High Court approves €7.5m settlement in action brought over management of teen boy’s birth

11 March 2021

The High Court has approved a €7.5m settlement in an action brought on behalf of a teenage boy who had sued the HSE over the management of his birth.

Kyle Corcoran (17), who has cerebral palsy and requires permanent care, brought proceedings claiming the HSE had been negligent at the time of his birth at St Luke’s General Kilkenny Hospital on June 4, 2003.

The action was brought through his mother Amy Corcoran of Fr Byrne Park, Craiguecullen in Co Carlow.

The claims were denied and the settlement was made without an admission of liability.

The settlement was approved at the High Court today by Mr Justice Kevin Cross.

The judge was told by Aidan Walsh SC for Kyle that the action has been settled following a mediation.

In his action it was claimed that Amy Corcoran was admitted to the Kilkenny hospital on June 4, 2003 complaining of abdominal pain.

It was claimed that she was placed on a cardiotocograph(CTG) which is used to record the foetal heartbeat and the uterine contractions during pregnancy.

It was claimed the HSE failed to take action when the CTG showed readings of decelerations in the infant’s heartbeat, which were followed by substantial increases in Kyle’s heart rate.

Arising out of those readings, it was claimed the HSE’s staff should have intervened and taken steps including expediting Kyle’s delivery, which they allegedly failed to do.

It was also claimed that Kyle was delivered following an allegedly clinically unacceptable delay.

Following his birth he was transferred to Waterford Regional Hospital where he remained in Intensive care for two weeks.

The HSE, it was claimed, was negligent on several grounds including that it failed to take proper action and that it allowed Kyle to be born in an asphyxiated state, resulting in him suffering permanent and significant injuries.

The court heard that arising out of his injuries Kyle had to be fitted with a gastrostomy peg to allow him to eat because he has no ability to swallow.

The court also heard he has cerebral palsy, and a moderate learning disability, but has reasonable mobility on his feet. Counsel said that Lyle is able to play football in his back garden.

He has difficulties with his speech, and his communications skills are limited.

He has a lack of safety awareness and requires permanent care, close monitoring, and is incapable of independent living.

Kyle attends a special school and lives at home with his family, the court also heard.

Mr Walsh also told the court that Amy Corcoran was happy with the settlement and an application to make Kyle a ward of court will be made in due course.

Counsel said the full value of the claim was approximately €9m. However following the mediation, that figure was reduced by just over 17pc to a total of just over €7.586m, counsel said.

In approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross said it was “a good” and “reasonable one” in the circumstances.

He also said the settlement will provide for Kyle’s future care needs.

Source Irish Independent

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