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Posted in News on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

Karen Kearney and  her assistants Tricia Sisk and April Wiseman of  the Medical Negligence Department of Cantillons Solicitors  were successful in achieving a substantial six figure settlement for a client who sustained significant personal injuries, both psychological and physical, due to failure of her treating practitioners to appropriately manage  her labour and delivery of her  daughter.

Our client had sailed through her pregnancy and   she and her partner couldn’t wait to meet  their much longed for baby. Unfortunately, what should have been a joyful event was a disaster and terrifying. She was induced for three days. She received four rounds of Prostin gel. There was meconium in her waters when they were broken in the induction room and further copious amounts of meconium throughout her labour.  Meconium is faeces passed by the baby and which generally is a red flag that a baby is in distress.  Our client suffered from fever and infection during the labour (for which she was administered both IV and oral antibiotics following the delivery and later discovered from her medical records that we took up from the hospital that she had sepsis). She was told that her baby was stuck in her pelvis. She was told her baby was getting distressed. Our client had concerns for her own wellbeing and her survival and more importantly for her baby’s survival. After her baby was (finally) delivered by emergency section, our client’s partner noticed two large lumps on her head and asked what they were but was told everything was fine.   But everything was not fine and it was clear to our client and her partner that all was not right with their baby daughter.  In addition to the two large swellings to her head, she was screaming incessantly and vomiting green mucus. Her right hand was shaking. Nobody however came and checked on her appropriately and indeed our client and her partner kept being reassured that all was fine and that their baby would settle down.

Eventually, some two days post the delivery, a nurse noticed the green mucus and took the baby to the neonatal unit where she was subsequently observed to have a four and a half minute seizure. Following the seizure, and at two o’clock in the morning, our client was woken up by a doctor who went through her family history and the circumstances of the labour and delivery to try and ascertain where the seizures were coming from. Unbelievably, their baby daughter’s treating practitioners had not been alerted by the doctors who delivered their daughter to anything amuck and amiss during the labour and delivery.

Their baby daughter had to undergo invasive but lifesaving investigations to include a lumbar puncture, an MRI scan and thereafter she was transferred to a hospital in Dublin where she remained for ten days. On her discharge home, our client and her partner had no peace of mind. They did not know that their daughter was going to be ok. They had to attend lots of medical appointments during the first  year post their daughter’s birth. Even though their daughter has reached her milestones to date, the reaction our client had was not joyous; rather just relief.

Thankfully our client’s daughter appears to have  recovered from her injuries to date and is a thriving happy five year old girl.

Our client instructed us in an effort to get answers to her many questions about what had gone wrong during her labour and delivery. She knew it could not be normal for  her baby’s  skull to fracture during labour and delivery. It was a very traumatising time for her and her partner and that trauma was hugely exacerbated by the failure of the doctors who delivered their daughter to inform them, and indeed their daughter’s treating doctors, of what had gone wrong.

When our client instructed us in this matter, we set about conducting investigations on her behalf and  requested her obstetric records, GP records and the neonatal records of her daughter. We reviewed them and identified areas of concern in the care afforded to her  and recommended to our client to take the next step, namely the expensive step of commissioning an expert Obstetric report. The expert Obstetrician that we engaged reviewed the records and our detailed Statement of Case and confirmed that there was indeed negligence in the care and treatment afforded to our client and that that negligence caused both our client and her infant daughter significant  injuries.

We then proceeded with a claim on behalf of our client against the HSE, the indemnifiers for the hospital. The case was fully defended and liability was never admitted but the fact that the Defendants invited our client to Mediation some four weeks prior to the case was  due to commence in the High Court and paid her a very substantial six figure sum, speaks volumes. The Plaintiff and her husband felt hugely relieved and vindicated. They describe the experience as having been an exhausting one and the most difficult time in both their lives.  Some five years on, they are hopeful that the settlement will provide some comfort to them and enable them to move on with their lives.

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 4275673 or  if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.  Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.

Related Solicitors

Ernest J. Cantillon

Managing Partner

Karen Kearney


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