An interim settlement of compensation for the failure to act on test results, which resulted in a young girl being born with cerebral palsy birth injuries, has been approved by Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court.
Isabelle Sheehan – now eight years of age – was born at the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in County Cork in November 2004, suffering from quadriplegic cerebral palsy after her mother´s paediatric consultant had failed to act on test results which had revealed a sudden increase in the presence of antibodies in Isabelle mother´s blood.
It was discovered afterwards in an investigation into Catherine Sheehan´s pregnancy that the antibodies in her blood had been in conflict with those of her husband – Colm Sheehan – and that if Catherine had been referred to an expert in foetal medicine by her paediatric consultant – Dr David Corr – Isabelle´s birth injuries could have been avoided.
Through her mother, Isabelle made a claim for injury compensation for the failure to act on test results against Dr Corr – who admitted that mistakes had been made in the management of Catherine Sheehan´s pregnancy and accepted liability for Isabelle´s injuries.
At a subsequent High Court hearing in October 2011, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill approved a settlement of €1.9 million compensation for the failure to act on test results and adjourned Isabelle´s case for two years to allow for legislation to be passed that would facilitate a structured payment settlement.
However, with such legislation still to be introduced, the family were back in the High Court – on this occasion in front of Mr Justice Kevin Cross – to have a further interim compensation payment of €635,000 approved which will provide the support that Isabelle needs for the next two years.
After hearing the circumstances of Isabelle´s injury, and being told that she was progressing well in her mainstream national school, the judge approved the payment of compensation for the failure to act on test results, adjourned the case for a further two years and wished Isabelle good luck for the future.