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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 20 January, 2020
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€3 million for boy left with "catastrophic injuries" after Caesarean section

He now has cerebral palsy. The judge paid tribute to his family.

Image: Shutterstock/Willrow Hood

THE HIGH COURT has approved an interim payment of €3m as settlement of an action brought on behalf of an 11-year-old severely brain-damaged boy against the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

The award was made in favour of Mohammad Daud Assad who has cerebral palsy and will require full-time care for the rest of his life.

In a High Court action seeking damages arising out of the circumstances of his birth, it was claimed a delay by the hospital in delivering Mohammad Daud by a Caesarean section caused his injuries.

Had he been delivered several hours earlier, Mohammad would not have sustained such catastrophic injuries.

Through his mother Alia Muryem Assad of Lough Conn Terrace, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10 he sued the Governors and Guardians of the Hospital for the Relief of Poor Lying-In Women Dublin, which controls and manages the Rotunda Hospital, for negligence arising out of the circumstances of his birth at the hospital on February 20th 2004.

Liability

Counsel for the boy, Denis McCullough SC, said liability had been admitted in the case in the last two weeks. The matter was due to be heard as an assessment of damages only, but the parties had reached a settlement which includes an interim payment of €3m.

The settlement was approved today by Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who agreed to adjourn the matter for a period of six years. When the case returns before the courts in 2022 the boy’s needs going forward will be reassessed.

As well as reflecting damages for the injuries sustained by Mohammad Daud, the interim award is to cover various costs.

These include his past care and ongoing care needs, housing, specialised equipment and music therapy which counsel said would be of immense benefit to Mohammad Daud.

Declan Buckley SC for the defendant said his client was consenting to the settlement.

Injuries suffered

In the action it was claimed the defendant was negligent and breached its duty of care toward the boy by failing to prevent him from suffering the injuries he did by carrying out a timely Caesarean section.

His mother arrived at the hospital at 9am on the date in question having been 10 days overdue. However Mohammad was not delivered until 10.30pm by emergency c-section when it was too late.

The hospital had excessively delayed in carrying out the procedure, it was claimed.

There was also an alleged failure to properly assess his mother and give consideration to the risk of failing placental function when it was noted hours before the delivery took place that the variability of the fetal heart rate was reduced.

The hospital, it was further claimed, failed to summon either the Obstetrician senior member of the obstetrics team much earlier than it did despite clear signs of foetal distress and potential serious complications in the course of labour.

Following his birth, the boy required resuscitation. Counsel said the boy suffered severe brain injuries, and has both mental and physical disabilities. He attends school but is unable to speak, however he is responsive and likes music.

Counsel said Mohammad Daud lives with his family in Ballyfermot, but the house is unsuitable for his needs.

The boy’s parents, represented by David Synnott of DJ Synnott’s solicitors, told the court they were content with the settlement.

Approving the award Mr Justice Cross praised the Assad family for the level of care and support they provide for Mohammad Daud.

The way the entire family had “rallied round” the judge added, “restored one’s faith in humanity.”

Read: Teenager awarded €19k after electronic frame fell on her in Eason shop>

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Aodhan O Faolain

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