On 29th April 2022, Mr Justice Coffey approved a settlement for a 12-year-old girl who only had months to live. The child sued, through her mother, the HSE and Temple Street Hospital. The Court was told by Mr Eugene Gleeson SC, that the girl was initially diagnosed with a cyst in August 2020. As her condition deteriorated, she was diagnosed with a rare condition, Transverse Myelitis. The girl, who was quadriplegic at this stage, and required 24-hour care, was treated for this condition until February 2022. At that point further radiology disclosed that an underlying glioma was the source of the girl’s complaint and the hospitals had failed to diagnose same at an early date.

Unfortunately, a diagnosis of glioma, even made at an early stage, the outcome is dismissal and persons diagnosed with same have a one to 2 years life expectancy. It was argued by the girl’s lawyers, that the girl and her family had been deprived of a better quality of life and time together by failure of the Defendants to make a correct diagnosis of her condition.

The case proceeded to mediation and was settled between the parties. Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Coffey said he understood the fact that the last two years the girl and her family won’t get back. The Judge directed that a portion of the settlement be paid out immediately out of the settlement monies.

This was intense and very time sensitive litigation given the harrowing needs of the girl. The High Court litigation, which involved an extensive number of experts in the UK, was commenced and resolved within a period of eight months.

Ms. Fiona Baxter is head of the Medical Negligence team at Baxter Mimnagh Solicitors, and she led the litigation team in these Proceedings.