A last once-off payment of €20m had been agreed in a maternity delivery injury compensation settlement between and Health Service Executive (HSE) and a 14-year-old boy who claims he sustained permanent brain damage during his birth in a Cork hospital.
Lee Gibson of Carrigaline, Co Cork, has cerebral palsy. He cannot speak and requires a wheelchair to move around. This award means that a record €23m the total paid to the young boy and the birth injury compensation settlement against the HSE is the largest to date in the State for this type of legal action.
As part of the submission for compensation, it was claimed that Lee suffered many injuries to his brain due to a lack of oxygen and the impact of an untreated infection sustained by his mother. It was also claimed that there was delay of between 91 and 106 minutes prior to delivery by emergency caesarean section once the decision to go proceed with one had been taken. There was also a claim that there was failure to deal with the case as an emergency case and to give a concise explanation for what happened. The claims were not accepted but liability was later admitted in the case.
As he was approving the final figure, President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly praised the teenager’s mother, Aileen Gibson. He said: “Lee makes the best of a life that is possible because of the care of his mother, grandmother and other family support.”
In 2015 an interim settlement payment of €2m was approved for Lee and, subsequently, in 2017 a further interim payment of €1m was transferred to his family.
Ms Gibson, speaking after final approval was given for sum of compensation, said that the day was bittersweet. She said: “I must say that today is bittersweet. All the money won’t change what has happened to Lee. We will have to live with that pain forever.”