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Final Settlement of Cerebral Palsy Compensation Approved at Court

A €5.56 million final settlement of cerebral palsy compensation has been approved in favour of a girl who suffered brain damage due to her delayed delivery.

On 11th October 1999, Mary Malee was born at the Mayo General Hospital by emergency Caesarean section after becoming distressed in the womb. As there was no consultant being available to assist with the delivery, Mary´s birth was delayed by eighty minutes. Mary was deprived of oxygen during the avoidable delay and sustained brain damage – due to which she now suffers from cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.

On her daughter´s behalf, Maura Malee from Swinford, County Mayo claimed a settlement of cerebral palsy compensation from Mayo General Hospital. In her legal action, Maura alleged that there had been a failure by the hospital to ensure a consultant was available once a deceleration of the foetal heart rate had been identified. The hospital´s negligence – Maura alleged – had led to the failure to deliver Mary in a timely manner.

In early 2014, an interim settlement of cerebral palsy compensation amounting to €1.5 million was approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine. Judge Irvine then adjourned the case for two years to allow time for a system of periodic payments to be introduced. As no such system has yet been introduced, Mary and her parents returned to the High Court last week to attend a hearing to approve a €5.56 final settlement of cerebral palsy compensation.

At the hearing before Mr Justice Peter Kelly, the court heard a statement read to Mary in which representatives of the Mayo General Hospital apologised for “the many challenges that you have faced as a result of the treatment provided to your mother Maura at the time of your birth”. The judge approved the final settlement of cerebral palsy compensation – describing Mary as “heroic” for the challenges she has overcome so far in her life.

After her final settlement of cerebral palsy compensation had been approved, Mary gave a statement to the press in which she said: “Cerebral palsy won’t kill me but I have to learn to live with it … it’s for life. This shouldn’t have happened to me and others like me. Justice has been done and I’m bringing closure to this, we can move on with our lives”.

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