Woman, 46, with cerebral palsy who sued hospital over birth circumstances settles €850,000 suit in High Court

A 46-year-old woman with cerebral palsy who complained at Galway Regional Hospital about the circumstances of her birth has settled a claim in the High Court for €850,000.

Aula Corcoran, from the city of Sligo, the court said, uses a wheelchair, cannot speak and needs full-time care.

The settlement against the HSE is made without admission of liability.

Approving the settlement, Mr. Judge Garrett Simons noted the exceptional care Ms. Corcoran’s family had given her over the years.

“You have made an excellent contribution. She’s very, very lucky,” the judge said.

Alistair Rutherdale BL, acting for solicitor David O’Malley, told the court that proceedings in the case began in 2014 when Ms Corcoran was 38.

The case was unusual in that it referred to circumstances 46 years ago and is believed to be the first ever case alleging medical negligence and addressing events over 40 years ago.

It has been claimed that her mother, Emily Corcoran, was hospitalized on April 7, 1976 after being told the baby was presenting in an abnormal position.

She went into labor overnight and was transferred to the maternity ward on April 8th. Paula Corcoran was later delivered via emergency c-section but had to be resuscitated.

Mr Justice Simons said it was the Corcoran case where particular attention should be paid to the position in which the baby lay before birth. There should supposedly have been one-on-one monitoring, as well as earlier interventions.

The judge said the case had to be considered by the standards of medical practice at the time. He said the defense denied all claims, claiming the birth was carefully monitored and due care and attention given to the mother and baby.

The HSE had also raised the issue of the delay in initiating proceedings. A motion to dismiss the case due to delay had been partially heard by the courts.

The judge said the settlement amount of €850.00 was half the total notional value of the case. Citing the tragic circumstances of the case and the risk of liability, the judge said it was a very fair settlement

It is also a case where memory is of particular importance, he said.

Mrs Corcoran had sued the HSE on 8 April 1976, through her late father Malachy Corcoran, over the circumstances and management of her birth in Galway Regional, now known as University College Hospital Galway.

It has been claimed that Emily Corcoran’s admission to the hospital failed to adopt a clear plan for active or watchful management. It was further claimed that there had been a failure to maintain vigilant surveillance through work.

There was also an alleged failure when labor went spontaneously to carefully assess and re-evaluate the situation.

All claims were rejected.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/woman-46-with-cerebral-palsy-who-sued-hospital-over-circumstances-of-her-birth-settles-high-court-action-for-850000-41830986.html Woman, 46, with cerebral palsy who sued hospital over birth circumstances settles €850,000 suit in High Court

Fry Electronics Team

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