A €1.75 million interim settlement of a claim for medical negligence at the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital has been approved at the High Court.
The claim for medical negligence at the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital in Limerick was brought by two-year-old Charlie Enright, whose mother Catriona was admitted to the hospital on August 19th 2013, thirty-seven weeks pregnant with her son.
After tests were conducted on Catriona, doctors made the decision to induce labour and administered Syntocinon. However, despite the well-chronicled side effects of Syntocinon, there was a failure to adequately monitor Catriona´s condition as Charlie suffered hyper-stimulation in the womb.
Due to the misinterpretation of a cardiotocography trace and the belated recognition of foetal distress, Charlie was born “flat” the following morning – unable to breathe by himself. The new-born child was transferred to Cork University Hospital, where he was diagnosed with an intra-cranial haemorrhage underwent therapeutic hypothermia treatment on his head.
Despite the rapid action to prevent brain damage after his birth, Charlie is permanently disabled due to the lack of care his mother received prior to his delivery. On her son´s behalf, Catriona made a claim for medical negligence at the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital against the Health Service Executive (HSE) – who, after an investigation into the claim, admitted liability for Charlie´s birth injuries.
Negotiations started to settle the claim for medical negligence at the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital; but, as Charlie´s future needs are not yet determined, a €1.75 million interim settlement of the claim was agreed to cover Charlie´s care and medical expenses for the next two years. To ensure that the interim settlement was appropriate, an approval hearing was scheduled for the High Court.
At the approval hearing, Mr Justice Anthony Barr said that the interim settlement was a very good one. He approved the interim settlement and adjourned the hearing for two years, by which time Charlie´s future needs should have been determined and his mother will have the option of accepting a lump sum or assuring Charlie´s future care through a system of periodic payments.