Family settles action over baby’s death at Portlaoise hospital
Mark and Róisín Molloy sued for emotional suffering and distress as a result of death
Roisin and Mark Molloy from Castlebrack, Killeigh, Co. Offaly pictured speaking to the media outside the Four Courts on Wednesday after a settlement in their High Court action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts
The family of a baby who died following his birth at Midland Regional Hospital – but who was recorded as a stillbirth – have settled their legal action against the HSE.
Mark and Róisín Molloy who have four sons, sued for emotional suffering and distress as a result of the death of baby Mark two years ago.
Mark’s death, and the deaths of three other babies at the Midland Regional, led to a Prime Time programme and an investigation by the Health Information and Quality Authority into the safety, quality and standards of maternity service at the Portlaoise hospital.
A report earlier this year by chief medical officer Tony Holohan into the deaths of four babies at the hospital, between 2006 and 2012, found the maternity unit was unsafe. He also found that babies and their families were treated in a poor, and at times, appalling manner, with limited respect, kindness, courtesy and consideration.
Outside court, the Molloys said they had been brought out through the hospital back door after their son died, but he would now be remembered as the baby who was a catalyst for change in the health service.
His legacy, and that of other babies who died, would be if a new system requiring legal duty of open disclosure for all health care professionals is introduced, they said.
“They utterly failed in their duty to Mark, and to us as parents,” Mark Molloy senior said.
He said Government ministers had given a commitment to start the process of the introduction of legal duty of open disclosure for all health care professionals in the country.
“Judging from what we have learned over the last three years, and our experience in communication with the HSE, this has got to be the only way forward.
Róisín and Mark Molloy of Castlebrack, Killeigh, Co Offaly, had sued the HSE as a result of the death of Mark after he was born alive on January 24th, 2012.
He was delivered by caesarean section at 9.31am on January 24th, 2012 weighing 3.89kgs but he was in a poor condition.
He was born alive and suffered a neonatal death but the HSE, the Molloys claimed, recorded the death as a stillbirth in the health care record. There was, it was alleged, a failure to ensure baby Mark was born earlier and by 7.30am at the latest.
The Molloys claimed Mark’s death was caused by the negligence and breach of duty aggravated by the conduct of the HSE in relation to the recorded status of the bay’s death and the manner in which the Molloys’ enquiries and complaints were dealt with.
The HSE, it was alleged, failed to give a full and frank account of what caused the death of baby Mark and failed to carry out any timely investigation. It was also alleged they failed to keep accurate records of the labour and delivery.
It was further alleged that prior to receipt of the neo natal records on March 23rd, 2012, Mark’s death was misrepresented as a stillbirth. The pathologist who carried out the post mortem and the coroner were also told it was a stillbirth, it was claimed.