Girl to Receive Compensation for Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy due to a Mismanaged Birth

A twelve year old girl is to receive €2.3 million compensation for dyskinetic cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth after a hearing at Dublin High Court.

On 10th November 2001, heavily-pregnant Mary Conroy attended the Midland Regional Hospital in Portloaise believing that her waters had broken. After being reassured that they had not, and everything was fine, Mary was discharge from the hospital and returned home.

Three days later, Mary attended the clinic of Dr John Corristine – her personal consultant obstetrician – and, following an ultrasound, insisted she be admitted into hospital. A further CTG scan at the Midland Regional Hospital failed to show any sign of contractions, and Mary was advised to take a bath.

Unfortunately no hot water was available at the hospital, so Dr Corristine advised that Syntocinon be administered to encourage Mary´s contractions. Roisin was delivered the following morning, but shortly after her birth she started to suffer seizures and was transferred to a hospital in Dublin with adequate neo-natal facilities.

Roisin´s conditions failed to improve and she was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy; due to which Roisin (now 12 years old) is permanently disabled and can only communicate through her eyes. Mary Conroy blamed herself for Roisin´s injuries, and insisted on having her next two children delivered by Caesarean Section.

Mary and Kevin Conroy both gave up their jobs to care for their daughter; believing for many years that nothing could have been done to prevent Roisin´s condition and that they had been “just unlucky”. However, after speaking with a solicitor – who discovered that the administration of syntocinon had exacerbated Roisin´s foetal distress prior to her birth – the couple found out that Roisin was entitled to compensation for dyskinetic cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth.

A claim on Roisin´s behalf was made by her parents in 2011, but for two years Dr Corristine and the Health Service Executive denied liability for Roisin´s condition. Only weeks before the claim for compensation for dyskinetic cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth was due to be heard in court was liability conceded and negotiations started to agree a settlement of the claim.

At the Dublin High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine and the Conroy family heard an apology read by Dr Corristine and a representative of the HSE. In the apology both defendants said that “neither this apology nor the financial compensation granted by the court can negate the continuing heartache that the Conroy family must feel every day and appreciate that this continues to be a very difficult time for them.”

Thereafter, Judge Irvine approved a €2.3 million interim settlement of compensation for dyskinetic cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth and adjourned the hearing for two years for an assessment of her future needs to be conducted. When the hearing reconvenes, it is hoped that a system of periodic payments will be available so that Roisin is assured of her financial security for the rest of her life.