Kiernan, Ava (a minor suing by her mother and next friend, Ruth Kiernan) v Health Service Executive

The High Court recently held in favour of the minor Plaintiff in this medical negligence case which was taken against the Health Service Executive.

The Plaintiff who developed hydrocephalus sued the Health Service Executive alleging that the defendants’ employee, a public health nurse, negligently failed to correctly record the plaintiff’s head circumference on examination.

There was also a failure to address the serious and significant developmental concerns brought to her attention by the plaintiff’s mother.

The Defendant alleged that plaintiff’s hydrocephalus condition was not present from birth and that there was no evidence that the incorrect measurement of the child’s head circumference on a specific date along with the disregard for serious parental concern as to regression, caused the child’s injuries.

Mr Justice Cross held that had the diagnosis been made on the date the incorrect head measurement was recorded the plaintiff would have been treated for hydrocephalus immediately and significant damage could have been avoided.

He also held that the public health nurse failed to abide by the standard of care required, and the failures were materially causative of the plaintiff’s present condition. The defendant was held liable for these failures and the plaintiff was awarded compensation as a result.

This is a positive result for the minor plaintiff and their family which Sinnott Solicitors are happy to see. We wish the plaintiff and their family the best of luck in the future.