Child with cerebral palsy following birth at Sligo hospital settles action
HSE apologises to the boy’s parents and explains what happened
The boy, through his mother, settled the action on terms including an interim payment of €740,000. Photograph: Stephen Hird/Reuters
A child with cerebral palsy who sued the HSE over alleged negligence in the circumstances of his birth at Sligo General Hospital has settled his action on terms including an interim payment of €740,000.
The judge also commended the HSE for its attitude to the case after hearing senior personnel had sincerely apologised to the child’s parents and given them an explanation during mediation settlement talks.
Evan Dean, from Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, now lives in Canada. Through his mother, Tara McGrath, he sued the HSE as a result of the circumstances of his birth at the Sligo hospital in May 2010.
It was claimed the boy should have been delivered by 17.50pm on May 2nd, 2010, but was not delivered until 95 minutes later. That, it was alleged, caused him to suffer 90 additional minutes of asphyxia.
It was also alleged there was failure to have regard to the CTG trace from 17.30pm when, it was alleged, the trace was grossly pathological and there was a failure to deliver the baby at the earliest possible opportunity.
The court heard liability was not an issue in the case and the parents were happy with the settlement.
Michael Cush SC, for the family, said senior HSE personnel had sat down with Evan’s parents, sincerely apologised and explained what had happened and that was a significant part of the settlement mediation talks.
Mr Cush said this was one of the best outcomes in a case of cerebral palsy and that Evan attends school in Canada. While the boy has a right-sided deficit, he is a sociable and happy child, counsel added.
Approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross said he was delighted at the progress Evan has made and wished him well. “I am sure he will have a great future,” he said.
The judge commended the attitude of the HSE and said an apology and an explanation of what happened as part of mediation settlement talks was “absolutely something to be encouraged”.
Thankfully, it was becoming more and more common that explanations are given, he said.
The case will return to court in five years’ time when Evan’s future care needs will be assessed.