Mr. Justice John Quirke has approved a £3.75m brain injury award to Jessica O´Brien.
In the claim against the hospital, it was alleged that Jessica´s mother was taken to maternity hospital for the birth of her daughter in May 1993, after a scan at her local hospital revealed that the foetus was experiencing digestive problems. Jessica was born the following, but suffered brain damage during the delivery due to a lack of oxygen.
It was claimed in the action against the hospital that medical staff failed to properly monitor Jessica´s heart rate in the period immediately before her delivery – something they should have done automatically, as they were aware that the delivery was high-risk and in danger of hypoxia during the birth. The court heard evidence that Jessica, now 17 years of age, will need care for the remainder of her life. She frequently has to use a wheelchair and suffers from a talking defect for which she is receiving therapy. The hospital denied the claims and the compensation award was approved without admission of liability.
The judge ordered that the award settlement be paid into court and will be used for Jessica´s future benefit. As with all compensation claim award for child injury, a court must approve an award before payment is made.