A 24-year-old woman with cerebral palsy who complained about the circumstances of her birth at The Coombe Hospital in Dublin has settled her claim in the High Court for €10.75million.
Ora Sexton, through her mother Rita Fitzgerald of Clontarf in Dublin, sued Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital over the circumstances of her birth on 8 September 1997. The hospital denied the allegations.
Mr Judge Paul Coffey, who approved the settlement, said it was humbling to see how well Cora’s family took care of her and that she was obviously a very happy person.
Your attorney, Dr. John O’Mahony SC, told the court it was her case that Cora should have been delivered by c-section three to four hours earlier.
He said a CTG (cardiotocograph) trace, which monitors the baby’s heartbeat, shows pathological manifestations. She was stressed a few hours before the caesarean, he said.
The lawyer said the case was complicated by the fact that the CTG trace had been misplaced. His side also claimed neonatal management.
It was claimed she was not on ventilator support when she should have been and there was the alleged administration of a “toxic barbiturate”, adding to the baby’s difficulties.
The settlement, which was made without acknowledgment of guilt, came about after mediation.
Cora’s mother Rita said her daughter is very happy in her own little world and likes music and plays tag rugby.
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Cora suffered chronic partial asphyxia during childbirth, which resulted in brain damage that led to cerebral palsy and long-term neurodevelopmental problems.
It has also been claimed that had the baby been born several hours earlier than her, it would have escaped most if not all of the injuries allegedly caused by the asphyxiation.
The CTG recordings, which monitor the baby’s heart rate, reportedly showed pathological features for a period of about three hours after the epidural was administered. There was also an alleged failure to monitor the baby during labour.
There was an alleged failure to notice the fetal strain and after the administration of epidural anesthesia there was an alleged failure to notice the significant change in the CTG traces.
It was claimed that the baby developed seizures after delivery and later left-sided weakness. The claims were dismissed.
An inexcusable delay in initiating the case was also alleged.
The hospital contended that it was at a disadvantage in defending the lawsuit and investigating the claims because of the lack of CTG.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/woman-24-with-cerebral-palsy-who-sued-coombe-hospital-over-circumstances-of-her-birth-settles-case-for-1075m-41635319.html Woman, 24, with cerebral palsy who sued Coombe hospital over the circumstances of her birth, settles the case for €10.75million