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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Claim for the Inappropriate Use of Syntocinon Heard in Court

The High Court has heard details of a claim for the inappropriate use of Syntocinon during labour, which resulted in a baby being born with kinetic cerebral palsy.

On 20th July 2007,Patrick Brannigan was born by emergency Caesarean Section at Cavan General Hospital after his mother had been administered Syntocinon to speed up her labour (you can read about the risks associated with Syntocinon here).

The synthetic drug was administered despite a CTG trace showing that Patrick was in distress in the womb and, rather than help facilitate his delivery, the Syntocinon had the effect of depriving Patrick of oxygen.

Patrick was born suffering from dyskinetic cerebral palsy. Now seven years of age, Patrick is confined to a wheelchair and has no means of communication. He is cared for full-time by his parents and will never be able to lead an independent life.

Through his mother – Niamh Brannigan of Castleblayeny, County Monaghan – Patrick made a claim for the inappropriate use of Syntocinon during his mother´s labour, alleging that medical staff at Cavan General Hospital mismanaged his birth.

Cavan General Hospital acknowledged that the drug should never have been administered when there were signs of foetal distress and apologised to the family. A €2.1 million interim settlement of Patrick´s claim for the inappropriate use of Syntocinon was agreed, subject to approval by a judge.

Earlier this week at the High Court in Dublin, the circumstances leading up to Patrick´s birth were related to Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross heard that Patrick is a cheerful, good humoured boy before approving the interim settlement of compensation.

The judge then adjourned the claim for the inappropriate use of Syntocinon for three years in order that reports could be compiled into Patrick´s future needs. It is hoped that legislation is passed within the next three years in order that a periodic payment structure can be used to resolve Patrick´s claim for the inappropriate use of Syntocinon.

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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Syntocinon Medical Negligence Claims a Concern for Experts

Experts from the State Claims Agency and the Rotunda Hospital have agreed that consistent guidelines are needed to reduce Syntocinon medical negligence claims.

Syntocinon is a brand name for oxytocin – a synthetic drug used prior to childbirth to induce labour or accelerate contractions. The benefits of Syntocinon are that they reduce the amount of time a mother is in labour and helps the womb to contract if a birth is necessary by Caesarean Section.

There are many risks involved with the use of Syntocinon; and, when the drug is administered, both mother and baby need monitoring to avert complications such as an adverse reaction or foetal distress. There are also many circumstances in which the administration of Syntocinon is dangerous to mother, baby or both.

Syntocinon is classified as a “high-alert medication” and has been attributed to the death of four babies at the Portlaoise Hospital due to inadequate monitoring. Syntocinin medical negligence claims have resulted from inadequate monitoring at other hospitals; and, in November 2013, a couple from Rathgar in Dublin were awarded €150,000 compensation for nervous shock after their baby died at the Rotunda Hospital.

When children have survived, but have been brain damaged during the delivery process, the settlement of medical negligence Syntocinon claims has been significantly higher. Jamie Patterson was awarded an interim settlement of €1.58 million compensation for cerebral palsy in May last year, while Skye Worthington´s €2.32 million interim settlement of cerebral palsy compensation was approved last February.

The State Claims Agency – the agency that pays settlements of medical negligence Syntocinon claims made against the HSE – recently commented on a report conducted on the use of Syntocinon in Irish hospitals. The report showed significant inconsistency in how the drug is administered – inconsistencies which, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, Master of the Rotunda Hospital, described as “putting unborn children at unnecessary risk”.

The report revealed that maternity staff at one Irish hospital received no guidance on the use of Syntocinon – including the dosage that should be administered to expectant mothers – and that two maternity units provided no guidance on the monitoring of expectant mothers and their babies.

Mary Godfrey – the State Claims Agency´s clinical risk advisor – commented that the report showed the need for consistent guidelines to improve outcomes for mothers and babies, and to prevent Syntocinon medical negligence claims being made against the HSE.

