‘Inspirational’ boy injured during birth secures €4.6m payment and HSE apology
Posted on 24th June 2020 at 20:55
The HSE has apologised and made a €4.6 million interim payment to a boy who brought a High Court medical negligence claim over the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General Hospital.
Tadhg James McKenna, who has cerebral palsy and requires constant care, sued the HSE for alleged negligence and breach of duty of care during the course of his birth on August 31st, 2017.
Liability was previously conceded in relation to the breach of duty but causation was at issue. That aspect of the claim was due to be heard by the High Court later this year, but the matter was resolved during out of court talks.
As part of the settlement an apology was read before the court on Wednesday with Cavan General Hopistal and the HSE apologising “unreservedly” for failings in care that caused the injuries sustained by Tadhg at birth.
The statement added that the hospital and HSE understood “neither this apology, nor the financial compensation granted by the court could negate the continuing distress and upset” endured by the McKennas on a daily basis.
The court heard that Tadhg, of Sruth An Mhuilinn, Emyvale, Co Monaghan, who sued through his mother, Emma Louise McKenna, suffers from seizures, respiratory attacks, fevers and requires constant medical care.
Jerry Healy SC, with Jonathan Kilfeather SC and solicitor Barry Healy for Tadhg, said the family was happy to accept what was a good offer from the HSE.
The HSE agreed that an interim payment of €4.6 million should be made to provide for Tadgh’s care. His case will return before the court in five years. Counsel said the family’s view was that every day was a battle for survival for Tadhg, who had suffered very severe injuries.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross welcomed the compromise in the case and, after approving the payment, praised the family for the care they have given Tadhg.
In his action against the HSE it was claimed that Tadhg was born suffering from severe asphyxia and had to be resuscitated. It was claimed that his mother’s labour was allowed to continue for more than 16 hours and there was an alleged failure to appropriately monitor her and the fetal heart rate during this time.
Tadhg had also sought exemplary or aggravated damages over the alleged involvement of Dr Aamir Iqbal Malik, who had been the subject of a disciplinary investigation in the UK, in his birth. Dr Malik was suspended from the medical register in Ireland by the High Court in May, pending further order.
In a statement read outside the court, Tadhg’s parents Emma and Damian McKenna, who were not present in court, said they appreciated that the HSE had “finally admitted liability”. However, they were disappointed that they had to wait almost three years for this to happen.
They said that what had happened to their son “should never have happened” and that the life of what should have been a perfectly healthy child was “ruined”. They said Tadhg is “a beautiful, amazing, inspirational boy” who is much loved by his family and will “now get the care he deserves”.
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