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€15m Awarded After Failings in After Birth Care
Coleman Legal LLP
Oct 26, 2022

An apology has been given to a teenage boy with autism after the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin failed to provide care to him after birth.

Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital

The boy received an apology at the conclusion of a High Court case for €15m.

According to the families’ lawyers, this has been the largest settlement where a link between autism and brain injury has been sought in a case.

The boy who had developed an infection and meningitis after birth with hearing loss and development delays being identified months later, the court was told. Later, being diagnosed with autism.

It was the delay in diagnosing the infection after birth that was central to this case, according to Senior Counsel Dr. John O’Mahony.

The court was told by Dr. O’Mahony that the infant’s infection should have been identified and treated after 15 hours, if this had been done the boy would not have developed meningitis.

The hospital was accused of failing to respond to evidence of potential infection by treating the boy with antibiotics and failing to prevent potential meningitis.

Including claims that the hospital failed to notify a paediatrician for an opinion to administer antibiotics in time.

The court was told while some liability was expected, the claim of a link between autism and brain injury, however, was denied.

Professor Micheal O’Cannell the Master of the Coombe Hospital offer a sincere apology for the “for the failings in care that caused injury” in a letter to the family.

“We in the hospital understand and sincerely regret that our failings in care have led to lifelong consequences not only for (the boy) but also for his parents and family.” Was stated in the letter.

The statement was approved by Mr Justice Paul Coffey, who also wishes the family luck.


We understand the devastating effects a birth injury can have on a family, primarily if the injury was caused by medical negligence.

Our experienced birth injury solicitors can guide you through the entire legal process while you and your family recover. To speak with one of our solicitors, call 1800 844104 (free phone) or complete our online enquiry form.

Keith Rolls Partner Coleman Legal LLP

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