A twelve year old girl is to receive €2.3 million compensation for cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth after an interim settlement was approved at the High Court.
Mary Conroy was heavily pregnant with her first child when she attended the Midland Regional Hospital in Portloaise on 10th November 2001 believing that her waters had broken. After being reassured that they had not, and everything was fine, Mary was sent home.
On 13th November, Mary then attended the clinic of her personal consultant obstetrician – Dr John Corristine – and, following an ultrasound, insisted she be admitted into hospital.
A CTG scan at the Midland Regional Hospital failed to show any sign of contractions, and Mary was advised to take a bath – but no hot water was available at the hospital – so Dr Corristine ordered that medicine should be administered to help induce labour.
Mary gave birth to her daughter – Roisin – the following morning, but Roisin suffered seizures shortly after her birth and was transferred to a hospital in Dublin with adequate neo-natal facilities. However, Roisin failed to improve and was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy.
As a result of the injuries suffered prior to her birth, Roisin (now 12 years old) is permanently disabled and can only communicate through her eyes. Mary Conroy blamed herself for Roisin´s injuries, and insisted on having two further children delivered by Caesarean Section.
Mary and Kevin Conroy both gave up their jobs to care for their daughter; believing for many years that nothing could have been done to prevent Roisin´s condition and that they had been “just unlucky”.
However, after speaking with a solicitor – who initiated an investigation into the circumstances prior to Roisin´s birth – the couple found out that Roisin was entitled to compensation for cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth.
A claim on Roisin´s behalf was made in 2011, but it was almost two years later – and weeks before the compensation claim for cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth was due to be heard in court – that Dr Corristine and the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted liability for Roisin´s birth injuries.
An interim settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth was negotiated that would see Roisin´s family receive an initial compensation payment of €2.3 million, with another assessment made of Roisin´s needs in two years time if a structure compensation system has not been introduced.
The settlement was approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine after the High Court had heard an apology read to the family by Dr Corristine and a representative of the HSE. In it both defendants said that “neither this apology nor the financial compensation granted by the court can negate the continuing heartache that the Conroy family must feel every day and appreciate that this continues to be a very difficult time for them.”