€3m award in cerebral palsy case


A WOMAN who has cerebral palsy has secured €3 million under a settlement of her High Court action over alleged negligence in the circumstances of her birth at Mayo General Hospital.

The settlement in the case of Lisa Carroll (27) was made without admission of liability.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice John Quirke was told of the dedication and care Ms Carroll’s parents had shown to their daughter, during which time they had had only one holiday.

Paying tribute to “a remarkable family” for their “incalculable” care, the judge said Ms Carroll was very unlucky in what had happened to her but was very lucky as regards her parents. “I don’t know what we would all do without people like you.”

The proceedings were taken by Ms Carroll, Ballintean, Killala, Co Mayo, suing through her mother Noreen. The settlement was consented to by the HSE without admission of liability.

Earlier, Bruce Antoniotti SC, for Ms Carroll, said she was born on March 18th, 1984, at Mayo General Hospital when her mother was 42 weeks and one day into gestation. An induced labour on March 17th had been planned but this had not occurred and Ms Carroll was admitted to hospital on March 18th, Mr Antoniotti added.

He said his expert witness was critical of the fact that the pregnancy was allowed to continue into a 43rd week. He would have argued that during the last two weeks of the pregnancy, Ms Carroll should have been brought into the hospital, with scans and other procedures carried out to ascertain if the baby was well. Mr Antoniotti said Lisa was in hospital for three weeks after her birth, during which time she suffered several seizures.

He said liability was a full issue in the case as regards causation and negligence. The real issue in the case was causation and all the obstetric reports on the defence side queried causation.

The court heard Lisa had good communication skills, she could sing and make decisions. She had attended mainstream school and, although in a wheelchair, she could manoeuvre it herself.