At the High court a €10.5million birth injury compensation settlement has been approved for 12-year-old Samuel Forde who took a personal injury compensation action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to the manner his birth at Sligo General Hospital in August 2006.
Samuel’s mother, Deborah Forde, submitted the medical negligence action on his behalf. Des O’Neill SC, legal representative for the forde family, alleged that there was a failure to promptly diagnose and act upon the condition of the child before delivery. He added that there was an alleged failure to admit Mrs Forde to hospital on August 19, 2006 so that she could be monitored and acted upon appropriately. Finally, he said that the pregnancy was permitted to to continue well past its due date resulting in the failure to deliver the baby at the proper time.
Legal representative for the HSE denied all of these claims.
Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross was told how Mrs Forde had attended a check up on August 15, 2006 which had not brought up anything unordinary. However, when she returned two days later, as she thought she might be in labour, a CTG was applied to monitor the baby’s heartbeat . Mrs Forde, who now lives at Glenview Park, Grange, Co Sligo was then informed that she could return home after a number of tests were completed.
When a midwife called Mrs Forde on August 20 to check in she (Mrs Forde) said that there was less movement she was told to return to hospital immediately. A CTG and checks were completed again and Samuel was delivered through cesarean section August 20,2006. Following delivery he had to be intubated.
The High Court in the High Court was informed that Samuel has cerebral palsy which has completely impacted his life. His requirements for the rest of his life are thorough extensive including lifelong care.
The Forde family began court proceedings following Samuel’s medical card being withdrawn a few years ago.
Following the approval of the settlement Solicitor David O’Malley for the Fordes said the family wished for Samuel to live a life which is “as happy and as included as possible. Hopefully the financial settlement can bring him that stability. Mediation was a very effective mechanism to resolve this case”.
Justice Kevin Cross said the Fordes had cared for their their son “over and above” and he wished “the loving and protective family” going forward.