Settlement For Family After Death Of Third Baby

settlement case

Cian Hunt died in his parent’s arms on October 6th, 2018, in a Dublin hospital to which he had been transferred for specialist treatment to reduce his brain swelling

We represented the parents of baby Cian Hunt who was born on 3rd October 2018 at Mayo University Hospital and died on 6th October 2018 at The Coombe Hospital, having been transferred there for urgent care following his birth.

Breda Hunt attended Mayo University Hospital during this pregnancy and the doctors involved in her care were aware of her complex past obstetric history and, in particular, that in 2014 Breda had a stillborn baby girl at 38 weeks’ gestation and in 2016, at 36 weeks, she had a stillborn baby boy as a result of a placental abruption.

During her pregnancy in 2018 with baby Cian, she was advised by the consultant obstetrician involved in her care that he would aim for the delivery of her baby at 36 weeks by caesarean section. She was subsequently advised by the obstetrician that plans for her had changed and that it would be better for her recovery if she had a natural delivery.

She was admitted to hospital at 37 weeks’ gestation for observation. One week later, the recorded plan was to induce labour. The induction of labour commenced and, the following day, her consultant obstetrician told her he had planned for a caesarean section to take place at 8.00am, in light of the fact that the baby’s head was still high. There was a delay in performing the caesarean section and when baby Cian was delivered, he was not breathing. He made no movements and had no audible heart sounds. He was resuscitated and transferred to the neonatal unit with a diagnosis of severe hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. He was then transferred to The Coombe Hospital in Dublin for therapeutic hypothermia.

Over the following days, it became clear that Cian had sustained a severe brain injury and, sadly, he passed away three days following his birth, with the cause of death being reported as hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, multi-organ failure, acute placental abruption with intrauterine anoxia, with no congenital abnormality and no evidence of infection.

We investigated the circumstances surrounding his death and an independent expert opinion from a leading obstetrician advised that a caesarean section should have taken place earlier and there should have been an appreciated risk of the recurrence of a placental abruption. The expert advised that Breda should have been referred to a tertiary centre where the option to deliver prematurely was available and it should have been done. Failing this, Breda should have delivered her baby by 36 weeks at the latest and attempts to achieve vaginal delivery were inappropriate.

The HSE defended the case and denied any wrongdoing. However, the case settled shortly before the trial for a substantial sum plus costs.

Read more about the case on:

Irish Times Article on the “Couple settles case against HSE over death of three-day-old baby”

If you require further information, please contact Rachael Liston, on 019123240 or by emailing

For more information about how we can help you with medical negligence claims, please contact Rachael Liston on 01-9123240 or email