Ms Godfrey´s comments were echoed by Dr Coulter-Smith who – speaking on Newstalk´s Lunchtime Show – said “The issue with each of the maternity units having their own rules on its use means doctors moving from one to another don’t have common set of guidelines to follow.”

What both medical experts failed to comment on was one alarming discovery in the report which read “No service obtains explicit written consent from women prior to starting them on the drug.” The State Claims Agency and Irish Hospitals will also have to address the issue of “informed consent” if they wish to see a reduction in Syntocinon medical negligence claims.

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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

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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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

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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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Court Approves Third Interim Settlement of Claim for Birth Injuries Compensation for 19-Year-Old

A third interim settlement of a claim for birth injuries compensation has been approved at the High Court after a judge refused a request for a final payment to be made.

Nineteen-year-old Connor Corroon from Mallow in County Cork was born on February 6th 1995 at the Cork City General Hospital having been starved of oxygen in the womb. As a result of the hospital´s negligence, Connor now suffers from cerebral palsy and is permanently disabled.

On her son´s behalf Judith Corroon made a claim for birth injuries compensation against the hospital and, in 2010, Connor became the first plaintiff to be awarded an interim settlement of compensation instead of a lump sum payment pending legislation to introduce a system of periodic payments.

Connor received a second interim settlement of his claim for birth injuries last year and was due to receive a third interim settlement as legislation for periodic payments is yet to be introduced. On Connor´s behalf, Judith requested that this third payment be a final lump sum settlement her son has to undergo a series of assessments prior to the interim settlements being approved.

At the High Court, Judith told Mr Justice Bernard Barton that she wanted Connor to be able to get on with his life and not have it constantly interrupted for assessments by different experts. She felt that Connor was “in a fishbowl” each time experts came to assess his needs and said that she was hoping Connor would be able to go to college despite his disability.

However Judge Barton denied Judith´s request for a lump sum payment; stating that were he to approve a full and final payment and the funds ran out later in Connor´s life, it would be catastrophic for Connor. The judge approved a third interim settlement of Connor´s claim for birth injuries compensation – explaining that he had recently received a consultation paper relating to the proposed Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill.

The Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill is an act of legislation proposed by the Department of Justice that aims to introduce a system of periodic payments next year. The judge said that a periodic payment system would be in Connor´s best interests, and he adjourned the hearing for a further five years.

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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Government Launch Scheme for Women to Claim Symphysiotomy Compensation

The government has launched a scheme for women to claim symphysiotomy compensation for operations conducted without their consent or knowledge between the 1940s and the 1980s.

Almost twelve months after the government performed a U-turn on extending the Statute of Limitations in order that women who had undergone symphysiotomies and pubiotomies during childbirth could claim symphysiotomy compensation, a new scheme has been launched to compensate the estimated 350 survivors of the procedures.

The new scheme to claim symphysiotomy compensation consists of a three-tier program which will pay compensation to the survivors depending on the level of injury they sustained:

  • Women who underwent a symphysiotomy and did not suffer any long term consequences are entitled to claim €50,000.
  • Women who suffered a recorded disability as the result of a symphysiotomy operation will be able to recover €100,000
  • Women who underwent a symphysiotomy subsequent to giving birth by Caesarean Section are entitled to €150,000

Maureen Harding-Clark – a former High Court Judge – has been appointed to consider each claim and, to qualify to claim symphysiotomy compensation, survivors have to submit their application for compensation before Friday 5th December. Judge Harding has the authority to extend the deadline by a further 20 working days in exceptional circumstances.

Once a claim for symphysiotomy compensation has been considered and valued, survivors have twenty days in which to accept Judge Harding´s assessment. However, under the terms of the compensation scheme, in order to receive the payment, the plaintiff must withdraw from any High Court action against the state that is in progress.

