Boy injured during birth at Cavan General settles action for €2.1m

Boy (7) has cerebral palsy, is confined to wheelchair and has no means of communciating

A boy who was catastrophically injured during his birth at Cavan General Hosptial has settled his High Court action on terms including an interim payment of €2.1m.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told Cavan General Hospital had admitted liability at an early stage in the case and also apologised to Patrick Brannigan and his parents.

Denis McCullough SC, for Patrick, now aged seven, from Annyalla, Castleblayeny, Co Monaghan said the boy has dyskinetic cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair and has no means of communciating.

Through his mother Niamh Brannigan, Patrick had sued the HSE as a result of the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General Hospital on July 20th, 2007.


Mr McCullough said there was a “catalogue of errors” and the baby, after his delivery by emergency caesarean was in very poor condition.

Patrick is a cheerful, good humoured boy who is cared for full time by this parents, counsel added.

The case will come back before the court in three years’ time when the costs of Patrick’s future care needs will be assessed.

The court heard Mrs Brannigan had been admitted to Cavan General Hospital and from 17.55pm on July 20th, 2007, a CTG trace showed signs of foetal distress.

At about 18.30pm, the CTG trace was showing signs of being pathological but it was decided to commence syntocinon, a drug used to speed up labour, counsel said.

Syntocinaon should never have been used when a CTG trace is pathological and there are signs of foetal distress, counsel said.

It was claimed there was a failure to manage adequately, or at all, the labour and delivery. It was also alleged there was failure to monitor the baby adequarely or at all while the labour progressed.

There was a failure to deliver the baby as quickly as possible once there were clear signs of foetal distress, it was further alleged.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross wished Patrick and his family well.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times