On the 20th March 2015, the Medical Negligence Team of Cantillons Solicitors settled a High Court Action for a 9 year old boy, Tadgh Costello.  Tadgh was born on the 25th May, 2006 at Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, Co. Kerry at 41 weeks gestation following a healthy pregnancy.  His mother was a private patient of a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

During the course of Tadgh’s mother’s labour, difficulties arose and Tadgh became severely compromised.  There was a failure to progress and various episodes of foetal tachycardia (abnormal CTG/foetal heart beat tracings).  An emergency caesarean section was necessitated.  There was a significant delay in delivering Tadgh and he was born in an extremely poor condition.  He required intubation and ventilation and was cared for in the neonatal unit for sixteen days during which time he developed neonatal convulsions and was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.  His early infancy was complicated by seizure activity, reflux and feeding difficulties.  

Prior to consulting with the team at Cantillons Solicitors in 2011, Tadgh’s parents consulted with another firm for the purposes of investigating the care afforded to Tadgh during the course of his delivery.  

Ultimately, having consulted with Cantillons Solicitors, the matter was thoroughly investigated and proceedings issued in June 2013.  A full Defence was delivered, despite the privately retained Obstetrician admitting fault in the weeks after Tadgh’s delivery.  The Costellos were put to a full fight and ultimately, the team at Cantillons Solicitors specially fixed the matter for hearing for April 2015.  Just seven weeks pre-trial and almost nine years after Tadgh’s delivery, the HSE ultimately admitted liability for the injuries Tadgh sustained during the course of his delivery.  This admission came about just days after the team at Cantillons Solicitors sent a very strongly worded letter to the Solicitors for the HSE indicating that aggravated damages would be claimed for the conduct of these proceedings by the HSE and the manner within which these people were being treated.

Ultimately, an agreement was made for a 2 year periodic payment in the sum of €2.8 million.  The matter comes back before the Court in March 2017 for a further periodic payment or lump sum, as appropriate at that time.

In the aftermath of the ruling in this matter by Mr. Justice Kevin Cross on the 20th March 2015, Tadgh’s mother, Mary Costello read out the following statement:-

“Today is a day we as a family have waited for almost 9 years.  It marks the end of our struggle to get justice for our very brave little boy, Tadgh.  It is also the day on which we dare to hope that life will become a little easier for Tadgh, for us his parents and for our other three wonderful children, Kate, Pat and Grace.

We are a happy and united family and look forward to the future with joy and optimism.

Since the day Tadgh was born he has had to meet so many unnecessary and arduous challenges in the course of his young life – a childhood punctuated with all too frequent hospital stays and medical interventions. Nonetheless, and to his credit, Tadgh has met all adversity with great courage, patience and a sense of fun.  Nowhere is his good humour and love of life more evident than in his interaction with his brother and sisters.

Today’s settlement will allow us to provide the 24 hour specialist care which has been denied for all his life to date.  It is unacceptable however, that the HSE have denied liability for the last 9 years.

It is our dearest wish that no other family would have to endure this period of intense suffering caused by the inexcusable delay in accepting responsibility for an injury to an innocent child.  

If there is one piece of advice we could give to any other family who find themselves in a similar circumstances, it would be to emphasise the absolute importance of engaging a firm of Solicitors who specialise in medical negligence. We have experience of the alternatives. Without the work of our team at Cantillons Solicitors, we would never have got to where we are today.

Finally, and on that note we would like to sincerely thank our brilliant legal team, Ernest Cantillon and Susie Elliott and our family and friends and anyone else who has helped us fight our battle.  No matter how great or small your contribution, it is much appreciated."

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or [email protected] if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.

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