Family Do Not Accept Verdict from Coroner’s Court

Written by
Piarais Neary on
21 September 2022

At a glance:

Homs Assist Solicitors are instructed by Shauna McNeill and Kevin Lee in a civil action against the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin regarding the unfortunate death of their baby, Kevin McNeill.  

The Coroners Court held an inquest on the 20th of September 2022 into the death of baby Kevin McNeill. The National maternity hospital at the opening of the hearing of the inquest confirmed that liability had been admitted in the Civil Proceedings.

On hearing the evidence in the case, the Coroner found that baby Kevin McNeill died by way of natural causes. The parents, Shauna and Kevin do not accept the verdict in light of the admission of liability in the Civil case.


What happened in the case?

Baby Kevin McNeill was born on February 10, 2019 to parents Shauna McNeill and Kevin Lee but sadly died seven days later on February 17, at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street.

Baby Kevin died as a result of onset of Group B sepsis and ischaemic brain injury which occurred during his birth. A post-mortem on the body of the perfectly formed baby found he died as a result of a group B sepsis infection which caused septic shock resulting in severe brain injuries and adrenal bleeding.

The parents maintain that Baby Kevin could have survived had he been born earlier as there was signs of the baby’s heart rate distress on the Cardiotocography (CTG) trace during the labour.  

Coroner Dr Clare Keane recorded a verdict of death by natural causes in the case and said she was satisfied based on the pathologist’s evidence. She said she absolutely acknowledged the tragic death of Baby Kevin, “this anticipated and first baby” and was particularly touched at how his parents left The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street.

Baby Kevin's mother Shana stated that “Baby Kevin was not afforded the same dignity as other healthy babies leaving the hospital through the front door.”

Instead of being allowed to leave through the front door of the hospital after collecting Baby Kevin after his autopsy, the family were asked by hospital staff to leave via the staff entrance at the back of the hospital.

The Coroner confirmed that she will write to the Master of the National Maternity Hospital to request that in future parents of deceased babies are given a choice as to how they wish to leave the hospital so as to afford the family the most dignified option.

Civil proceedings have been initiated on behalf of the family and HOMS Assist Solicitors are  proceeding with the case on their behalf.

The National Maternity Hospital have admitted liability for treatment of Baby Kevin in the Civil proceedings.


Newspaper Articles

Full newspaper media coverage is available on the following links:

https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/irish-mum-told-bring-dead-28040663  Author Seán McCárthaigh

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/mum-of-newborn-baby-who-died-at-national-maternity-hospital-told-to-bring-his-body-out-the-back-door-used-by-staff-inquest-hears-42004721.html     Author Seán McCárthaigh

https://www.irishtimes.com/crime-law/courts/2022/09/20/mother-says-she-was-told-to-bring-newborns-body-out-back-entrance-of-maternity-hospital/    Author Seán McCárthaigh

https://www.thejournal.ie/baby-kevin-mcneill-death-inquest-national-maternity-hospital-5871535-Sep2022/  Author Seán McCárthaigh

https://www.thesun.ie/news/9439950/baby-boy-die-arms-hospital-request-dignity-mum-tears/  Author Seán McCárthaigh

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/courtandcrime/arid-40965791.html   Author Ann O’Loughlin


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