For more information of confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Highest Payout in Irish History Awarded in Birth Injury Lawsuit

scales of justiceAn eight year old County Cork boy with cerebral palsy who is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life because of a disastrous delivery in 2006 will receive 13.3 million Euros or $15.6 million USD in the highest personal injury award ever paid in Ireland.

The outcome of the birth injury lawsuit , filed against HSE (the Health and Safety Executive) and Cork University Maternity Hospital for negligence, had already been decided two years ago in the High Court when the HSE and the hospital admitted liability in the case of the boy, who suffered brain damage at birth.

The defendants offered an apology to the boy and his mother acknowledging their pain and distress and assuring them that they are continually reviewing hospital practices to ensure the safety of their patients. At that time, the family was awarded a partial settlement of 1.4 million Euros with the proviso that the mother could return in two years to discuss additional funds. In total, the family would receive 14.9 million Euros or $17.225 million USD for the boy’s care.

Ground breaking birth injury lawsuit award

Before rendering his decision on payment, Mr. Justice Kevin Cross examined video tapes of the child in his daily life and came away convinced that the boy “will be dependent on care for 24 hours of the day, every day, for all of his life” and that the monetary award is, in his judgment, equitable and fair to both sides. In addition, the judge ruled that the child should have a full-time night caregiver and two full-time caregivers through the day.

His monetary award decision is ground breaking because it upends the standard method in Irish courts to award a sum that when invested would yield a 3% return to bring its overall value higher than the initial award which is discounted by that amount. The family’s attorneys argued that investing a much needed award in equities would be too risky with the care of a permanently disabled boy at stake.

Mr. Justice Cross agreed and set the award with only a 1% investment in equities and discount to ensure that the total award to the family would be greater than the standard method.

Brain damage at birth from “chaotic” delivery

The allegations of negligence in the birth injury lawsuit have already been acknowledged as fact by the defendants. On July 12, 2006, the plaintiffs went through what was described as a “prolonged and totally chaotic” delivery. The infant had a severe shoulder dystocia (a fetal emergency where, after the delivery of the head, the shoulder cannot pass through). The delivery was then delayed twelve minutes while the mother underwent an emergency symphysiotomy (a splitting of the pubis cartilage to allow the baby to pass through).

Once delivered, the baby boy was taken to Cork University Maternity Hospital where he was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy and brain damage at birth. He stayed at the hospital for two months where it was determined that he would be permanently disabled and have no use of his limbs. He has since been confined to a wheelchair and has been trained on a special computer that can be programmed to control certain functions and movements just by the young boy’s eye movements.

  1. The, Biggest Payout in the History of Ireland Made to Cork Boy Brain Damaged At birth

  2. Irish Examiner, Boy Severely Disabled at Birth Awarded 13.5 Million Euros