A €15 million infant compensation settlement has been approved at the High Courtfor a boy, now four years old, who sustained injuries at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin during his birth.
The hospital issued an apology to Eoin McCallig, who lives at Dunkineely in Co Donegal, and his parents for his devasting injuries he sustain while being delivered.
Following the apology, Eoin McCallig’s father Anthony said the family could forgive a genuine mistake. However, he stated that they could not accept the way HSE treated their family and others in similar cases.
Mr McCallig stated that he believes there must be a “better way” of handling cases involving devastatingly injured children than through litigation lasting years to a “bitter end” and last-minute settlement approvals. He told High Court President Mr Justice Peter Kelly that the culture and procedures needed to change and take more consideration for those who have suffered.
He claimed that the Health Service Executive has spent approximately €800m in the the last ten years in battling these legal actions. Mr McCallig stated that these funds could be put to much better use.
He said the compensation settlement of €15m infant compensation would never change what happened to Eoin, but it would provide some relief as they knew that Eoin would now be cared if anything happened to them.
Staff at the Coombe Hospital stopped monitoring Eoin’s heart rate at 9.30am on the morning of his birth, the High Court was told.
Eoin’s parents claimed that if he had been monitored after this, hospital staff would have seen he was in distress before he was born at around 11.30am. The court heard he had been deprived of oxygen in the 20 minutes just before he was delivered.
It was claimed that if their son had been monitored and delivered earlier, he would not have suffered such devastating injuries. The High Court was told Eoin was a very intelligent boy, but he cannot walk or talk and can communicate with others only using his eyes and expressions.
In a statement made public through their solicitor, Michael Boylan, Eoin McCallig’s parents said the infant compensation settlement was welcome but the family “would hand this €15 million settlement back in a heartbeat if Eoin could get back what was robbed from him in those two precious hours before his birth”.