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Claim for the Failure to Diagnose a Detached Retina Resolved Out of Court

A man´s claim for the failure to diagnose a detached retina has been settled out of court after the negligent optician agreed to an £80,000 settlement.

The man – identified only as “Mr B” – made his claim for the failure to diagnose a detached retina after visiting his optician due to experiencing a sudden blurring and distortion of vision in his right eye. As well as the blurring and distortion, he told his optician that his right eye was sensitive to light and causing him to feel dizzy.

An eye examination revealed a dense visual field defect but, rather than making an emergency referral to an ophthalmologist, the optician recommended a new pair of glasses. Mr B continued to experience the symptoms of a detached retina and attended his GP. The GP identified his condition as a medical emergency and referred him to an eye hospital.

At the eye hospital, the GP´s diagnosis of a detached retina was confirmed, and Mr B underwent scleral buckle surgery under general anaesthetic to have the condition resolved. Despite the surgery, Mr B continues to have poor vision in his right eye – a condition that would have been avoided if his detached retina had been correctly identified when he first visited his optician.

Mr B sought legal advice and made a claim for the failure to diagnose a detached retina against his optician – alleging that the optician´s negligence had not only caused him pain and suffering, but had also caused him to forgo his career. The claim consequently included compensation for a considerable loss of earnings.

After a period of negotiation, an out-of-court settlement of the claim was agreed. Under the agreed settlement Mr B will receive £80,000 compensation for the failure to diagnose a detached retina plus the negligent optician will cover his legal costs.

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High Court Approves Compensation for a Mismanaged Birth at Waterford Regional Hospital

The High Court has approved a €2 million interim settlement of compensation for a mismanaged birth at Waterford Regional Hospital in favour of a four-year-old boy with cerebral palsy.

On July 9th 2010, Kevin Dunphy-English from Mooncoin in County Kilkenny was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital “neurologically compromised”. Kevin spent twenty-four days in intensive care, has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and can only walk short distances. Doctors say that he will be reliant on a wheelchair when he grows older.

Through his mother – Jane – Kevin made a claim for compensation for a mismanaged birth at Waterford Regional Hospital. In the legal action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) it was noted that a foetal blood sample had been taken at 1:40am and that a deceleration of the foetal heart rate was recorded at 2:30am.

It was alleged that if a further foetal blood sample had been taken subsequent to the deceleration of the foetal heart rate, a decision would have been made to intervene in Kevin´s birth earlier. A subsequent investigation into Kevin´s birth found that his cerebral palsy injury could have been prevented if he had been delivered an hour earlier.

The HSE accepted that there had been a mismanagement of Kevin´s birth at the Waterford Regional Hospital by failing to deliver him in good time. The HSE conceded liability in Kevin´s claim and settled claims made for nervous shock by both of Kevin´s parents. The claim for the mismanaged birth at Waterford Regional Hospital then proceeded to the High Court for the assessment of damages.

Prior to the High Court hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross met with Kevin in his chambers. The judge was told that Kevin is doing well at pre-school and it is hoped he will be in a mainstream class when he goes to school full time. Judge Cross described Kevin as “a lovely little lad”, and he commended the efforts that the boy´s parents had put in to raising him.

Judge Cross awarded Kevin €2 million as an interim settlement of compensation for a mismanaged birth at Waterford Regional Hospital, and adjourned the case for five years so that an assessment of Kevin´s future needs can be conducted. Once the assessment is completed, Kevin´s parents will have the choice of a lump sum settlement or a structured settlement if legislation is passed in time to allow for periodic payments.

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Claim for an Erb´s Palsy Injury due to Hospital Negligence Resolved in Court

An eleven-year-old girl´s claim for an Erb´s Palsy injury due to hospital negligence has been resolved in court without an admission of liability from the National Maternity Hospital.

Keelan Murray was born at the National Maternity Hospital in January 2004 after being diagnosed with shoulder dystocia during her delivery – an emergency condition in which the shoulders fail to clear the pubic symphysis.

Shoulder dystocia can result in brachial plexus nerve damage if excessive force is used to free the shoulders, and although damaged brachial plexus nerves can heal themselves over a period of time, in Keelan´s case, the injury was permanent.

Now eleven years old, Keelan from Newtownmountkennedy in County Wicklow, does not have full control over her right arm and has had to adapt to use her left arm for many ordinary tasks. She has also had to learn how to write using her left hand.

Keelan underwent surgery in 2012 to repair the nerve damage, but the operation was unsuccessful. Through her mother – Sharon – Keelan made a claim for an Erb´s Palsy injury due to hospital negligence alleging that traction had been used facilitate her delivery despite the diagnosis of shoulder dystocia.

The National Maternity Hospital denied liability for Keelan´s injury but a settlement of Keelan´s claim for an Erb´s Palsy injury due to hospital negligence amounting to €250,000 was negotiated without an admission of liability.

As Keelan is still a legal minor, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge before the case could be closed, and consequently Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told about the circumstances of Keelan´s birth and the failed operation at a High Court hearing.

The judge heard that Keelan is a bright young girl who participates in sports activities in spite of her disability and he said that it would be prudent to accept the settlement of compensation without an admission of liability. Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement and wished Keelan well for the future.

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