Sunday 21 January 2018

€1.75m for teen 'left profoundly disabled at birth'

A family photo of Thomas O'Connor
A family photo of Thomas O'Connor

Tim Healy

An 18-year-old man who allegedly suffered brain damage at birth and in his treatment afterwards has settled his High Court action for €1.75m.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that as part of the settlement, Thomas O'Connor, who is profoundly disabled, is to continue to be cared for at a residential home just 20 minutes from his family home in Sligo.

He has been in residential care since he was 12 and his mother visits him every day.

Thomas is spastic quadriplegic, blind and has to be fed through a tube, the court heard.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said the legal ordeal for the O'Connor family was now over.

He was delighted the case, which had been at hearing for four weeks, had been settled.

Through his mother Ann O'Connor, of Ard Curley, Collooney, Co Sligo, Thomas sued the HSE over the management and care of his mother's labour and his birth and care at Sligo General Hospital on September 6, 1996.

It was claimed that there was an alleged failure on the part of the HSE to ensure Mrs O'Connor was competently and properly managed, cared for and supervised while in the hospital. It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to inform a consultant of the abnormal cardiotocography (CTG) results in a timely fashion.

There was also an alleged delay in carrying out a caesarean section and later an allegedly ineffective resuscitation with a malpositioned tube.

The HSE denied all the claims.

Senior counsel for the family, Des O'Neill, said as part of the settlement, there was a guarantee from the HSE it will pay the costs of Thomas's care in the residential home.

Ann O'Connor said the family were very happy with the settlement and that her son's future is secure. "He is a happy, contented boy. I visit him every day.

"Where he is staying is like a second home to him," she told the judge.

Irish Independent

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