25-year-old Cork woman settles birth injuries case for total of €35.2 million

A 25-YEAR-old woman who sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth has settled a case against the health service for €35.2 million.

The settlement is the largest ever in a personal injuries case in Ireland alleging injury at birth.

Shauni Breen from Togher, Co Cork was one of twin sisters born prematurely at 33 weeks gestation at Wexford General Hospital in December 1997.

Ms Breen’s twin sister was born healthy, approximately 40 minutes before her.

It was alleged that the hospital was negligent in its failure to have an appropriate medical team, including an anaesthetist, in place and for failing to recognise that this was a high-risk labour.

In her action for damages, it was claimed that Ms Breen should have been delivered via caesarean section within 15 minutes of her sister and that failure to do so caused her to suffer avoidable oxygen deprivation which resulted in a brain injury.

The action outlines that as a result of this Ms Breen has permanent profound neurological disabilities. Ms Breen has cerebral palsy and cognitive impairments.

The HSE denied the claims and liability was not admitted.

Ms Breen finished her education in a special needs school at age 19. She now attends an Enable Ireland day centre five days a week.

In 2018, an interim payment of damages of €1.95 million was made in the case.

The final settlement package has been agreed for a further €33.25 million, making the total settlement value €35.2 million.

The State Claims Agency has declined to comment on the case.

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