Settlement of Cerebral Palsy Case for €20 million

Grainne McMahon, Content Editor (Ireland)

October 13, 2021

An 11-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who sued over the circumstances of his birth has settled his High Court action for also €20 million.

Alex Foley, through his mother Laurane Foley from Midleton in County Cork sued over the circumstances of his birth at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) on 5 October 2010. The High Court approval a final lump-sum payment of €18 million, bringing to €19.98 million the amount secured in the case.

The court was previously told how, in June 2010, when Ms Foley was pregnant with twins, she had a scan that showed a low-lying placenta. There was another scan in September. A lowlying placenta, it was claimed, meant there was a real risk of vasa praevia.
It was claimed there was a failure to identify, at an earlier stage, vasa praevia.

The legal team for Alex argued that at this stage there should have been a more specific scan which would have identified the risk. The HSE denied the claims and contended that it was not normal practice to carry out the second scan. The court had heard that on 4 October 2010, Laurane Foley went to CUMH after she began to suffer pains at home. A CTG trace showed the foetal hearts to be normal. After her waters were artificially broken, she suffered heavy bleeding, Alex's heartbeat began to drop and a decision was made to carry out an emergency Caesarean section.

One twin, Jacob was born in a normal condition but Alex was in poor condition when delivered. The court heard that previously Alex could only walk a few steps but following key surgery paid for as a result of a fundraising effort in his local community, he can now walk two kilometres without assistance.

His parents Laurane and Patrick Foley said the settlement marked the end of an 11-year fight. Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said the extraordinary if not miraculous progress Alex has made must be a great comfort to his parents.

Irish Medical