Courts

Thursday 24 July 2014

Girl (8) gets €5.8m as birth trauma case settled

Tim Healy

Published 08/03/2014|02:30

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Grace Orchard (7). Picture: Collins Courts
Grace Orchard (7). Picture: Collins Courts
Deirdre O'Callaghan  leaving the High Court after being awarded damages in the region of €6 million from the HSE for brain injuries received by her daughter Grace during childbirth. Pic: Courtpix
Deirdre O'Callaghan leaving the High Court after being awarded damages in the region of €6 million from the HSE for brain injuries received by her daughter Grace during childbirth. Pic: Courtpix
Jason and Grace Orchard

AN eight-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has secured €5.8m in a settlement of her legal action over the handling and management of her birth.

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Outside Dublin's Four Courts yesterday, Grace Orchard's mother, Deirdre O'Callaghan, said an apology given to the family would not mean much to her daughter, who was born at St Finbarr's Hospital, Cork.

But she told how the family were relieved the court battle was finally over.

"We want to thank our legal team, who have stood by us for such a long time.

"The apology is not going to mean very much to Grace; it comes very late," Ms O'Callaghan added.

The settlement for Grace, who is wheelchair-bound, came on the 12th day of a High Court hearing to assess damages.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told the HSE had only conceded liability in the case last January – more than three years after Grace's parents had initiated the action.

Dr John O'Mahony, for Grace, said a letter of apology had been tendered to the family on the second day of the hearing.

Grace, of Ferndale, Carrigaline, Co Cork, through her mother Ms O'Callaghan, sued the HSE over the handling and management of her birth at St Finbarr's in Douglas.

It was claimed she suffered a severe insult and trauma during the course of delivery and suffered considerable distress, pain and damage as a result of which she is left with dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

Irish Independent

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