Tuesday 17 October 2017

Boy awarded €8.5m more over his 'catastrophic' injuries during birth

Dr Fiona Murphy and her husband Mark Dunne outside court after their son was awarded €8.5m. Photo: Collins
Dr Fiona Murphy and her husband Mark Dunne outside court after their son was awarded €8.5m. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

A boy who suffered catastrophic injuries in the minutes after his birth has received a final payment of €8.5m under a settlement of his High Court action.

The payment, made on top of an earlier interim payment of €2.9m, brings the final financial settlement for Eoin Dunne to some €11.4m.

The court had previously ruled the Coombe Hospital in Dublin was liable for the injuries sustained by the now 12-year-old Eoin, of Malahide, Co Dublin, in the circumstances of his birth on July 30, 2002. Had Eoin been effectively ventilated nine minutes after birth rather than at 17 minutes, he would probably not have suffered his devastating injuries, the court found.

The delay was unacceptable and the hospital was negligent in failing to ensure the child received the type of intubation and ventilation "mandated in the first 10 minutes of his life", Ms Justice Mary Irvine previously ruled.

Eoin has severe dyskinetic cerebral palsy, cannot walk or speak and is dependent on others.

The case ran for 43 days in 2012. The legal costs of the action itself, brought on Eoin's behalf by his mother, Dr Fiona Murphy, an anaesthetist, could be as high as €2m.

Outside court yesterday, Eoin's parents, Dr Murphy and Mark Dunne, who have four other children, said that they were relieved the "extremely stressful" legal action was finally at an end.

The case had been fought every step of the way, Dr Murphy said.

She believed that was unnecessary and the case could have been settled years ago.

Irish Independent

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