Tuesday 17 October 2017

€10m lump sum payment for man with 'locked in' syndrome

Edmund and Karen O'Mahony - parents of locked-in syndrome son Eoin (PIC: COURTPIX)
Edmund and Karen O'Mahony - parents of locked-in syndrome son Eoin (PIC: COURTPIX)

Aodhan O'Faolain

A man who has locked in syndrome after an operation at Cork University Hospital is in line for a €10m lump sum payment in final settlement of his High Court action.

A judge today indicated he will award 32-year old Eoin O'Mahony in the region of €10million bringing to a total of €14.9million paid to the Cork man in his case against the HSE.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty today  said he intended to award between €10million and €10.1million to Eoin as a final lump sum payment to cover his future care needs. The exact figure will be finalised in October when the the judge gives an exact  breakdown of how the money is to be allocated.

Eoin O Mahony was a Leaving Cert student in 2001 when he had headaches and was admited to Cork University Hospital where brain surgery was carried out. He later lapsed in to a coma like state and the High Court heard Eoin has devastating brain injuries.

Liability was conceded in the case and five years ago  Eoin from Station Road, Blarney settled his High Court action with an interim payout of €2.9millin and a further interim payment of €1.2million three years ago.

Mr Justice Moriarty today said his case had been "enormously long" and complex.

"No financial award can bring back Eoin and his family to a life of fullness and achievement he had every reason to aspire to," the judge said.

He added: " The  figure reflects the gravity of the case and will meet Eoin's future care needs."

Eoin's parents Edmund and Karen O'Mahony,Station Road, Blarney, Co Cork had previously pleaded with the court to finalise the case with a capital lump sum payment after 13 years in litigation. The couple sat through 19 days of hearings as Eoin's future care needs were analysed.

Yesterday Counsel for the HSE, Adrienne Egan SC  indicated that the HSE will be paying the costs of the long running case.

Mr Justice Moriarty had asked both sides to consider an award of between €10 and €10.1million and he adjourned the case briefly.

When both sides returned to court Counsel for the O'Mahonys, David Holland SC said Eoin's side were prepared to split the difference,  but the State side was not in a  position to do so.

Ms Egan said her side would prefer the judge to make judgment on the various items which had been in dispute between the parties.

Mr Justice Moriarty said he would prepare a written judgment on the matter and confirm the final lump sum figure in October.

and he asked that €800,000 be paid out immediately to Eoin O'Mahony to cover the intervening period.

Eoin sustained traumatic brain injuries after a hospital procedure. On November 23 2001 following complaints of headaches  a he was referred to Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork. He was readmitted four days later and underwent the brain procedure to reduced pressure on the brain. On November 30, he underwent another brain procedure and partial removal of a  tumour but on December 1st, 2001 he lapsed in to a coma.

The court heard he cannot even use his finger to press a button if he needs help and essentially suffers from locked in syndrome.

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