Girl who claimed she suffered shoulder injury at birth settles action for €600,000

Girl Who Claimed She Suffered Shoulder Injury At Birth Settles Action For €600,000
Jessica Nolan claimed she suffered an injury to her left shoulder during her birth at the Midland Regional Hospital in 2010. Photo: iStock
Share this article

High Court reporters

A 12-year-old girl who claimed she suffered a shoulder injury at birth at the Midland Regional Hospital has settled a High Court action for €600,000.

Jessica Nolan claimed she suffered an injury to her left shoulder and, as a result, has difficulties steadying a notebook to write or using an iPad, and difficulty lifting and carrying her school bag.


Her counsel, Miriam Reilly SC, told the court it was their case that during delivery traction was applied which was allegedly excessive. The HSE denied the claim and counsel said nursing notes reflected that the appropriate traction was applied.

She said her side contended that the injury was in the moderate category but the HSE put it at the mild category.

The settlement which was reached after mediation is without an admission of liability.

Counsel said Jessica’s mother, Ruth, had given up her job so that she could provide her daughter with physiotherapy six times a day and that the girl’s progress is due to the concerted efforts, care and dedication of her parents.


Jessica Nolan, of Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, had through her father Dermot Nolan sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar in October 2010.

It was claimed the management of the shoulder dystocia at birth was allegedly incompetent and was allegedly directly responsible for the baby's injuries.

It was claimed that during delivery traction was allegedly allowed to be applied in circumstances where it was allegedly excessive, unnecessary, unjustified, and inappropriate.

It was further claimed that there was an alleged failure to manage the baby's delivery and in particular the shoulder dystocia in a competent manner.

All the claims were denied.

Jessica, who was sent for X-ray on the day she was born to rule out a suspected fracture of the clavicle, was later diagnosed as having left side Erb’s Palsy.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said he was delighted the case had been resolved, and conveyed his very best wishes to Jessica.

He said the case was not without a litigation risk. The offer, the judge said, was fair and reasonable, adding he had no hesitation in approving it.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2023, developed by Square1 and powered by