Compensation Approved for Bereaved Parents

A five-figure settlement of compensation for the parents of a baby that died due to medical negligence has been approved by a judge in the High Court.

The birth occurred on the 15th July 2010 at the Limerick Regional Maternity Hospital. The couple – who have remained anonymous – welcomed a baby girl, but their joy was tragically short-lived. Just six hours later, their baby had died due to severe blood loss.

The couple – from Ballyneety in Co. Limerick – claim that their baby had been born healthy, but had died as a direct consequence of medical negligence and mismanagement of the situation. They claim that, if the blood loss had been noticed in time by hospital staff, their baby would have had much better chances of survival.

The couple consulted a medical negligence solicitor and subsequently made a claim for compensation against the Health Service Executives (HSE). In the claim, they allege that the manner in which their daughter’s umbilical cord was cut was unsafe. They claim that when she was raised above the placenta so that the baby could be untangled from the afterbirth, the staff did not adequately clamp the cord. This lead to an extreme loss of blood.

The Health Service, however, presented an alternate version of events and denied that they were liable for the newborn’s death. However, without admitting liability, an offer of €98,000 in compensation was made to the couple. The HSE said that this was to compensate for the extreme shock and trauma they suffered after losing their baby.

Before the settlement could be awarded it first had to be approved by a judge in Dublin’s High Court. The case was overseen by Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who heard the disputed evidence that the HSE was responsible for the baby’s death due to mismanagement of her birth. He was told that, after she had been raised and the cord cut, she became listless and floppy, dying just six hours later.
After representatives from the HSE read a statement of regret, Judge Cross approved the compensation settlement. He proceeded to add his offer his sympathies to the bereaved couple.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland