€1.7m for teenager paralysed after spinal surgery
A teenage girl left paralysed after undergoing surgery on her spine has secured almost €1.7m as part settlement of her medical negligence action.
Emily Casey (18) claimed she suffered injury after a screw was inserted into her spinal cord while she was undergoing an operation at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, Dublin, to treat scoliosis, or curvature, of the spine, on December 8, 2009.
As a result of her spinal cord being severely damaged, she was left paralysed from her chest down. She is confined to a wheelchair and requires care and assistance.
Emily, through her mother Stephanie, of Nerano Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin, sued the hospital and consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Dr David Moore, for alleged negligence.
Yesterday at the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he had no hesitation in approving a sum of €1.668m in part-settlement of the action.
Liam Reidy SC, for Emily, told the court that liability had been admitted in the case last Friday.
While there were a number of issues in the claim that remain outstanding, Emily and her family had accepted a lump sum of €1.668m as part settlement of her action, he said.
Counsel added an apology to Emily was being put together and would be given when the case returns before the court later this month.
Counsel said Emily contracted meningitis when she was four, which resulted in health problems but after a period she was able to walk with a frame.
In 2009, she was diagnosed with scoliosis and underwent surgery at Crumlin.
Her injuries were caused when a special screw, known as a pedicle, was wrongly inserted into her spinal cord. The screw was removed following further surgery the next day.
She remained in hospital until April 2010, when she was moved to the National Rehabilitation Centre.
Counsel said she had suffered a number of complications since the operation.
It was also part of their claim that they were advised by the hospital that, with both motor and sensory monitoring being carried out, the risk of paralysis was in the order of the 1 in 4,000.
Emily's mother Stephanie said the family, and especially Emily, were relieved liability had been admitted.
Up until last week nobody would admit that "a mistake had been made", she said.