Shoulder dystocia injury claim leads to £387,000 award for boy (14)

A shoulder dystocia injury claim led to Mr Justice John Quirke having “no hesitation” in approving an award of £387,000 to 14-year-old Gavin Dowling as compensation for the afflication caused at birth. In a case brought by boy´s mother, Mary Dowling of Coon West, County Kildare, the defendants, Dr Ashraf Aziz and the South Eastern Health Board, were accused of being negligent in failing to provide sufficient care at the time of Gavin´s birth in December 1995. The child sustained shoulder dystocia injury – an ailment which lead to Gavin developing Erb´s Palsy and severe restrictions in the use of his upper arm and left shoulder.

Dr. Aziz, who was practicing in Kilkenny at St Luke´s General Hospital when the time of the alleged incident occurred, and the South Eastern Health Board denied all the claims and agreed a settlement without admission of liability.

Gavin now has adequate power in his left wrist and hand, but will always have a shoulder disability according to his parents. Corrective surgery to attempt to cure the shoulder dystocia injury has been ruled out due to the possible risks involved.

As is standard for child injury claims for compensation, court approval was necessary before the award could be made. Gavin has been doing well at school and enjoys participating in sports activities despite his injury his suffers from.