Tuesday 20 March 2018

Doctor apologises in court to girl born with cerebral palsy

Isabelle Sheehan with her parents Colm and Catherine
outside the High Court yesterday
Isabelle Sheehan with her parents Colm and Catherine outside the High Court yesterday
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A CONSULTANT obstetrician apologised to a little girl left wheelchair-bound from severe cerebral palsy as negotiations over a settlement continued yesterday.

Catherine Sheehan took the medical-negligence case yesterday against consultant Dr David Corr -- who was in private practice at Bon Secours Maternity Hospital, Cork -- on behalf of her youngest child Isabelle (6).

Isabelle was accompanied to the High Court by her brother Luke (11) and father Colm.

Counsel on behalf of Dr Corr, who admitted liability, read out an apology on behalf of the medic which stated that he "very much regrets the outcome in relation to the birth".

Dr Corr said he made a "mistake" in not referring Mrs Sheehan to an expert in foetal medicine and that this had "disastrous consequences" for Isabelle and her family. He wished to "apologise" to them.

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill heard that a partial settlement had been agreed of €450,000 general damages, €450,000 for future loss of earnings, €120,000 for care given to Isabelle and €90,000 special damages.

The court heard that the amounts required for the next two years were in dispute and so the case will continue before the courts today.


Counsel Denis McCullough SC said both sides were willing to adjourn the action for two years in anticipation that legislation permitting the regular payments, rather than the present 'lump-sum' system, would be brought in.

Isabelle, from Millbrook, Mallow, Co Cork, suffers from severe spastic quadriparetic cerebral palsy, with both her arms and legs affected.

"She will never be able to walk normally," her counsel said, adding that she will continue to require care for the rest of her life.

She was born at the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in Cork on November 29, 2004.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News