£1.75m agreed for brain-damaged boy


An action for damages taken by the family of an eight-year-old boy said to have suffered severe brain damage at birth was settled for £1.75 million in the High Court yesterday.

After some hours of discussion outside the court yesterday, Mr Justice O'Donovan was told a settlement had been reached.

Through his father, Mr Val Andrews, a third-level lecturer in Tralee, Joseph Andrews, currently residing in The Sunshine Home, Dublin, had sued Mr Korula George, consultant surgeon of the Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India; Mr Cathal Murray, consultant gynaecologist of Charlemont Clinic, Dublin 2 and the Board of Guardians of The Coombe LyingIn Hospital, Dublin.

It was alleged the boy suffered severe brain damage and severe cerebral palsy of the spastic quadriplegic type when his mother, Mrs Carmel Andrews, gave birth at the Coombe Hospital on July 3rd, 1990.

The defendants denied any breach of duty and said each of the allegations of fact and/or negligence made against them was also denied.

Yesterday, Mr Liam McKechnie SC, for the family, said an offer of £1.75 million plus costs had been made which was being recommended. Jospeh Andrews was born at 11.25 p.m. on July 3rd, 1990 at the Coombe Hospital, counsel said. Had the medical signs surrounding the birth been acted upon, he should have been delivered by Caesarean section at 7.30 or 8.30 p.m., but certainly no later than 9 p.m.

When he was born it was discovered he was suffering from severe cerebral palsy of the spastic quadriplegic type as a result of lack of oxygen and/or blood flow to the brain.

Based on an average life span of 40 years, it had been agreed to accept the £1.75m in respect of special damages to date and in the future.

Mr McKechnie told the court the family was living in Tralee. They planned to move to Dublin and reintegrate Joseph into the family of three other children.

Mr Justice O'Donovan approved settlement, which was against all three defendants. The settlement was without admission of liability.