Medical Negligence

Success Stories

MBLLF act for Parents who settle action over circumstances of baby’s birth and tragic death

Our firm recently acted for a couple who sued the HSE over the circumstances surrounding the birth and death of their child at Midland Regional Hospital. We have successfully settled their High Court action on the second day of trial against the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Tia Suhaila Habib (31) and Robert Coyne (39), of Derravaragh Abbey, Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, claimed for nervous shock damages arising out of alleged negligence and alleged breach of duty regarding the care and treatment of their son Jack Coyne at the Mullingar hospital in September 2016.

Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty heard on the second day of trial) that the case had been settled for undisclosed damages and could be struck out with costs to the plaintiffs. The confidential settlement was reached without admission of liability.

It came following a day’s hearing of the action the previous week, during which the court heard the nature of their son’s harrowing death has had a “devastating” impact on Ms Habib and Mr Coyne.

Blood transfusion

In their action, the couple made various allegations of negligent care, including that their baby should have been given a blood transfusion within minutes of his birth to replace massive blood loss to the baby caused by umbilical cord rupture. Only in the week prior to the hearing, had the HSE accepted that a blood transfusion ought to have been administered to the baby following delivery and that it was negligent not to do so.

However, the HSE contended that a blood transfusion would not have had a “causative impact upon the outcome” for baby Jack ,in other words he would have died in any event. It denied all other allegations.

Jack, the couple’s third child, was delivered by emergency caesarean section on September 23rd, 2016. He was observed to be pale, limp, with no heart rate and with the umbilical cord around his neck, according to the claim. Various treatments were given, but the baby remained hypotonic, pale and with no respiratory effort, it was alleged. It was further alleged that the baby was not given continued ventilatory support by means of intubation breathing tube despite maternal requests.

Jack died in his mother’s arms at 5.15am the following morning, said the couple’s counsel Declan Doyle SC, instructed by Ciara McPhillips of Michael Boylan solicitors.

He said the infant spent some 13 hours “gasping for breath” after a decision was made to withdraw care and these events had a harrowing injurious impact on the parents mental wellbeing and health.

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