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€300k Settlement After Failure to Detect Girls Hearing Loss
Coleman Legal LLP
October 21, 2022
A settlement of €300,000 was approved today by the High Court in the case of a nine-year-old girl whose hearing loss was not detected for three years.

The High Court approved today a settlement of €300,000 in the case of a nine-year-old girl whose hearing loss was not detected for three years.

The affected girl from Ballina in Co. Mayo underwent her first hearing test at one. Despite this test, her mild to moderate hearing loss was never diagnosed until she reached the age of four. This girl is but one of several identified after a review of audiology services in the West was carried out between 2011 and 2015.

The HSE conducted a ‘look back’ examination of over 900 cases and found that 49 children had been affected. The HSE apologised after 13 children were identified as affected by the Mayo and Roscommon clinics’ failures in diagnosing patients.

The Plaintiff claimed the HSE failed several times during her early audiological management. The Senior Counsel, Hugh O’Keeffe, stated that this delayed diagnosis could have affected his client’s speech and language ability.

The court heard that the plaintiff had failed a hearing test at 9 months of age during a developmental health check, which is why she was referred to the Mayo University Hospital Audiology service. During an assessment at the hospital on June 19, 2014, the plaintiff was concluded to have normal hearing.

Multiple alleged failures during this assessment, including the failure to conduct pure tone testing, were found. The Plaintiff was later called for another test at age 4, during which mild to moderate severity hearing loss was detected.

The Plaintiff argued that if her hearing loss had been identified during the initial test, it would have allowed her to develop a comprehensive audiological management plan, including liaison with speech and language services.

It was claimed that after being diagnosed correctly and having grommets inserted in 2018, she experienced great improvement in her hearing. While the HSE did admit to a breach of duty concerning the delay in her diagnosis, they denied all other claims. Mr Justice Paul Coffey approved the settlement, stating it was fair and reasonable, and he wished the girl and her family luck for the future.

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Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

Head of Client Services

F: 1800-844-104
E: [email protected]

At Coleman Legal, excellence in customer care is paramount. We aim to meet both prospective and existing clients’ needs professionally and in a friendly manner with a clear objective of giving quality legal advice and reaching a positive outcome.

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