Boy (4) settles birth injury case against HSE for €17.2 million
A four-year-old disabled boy who sued over the circumstances of his birth has settled his High Court action with a final lump sum payment of €15.5million.
It brought to €17.2million the total being paid to Charlie Enright who has cerebral palsy and is physically disabled.
The total award approved on Friday by the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, is believed to be highest ever for a catastrophically injured person who sued over care at birth.
In a statement, his parents Caitriona and Anthony Enright, from Limerick, said they could now get on with their lives.
"What Charlie lost in August 2013 is priceless," they said.
"No amount of money can replace it. We are happy with the settlement."
Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kelly praised the Enrights and said Charlie’s care was a ’family affair’ and the whole extended family had got together to care for “a remarkable boy.”
Two years ago Charlie settled his case against the HSE arising out of his birth at the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick, with a first interim payment of €1.75million to cover his needs for two years.
His mother told the court Charlie was a remarkable happy little boy.
“We have so much joy along with all the pain,’ she told the judge.
Liability was admitted early in the case, the court heard.
That had "eased a burden and also in my head the burden of was it me?", she aid.
"It became clear it was not me and I could move on a bit."
She said in the last two years they have started to build a house specially adapted for Charlie beside the family home.
Her son’s physical ability had got much better and the difficulty for Charlie was he was "locked in and communication is a big problem."
She said whether they should go for a lump sum had been discussed at length. They thought the preparation of periodic payment applications, where Charlie would have to undergo medical examinations, was putting too much strain on the family.
Mrs Enright who has taken a career break to care for her son, said he is starting at the local school in September.
Charlie, of Raheen, Ballyneety, through his mother, sued the HSE in relation to his birth at the Midwestern Regional hospital in August 2013.
Mrs Enright had been admitted to the hospital at 37 weeks in to her pregnancy on August 19, 2013. A a decision was made to induce labour after several tests were carried out.
In his action, it was claimed in the events that followed there was a breach of duty with an alleged failure to provide an appropriate standard of care during the labour and up to the time of Charlie's birth on August 20.
Charlie was flat at birth and and was transferred to Cork University Hospital for head cooling. An MRI scan showed evidence of intra cranial haemorrhage.
He was later transferred back to the Midwestern Regional Hospital in Limerick and discharged home at the end of September 2013.