Boy with autism settles test case against NMH over circumstances of birth for €7.25m

A 13-year old boy who had sued over the circumstances of his birth at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin has settled his High Court case for €7.25million.

Boy with autism settles test case against NMH over circumstances of birth  for €7.25m

A 13-year old boy who had sued over the circumstances of his birth at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin has settled his High Court case for €7.25million.

The settlement for Finn Phillips who is on the autism spectrum is without an admission of liability

Counsel for Finn Phillips, Jeremy Maher SC told the court the action was a test case. It was the contention of the Phillips side the boy is on the autism spectrum allegedly as a result of issues which arose during his birth at the Dublin Hospital.

The claims are denied by the National Maternity Hospital.

Mr Maher instructed by solicitor Cian O’Carroll told the court the essence of their case was the protracted labour and difficult birth were the alleged cause of Finn’s autism.

Counsel said it was a test case and this issue had never been determined by a court in Ireland, the UK “or anywhere.”

Finn, he said was born limp and unresponsive.

Counsel told the court mediation talks had taken place last Monday and a settlement was reached to bring before the court.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he had no hesitation in approving it and he was glad to hear the settlement had been reached through mediation. He wished Finn and his family all the best for the future.

Finn Phillips, Village Road, Lusk, Co Dublin had through his mother Lisa Marie Murphy sued the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin over the circumstances of his birth on July 30, 2005. Finn was delivered by ventouse delivery and it is claimed he was allegedly unnecessarily exposed to both asphyxia and trauma from the vacuum extraction and therefore was allegedly unnecessarily exposed to their potential long term consequences. The injuries suffered it was claimed included developmental delay and autism.

There was it was claimed an alleged failure to manage Finn’s mother’s labour appropriately and an alleged failure to intervene in time.

It was further claimed an alleged excessive number of pulls had been applied to deliver Finn and the baby had been allegedly subjected to excessive tractions.

The claims were denied.

Outside court, Finn’s mother Lisa Marie Murphy said her son Finn is a wonderful boy.

"He is a wonderful boy He would have been a fantastic man if everything had gone according to plan. Now we can make strides to help him be the best man he can be," she said.

She added: "The settlement means as parents we don't have to worry, Finn's care is there. It means we can go privately for his care."

Solicitor Mr O'Carroll said the settled case does not stand as a precedent which would affect other cases and each case would be looked at according to its particular circumstances.

He said all the parties involved were happy with the outcome.

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