Sunday 25 September 2016

Girl (13) 'who can only communicate with her eyes' as a result of birth injuries receives total payment of €11m

Aodhan O'Faolain

Published 24/11/2015 | 12:06

Roisin Conroy
Roisin Conroy
Kevin Conroy with his wife Mary outside court

A 13 year old girl who has cerebral palsy as a result of injuries caused at her birth at Midland Regional Hospital has settled her High Court action with a final payment of €9million.

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This brings to a total of €11.6million the amount paid to Roisin Conroy.

The family received an apology from the HSE two years ago and the consultant obstetrician who treated her as she settled her case with an interim payment of €2.6million.

Roisin Conroy can only communicate with her eyes and is permanently disabled; has dyskinetic cerebral palsy and needs a wheelchair to get around.

Both her parents had to give up their jobs to care for their daughter. 

Roisin had sued through her mother Mary Conroy of Dysart, Portlaoise, Laois the HSE and a consultant obstetrician, John P Corristine attached to Portlaoise General Hospital, now the Midland Regional Hospital as a result of injuries sustained at the time of her birth on November 14, 2001.

Kevin Conroy with his wife Mary outside court
Kevin Conroy with his wife Mary outside court

In court today, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the final settlement was a 'very good one' and and it will look after Roisin's needs for the rest of her life.

Outside court her father Kevin Conroy said, while it was a very large settlement, it only reflects the catastrophic injuries suffered by Roisin and the complex needs she must endure for her entire life.

"Thankfully Roisin's care is now secure for life and for that we are very grateful," he said.

He added: "Obviously like all other parents this is the last place in the world that you would want to be, but we are and we must move on."

The court heard that Roisin's mother was a private patient of consultant John Corristine.

On November 10, 2001, Mrs Conroy had gone to the hospital when she thought her waters broke.

She was reassured and discharged home but three days later she attended Mr Corristine's clinic and, following an ultrasound, she insisted she be admitted to hospital.

Senior Counsel Denis McCullough said a CTG trace was commenced after Mr Corristine examined Mrs Conroy but there was no recording of contractions.

After another examination Mrs Conroy was advised to take a bath, but there was no hot water in the hospital, counsel said.

At 12.30 it was claimed that Mr Corristine ordered medicine be administered and it was claimed Mrs Conroy did not see the consultant again at the labour or the birth of her daughter.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told Mr Corristine would say he had given over care of the patient to another consultant, but Mrs Conroy would argue this was done without her knowledge.

When Roisin was born, her health was in a poor condition and she later had seizures. She was transferred to a Dublin hospital, the court heard.

Two years ago counsel for the HSE and consultant obstetrician John P Corristine read out an apology to the Conroy family in open court.

"I am instructed by the defendants and it is a term of the settlement to express their sincere apologies for the failings that caused injuries to Roisin Conroy and the consequential trauma experienced by Roisin and her family," it said.

The statement added: "They understand that neither this apology nor the financial compensation granted by the Court can negate the continuing heartache that the Conroy family must feel every day and appreciate that this continues to be a very difficult time for them." 

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