A 23 year old woman has been agreed to a £2m out-of-court settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy from oxygen deprivation during birth due to alleged mismanagement.
Laura Tinney was born on May 31st 1988 after Eleanor, her mother, had been admitted the week previously, when cardiotocography recordings had shown a deceleration in the foetal heartbeat.
Cardiotocography readings were discontinued on May 29th and when Laura was born it was discovered that she had suffered from oxygen deprivation, causing permanent brain damage. Now confined to a wheelchair, Laura has little use of her left hand and requires significant care.
In a litigation case by Laura’s mother, it was alleged that had the cardiotocography recordings been maintained, it would have revealed further abnormalities in the heartbeat which would have prompted immediate delivery.
The claims were refuted, but at the High Court Mr. Justice John Quirke was advised that an offer of settlement without admission of liability had been made which the family was willing to accept.
Approving the £2m compensation settlement, the judge commented that had the case been allowed to proceed, there was a real chance that Laura would have received no damages – a scenario which the judge said would be “a dreadful outcome”.