Boy makes €2m settlement with HSE in birth brain damage case

Lee Gibson (10) has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair

A boy alleged to have suffered brain damage during his birth at a Cork hospital has settled his action against the HSE on terms including an interim payment of €2 million towards the costs of his care over the next two years.

The settlement is without admission of liability.

The case of Lee Gibson (10), who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair, will come back before the High Court again in 2017 for assessment of the costs of his care into the future.

Through his mother, Aileen Gibson, Carthage Place, Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, the boy sued the HSE arising from the circumstances of his birth at St Finbarr's Hospital, Cork in 2005.


It was claimed Lee suffered a number of injuries to his brain due to a lack of oxygen and the effect of an untreated infection suffered by his mother.

The claims were denied.

In court, Lee signed "thank you" to Mr Justice Kevin Cross after the settlement of the case was approved by the judge.

Aileen Gibson said she had seen her son make great progress in his special school. He is learning to communicate and will need touch-screen technology, she said.

She told the court that Lee was a big fan of television and his favourite programme was Mrs Brown’s Boys.

The €2 million interim award will go towards the cost of his past and future care and will be used to purchase a site so the family can build a specially adapted house for Lee.

Mr Justice Cross congratulated the boy’s mother and family on the progress Lee had made and said he had no doubt the boy would become a “stunning member of the community in Ringaskiddy”.

The judge also commended the family's solicitor, Susie Elliot. Sometimes people criticise litigation as a means of achieving justice but sometimes it is "the only way to achieve it", he said.

The case was adjourned to November 2017.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times