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£5m payout for youths disabled since birth

TWO young Dublin people who have been brain-damaged since birth are to be paid a total of £5m in separate settlements which are among the biggest ever to have come before the courts here.

The young man who sued two consultants and Mount Carmel Hospital, Dublin, where he was born is to get £3m while a 20-year old woman who sued the governors and guardians of the Rotunda Hospital is to get £2m.

A substantial portion of the money will go on long term care.

The settlements were approved within minutes of each other in the High Court yesterday.

In both cases, the hospitals and doctors being sued for medical negligence denied negligence and settlements were reached without admission of liability.

Francis Dolan (19) of Roselawn, Ballydowd, Lucan, who was born in Mount Carmel has cerebral palsy and the mental age of a four-and-a-half-year-old child, the court heard when his action started earlier this month.

He is confined to a wheelchair because he has no balance but he thinks himself normal and wants to be either a garda, a politician or a lawyer.

He believes he is going to walk away from the wheelchair some day, the court was told.

The case taken by Ruth Glynn (20), suing by her father Kevin Glynn, had not started but had it gone ahead would probably have lasted some weeks.

Ruth's mother, Constance, who died in 1997, attended the Rotunda Hospital in the early months of 1981 and Ruth was born on August 27, 1981, four days after Mrs Glynn was admitted.

The baby was later diagnosed as suffering from significant neurological problems and cerebral palsy.

Ruth, from Grange Park Grove, Raheny, now attends the Central Remedial Clinic and the day care centre at St Michael's House.

She is also wheelchair bound and needs a very high level of ongoing care.

In the case taken by Francis, suing by his mother Bernadette, the court heard that Francis was born following a Caesarian operation on April 26, 1982 and, it was argued, should have have been admitted to a special obstetrics hospital for careful and consistent monitoring and with back-up facilities.

He was subsequently brought to Our Lady's Hospital, Crumlin.

Bernadette Dolan said the family had brought Francis for treatment to the Peto Institute in Hungary over a three-year period which the family themselves financed.

She also gave Francis physiotherapy for about two hours each day.

When the case was due to resume yesterday, lawyers for Francis asked Mr Justice Johnson to approve the £3m settlement.

If the settlement had not been approved, the hearing before Mr Justice Kearns would have continued.

The case had been taken against the hospital, and two consultants, Dr Margaret Kennedy, a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology and Dr Brian Denham, a paediatrician.

Only minutes earlier, the same judge approved a settlement of £2m in favour of Ruth Glynn who sued the governors and guardians of the Rotunda Hospital.