The High Court has approved a settlement of €150,000 in the case of a young woman who claimed her hearing loss diagnosis and treatment was delayed.
Meabh Middleton, who is now 18, from Claremorris in Co Mayo, was referred to a HSE audiology clinic in Castlebar when she was six years old. Senior Counsel Hugh O'Keefe said her hearing tests between 2010 and 2014 were deemed normal.
Hearing loss detected in one ear in 2013 was attributed to ear wax, but in 2017 tests showed mild hearing loss in the left ear.
The court was told that had the case gone to a full hearing, expert witnesses for the plaintiff would testify there was hearing loss, and the court heard that Meabh was given a hearing aid in 2018.
The court was told it was the plaintiff's case that she would have benefitted from a hearing aid earlier.
Suing through her mother Maura, it was claimed there was a failure by the HSE to carry out appropriate testing and assessment between 2010 and 2014, and that there was an avoidable delay in the diagnosis and management of her hearing loss during a crucial time for language acquisition.
All the claims were denied, and the HSE contended the hearing was normal on both sides.
Mr Justice Paul Coffey said the settlement was fair and reasonable, and he had no hesitation in approving it.
Afterwards, the family's solicitor Ciaran Tansey said the shortcomings in his client's audiology treatment did not come to light during the HSE's 2018 look-back review - which has resulted in other cases before the courts.
Mr Tansey added that "the State's failings of children in the Mayo/Roscommon region clearly goes beyond what has been publicised to date".