The family of a boy suffering from cerebral palsy has returned to court to have their second interim payment of compensation approved.
In February 2006, Luke Miggin from Athboy in County Meath was born at the Mullingar General Hospital. Due to mismanagement of his birth, Luke was deprived of oxygen in the womb. After he was born, Luke had to be resuscitated by medical staff on hand. He was immediately transferred to a special care baby unit. Luke was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He is reliant on full time care from his parents, and has difficulty which even small physical tasks.
On behalf of her son, Emily Miggin sought legal counsel. She made a claim for cerebral palsy compensation against the HSE. In her claim, she alleged that her consultant- Dr Michael Gannon-had failed to act on CTG traces taken throughout the day, which indicated a deceleration of the foetal heart rate.
In 2010, the Health Service Executive admitted their liability for Luke´s birth injuries. In January the following year, an interim compensation payment for cerebral palsy amounting to €1.35 million was offered to the family. As the case was made on behalf of a minor, the settlement needed to be taken to the High Court to be approved by a judge. It was later approved by Mr Justice John Quirke.
Judge Quirke adjourned the case for three years to allow time for a structured settlement system to be introduced. The government has since failed to set up such a system of periodic payments. Emily Miggin returned to the High Court to have a second interim compensation payment for cerebral palsy approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine.
Judge Irvine apologised to Emily for successive Justice Ministers who had failed to keep their promises to introduce a system of periodic payments, and said that ongoing litigation was preventing her family from getting on their lives.
The judge approved a further €580,000 interim compensation payment for cerebral palsy and adjourned Luke´s case for a further three years.