Court approves €3.7 million settlement in brain injury case


Rotunda Hospital has apologized to the parents of a 13-year-old boy who suffered a brain injury at birth in October 2008.

The High Court has approved a €3.7million interim settlement in the Cian O’Connor case of Glasnevin in Dublin.

His lawyers said the case will have to come back to court in ten years, when his future care needs can be assessed more accurately.

In the apology read out to the High Court, the master of Rotunda Hospital, Professor Fergal Malone, apologized for “the shortcomings and failings in the care provided to Cian”.

He said they did not underestimate how difficult it had been for the family and the challenges faced as a result.

“We express our sincere regrets for what happened and for the consequences that flow from it,” he added.

In court, Cian’s mother, Deirdre O’Connor, told the judge she appreciated the hospital’s apology, but was saddened it had taken so long to get it.

Lead attorney Bruce Antionotti said Cian suffered a birth injury due to “misguided use of syntocinon”, a drug used to induce labour.

The court heard the baby’s mother was admitted for induced labor and was kept on syntocinon “for a considerable period of time”.

As a result, it was claimed that he suffered brain damage leading to learning difficulties and physical difficulties.

The court heard that Cian had the help of an ANS and learning support in primary school and that in September he would attend a special school for people with mild learning disabilities.

Mr Antionotti said Cian was doing very well at school, but it was a “fluctuating situation” and his future needs could not yet be accurately predicted.

He can walk but tires easily, will need long-term speech and language therapy and is at risk of mental health issues, he said.

He said a 10-year interim payment would give him time to get a better idea of ​​his long-term needs.

Mr Antionotti said there could also be legislation in place by then governing periodic payments. He said the current legislation had been deemed “not fit for purpose”.

The court heard that since birth, Cian’s mother had trained as a special needs assistant to better equip her with the skills to care for her son.


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