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.