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case settled Two brothers who have cerebral palsy receive €12.2m for alleged medical negligence

The settlement was made without admission of liability.


The High Court

The High Court

The High Court

THE High Court has approved a total settlement of €12.2m for two boys with cerebral palsy born just over a year apart who sued over alleged medical negligence.

The settlement was made without admission of liability.

Michael Hickey was born at 29 weeks on August 11, 2012, and his brother Ned was born at 31 weeks on August 15, 2013. Both were later diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy.

The settlement involves a payment of €6.1m each for the boys, who attend school and are said to be doing well but facing certain challenges.

Parents Sineád and Mark Hickey supported the settlements and their actions were also settled.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross noted the particular risks in the cases and counsel's opinion was there was a 50/50 risk in relation to establishing negligence in Michael's and an "even higher" risk in Ned's case.

Both boys sued through their mother, of Windy Arbour, Dublin.

Their cases were against consultant gynaecologist Mona Joyce, with a registered place of busi- ness at the Blackrock Clinic, and the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.

Richard Kean SC, for the boys, told the court Dr Joyce was not involved in any of the procedures undergone by Ms Hickey at the Coombe.

The claims on behalf of the boys included that after Ms Hickey was referred to Dr Joyce around April 2007, following a smear test showing abnormal cells on the cervix, the doctor performed two LLetz procedures, one in 2007 and the second in 2010.

It was claimed Ms Hickey was not advised excision treatments increased the risk of pre-term labour, pre-term pre-labour rupture of membranes and pre-term delivery.

The court heard, as a consequence of alleged negligence and breach of duty, Ms Hickey's cervix was rendered incompetent by Dr Joyce and this was not adequately assessed.

It was claimed Ms Hickey consequently had pre-term rupture of mem- branes and a pre-term delivery of Michael.

It was claimed the hospital failed to discuss the risks of a subsequent pre-term delivery.

Dr Joyce denied the claims. She pleaded the procedures were necessary.

In its defence, the hospital denied any negligence and pleaded there was adequate assessment and monitoring.

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