Currently there are more than 150 High Court actions in progress and, according to Marie O’Connor – chairwoman of Survivors of Symphysiotomy group – dates for two hearings have already been set. Ms O´Connor is unhappy with the new scheme to claim symphysiotomy compensation and says that the short time limit for applications makes it “impossible for women to seek independent advice and to make a considered decision”.

There has also been opposition to the scheme from Mark Kelly – the Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. Mr Kelly says that the scheme falls short of what is required under Ireland´s human rights obligations on two counts – that it does not address compensation on an individual basis, and that payments made under the scheme are made without admission of liability by the state.

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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Interim Payment of Compensation for Birth Injuries at Waterford Regional Hospital Approved in Court

A High Court judge has approved a €2 million interim payment of compensation for the family of a child who suffered birth injuries at the Waterford Regional Hospital due to the negligence of medical staff.

In January 2010,Dylan Kenny was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital after an avoidable delay in his delivery which left him deprived of oxygen in the womb. Dylan now suffers from cerebral palsy, has difficulty communicating and is unable to walk independently.

On behalf of their son, Dylan´s parents – Claire O´Brien and Lloyd Kenny -made a compensation claim for birth injuries against the Waterford Regional Hospital, alleging that there had been a failure to monitor Dylan´s foetal heart rate during Claire´s labour or act within a reasonable time to signs of foetal distress and hypoxia.

It was claimed that Dylan´s birth injuries would not have been so severe had medical staff at the Waterford Regional Hospital been more diligent and, in June this year, the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted that errors had been made in the management of Claire´s labour, acknowledged liability for Dylan´s birth injuries and issued the family with an apology.

Mr Justice John Cook at the High Court was told that the case was before him for the approval of a €2 million interim settlement of compensation for birth injuries at Waterford Regional Hospital, and heard that the interim settlement was to provide care for Dylan for the next three years.

Within the next three years, an assessment will be carried out on Dylan´s future needs and a further interim payment of compensation for birth injuries at Waterford Regional Hospital will be applied for if a structured compensation scheme has not been introduced.

After hearing that Dylan´s parents were satisfied with the interim payment, and preferred it to the lump sum settlement requested by the State Claims Agency, Judge Cook approved the interim payment and adjourned the case.

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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Interim Settlement of Compensation for Failing to Act on CTG Readings Approved in Court

A judge has approved a second interim settlement of compensation for failing to act on CTG readings in favour of a boy who suffers from cerebral palsy due to being starved of oxygen in the womb.

Eight-year-old Luke Miggin from Athboy in County Meath was born at the Mullingar General Hospital in February 2006 after having been starved of oxygen in the womb due to his mother´s obstetric consultant – Mr Michael Gannon – failing to act on CTG readings which indicated a deceleration of the foetal heartbeat.

After he was born, Luke was resuscitated and transferred to a special care baby unit, but he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and now needs 24/7 specialist care as he is unable to walk or take care of his personal needs.

Luke´s mother – Emily Miggin – made a claim for compensation for failing to act on CTG readings against Gannon and the Health Service Executive, and in 2010 liability was admitted for Luke´s injuries. An initial interim settlement of compensation was approved by Mr Justice John Quirke, who adjourned the case for three years to allow time for legislation to pass which would allow for a more suitable structured settlement.

Unfortunately such legislation has not yet been introduced and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was critical of former Ministers of Justice for failing to deliver on their promises of periodic payments for victims of catastrophic medical negligence. Judge Irvine said that the lack of a structured settlement system prevented families such as the Miggins from being able to get on with their lives when there was ongoing litigation.

The judge approved a second interim settlement of compensation for failing to act on CTG readings and adjourned Luke´s case for a further three years when his needs will be re-assessed and  a structured settlement system might be in place.

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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Interim Cerebral Palsy Compensation Settlement Approved by Judge after High Court Hearing

A €1.5 million interim cerebral palsy compensation settlement has approved in the High Court in favour of a County Mayo teenager who suffered severe birth injuries due to alleged hospital negligence.

