Thursday 19 September 2019

Boy with cerebral palsy who sued over circumstances of his birth awarded €10.5m by High Court

Sam Forde, of Glenview Park, Grange, Co. Sligo pictured leaving the Four Courts after the High Court approved a settlement offer of €10.5Million.Pic: Collins Courts 23/7/2019
Sam Forde, of Glenview Park, Grange, Co. Sligo pictured leaving the Four Courts after the High Court approved a settlement offer of €10.5Million.Pic: Collins Courts 23/7/2019
Sligo University Hospital

Tim Healy

A boy who sued over the circumstances of his birth at Sligo General Hospital has settled his High Court action for €10.5million.

The Court heard that Samuel Forde (12) has cerebral palsy which has affected every aspect of his life and his requirements for the future are extensive and he will need life time care.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that the Fordes only brought court proceedings after they sought legal advice a few years ago when Samuel's medical card was withdrawn.

His counsel Des O’Neill SC told the High Court the settlement is without admission of liability.

He said it was their case that a CTG trace of the baby's movements  on August 19. 2006 was allegedly not reassuring but the HSE side claimed it was reassuring. Counsel said it was the Forde case an emergency cesarean section should have been carried out on August 19, 2006.

Outside court solicitor David O'Malley for the Fordes said the family wanted Samuel to have a life which is “as happy and as included as possible”.

23/7/2019
(In Wheelchair) Sam Forde, of Glenview Park, Grange, Co. Sligo pictured leaving the Four Courts - with his family, Deborah (mum), Des (dad) and sister, Hannah and solicitor, David O Malley (back of pic - left) after the High Court approved a settlement offer of €10.5Million.Pic: Collins Courts
23/7/2019 (In Wheelchair) Sam Forde, of Glenview Park, Grange, Co. Sligo pictured leaving the Four Courts - with his family, Deborah (mum), Des (dad) and sister, Hannah and solicitor, David O Malley (back of pic - left) after the High Court approved a settlement offer of €10.5Million.Pic: Collins Courts

“Hopefully the financial settlement can bring him that stability. Mediation was a very effective mechanism to resolve this case,” he said.

He said Samuel's medical card was withdrawn in 2014 and that prompted his parents Des and Deborah to seek legal advice.

Samuel Forde, Glenview Park, Grange, Co Sligo had through his mother Deborah Forde sued the HSE.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to promptly diagnose and act upon the baby’s condition.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to admit Mrs Forde to hospital on August 19, 2006 when her condition and that of the baby could be monitored and acted upon appropriately.

It was alleged the pregnancy was allowed to go well past its due date and there was an alleged failure to deliver the baby at an appropriate stage.

The claims were denied.

Mrs Forde attended for a check up on August 15, 2006 and all was well but two days later she attended the hospital as she thought she might be in labour. A CTG was applied to monitor the baby’s heartbeat .

Two days later Mrs Forde returned to the hospital and after checks she was told she could return home.

A midwife checked with her over the phone about  the baby’s movement and when she reported less movement on August 20 she was told to return to hospital immediately. A CTG and checks were carried out and Samuel was born by cesarean section August 20,2006 and he had to be intubated.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the Fordes had looked after their son "over and above" and he wished "the loving and protective family" the best for the future. He said the settlement was the best possible and reasonable.

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