Court approves further damages payment for Cork girl, 9, who suffered brain damage at birth

Skye Worthington had sued the HSE as a result of injuries sustained during her delivery at Kerry General Hospital in April 2011
Court approves further damages payment for Cork girl, 9, who suffered brain damage at birth

Nine-year-old Skye Worthington who has cerebral palsy cannot speak and can only communicate through special eye gaze technology.

A girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at Kerry General Hospital has secured a further payout under a settlement of her action against the HSE, bringing to over €8m her total damages to date.

Nine-year-old Skye Worthington who has cerebral palsy cannot speak and can only communicate through special eye gaze technology.

The latest interim payment of €4.3m for the next nine years brings to over €8m the total damages awarded to Skye in settlement of her High Court action against the HSE over the circumstances of her birth in 2011.

Approving the latest interim payment the President of the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine, said she was thrilled Skye is doing so well and taking part in activities including horse riding and swimming.

The girl’s mother Colleen Worthington said she was a lucky girl and the judge replied Skye was very lucky to have such loving parents in Colleen and Kevin.

Skye’s Counsel David Holland SC, instructed by solicitor Joice Carthy, told the court the family were happy with the latest payment which was a total of €4.7m on this occasion but with allowances made for unspent monies came to a total of €4.3m.

Ms Justice Irvine said during a remote hearing that the application for approval was terribly important and it was to ensure that the funds were sufficient to give the little girl the best life she can have for the next nine years.

Initial settlement

When the case was settled in 2015, the HSE and Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, apologised unreservedly before the court to Skye who had sued over the injuries sustained during her delivery in April 2011.

It also said lessons had been learned from the management of Skye's birth and a formal review had taken place.

On that occasion, an interim payment of €2.5m had been paid out which was followed by a further payout of €1.35m three years later.

The little girl from Rochestown, Co Cork, had through her mother Colleen Worthington sued the HSE as a result of injuries sustained during her delivery at Kerry General Hospital, Tralee in April 2011.

The court was told that liability had been admitted in the case.

Among a range of claims, it was alleged there was mismanagement of labour and the labour accelerant drug syntocinon should have been stopped when a deceleration in the baby's heartbeat was noted.

Had she been delivered 15 minutes earlier, she would have been spared acute hypoxia, the court was told.

The baby was delivered by emergency Cesarean on April 22, 2011, but was flat and was transferred to Cork University Hospital where she received excellent care, it was stated.

The case will come back before the High Court in 2029 when Skye’s future care needs will be assessed.

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