Mother who witnessed son’s catastrophic brain injury settles psychiatric injury and loss of earnings case for significant damages
Posted in News on Thursday, June 17th, 2021
Marian Fogarty and the Medical Negligence team at Cantillons have secured one of the highest level of damages in a nervous shock case for a secondary claimant in a very tragic case. The mother had delivered a beautiful healthy baby at a maternity hospital. After his birth the baby was placed on his mother’s breast by the attending midwife. The baby was alert at this time, but his mother was unable to see his face.
The baby stayed in the same position while the midwife attempted to suture the mother’s perineum. The procedure was complicated due to defective equipment and the Registrar was called to complete the suturing. During the stitching the mother raised concerns about her baby’s wellbeing and was reassured by the midwife. However, approximately two hours later the midwife found the baby limp, blue and unresponsive after the mother alerted her that her baby was off colour.
The baby was taken to be resuscitated and was commenced on oxygen. He was then taken to the Intensive Care Unit.
An MRI was subsequently carried out and the mother was told that her baby suffered a hypoxic injury causing severe irreversible brain damage. The baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. As a result of witnessing this sudden and shocking catastrophic injury to her newborn baby, the mother suffered psychiatric injuries. As a result of those injuries, she was unable to return to work and suffered a loss of earnings.
Liability had been admitted. The case was one of the first non-urgent personal injury cases to open remotely before the High Court following a recent High Court practice direction for personal injury hearings during the COVID pandemic. The case successfully ran remotely for two days before settling for a substantial figure on the 3rd day of the hearing.
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