Case Studies: Healthcare

£300,000 for Shoulder Injury at Birth

Patrick Mullarkey of O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors acted on behalf of a young man who sustained a shoulder injury at the time of his birth due to medical mismanagement.

The Injury

The Plaintiff was born in 1998.  During the course of his delivery an emergency arose in the form of a shoulder dystocia which prevented the Plaintiff’s birth.  It was the Plaintiff’s case that during the course of attempts to relieve the shoulder dystocia, in order to expedite the birth, damage was negligently caused to nerves supplying the Plaintiff’s shoulder and arm.

The Loss

As a consequence of the injuries sustained by the Plaintiff, he suffered a permanent shoulder injury.  The injury is classified as an obstetric brachial plexus palsy.  The Plaintiff now has a reduced range of movement in his shoulder, reduced strength in the affected arm and will have a significant handicap for the remainder of his life.  The injury will restrict him in the open labour market for jobs that require bimanual strength or dexterity, or any occupation which requires prolonged activity above chest height.  Investigation established that the Plaintiff would suffer significant difficulty in undertaking tasks around the home such as DIY, painting and changing light bulbs.  In terms of his self-care, the Plaintiff experiences difficulty in dressing himself due to his disability.

The Successful Legal Case

The Plaintiff’s parents approached Patrick Mullarkey requesting that we undertake an investigation in relation to the circumstances of the injury.  We secured access to all relevant medical notes and records and commissioned evidence on breach of duty from independent medical experts.  We applied for and obtained legal assistance on behalf of the Plaintiff from the Legal Services Agency.  With the support of that Agency, the Plaintiff issued proceedings in 2016 against the Healthcare Trust responsible for his care at the time of his delivery.  Liability was denied by the Defendant right until the last, with a full admission of breach of duty being made shortly before trial was due to commence in the High Court in Belfast.  Thereafter we negotiated a settlement on behalf of the Plaintiff, securing on his behalf payment of £300,000 damages to him in relation to his injury, together with the full costs of the action.

Our Client comments:-

“I was continuously impressed by both Paddy and Rosemary on numerous occasions, their professionalism, charisma and commitment throughout the whole case sealed my confidence in them. My family and I will always be grateful for this. Thank you once again, you are a credit to your profession” AM, 12/12/18

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