HSE admit Liability and Apologise to Family after Baby Girl Delivered Stillborn 15 years ago

HSE admit liability and apologise to family after baby girl delivered stillborn 15 years ago

Last week, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and University Maternity Hospital Limerick admitted liability in the High Court to our client Rebecca Collins, who gave birth to Hannah, a stillborn baby girl, at the hospital 16 years ago.

Ms Collins sued the HSE for allegations of medical negligence, mismanagement and a breach of duty of care for its part in her family's tragic loss.

The six-figure HSE settlement, its admission of liability, and more so, its public apology offer some closure to Ms Collins and her family, who hope no other victims of medical negligence should have to endure further hardship in finding answers.

Ms Collins and her husband, Tom were left utterly heartbroken and would live for the next 15 years with unanswered questions until she watched an RTÉ Investigates report on Prime Time in 2015. The report referred to foetal heart monitoring, which prompted Ms Collins to contact the hospital. Ms Collins learned that her CTGs (Cardiotocography) had not been appropriately read by what was then known as St Munchin’s Maternity Hospital (now known as the University Maternity Hospital Limerick), which led to a failure in identifying and proactively managing the life-threatening risk to her baby.

According to Ms Collins: 

“It only added further anguish and trauma to have to wait and fight for so long for answers.”

“I should have left the hospital in a haze of love and excitement with my little bundle of joy – my little girl Hannah who would turn 16 this year. Instead, I left the hospital knowing my beautiful girl, whom I carried for nine months, never got the chance to breathe life. That feeling of emptiness, immense loss and pain and a lack of understanding still haunts me to this day.”

The Patient Safety Bill, which passed the report stage last month and is now going through the Seanad for further scrutiny, will require disclosures of any serious patient safety incidents where any unintended or unanticipated injury or harm has occurred as soon as reasonably practicable.

Rachael O’Shaughnessy, HOMS Assist Partner welcomed today’s settlement:

“While a long-awaited milestone was celebrated to see the Patient Safety Bill pass the report stage last month, we still need to see it move forward swiftly to become law. Cases such as this highlight the real and urgent need for the Bill to be enacted. Sadly this case also serves as a shocking reminder to patients to ask and keep asking the difficult questions in relation to patient care particularly if it involved the death or injury of a loved one.”

“Rebecca has fought this case with great dignity so that her daughter’s death was not in vain. I’m honoured to have been able to support her and while we welcome today’s settlement, I know that no amount of money could ever compensate for Hannah’s life which is gone forever – laughter that will never be heard and a daughter who will be forever loved and missed.”

Admitting liability and a failure in its duty of candour, in an apology read to the court today, a spokesperson for the HSE said:

“The willingness of the family to share their experience was invaluable to allowing this investigation to learn from their experience and in helping to make recommendations to improve the systems and processes in place. The Maternity Hospital and the HSE confirms that they are committed to ensuring that the recommendations identified by this investigation report are implemented as a matter of urgency.”

 

Need help with a medical negligence claim*?

If you are a family and harm has been caused to you and/or your baby by the medical profession, it is important to get legal advice from specialist solicitors who understand the unique nature of medical negligence cases claims.

We have over 50 years expert legal experience advising such patients.

Need assistance? Contact us.

We provide expert advice when you need it most.

Call us today on 1800 207 207 or contact us online.

Get in touch

Nationwide services with dedicated offices in

Dublin

2-4 Ely Place, Dublin 2, D02 FR58

Limerick

Bishopsgate, Henry Street, Limerick, V94 K5R6

Cork

1A South Mall, Cork, T12 PV44

Share this page

OTHER SERVICES

service

Wills, Probate and Trusts

HOMS Assist provide swift case resolution and a personalised service. Contact us for all private wealth cases such as Wills and Powers of Attorney.

service

Property Law Solicitors

HOMS Assist provide swift case resolution and personalised service in Dublin and Limerick. Contact us today to discuss property law matters.

service

Family Law Solicitors

We have 50+ years experience in family law cases including child custody, guardianship, divorce and domestic violence. Contact us for swift case progression.

RELATED ARTICLES

News Article

HOMS Assist Proudly Supports the Michal Rejmer Memorial 10-Mile Road Race for the Third Consecutive Year

News Article

Success Stories: HOMS Assist Secures Substantial Personal Injury Settlement for Delivery Driver

News Article

Rights of Cohabiting Couples: Common Myths and Misconceptions

Zombie Will

News Article

From the Headlines: Understanding Undue Influence

News Article

Buyer Beware: Buying a House From a Receiver

News Article

Who Pays Costs in Personal Injury Claims?

What we offer

We are an award winning, client-oriented law firm in Dublin, Limerick and Cork. Our solicitors provide comprehensive legal advice in an approachable and caring manner. Most of us will require a solicitor at some time in our lives. When the time comes that you do require legal support you will want to be sure that you are dealing with professionals who will work quickly and efficiently to help you. So whether you need help writing a Will, you have been in an accident, suffered an injury or illness that was not your fault, or you are looking at divorce options, we can offer clear guidance and representation to assist you in obtaining the optimum result.

Request a callback

Fill out the form below, and we will contact you shortly. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our newsletter today

Scroll to Top