Friday 20 October 2017

€4.25m for man injured at birth

Severe brain-damage means plaintiff requires round-the-clock care

Tim Healy

A YOUNG man who suffered severe brain damage after he was deprived of oxygen at birth had a €4.25m settlement approved at the High Court yesterday.

Dermot Moylan (20), from Firville, Mallow, Co Cork, will require care and support facilities for the rest of his life.

He suffers from epilepsy, cerebral palsy and other disabilities as a result of injuries he sustained at birth.

Through his mother, Anna, he sued the Southern Health Board and Cork's Erinville Hospital, as well as Dr David Jenkins of the Erinville and Dr John McKiernan of the Cork Clinic, Western Road, Cork.

Mr Moylan claimed the defendants were negligent and in breach of their duty of care to him during his birth at the hospital on August 7, 1989.

The action opened at the High Court yesterday and was expected to last a number of weeks.

But the settlement offer was made without admission of liability and Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill said he was "more than happy" to approve it.

In the proceedings, it was claimed that the defendants failed to take measures that would have prevented Mr Moylan from suffering the injuries, and also failed to take the necessary action to ensure his safe delivery.

He said it was their case that the birth, by Caesarean section, should have taken place as soon as his mother was admitted to the hospital.

It was claimed that, due to the defendants' negligence, a complication known as a placental abruption -- resulting in a disruption to the baby's blood supply during labour -- was not detected by the defendants.

As a result, Mr Moylan's brain was deprived of oxygen, causing damage to his nervous system.

It was also claimed that, despite the detection of an irregular heartbeat after his mother's admission to the hospital, the defendants failed to take appropriate action.

The claims were denied by the defendants.



Care

Denis McCullough, for Mr Moylan, told the court that Anna Moylan was admitted to the Erinville Hospital at around 3am on August 7, 1989. Her son was born at approximately 7.17am.

When he was born, he had breathing difficulties and needed to be resuscitated. The court heard that, as a result of the lack of oxygen to his brain, Mr Moylan suffered brain damage and now suffers from epilepsy.

He will require around-the-clock care for the rest of his life. He has limited learning skills, has had mobility problems, and currently attends a care centre five times a week, Mr McCullough said.

Speaking afterwards, the family's solicitor, Cathal Lombard, said the Moylans were pleased that the matter had been brought to an end.

Mr Lombard also paid tribute to the Moylan family for the level of care they have provided for their son.

Irish Independent

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