News Courts

Tuesday 2 September 2014

High Court approves €6m settlement for man (30) over alleged birth negligence

* Man has cerebral palsy and requires full-time care
* Case started in 2002
* Judge praises man's parents for the level of care they have given him
* Mother tells judge they did it out of love for their son
* Man now living in residential unit
* His parents want him to live in his own unit - but with a suitable care package

Published 09/04/2014 | 16:47

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National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street

A 30-year old man with cerebral palsy has secured a €6m settlement of his High Court action over the handling and management of his birth at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in Dublin.

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Stephen Ryan is severely and permanently mentally and physically disabled and will always require constant care and supervision, the court heard.

Approving the settlement, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said it had been a long struggle for Stephen's parents, Linda and Eamon Ryan.  The case started in 2002 with an admission of liability by the NMH this year.

She praised the Ryans for what they had done for Stephen and managing to care for him at home until he was 24 years of age.

He is now in a residential care unit but his family want him to live in his own accommodation with a care package suited to his needs, the court heard. 

Stephen, of Grosvenor Court, Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin, had sued the NMH, Holles Street, through his mother Linda, for alleged negligence arising out of the management of Ms Ryan's pregnancy.

It was claimed that Ms Ryan attended the hospital for the duration of her pregnancy in 1983.

On December 12, 1983, she was admitted to the hospital, with a history of reduced foetal movement, for five days and then discharged.

On December 26, 1983, Ms Ryan was admitted again following spontaneous onset of labour and Stephen was delivered the next morning.

It was claimed there was a failure to to carry out any proper assessment of her condition on December 12/13 1983, and at any time following her discharge from hospital up to the delivery of her baby.

There was also an alleged failure to acknowledge at any time the risks of prolonging the pregnancy and a failure to consider the need for delivery before December 27, 1983, it was claimed.

Ms Ryan told the court she had cared for her son at home  until he was 24 years of age and it was with a " very heavy heart" she let him go in to residential care.

When the judge complimented her and Mr Ryan for their care of their son Linda Ryan said she did it out of love.

Irish Independent

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