Boy (6) with severe cerebral palsy awarded €778k over circumstances of his birth
A SIX-year-old boy whose condition was described as one of the most severe cases of cerebral palsy to come before the courts has settled his legal action against the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in Dublin over the circumstances of his birth.
The €778,606 settlement figure covers the care needs of Martin Gibson for the next year as well as past care provided by the boy's parents.
Martin, through his mother Sarah Gibson, of Castle Manor, Newcastle, Co Wicklow, sued the NMH for alleged negligence over the circumstances of his birth on July 3, 2010.
It was claimed there was an alleged failure to properly manage and monitor the labour, delivery and birth of the baby.
There was an alleged failure, at a review of the labour, to recognise or respond to abnormalities present on a cardiotocography (CTG), including persistent late decelerations.
There was also an alleged failure to recognise a pathological first stage CTG necessitating the taking of urgent action.
It was also claimed there was as failure to proceed to an emergency caesarean section and there was an alleged inappropriate delay in the decision to deliver the baby by caesarean.
Martin was flat on delivery and was later transferred to Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children.
The hospital denied the claims.
The High Court recently found that the defendant was 70 per cent liable in the case.
His counsel, Denis McCullough, said Martin is unable to communicate, uses a wheelchair and needs 24hour care. It was one of the most severe cases of cerebral palsy to come before the courts, he said.
The settlement in relation to past care and care needs for the next year amounted to a total of €1.1million but taking in to account the liability finding the final figure was €788,606, he said.
He said the boy's future care needs and loss of earnings will be decided when the case comes back before the court next year.
Martin's parents were concerned that there was going to be a shortfall, he said.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross told Mrs Gibson they will be able to see in a year's time what the situation is.
This was not the final settlement in the case, he said.
The judge also said the liability finding was made on the basis that there was a significant possibility if the case had gone ahead it might not succeed.