Thursday 27 November 2014

Special Olympics athlete confined to wheelchair since birth settles legal action for €2.5m

Published 29/07/2014 | 16:37

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

A 29-YEAR-old man who is brain damaged and confined to a wheelchair has settled a legal action over the circumstances of his birth for €2.5m

Eoin Harte, the High Court heard, has dyskinetic cerebral palsy and has won three medals in the Special Olympics.

Through his mother Aine Harte, Eoin, of Castlecomer Road, Graiguecullen, Co Carlow,  sued St James's Hospital , Dublin, for alleged negligence and breach of duty in the circumstances of his birth on July 26, 1985.

The settlement was without an admission of liability.

Oonagh McCrann SC told Mr Justice Kevin Cross Eoin  was a lovely young man who was thrilled to have won the medals in the Special Olympics in 2004. Counsel said he is also planning to work for one day a week in a supermarket in the Autumn.

The court heard Eoin's mother attended St James's  throughout her pregnancy and, it was claimed, she was advised that at all times it was a normal pregnancy.

She was admitted to hospital with irregular contractions . It was claimed there was no adequate monitoring of the baby's foetal heartbeat as no indication arose of foetal distress.

When he was born, Eoin was incubated and ventilated and later diagnosed with persisting neurological abnormalities and with dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

It was claimed that in allegedly failing to properly monitor the foetal heartbeat in the final stages of delivery, the opportunity for appropriate timely intervention by a consultant obstetrician  by way of a forceps delivery was foregone.

Mr Justice Cross, who approved the settlement was told Eoin's parents, Anne and Sean, had provided care "over and above the normal" for their son.

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