Wednesday 20 September 2017

€4.75m for nine-year-old born with cerebral palsy at Cork hospital

Catherine and Martin Kenny, of Ballyduff, Co. Waterford, leaving court
Catherine and Martin Kenny, of Ballyduff, Co. Waterford, leaving court
Catherine and Martin Kenny, of Ballyduff, Co. Waterford, leaving court

THE High Court has approved a €4.75m final settlement for a boy left with cerebral palsy following his birth in a Cork hospital.

The latest lump sum settlement was approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine for Shane Kenny (9), two years after  €1 million partial payment in settlement of his claim against the HSE over the circumstances of his birth in Erinville Hospital on November 2, 2004.

He was awarded a further €665,000 last year for his future loss of earnings.

Yesterday's €4.75 m final settlement yesterday brought the total amount in relation to Shane's case to €6.4 milllion, the court heard.

My Kenny, from Ballylouane, Ballyduff, Co.Waterford, has developmental delay and motor dysfunction, the court heard. He had sued through his mother Catherine Kenny.

The HSE previously admitted liability and apologised for the fact that it was negligent in the events leading up to the child's birth and at his birth.

Liam Reidy, SC for the family, said while Shane is independently mobile, his left leg is stunted in growth and he has poor co-ordination.

Counsel said he had two of the most magnificent parents in the world and his mother Catherine, a nurse, had given up her job to look after her son full-time.

He goes to mainstream school but due to his brain injury his intellectual development is behind his peers and  he will never be able to work, except under sheltered conditions, counsel said.

The court previously heard that at the time of Shane's birth, there was a failure to act upon a CTG trace which showed that the foetal heart rate was abnormal, and the decision to deliver the baby by forceps was negligent. The forceps delivery resulted in Shane suffering a significant partial hypoxic insult.

Ms Justice Irvine said the €4.75m Million was a very significant sum in the context of Shane's disability. The judge said she was more than happy to approve the lump sum and she knew how stressful it was for parents and children to be in the "litigation loop".

She also said legislation allowing for periodic payments to be given to catastrophically injured children instead of a once off lump sum payments had not been as forthcoming as expected.

Last year, when Shane was awarded €665,000 for loss of future earnings, the court heard he would have earned the money based on the probability that he would have taken over his father's 278 acres farm in adulthood.

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