Child Awarded Interim Settlement for Birth Injuries

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A two year-old boy has been awarded a €1.75 million settlement of compensation for medical negligence prior to his birth that left him disabled. 

On the 19th August 2013, Catriona Enright was admitted to the Midwestern Regional Hospital. She was thirty-seven weeks pregnant when she was admitted, and after a medical examination, it was decided that her labour would be induced. 

Catriona was then administered Syntocinon, a drug with well-documented side-effects. However, despite this, the medical staff failed to accurately monitor Catriona and, as a result, her baby suffered from hyper-stimulation in the womb. 

The following morning, Charlie Enright was delivered “flat”, meaning that he was bot able to breathe unassisted. This was a result of the misinterpretation of a cardiocography trace by doctors, meaning that there was a delayed diagnosis of foetal distress. Charlie was shortly transferred to the Cork University Hospital, where he was diagnosed with  an intra-cranial haemorrhage. 

To treat this condition, Charlie underwent therapeutic hypothermia treatment, though he was still left with a permanent disability. Catriona, acting on behalf of her now two year-old son, sought legal counsel and made a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Health Service Executives. After an investigation into the circumstances of Charlie’s birth, the HSE admitted liability for Charlie’s injuries. 

After this admittance, negotiations ensued between the parties. However, as the exact nature of Charlie’s future needs are unknown, an interim settlement of compensation worth €1.75 million was negotiated between the parties. 

As the claim was made on behalf of a minor, the case proceeded to the High Court of Dublin such that the settlement could be approved by a judge. Mr Justice Anthony Barr proceeded to approve the settlement, and adjourned the case for two years such that an assessment of Charlie’s needs could be conducted.