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Cerebral Palsy Legal Case leads to €1.4m settlement

A young woman, who was found to have cerebral palsy shortly after her birth, has had a compensation award of 1.4 million Euros approved in the High Court.

Deborah French (24) from Ballymitty, County Wexford, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after her birth in August 1987 at Wexford General Hospital. Her parents brought a claim for birth injury compensation against consultant obstetrician Harry Murphy and the South Eastern Health Board, claiming that Dr Murphy had been negligent in the hours leading up to and during Debora’s birth.

The action was settled without admission of liability by the defendants, a course of action supported by Mr Justice John Quirke as he approved the settlement, stating that the conflicting opinions offered by medical experts may have put the family at risk of getting nothing in a trial.

The judge advised that the funds be released to Deborah’s parents – Ann and John French – in annual increments of 100,000 Euros.