4.5M SETTLEMENT FOR FERMOY TEENAGER
“I love my daughter regardless of this money but Jessica is well secure for the rest of her life and that was all I wanted.” Joanne O’Brien, mother of Jessica, from Duntaheen Road, Fermoy spoke to The Avondhu this week following the High Court approving a settlement for €4.5m for Jessica, who was injured at birth.
Jessica, now aged 17, who sued the National Maternity Hospital In Dublin through her mother, has cerebral palsy due to a lack of oxygen at birth.
The action against the hospital had alleged negligence and breach of duty in the management of the birth of Jessica in June 1983. The hospital denied the claims and the settlement, approved by Mr Justice John Quirke, was made without admission of liability.
Having been told by another firm of solicitors years previously that she did not have a case, Joanne O’Brien was given Liam Reidy’s number and she spoke very highly of her barrister saying, “he was the coolest man I have ever met in my life.”
In court, Mr Reidy said Joanne had attended a hospital in Cork after becoming pregnant but was referred to the National Maternity Hospital after investigations revealed difficulties with the baby’s digestive system. The defendant hospital had the specialist expertise to deal with this.
The court was told that Jessica had suffered a lack of oxygen in the 15 minutes before she was born. It was claimed that constant monitoring of the foetal heart may have prevented this from happening, and that doctors should have done something to deliver her earlier. Joanne was awarded €250,000 for the care she has given her daughter to date.
“Jessica goes to Cope in Cork and is doing very well. She is a happy girl but sometimes, when she walks past the schools here in Fermoy, she says that she should be going there,” Joanne told The Avondhu.
Thursday 13th January 5:59pm