Wednesday 18 September 2019

Teen with cerebral palsy gets €8.4m settlement over birth


‘Amazing woman’: Ciara Ormond with her mum Jean and brother Cillian. Photo: Collins Courts
‘Amazing woman’: Ciara Ormond with her mum Jean and brother Cillian. Photo: Collins Courts

An 18-year-old woman with cerebral palsy has settled a High Court action over the circumstances of her birth at Waterford Regional Hospital for €8.4m.

Ciara Ormond has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is totally dependent, needs 24-hour care and has to use a wheelchair. The settlement was without a full admission of liability.

Ciara's counsel, Bruce Antonioni, told Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon the family were in Italy for the wedding of Ciara's mother, Jean Ormond.

It was alleged during labour that CTG monitoring of the foetal heartbeat of Ciara was discontinued for one hour and 25 minutes.

Counsel told the court it was their case that the trace was stopped between 12.10pm and 1.35pm and this, he said, was "completely unacceptable".

Counsel said it was the HSE's case that the mother went for a shower and that is why the CTG trace was disconnected. The mother would say she was not in the shower for one-and-a-half hours.

When Ciara was born, she required vigorous resuscitation. Her counsel told the court she "was like a doll" at birth.

She suffers from spasms, and can only hold her head up for a few minutes.

In a statement read outside court, the Ormond family said the settlement was "not some kind of windfall", but was to secure Ciara's future.

They said it had been a long time coming, and they just wanted to move on now and give Ciara the best life she deserved.

In the statement read by their solicitor, Joice Carthy, the Ormond family added: "No amount of money will give Ciara back what she has lost out on, and will continue to lose out on in the future. Ciara will need round-the-clock care and numerous therapies."

Describing Ciara as "an amazing young woman who is loved greatly", the Ormonds said they were extremely proud of Ciara and she was "almost always upbeat and cheerful despite her difficulties".

Ciara, of Ursuline Crescent, Waterford, through her mother Jean Ormond, sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth on November 5, 2000.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to properly manage and monitor the labour, delivery and birth.

The claims were denied, and the HSE claimed there had been an alleged delay in bringing the case.

Irish Independent

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