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Multi-Million Settlement for Cerebral Palsy

Posted: May 7th, 2016

The High Court of Dublin have awarded a teenage girl a final seven-figure settlement of compensation because of injuries she sustained due to a delay in her delivery.

Mary Malee, now aged sixteen from Mayo, was born with damage to her brain on the 11th October 1999 at the Mayo General Hospital. Despite medical professionals dedicating a slow heartbeat, there was a delay of eighty minutes in her delivery because of a lack of available consultants. As such, by the time the emergency Caesarean section was carried out, Mary had been deprived of oxygen.

Mary was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is reliant on a wheelchair for movement. Acting on her daughter’s behalf, Maura Malee made a claim for birth injury compensation against the Health Service Executives and Mayo General Hospital. In the claim, she alleged that – had a consultant been made available upon the initial diagnosis of a foetal distress – there would not have been a delay in Mary’s delivery and she would not have sustained her injuries.

A €1.5 million interim settlement of compensation was awarded by Ms Justice Mary Irvine in March 2014. The case was then adjourned for two years in anticipation of the introduction of new legislation that would facilitate structured, periodic payments. However, no such system was introduced and the Malees returned to the High Court for the approval of a final €5.56 million compensation settlement.

At the hearing, which was overseen by Mr Justice Peter Kelly, a representative for Mayo General Hospital read an apology to Mary, which expressed regret for “the many challenges that you have faced as a result of the treatment provided to your mother Maura at the time of your birth”. The settlement of cerebral palsy compensation was then approved by Judge Kelly.

The judge also commended Mary for her heroism in dealing with the challenges of her condition. After the announcement of the settlement, Mary commented to a press reporter that “Cerebral palsy won’t kill me but I have to learn to live with it … it’s for life. This shouldn’t have happened to me and others like me. Justice has been done and I’m bringing closure to this, we can move on with our lives”.

Categories: Birth Injury News

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