CUMH apologizes as Cork girl, 9, settles birth injury case


The University of Cork Maternity Hospital has apologized wholeheartedly to a nine-year-old girl for the injuries that changed her life at the time of her birth.

The apology was read in the High Court as Caitlin Twomey, Ballincollig, Co. Cork settled her lawsuit with one of the highest interim settlements of € 8million. The damages in the case will be assessed when the case returns to court in 10 years.

Caitlin’s attorney Dr John O’Mahony SC with Cian O’Mahony BL told court the little girl has cerebral palsy, could not walk safely without help and could only say a few words . At the age of seven, the little girl had only two words: go and daddy.

“She is deeply handicapped. She needs 24/7 care, ”said Dr O’Mahony. The lawyer told the court that there were “red flags” during labor that went unnoticed and misunderstood and that Caitlin suffered very serious brain damage and is deeply disabled.

Responsibility in this case was recognized in August of this year.

A letter of apology from the clinical director of Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), Professor John Higgins, has been read to the High Court.

It said:

“On behalf of CUMH, I would like to apologize wholeheartedly to you, Caitlin and your family for the life-changing injuries that Caitlin had during the birth at CUMH on December 13, 2011.

“We know that Caitlin you and your family have encountered enormous difficulties since these events and we want to express our sincere regret to Caitlin you and your family for what happened.”

Outside of court, family lawyer Anne Marie Donnelly said it was a good day for Caitlin, her mother and her family.

“It is disappointing that responsibility has been denied to Caitlin’s mother, Michelle for a number of years and was only admitted about two months ago. This delay has caused distress and grief. anxiety to Michelle and her family, ”she said.

She added, “The apologies received from CUMH for their failures in caring for Caitlin that resulted in her suffering from these life-changing injuries are welcome. Ms. Donnelly said Michelle Twomey had been an inspiration in the loving care of her daughter every day since her birth.

“Today’s court decision will allow Michelle to provide lasting care to Caitlin and she will now be able to access various therapies that were previously inaccessible to her,” she added.

Caitlin Twomey’s claims

Caitlin Twomey, Ballincollig, Co. Cork, had, through her mother, Michelle Twomey, sued the HSE for the circumstances of her birth at CUMH on December 13, 2011.

It was alleged that there had been a failure to act in a timely and appropriate manner in response to signs of fetal distress which, it was claimed, were allowed to continue and worsen.

It was further alleged that there had been a failure to take action to stop the administration of syntocinon, a drug used to induce labor, when the mother’s frequency of contractions was excessive and failure to take into account anomalies, including decelerations on the CTG. trace, which monitors the baby’s heart rate.

There was also, it was alleged, the failure to summon a chief medical officer and the failure to intervene to deliver by 6:50 pm at the latest. Caitlin was delivered at 7:59 pm. but it was in bad shape and was blue and soft. She remained in CUMH’s special care unit until Christmas Eve.

Dr O’Mahony told the court that the total final value of the Caitlin case would be around 55 million euros and that the 10-year interim settlement was one of the highest to date.

Approving the settlement, Justice Paul Coffey said it was a sad and tragic case. He praised the heroism of Michelle Twomey and her family for caring for Caitlin and said the girl’s needs are great.

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