David O’Malley, Partner in our Medical Negligence department, represented Jane Harte, a 27 year old woman with cerebral palsy.  Ms. Harte sued over the care she received after her birth at City General Hospital in Cork.  The case was taken against retired gynaecologist Pallany Pillay, who was the proprietor of the now closed private maternity hospital.

Speaking after the High Court approved a settlement of €12 million, Jane’s mother Olivia Harte said that the conclusion of the case was life-changing for her daughter.  Jane has been living at the Cope Foundation in Cork, where she has received exceptional care according to her mother. However, the settlement will now enable the family to bring their daughter home. “She is going to have a life with her family and silblings which she always deserved, and which was take from us, Jane will be able to get her phyio, to swim and will have a far better quality of life”, said Olivia Harte.

The court heard that Jane had been born healthy but had a significant difficulty with her breathing and went dramatically downhill.  She was transferred to the Erinville hospital when she was 17 hours old.  At that point she was “literally in extremis with severe septic shock” and later meningitis.  Dr. John O’Mahony SC, instructed by David O’Malley, told the court it was their case that appropriate steps should have been taken at City General Hospital and that if antibiotics had been given to Jane earlier she would have recovered.

Liability in the case wias contested and the settlement is without an admission of liability.  The settlement was reached following mediation talks between the parties.

Photo credit: Collins Courts

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