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Waterford girl settles birth case for €1.5m interim settlement

A 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who sued over the circumstances of her birth at South Tipperary General Hospital has settled her High Court action.

Clodagh Walsh secured a €1.5m interim settlement for the next six years. At that stage the case will come back before the High Court when the girl’s future care needs will be assessed.

Clodagh’s counsel Oonah McCrann SC instructed by Ernest Cantillon solicitor told the High Court it was their case that there was an alleged delay of about an hour in the delivery of the little girl in February 2009 at the hospital in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Counsel told the court the girl has mobility and balance issues but due to the efforts of her parents and the fact that Clodagh is feisty, brave and courageous, she is doing remarkably well.

Clodagh Walsh, Kilbrien, Ballinamult, Co Waterford had through her father Alan Walsh sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth on February 3, 2009.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to properly manage the labour of Clodagh’s mother and there was an alleged failure to recognise or act on the deterioration in the baby’s CTG trace after 7am on February 3, 2009.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to deliver the baby within 30 minutes and by 7.40am after the non-reassuring CTG pattern at 7.10am. It was also claimed 67 minutes had been allowed to elapse between the decision to deliver the baby by Caesarean section and the actual delivery.

When Clodagh was delivered, she was in poor condition and had to be intubated and ventilated. Her first gasp was at 30 minutes old.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told liability was admitted in the case.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross commended Clodagh’s parents for the way they have taken care of her. He said they were acting in the best interests of Clodagh in accepting an interim settlement.