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Mother settles damages claim over death of baby – Medical Negligence

THE mother of a baby girl who died six days after her birth has settled her action for medical negligence against the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street.

Suzanne Dunne, aged 37, of Castlemoyne, Balgriffin, Dublin 13, had brought proceedings following the death of her baby daughter Alena on April 8, 2006.

She had claimed damages for negligence, breach of agreement, and breach of duty of care. She had also claimed damages for mental distress on her own behalf and on behalf of her husband, Paul, son Daire and Alena’s maternal and paternal grandparents. The hospital denied the claims.

On the second day of the hearing yesterday Bruce Antoniotti SC, for Mrs Dunne, told Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill the case had been settled and could be struck out. Counsel said it was a difficult case and while his side believed they had a good case, they could not guarantee it would succeed and, in those circumstances, were recommending the settlement. He said Mrs Dunne had waived her claim for nervous shock.

Under the settlement, the maximum amount — €25,000 — payable for mental distress arising from a fatal injury will be paid, along with funeral and other expenses.

The court had previously heard that Alena Dunne was born on April 1, 2006, by caesarean section, and suffered severe breathing difficulties, multi-organ problems and significant brain injury.

It was claimed that negligence on the part of the hospital resulted in Alena suffering injuries caused by severe blood loss due to a rupture of the placenta. The claims were denied.

This Article appeared in the Irish Examiner on 24th November by By Vivion Kilfeather


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