A High Court settlement of €3.75 million was awarded to a young man with cereval palsy this week after action was taken over the alleged negligence in the circumstances of his birth at Mullingar General Hospital.
The settlement was made without admission of liability.
Seán Byrne (17 ) had sued the HSE through his mother Joan Byrne, Grange Heights, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. The HSE denied liability.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement saying that there were many questions over the cause of the injuries suffered by Mr Byrne.
When recommending the settlement offer, Denis McCullough SC, for Mr Byrne, said he had concerns about the causation issue if the case proceeded to hearing. Mr McCullough said his case was that if Mr Byrne had been delivered 11 hours earlier by Caesarean section, he would have been “spared” brain damage.
The court was told Seán was born on March 23, 1994, at Mullingar General Hospital.
During the court case it was alleged that the hospital had failed to monitor the foetal heartbeat adequately. It was also alleged that the hospital failed to ensure the child, Mr Byrne, was delivered by Caesarean section or otherwise at the first available opportunity.
Further claims were made that there had been a failure to recognise abnormal rhythms of the foetal heart in a CTG (cardiotocograph ) trace and a failure to call in a consultant or doctor of sufficient experience to read the results of the foetal monitoring.
It was also claimed labour was permitted to continue despite the abnormal CTG traces.
The court heard that as a result of the alleged negligence, Mr Byrne was severely neurologically impaired, with cerebral palsy affecting the left side of his body, it was claimed.
The court was also told that epilepsy was the worst aspect of Seán’s condition and he fell and hurt himself from time to time.
Mr Byrne has the mild range of cerebral palsy and can walk, run, and play football.