Friday 20 April 2018

€10m payment for girl (11) damaged at birth

Rachel Gallagher leaving the Four Courts yesterday after the High Court approved a €10m award. Picture: Collins
Rachel Gallagher leaving the Four Courts yesterday after the High Court approved a €10m award. Picture: Collins

Tim Healy

An 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has settled a High Court action with a €10m payment over the circumstances of her birth at Mayo General Hospital.

This final payment brings to €12.2m the amount paid to Rachel Gallagher of Straide, Foxford, Co Mayo.

Her counsel Denis McCullough told the court Rachel's parents were of a strong mind that they wanted to finish the process with a final lump sum payment.

He said the family and Rachel herself found the ongoing process - where she has to undergo medical examinations and assessments before court appearances - very difficult.

Approving the settlement against the HSE, President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly said this would have been Rachel's third time in court. Before coming each time, she had to go through "a battery of tests and assessments" and this created a lot of stress for Rachel and her family.

The little girl put up her hand to be allowed to speak and said: "Thank you, your honour." Mr Justice Kelly said very few judges were thanked and he was very grateful.

The judge said it was a good settlement that would provide for Rachel for life.

Through her mother, Ciara Hynes, Rachel sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth on September 28, 2006.

Ms Hynes was admitted to Mayo General on September 27 and the next morning they started to induce the birth and syntocinon was began after midday.

Rachel was born in poor condition. It was claimed there was a failure to properly manage and monitor the labour, delivery and birth of the baby.

Counsel said she was in fifth class at school and it was hoped she would go on to secondary school and university.

Irish Independent

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