Boy (11) settles court action for €7.5m after suing Temple Street Children’s Hospital claiming there was a delay in diagnosing a brain tumour

Temple Street Hospital

3 July 2021

An 11-year-old boy who had sued claiming there was a delay in diagnosing a brain tumour when he was a toddler has settled his High Court action for €7.5m.

The boy, who cannot be named by order of the court, brought an action claiming a delay in diagnosis and treatment of his brain tumour at the Children’s University Hospital Temple Street, Dublin.

The settlement was without admission of liability.

His counsel Dr John O’Mahony SC, with Cian O’Mahony BL, told the court it was their contention there were “three missed opportunities” to diagnose the brain tumour when the child was brought to the hospital with left side problems.

The tumour was growing and when the child had an MRI scan in March 2013 it showed a significantly big tumour on his brain, he said.

He had to have emergency surgery and chemotherapy and now has a left side weakness and some sight deficiencies.

Through his father, he sued Children’s Health Ireland, the administrator of the Temple Street hospital.

It was claimed when he was two years of age, the boy was brought to the doctor with a weakness of his left upper and lower limbs. He was referred to Temple Street and he attended there on July 31, 2012.

It was claimed that the parents brought up their concerns about the child and that he frequently suffered falls. It was decided to review the boy in a year.

However, it was claimed, the boy was referred to the hospital again in January 2013 and the parents raised their concerns about the reduced movements on the child’s left side. An MRI scan was planned in the months that followed.

On March 8, 2013 it is claimed the boy was drooling from his mouth and dragging his left foot. His parents brought him back to the hospital and they were advised the MRI scan was scheduled for May.

Three days later, his parents rang the hospital about their son’s condition and were told to return to Temple Street immediately.

The MRI scan was carried out on March 14, 2013 and showed the toddler had a brain tumour. Two surgeries were carried out and he also had chemotherapy.

It was claimed there was a failure when he was brought to the hospital on July 31, 2012 to carry out an adequate assessment and an alleged failure to perform a full neurological examination . It was further claimed that the parents were advised the boy’s problems with dragging his left foot was due to leg length inequality.

It was also claimed there was a failure to arrange for an MRI scan in July 2012 and that he suffered loss of chance of having surgery at a time at which it was alleged it was likely that the outcome would have been better and more favourable to him.

The claims were denied.

His counsel told the court it was contended by the hospital that it was a slow growing tumour and if there had been a delay it would not have made a great difference as the child would still have had to have surgery.

Counsel said he was a happy boy who is adored by his parents and smothered with love.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a very good one and he wished the boy and his family all the best.

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