A judge has awarded compensation to a boy who suffers from Erb’s Palsy as a result of medical negligence surrounding his birth.
In March 2010, a baby boy was born at Kerry General Hospital. The baby’s mother asked that the baby be by Caesarean section. Ignoring her requests, the medical staff instead delivered the boy was naturally with the assistance of a vacuum cup.
Due to the baby´s size, his shoulder got stuck as he passed through his mother´s birth canal. As the medical staff tried to free him, suffered shoulder dystocia. Due to the force that was used during the procedure, the boy (now six years of age) will now have a weakened left arm for the rest of his life.
On his son´s behalf, the boy´s father claimed compensation for Erb´s palsy against the Health Service Executive (HSE). The defendants initially contested liability for the boy´s injuries, but after some negotiation the two parties agreed on a settlement of compensation amounting to €530,000.
As the claim for compensation for Erb´s palsy had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in the boy´s best interests. The approval hearing took place earlier this week at the High Court before Mr Justice Kevin Cross.
At the hearing, Judge Cross was told that an ultrascan had shown the boy to be a large baby. Due to the complications which can be met because of his potential size, his mother had requested a Caesarean section delivery during a consultation and again when she was admitted to hospital in labour.
At the hearing, the judge heard more details about the young boy’s life. The family’s legal team heard that the boy is very good at maths and has learned to write with his left hand, although he is unable to close buttons or tie shoes and will struggle at sports later in life. The judge approved the settlement of compensation for Erb´s palsy, deeming it suitable, and wished the family well for the future