Boy (13) awarded €11.3m in settlement of High Court action over birth injuries
HSE admitted liability over injuries to boy at time of birth at Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital in Limerick
The president of the High Court has approved a final €7.5m payment for a teenage boy with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy as part of the settlement of his action over his care at birth, bringing his full settlement to €11.3m.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly on Tuesday approved the payment for the boy, who is a ward of court and cannot be named.
It follows an interim settlement of €2.1m made in 2013 and €1.6m made in 2015.
It was claimed there was delay in carrying out an emergency cesarean section which resulted in catastrophic injury leaving him blind, physically and mentally disabled, requiring 24-hour care and ongoing treatment and medication.
Liability was admitted by the HSE.
On Tuesday, the judge was told the now 13 year old boy’s father, who worked outside the home but was very active in the care of his son, had died.
Denis McCullough SC, for the boy, said his side had recommended a final payment of €7.5m although the mother “had reservations” and felt it should be €8m.
Actuaries for the family had estimated he should get €8.8m based on a life expectancy of another 15 years, the court heard. Experts for the HSE had estimated another 12 years and as a result the €7.5m offer had been made.
The annual care bill alone was €517,000, the court heard.
The mother told the judge her son was in this position “through no fault of his or of mine”.
‘Not being greedy’
She was “not being greedy” and believed her son deserved as much as possible to provide for his care for the rest of his life.
She said the family live in a remote part of the country where it is difficult to recruit the kind of round-the-clock care required. Her son needs two carers at all times and she is one with help from his adult siblings who live at home.
Two nurses who had provided care changed jobs around the time of her husband’s death.
“We had to bury my husband while trying to get on with minding (my son) and trying to recruit a new nurse”.
After saying he believed it was in the child’s best interests to accept the €7.5m offer but would give the mother time to discuss the matter with her family, the judge adjourned the hearing briefly.
When the case resumed, the mother said they would accept the offer.
The judge welcomed her decision and said her son could have got less than €7.5m if the case went to trial.
He directed the money be paid into the account for wards of court and invested with a view to ensuring the boy will have a sufficient income stream to be looked after properly for the rest of his life.
The court heard approval has been given for an extension to the family home so carers can be accommodated and a hydrotherapy pool can be built for the boy.