Saturday 17 November 2018

Boy (7) with cerebral palsy awarded €9.1m in damages over circumstances of birth 

Jarrah Folkman, of Station Road, Coothill, Co. Cavan. Pic: Collins Courts
Jarrah Folkman, of Station Road, Coothill, Co. Cavan. Pic: Collins Courts
L-R: Elysha McCrudden and Ben Folkman, parents of Jarrah Folkman pictured leaving the Four Courts after a High Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
16/10/2018 L-R: Elysha McCrudden and Ben Folkman, parents of Jarrah Folkman, of Station Road, Coothill, Co. Cavan pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday(Tues) after a High Court action on behalf of Jarrah Folkman.Pic: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who sued over the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General Hospital has settled his High Court action for €9.1m.

Jarrah Folkman can't talk or walk, and his mother told the High Court on Tuesday she will never hear her son's voice.

Elysha McCrudden said the settlement will go a long way towards her son's care, but she said she felt that windows of opportunities for Jarrah had been lost. 

Ms McCrudden said for the last seven years she and Jarrah's father Ben Folkman have been made feel that what happened was their fault.

Approving the settlement against the HSE, Mr Justice Cross praised Jarrah's parents for the care they have given him night and day.

Jarrah, of Station Road, Cootehill, Co Cavan, through his mother, sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General on April 19, 2011.

It was claimed there was a failure to correctly interpret the CTG trace which showed a number of decelerations when Ms McCrudden presented at the hospital on April 15, 2011. 

At that stage the mother was sent home and she returned to the hospital two days later. 

It was claimed following Ms McCrudden's admission there was a failure to note and or to heed that the initial CTG trace was decelerative and failed to put a plan in place for continued close monitoring and expedited delivery. 

On April 18, 2011 it was alleged there was for a time a failure to carry out any CTG monitoring of the baby.

It was alleged that an unsafe set of conditions had been allowed to persist during the course of the labour.

The baby it was claimed should have been born some time on April 16 and there was a failure on April 19 to take any or any timely action hours earlier in response to the non-reassuring features on the CTG trace.

Liability was admitted in the case which was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Denis McCollough SC, for Jarrah, told the court that when Jarrah was born, he was flat and unresponsive, and he required resuscitation. 

The family he said had lived for a time in Australia but had returned to Ireland in 2013. 

Jarrah, he said, needs 24-hour care and while the boy does not have speech, his parents can interpret his sounds.

Counsel said Jarrah smiles and is a content child.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross wished the family well.

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