A 20-year-old woman with cerebral palsy who sued over the management of her birth at the private Mount Carmel maternity hospital in Dublin has settled her High Court claim for €9.75 million.
Rianna Dempsey, the firstborn of twins, is severely neurologically impaired, requires the use of a wheelchair and is completely dependent on others, the court heard.
Her senior lawyer Sara Antoniotti, instructed by Augustus Cullen Law, told the court that representatives of the estate of a now-deceased consultant and Mount Carmel Medical Group (South Dublin) Ltd. would be sued.
As part of the settlement, she said, the costs of the lawsuit are to be borne by Mount Carmel Medical Group (South Dublin) Ltd in liquidation, while the State Claims Agency also compensated all defendants.
Ms Dempsey, of Quill Road, Kilmacanogue, County Wicklow, sued, through her mother Lorraine Dempsey, the estate representatives of the late gynecologist and obstetrician Patrick Tunney and the company that ran the Mount Carmel maternity hospital in Churchtown, which was in liquidation. She said the case concerned the mother’s medical care in the final stages of pregnancy.
The lawyer told the court that the settlement represents a reduction of about 25 to 30 percent because there are certain problems in the case.
Ms Antoniotti said Lorraine Dempsey was admitted to hospital on September 18, 2003. Three days after her admission, she suffered a placental abruption and the twins were delivered by cesarean section. The lawyer said it was her case that the fracture caused devastating injuries to Rianna.
It was alleged that there was a failure to properly and adequately treat the mother’s pre-labour rupture of membranes at the time of delivery. It was also alleged that after a period of conservative treatment, it was not possible to ensure active treatment of the mother’s rupture of pregnancy by induction of labor or a cesarean section.
All claims related to work processing and delivery have been denied.
Ms Antoniotti said Rianna’s family had provided her with exceptional care over the years.
Judge Paul Coffey agreed to the settlement and offered his best wishes to Rianna and her family.
Mount Carmel no longer operates as a maternity hospital after the operating company went into liquidation several years ago.