Wednesday 21 March 2018

Apology 'too little, too late' as disabled Katie (7) gets €6.7m

Katie Manton (9)
Katie Manton (9)
Aoife and Raymond Manton speak outside court yesterday. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

The parents of a seven-year-old girl with cerebral palsy say a hospital apology is "too little, too late".

Katie Manton settled for €6.7m her legal action over the alleged mismanagement of her birth at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel on September 17, 2008.

In a statement read to the court, the hospital's general manager Grace Rothwell said she wished to "express our sincere and unreserved apologies for the failings that caused the injuries to Katie and the tragic outcome". She added: "I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that valuable lessons have been learned by the hospital and its staff."

But Michael McGrath SC, for Katie's parents, Aoife and Raymond Manton, said he had been instructed to tell the court the apology was "too little, too late in the circumstances".

Katie, through her father Raymond, of George's Land, Dualla Road, Cashel, Co Tipperary, sued the HSE as a result of the allegedly inadequate management of Aoife Manton's obstructed labour, and the alleged excessive delay in delivering Katie, who suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to deliver the baby in a timely manner and an alleged failure to properly diagnose CTG readings. The claims were denied.

Counsel said Katie was severely and permanently disabled. The family had been put to tremendous expense in the past seven years and had even bought a site to build a home for their daughter. Mr Justice Cross approved the settlement and said it would be good for Katie. He said her parents had brought Katie through the early years and they were heroes.

He hoped the settlement would make Katie's life as good as it could possibly be.

Outside court, Aoife Manton said they were relieved that the case was finished. "It has been a very difficult time for the family. Since Katie's birth in 2008, we have tried to do our best for Katie with limited means and resources. It is regrettable that even though the HSE admitted liability in these proceedings, it was not until today that there has been a semblance of an apology or an expression of regret from the HSE for its admitted negligence and failures."

Irish Independent

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