High court reporters
A 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who sued over the circumstances of his birth at Wexford General Hospital has settled his High Court action for €1.6 million.
Jakub Sutor who now lives in Poland the court heard has the most severe form of cerebral palsy and he cannot walk, sit or stand. He needs 24-hour care.
The settlement the court heard was reached after nine hours of mediation and Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told there was a significant causation issue in the case.
His counsel Bruce Antoniotti SC with Sara Antoniotti SC said it was their case that when the mother was in Wexford General Hospital on December 26th, 2012, there were “ominous signs” in relation to the CTG trace which monitors the baby’s heart rate and this should have triggered some action.
About 30 minutes later it was “completely ominous”, Counsel said and showed the baby was in some kind of distress.
Counsel said it was their case that Jakub should have been delivered about one and a half hours earlier and if he had been, he would have avoided the foetal distress, and it is contended would have better mobility and intellect.
“It is difficult to understand how nothing was done, but it wasn’t,” Counsel said.
Jakub Sutor who now lives in Poland had through his mother Justyna Pieczara sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at Wexford General Hospital on December 26th, 2012. At the time of Jakub’s birth s family lived in Co Wicklow but have since moved back to Poland to be near family.
It was claimed there was an alleged failure to properly manage and monitor the labour, delivery and birth of the baby and to intervene in the mother’s labour in an appropriate, prompt or timely manner.
It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to properly interpret or respond to the CTG trace of December 26th, 2012.
It was also claimed that the labour was allowed to continue in the presence of an alleged abnormal and pathological CTG.
A breach of duty is admitted in relation to the management of the birth, but Mr Antoniotti told the court causation was at issue in the case. Experts on the HSE side contended any damage occurred prior to the onset of labour and probably about 18 hours before delivery.
Counsel said Jakub’s side contended if he had been delivered about one and a half hours earlier, he would have avoided damage to a certain part of his brain and he would have better mobility and intellect.
Mr Antoniotti said Jakub goes to a special school and he requires 24-hour care .
Approving the settlement, Mr justice Paul Coffey said it was a very sad and tragic case . He said there were very grave and overwhelming issues in relation to causation and he was satisfied the settlement was fair and reasonable.