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Interim €2.1m Cerebral Palsy Settlement for 11-year-old Boy

An 11 year old boy who has suffered with cerebral palsy since his birth at St Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick, in 2009 had an initial compensation settlement of €2.1 million approved at the High Court.

The birth injury legal compensation action was taken by Rory Pender and his family from Kildysart, Ennis, Co Clare against the Health Service Executive due to the circumstances of his birth at the hospital. Legal representative for Rory, Alastair Rutherdale BL, told the judge that a Zoom video mediation conference this month had lead to a settlement agreement with liability being conceded.

During proceeding Justice Kevin Cross was told that Rory has a condition know as spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Due to this he is able to walk without help but has difficulty jumping and only began to run in recent years. He cannot communicate verbally but attends school and has a special needs assistant.

The case will be revisited in 2025 time so Rory’s future care needs will be assessed but the initial settlement includes payment of €1.2 million in the case as well as €500,000 to be paid in general damages and €400,00 in past special damages.

Taking the legal action through Rory’s mother Catherine Pender against the HSE, it was claimed that the boy should have been delivered much earlier. A medical expert appearing on behalf of the Penders told the Court that Rory the baby should have been delivered at 1am and not one hour and forty nine minutes later on May 1, 2009.

As a result of the slower delivery, the expert said that an over-stimulation of labour by the use of oxytocin took place and there was also a failure to stop the oxytocin infusion and conduct a medical assessment and do a fetal blood sample. The medical expert said that these would have indicated an emergency caesarean section or instrumental delivery was necessary. It was also argued that there was an alleged failure to spot the CTG abnormalities and an alleged failure to have CTG trained staff at the birth.

Lastly it was claimed that Rory experienced hypoxia during the final stages of labour and soon after birth the baby displayed evidence of respiratory distress and hypoglycemia. Following an MRI scan on January 7, 2010, when Rory was seven months old, his mother was advised initially that he might have a brain injury. Following this he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Justice Kevin Cross approved the initial settlement and adjourned the case until May 2025.

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