Saturday 21 April 2018

Boy gets extra €300,000 for birth injuries

Emily Miggin with her son, Luke, who two years ago was awarded €1.35m over medical negligence.
Emily Miggin with her son, Luke, who two years ago was awarded €1.35m over medical negligence.

Tim Healy

A BOY who was brain damaged at birth is to receive another €300,000 for the coming year as part of interim settlements pending the introduction of laws to provide for ongoing lifetime payments in such cases.

Two years ago, Luke Miggin, now aged seven, received an interim High Court settlement of €1.35m arising out of medical negligence in the circumstances of his birth at Mullingar General Hospital in February 2006.

He was left with cerebral palsy, is wheelchair bound and requires 24-hour care.

Through his mother Emily Miggin (46), of Ballinadrimna, Athboy, Co Meath, he sued the HSE and consultant obstetrician Michael Gannon of Mullingar Hospital.

Liability was admitted by both defendants.

The case was put back for two years in the hope that the Government would by now have brought in promised legislation to deal with lifetime care in catastrophic injury cases such as this.

But as this has not yet happened, the case came before Mr Justice Daniel Herbert to assess ongoing payments to provide for Luke's care.

Following talks between the parties yesterday, the judge was told agreement had been reached whereby he is to receive another €300,000 for the coming year.

The court heard it is hoped that by then the new legislation will have been introduced.

Emily Miggin told the court yesterday she was "content for this year" with the further interim settlement.

However, the boy's father , Laurence Byrne, who the court heard previously had become estranged from Ms Miggin six months after the child's birth, complained yesterday – as he did two years ago – that he was being completely left out of the financial settlement for his son.

While he had no objection to yesterday's settlement, he felt he was being "discriminated against totally" in any financial matters relating to the care of his son over whom he had guardianship rights.

Counsel for Luke and his mother said maintenance orders in relation to Luke had been made against Mr Byrne but he had never paid them.

The court also heard previously from lawyers for Ms Miggin, a qualified health therapist, that she had given up work to look after Luke and his father had taken "no part" in his care. Mr Justice Herbert told Mr Byrne he did not have any power to help him.

The judge congratulated the parties on coming to an agreement and said it saved not only court time and expense but saved Ms Miggin the trauma of having to give evidence to support her claim for ongoing care costs.

Irish Independent

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