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Settlement of Claim against the HSE for a Mismanaged Birth Approved at the High Court

The €98,000 settlement of a claim against the HSE for a mismanaged birth has been approved at the High Court despite the HSE failing to admit liability.

The claim against the HSE for a mismanaged birth was made by a couple from Ballyneety in County Limerick following the death of their daughter six hours after she had been born at the Limerick Regional Maternity Hospital.

The couple alleged that their daughter had been born in good health on July 15, 2010 but, due to a serious of negligent actions by hospital staff, the child suffered a severe loss of blood that was not detected in a timely manner and died.

The claim against the HSE for a mismanaged birth alleged that, after her birth, the baby was lifted above the level of the placenta to untangle her from the umbilical cord and there was a failure to clamp the cord in a timely and effective manner – thus causing the severe loss of blood.

The HSE denied the allegations and presented an alternate version of the facts. Although failing to admit liability, an offer of settlement was made of €98,000 to account for the couple´s emotional trauma and nervous shock on learning of the death of their child.

At the hearing to approve the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told a dispute existed around how the baby had been lifted so the umbilical cord could be cut. He heard that the child later became floppy and collapsed – dying six hours and thirteen minutes after her birth.

During the approval hearing a statement of regret was read to the family be a representative of the HSE, after which Judge Cross approved the settlement of the claim against the HSE for a mismanaged birth and extended his sympathy to the family for their loss.

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