Disabled athlete sues over circumstances of his birth at Cork hospital

At one stage his mother was transferred to a trolley which could not be moved, court told

 Martin Coleman, Ballyvaloon, Whitegate, Co Cork has sued the HSE and a retired consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist  over the circumstances of his birth at St Finbarr’s hospital on May 25th, 1997.

Martin Coleman, Ballyvaloon, Whitegate, Co Cork has sued the HSE and a retired consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist over the circumstances of his birth at St Finbarr’s hospital on May 25th, 1997.

 

A young man with cerebral palsy has taken a High Court action over the circumstances of his birth at a Cork hospital.

Counsel for Martin Coleman, now aged 20, said his client’s case is that there was a complete shut off of oxygen supply to the baby during his birth at St Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork and he suffered a hypoxic brain injury.

David Holland SC said this was not the usual case of cerebral palsy where there was a very high degree of disability but his client’s condition has had a “devastating” effect on the life he would have had.

Mr Coleman was stillborn and had to be resuscitated after birth and has dyskinetic cerebral palsy, he said.

Mr Coleman has mild learning difficulties and while he is physically able and a disabled athlete of note, he has a variety of physical conditions which impede him.

Mr Holland told Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon his side were asking the court to write a “prescription” to cater for the rest of the young man’s life and his care needs.

Mr Coleman aspires to have an independent life living in Cork city and for this he will require supports, the costs of which are significant, counsel said.

The court heard the claim also includes a claim for loss of earnings.

Mr Coleman, Ballyvaloon, Whitegate, Co Cork has sued the HSE and a retired consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Liam Mundow, over the circumstances of his birth at St Finbarr’s hospital on May 25th, 1997.

It is claimed his mother Karen Coleman was admitted to the hospital that day and placed in a room in the observation area. It is claimed her supervision and monitoring there was sub standard and she was allowed to walk around the area for lengthy periods.

It is further claimed, despite concerns being allegedly raised as to the CTG trace, there was failure to properly investigate it and take appropriate and speedy action.

It is further alleged the CTG trace monitoring the baby was discontinued at one stage for seven minutes and at another stage for a 44 minute interval.

It was claimed too that there was another period of 24 minutes when the CTG was allegedly discontinued.

And it is alleged there was delay in summoning Mr Mundow and failure to have the paediatric team present for the birth.

The claims are denied.

Counsel told the court at one stage when Mrs Coleman was in labour she was transferred to a trolley to be brought to theatre. There was a “trolley farce” where there was something wrong with the wheels of that trolley and it could not be moved, he said.

A second trolley could not get into the room and the mother had to get off the first trolley and onto the second trolley,he said.

The case is expected to last four weeks.