Boy 'injured at birth' settles court action against hospital

An eight-year-old boy who allegedly suffered a facial injury at the time of his birth at the Coombe Hospital, Dublin has settled his High Court action for €65,000, writes Ann O'Loughlin.

Dara Brennan, it was claimed suffered an injury to his face after he was delivered by forceps and now has scarring on his cheek and two indentations on the right side of his face, which are obvious when he smiles.

Dara Brennan, Brayton Park, Kilcock, Co Kildare had through his mother Lorraine Brennan sued the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital over the circumstances of his birth at the hospital on November 12, 2009.

It was claimed the baby suffered severe personal injury to the right side of his face caused by the alleged improper use of forceps around the time of his delivery.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to exercise the care, competence, judgement and skill to be expected in the management of the labour and delivery.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to summon a more senior doctor in obstetrics despite the fact of the baby’s size and the position of the baby.

There was, it was further claimed an alleged failure to allow the mother to exercise choice in the method of delivery when use of a ventouse had failed.

It was claimed the baby suffered a significant injury to the right side of his face including his right eyebrow and right cheek.

The claims were denied.

Richard Kean SC with Doireann O'Mahony BL told the court liability was fully contested in the case and there was a conflict between the medical experts on the different sides.

Counsel said Dara was a brave little fellow. His parents were also happy with the settlement.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who examined the boy’s face said the settlement was as near to full compensation as he was going to get.

- Irish Examiner

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