Friday 18 January 2019

Girl (9) with cerebral palsy awarded €1.7m payout in action over birth

The Four Courts, Dublin
The Four Courts, Dublin

Tim Healy

A nine-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who sued over the circumstances of her birth has settled her action against the HSE with an interim payout of €1.7m.

Holly Corrigan, who has a twin sister, was born first and is spastic quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy. Her sister Katie was born by caesarean section 18 minutes later and is healthy, her counsel Dr John O'Mahony SC told the High Court.

The twin sisters were born 12 weeks' premature in March 2008. Counsel said it was their case that Holly should have been delivered by caesarean section like her sister.

Holly, of Dun Eoin, Ballinrea Road, Carrigaline, Co Cork, through her mother, Victoria Corrigan, sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth at Cork University Maternity Hospital on March 20, 2008.

It was claimed Holly's delivery was extremely traumatic for the baby and her parents. The registrar who delivered the babies, it was alleged, was visibly distressed both prior to and during the delivery.

It was further claimed Holly was put into unnecessary distress and was left severely neurologically compromised and disabled.

Holly was in the neo-natal intensive care unit for three months after her birth and had to have a shunt inserted.

It was claimed that the day after the operation Holly was the victim of an alleged massive morphine overdose where a 24-hour dosage was administered in 24 minutes and as a result she became extremely unwell and unable to breathe unassisted.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to carry out an emergency caesarean section for Holly and an alleged failure to carry out an emergency caesarean as directed given the explicit instruction of the Corrigans' private consultant. The claims were denied.

Dr O'Mahony SC said Holly went to the same school as her sister Katie and they were in fourth class. Counsel said she had a very devoted set of parents who had done everything they could to enhance the life of their daughter.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross congratulated the Corrigans for the care they have given their daughter.

Irish Independent

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