Portion of record award will go to hospitals

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REACTION:IT WAS “right and just” that a sizeable proportion of Cullen Kennedy’s record compensation would go to the hospitals that had cared for him over the past four years, his family said yesterday.

The judge left the bench to talk to Cullen and wished him a long life and great happiness.

Having heard he was very interested in computers, she said he should advise her as she was “clueless” in that regard.

During yesterday’s hearing, Monica Kennedy, Cullen’s grandmother, said the child “carries us along as much we we do him”, and had a wonderful personality.

Earlier the judge said the child’s lawyers, solicitor Ian J Foley and Conor Maguire SC and Henry Bourke SC, had achieved an excellent settlement, and praised their handling of the case.

Mr Maguire told the judge the settlement raised a lot of issues concerning calculation of damages in such cases. In recommending the lump sum, his side had considered all possible outcomes as best they could, and the sum went towards the higher end of Cullen’s life expectancy.

In a statement read out by Mr Foley, the family described Cullen as a “wonderful 10-year-old boy” who had suffered “catastrophic injuries” as a result of the road incident in June 2008.

Outside the Four Courts after the case, Mr Foley stood next to Cullen’s mother Margaret Kennedy, his grandmother and Cullen himself.

“All our lives changed forever that day, most especially Cullen’s who was a normal and happy six-year-old and is now a quadriplegic,” said Mr Foley. “We would like to pay a personal tribute to Cullen, who is an inspiring and very brave boy. No amount of money could compensate for the horrific injuries he has suffered.

“Cullen has received fantastic care and it is right and just that a sizeable proportion of his record settlement of compensation in a case of this type goes for past care.

“Many hospitals who provided him with excellent care will benefit from this, and hopefully it will slightly ease their challenges in these difficult financial times for the health services.”

The family thanked medical professionals in Galway and Dublin and the courts for the way the case was handled and for the ongoing service they would provide in managing the settlement fund.

They also thanked fundraisers for Cullen and their legal team.

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