Mary Malee (14) was born at the Mayo General Hospital on 11th October 1999 by emergency Caesarean section after there had been an alleged avoidable delay in finding a consultant to assist with the delivery and a claimed breakdown in communicating a deceleration of the foetal heart rate.

When Mary was born, a lack of oxygen in the womb resulted from her sustaining cerebral palsy, and she is now cared for full-time by her parents – although able to attend a mainstream school, from where she hopes to go to university.

Through her mother – Maura Malee of Swinford, County Mayo – Mary made a claim for cerebral palsy compensation against the Mayo General Hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

In the claim it was alleged that there had been a failure to intervene and initiate a Caesarean section delivery in an appropriate timeframe when it became apparent that Mary was suffering distress in the womb and likely to need resuscitation.

Mayo General Hospital and the HSE both denied their liability for Mary´s cerebral palsy; but agreed to an interim cerebral palsy compensation settlement of €1.5 million, with a further assessment of Mary´s needs to be made within two years pending the introduction of structured compensation payments.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Mary´s mother had attended the consultant who had delivered her three previous children just days before Mary was born. The consultant was about to start treatment for cancer and would be unavailable for Mary´s delivery; but he told Maura that arrangements would be made for another consultant to be present.

When Maura saw her family doctor the following day, he told her to go to hospital immediately as she was displaying symptoms of pre-eclampsia. On arrival at the hospital, Maura was transferred to the labour ward, where she underwent a CTG which revealed a series of decelerations shortly before 6:00am.

A consultant who was called at the time was unavailable to attend for the Caesarean operation, and a second consultant arrived shortly before 7:00am. According to evidence given in court, there was an alleged failure of communication in relation to the severity of Maura´s condition, and the Caesarean procedure did not get underway until after 7:20am.

In court, Mary´s legal representatives told Judge Irvine that had the procedure been started earlier, Mary´s cerebral palsy injuries could have been prevented. Subsequently Mary read out a statement in which she commented “It would have been appreciated had the HSE/Mayo General Hospital said they were sorry”, after which Judge Irvine approved the interim settlement of compensation for a delayed delivery and adjourned the case.

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If you or your child have sustained a birth injury in hospital, you should be entitled to receive compensation. Unlike most personal injuries, when you claim compensation for a birth injury in hospital, your claim is not dealt with by the Injuries Board Ireland and has to be resolved by negotiation between your solicitor and the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or through the court system. Compensation settlements for a birth injury in hospital tend to be substantial and, to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for a birth injury in hospital, you are advised to speak with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Child Starved of Oxygen at Birth has Compensation Approved

A child, who was starved of oxygen at birth, has had a compensation settlement of €4 million approved at the High Court in Dublin.

Katie Martin (13) from Trim in County Meath was born at the Coombe Women´s Hospital in Dublin on November 9th 2000 by emergency Caesarean Section, after her mother – Fiona – had presented at the hospital earlier that morning having irregular contractions.

A CTG trace was made after 90 minutes and, according to Katie´s solicitor, the trace registered abnormal readings which would indicate that Katie was being deprived of oxygen in the womb.

However, it was a further 90 minutes before any action was taken in response to the abnormal readings; and when Katie was born she had suffered a cardiac arrest and showed no signs of life.

Fortunately medical staff were able to resuscitate Katie, but she had suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen that means that she will need constant care throughout the rest of her life.

Through her mother, Katie made a claim for child starved of oxygen at birth compensation against the Coombe Women´s Hospital – who denied their liability for her injury and contested that Katie was deprived of oxygen in the womb before her mother was admitted to the hospital.

Nonetheless, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that a settlement of €4 million compensation for a child starved of oxygen at birth had been negotiated without admission of liability, and that the case was before her for approval of the settlement.

The judge heard the circumstances of Katie´s birth – and that the hospital had entered a full defence against the claim – before commenting that the settlement was a good one in the circumstances and that she had no hesitation in approving it.

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