Thursday 21 February 2019

Girl (8) left with cerebral palsy after birth is awarded another €635k in damages

Tim Healy

AN eight-year old girl left with cerebral palsy following her birth is to receive another €635,000 in damages on top of a €1.9m interim settlement made to her two years ago.

Isabelle Sheehan. from Millbrook, Mallow , Co Cork, through her parents Catherine and Colm Sheehan, had sued  consultant Dr David Corr who was carrying on a private practice from Bon Secours Maternity Hospital, Cork.

Dr Corr had two years ago admitted liability in the case and had apologised saying he very much regretted the outcome in relation to the birth of Isabelle on November 29, 2004.

Dr Corr said he had made a "mistake" in not referring Mrs Sheehan to an expert in foetal medicine which had "disastrous consequences" for the child and her family.

The High Court previously heard Mrs Sheehan's GP carried out a blood test for antibodies on May 17, 2004.

Further tests in October 2004 revealed an alarming rise in the presence of certain blood group antibodies and the consultant was informed.

Dr Corr was also informed of her husband's blood type, which, the court heard, the antibodies in the mother's blood were "programmed to attack".

Counsel for the Sheehan family argued the consultant should have referred her for advice from an expert in foetal medicine who would have recognised the difficulty.

As a result when Isabelle was delivered by caesarean section she was in extremely poor condition.

Counsel for the Sheehan's, Denis Mcullough, said there had been full and final settlement in relation to the issue of damages for the next two years and his side was recommending the court approve of the €635,000 figure.

The case will come before the court again in two years time when a judge will be asked to  asses Isabelle's future needs.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the payment and wished Isabelle a very good future.

Isabelle suffers from severe spastic quadriparetic cerebral palsy.

The court heard she is "bright and intelligent".  She requires intensive physiotherapy and a special needs assistant at home to help her keep up with children in her mainstream national school class.

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