Boy receives apology and €7.5m settlement from hospital over shortcomings in care

Boy Receives Apology And €7.5M Settlement From Hospital Over Shortcomings In Care
The apology was read out in the High Court as Jamie Roche from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, settled his action with an interim payment of €7.5 million for the next six years.
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High Court reporters

University Maternity Hospital Limerick and the HSE have apologised to a 4-year-old boy for shortcomings in care at the time of his birth.

The apology was read out in the High Court as Jamie Roche from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, settled his action with an interim payment of €7.5 million for the next six years.


Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told the boy who has dyskinetic and spastic cerebral palsy requires the highest level of care and the work of his parents to care for him could only be described as heroic.

In the letter of apology which began “Dear Jamie” and which was read in court, the HSE and the hospital said it acknowledged “that the outcome was devastating for you and your family and has had a profound and lasting effect on you all.”

It said it would like to “sincerely apologise to you and your family for the shortcomings in care that occurred on August 18, 2018 relating to your condition at birth.”

The letter from UL Hospitals Group chief operations officer Noreen Spillane said the willingness of Jamie’s family to share their experience “was invaluable” in allowing the hospital to learn and in helping “to make recommendations to improve the systems and processes in place at the hospital related to the delivery of maternity services.”


In a statement to the court, Jamie’s mother, Sinead Roche, said they were happy with the settlement.

“While we so desperately wish that the reality of Jamie’s life could be different, it doesn’t take from how immensely proud we are of him and all he has achieved,” she said.

She added: “We live with grief and sadness over what was taken from Jamie but both him and his little sister bring us more joy than we will ever be able to put in words.”

Jamie’s counsel, Oonah McCrann SC instructed by Michael Boylan solicitors, told court that Jamie suffered a hypoxic brain injury. She said it was their case that there was a total failure to properly interpret the CTG trace which monitors the baby’s heartbeat before birth which they would say was pathological.


She said there was “a maverick approach to the CTG” and a consultant who was there is no longer practising.

The settlement includes €4.2 million towards the boy’s care until 2029.

Jamie had through his mother, Sinead Roche, sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at University Maternity Hospital, Limerick on August 18th, 2018.

It was claimed that at 2pm the CTG trace was noted as abnormal, but notwithstanding the classification as being pathological it was claimed no steps were taken to arrange for the urgent delivery of Jamie. He was delivered at 4.20pm, and it was claimed as a result of the delay the baby suffered a brain injury.

It was claimed there was a failure to take any or any appropriate steps to arrange for the urgent delivery of the baby following upon a CTG classified as pathological, and an alleged failure to take appropriate steps to ensure the baby was delivered safely and in a healthy and unharmed state.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey saluted the heroism of Jamie’s parents. The case will come back before the High Court in 2029 when Jamie’s future care needs will be assessed.

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