Claims News

Hospital Negligence Claim against Kerry General Resolved at High Court

Posted on: February 17th, 2015

A hospital negligence claim against Kerry General has been resolved at the High Court with the approval of an interim compensation settlement.

On April 22nd 2011, Skye Worthington was born at the Kerry General Hospital after her mother – Colleen, from Castlegregory in County Kerry – had been administered syntocinon to speed up her labour. The syntocinon had the desired effect of accelerating Colleen´s contractions, but a prolonged deceleration of Skye´s heartbeat in the womb was ignored.

Skye – now three years of age – suffered brain damage due to being starved of oxygen in the womb and now suffers from cerebral palsy. Skye has difficulty sitting still, has to be fed through a tube and can only communicate with her eyes. An investigation into her birth revealed that if she had been delivered just fifteen minutes earlier, Skye would have suffered no birth injuries at all.

Through her mother, Skye made a hospital negligence claim against Kerry General and the HSE – alleging that her injuries were the direct result of hospital negligence in the maternity department of the hospital. The HSE admitted liability and an interim settlement of €2.32 million was negotiated pending an assessment of Skye´s future requirements.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard a statement read to Skye´s parents in which the HSE and Kerry General apologised unreservedly for the errors that led to Skye´s birth injuries. The statement also said that lessons had been learned from a review of Skye´s birth in which her parents had participated. Mr Justice Kevin Cross described the apology as “out of the ordinary”.

The judge then explained to Skye´s parents that the interim settlement of the hospital negligence claim against Kerry General was for three years. Once an assessment of Skye´s future requirements had been conducted, the family would either have the choice of a lump sum final settlement of the hospital negligence claim against Kerry General or – subject to legislation being introduced – annual periodic payments.

This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.