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Boy (11) secures €1.35m settlement over birth injury

A YOUNG boy with a mild form of cerebral palsy has secured €1.35m in settlement of his action over alleged negligence in the circumstances of his birth at a Cork hospital.

The settlement for Shane Fitzgerald was made, without admission of liability, against consultant obstetrician Dr David Corr and with no order against the Bon Secours Hospital. It was approved at the High Court today by Ms Justice Mary Irvine.

Now aged 11, Shane, through his mother Susan Fitzgerald, Fernwood Crescent, Lehanaghmore, Togher, Cork, had sued Dr Corr and the Bon Secours Health System Ltd, trading as the Bon Secours Hospital, College Road, Cork City.

It was alleged there was negligence in the circumstances of Shane's birth on April 10, 2001, but the court heard there was a strong dispute on the issue of liability.

Dr John O'Mahony SC, for Shane, said he has a mild form of cerebral palsy but is in school doing very well and is "a very happy young man". His case was, had Shane been delivered earlier, he would have been spared his injuries, counsel said.

Ms Justice Irvine spoke with Mrs Fitzgerald and also spoke with Shane about his love for Manchester United and other matters. Shane appeared to be a well-adjusted young man just the same as everyone his age, she remarked.

The judge said, it seemed, had the case proceeded, there would have been difficulties concerning liability and she was happy to approve the settlement which seemed to represent the full value of the case.