The parents of a 4 year old child with cerebral palsy have welcomed the use of Mediation to help get their daughter the care she needs.
On Tuesday 24 November, 2020 the High Court approved an interim settlement of €3.41 million in the case of Rosie Slevin, who sued through her parents Deborah and Kevin. On her behalf it was alleged that there was negligence in and about the manner in which her birth was handled at the Coombe Hospital.
Liability was admitted in the case and a letter of apology dated 11 February, 2020 was read out in open Court on 24 November. The interim settlement, which will cover Rosies’s needs for 5 years, subject to approval by the High Court, was concluded through the use of Mediation which took place virtually because of the lockdown restrictions in place due to COVID-19.
Speaking on the family’s behalf, their solicitor Roger Murray SC said, “the family welcomed the early admission of liability and the letter of apology takes away some of the hurt, but will never undo the injury suffered by Rosie. We also welcome the use of Mediation and the use of technology, which enable this Mediation to take place virtually at a time when a physical Mediation would have been impossible.”
Rosie’s case was concluded after a two day virtual mediation; it would otherwise have taken weeks to resolve in a physical Courtroom. Speaking outside the High Court, Roger Murray SC continued, “the legal outcome in Rosie’s case shows what can be achieved with better use of technology and mediation. The pandemic has caused many sectors to ask: how can we do things better? The legal profession is no exception. Lawyers must play their part and ask: how can we better serve those who seek our help?”
The recent report by retired President of the High court, Peter Kelly, shows the way forward. He suggests a separate division of the High Court for medical cases, more concise documents and better use of mediation. Rosie’s family add their voice to those calling on Government to adopt those proposals, to make medical cases less stressful for all involved.
Roger Murray SC, is head of the Medical Negligence unit at Callan Tansey Solicitors LLP.