said the family had been treated very badly over years, with liability not admitted in the case until early 2015.

She said a consultant involved in the case had, after the birth, shown remorse and cried in a private meeting with herself and her husband, Gerard, but the HSE fought the case for the next nine years.

In March 2015, Tadgh received an interim payment of €2.8m and an apology from the HSE under a settlement of his case.

Tadgh, through Mary, had sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at Kerry General Hospital on May 25, 2006. It was claimed there was a failure to deliver the baby on a timely basis and a failure to treat it as an emergency case.

It was claimed Mrs Costello had to travel an unacceptable distance to the operating theatre; that there was a failure to ensure the consultant obstetrician was aware of the worrisome heart rate pattern documented by the midwife; and a failure to regard the CTG recording as pathological and to consider the possibility that foetal hypoxia could occur.

Tadgh was delivered by caesarean section and was later diagnosed with mixed dyskinetic spastic cerebral palsy.

In an apology on behalf of the HSE read in March 2015 to the court, TJ O’Connor, manager of Kerry General Hospital said: “We would like to apologise unreservedly to both of you and to your son Tadgh for the injuries he sustained at his birth in 2006.

“Sadly, we are unable to change what happened to Tadgh, but we would like to inform you that we have since introduced specific guidelines and protocols to assist us in preventing adverse outcomes in the future.”

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