Boy (12) settles action over circumstances of his birth for €10.5 million

Settlement over birth at Sligo General Hospital made without admission of liability

A 12-year-old boy who sued over the circumstances of his birth at Sligo General Hospital has settled his High Court action for €10.5million.

The settlement is without admission of liability.

Samuel Forde, the court heard, has cerebral palsy which has affected every aspect of his life, his requirements for the future are extensive and he will need life time care.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the Fordes brought court proceedings after they sought legal advice a few years ago when Samuel's medical card was withdrawn.


His counsel Des O'Neill SC said their case was that a CTG trace of the baby's movements on August 19th 2006 was not reassuring but the HSE side claimed it was reassuring.

The Forde case was that an emergency caesarean section should have been carried out that day.

Outside court David O’Malley, solicitor for the Fordes, said the family wanted Samuel to have a life “as happy and as included as possible”.

“Hopefully the financial settlement can bring him that stability. Mediation was a very effective mechanism to resolve this case,” he said.

He said Samuel’s medical card was withdrawn in 2014 and that prompted his parents Des and Deborah to seek legal advice.

The boy from Glenview Park, Grange, Co Sligo had through his mother Deborah Forde sued the HSE.


It was claimed there was a failure to promptly diagnose and act upon the baby’s condition. It was further claimed there was a failure to admit Deborah Forde to hospital on August 19th, 2006 when her condition and that of the baby could be monitored and acted upon appropriately.

It was alleged too that the pregnancy was allowed to go well past its due date and a failure to deliver the baby at an appropriate stage.

The claims were denied.

Ms Forde attended for a check up on August 15th, 2006 and all was well but two days later she attended the hospital as she thought she might be in labour. A CTG was applied to monitor the baby’s heartbeat .

Two days later Ms Forde returned to the hospital and after checks she was told she could return home.

A midwife checked with her over the phone about the baby’s movement and when she reported less movement on August 20th she was told to return to hospital immediately. A CTG and checks were carried out and Samuel was born by caesarean section on that date and he had to be intubated.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross said the Fordes had looked after their son “over and above” and he wished “the loving and protective family” the best for the future. He said the settlement was the best possible and reasonable.