'I want to leave court today and not look back' - mother of boy catastrophically injured in birth makes €8m settlement
A top judge has described as "shameful" the fact that legislation to allow for staged payments in cases of catastrophic injury has still not been enacted.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly, president of the High Court, made his comments as he approved a final €8million lump sum payment for a 13-year old boy who had sued the Coombe Hospital in Dublin over the circumstances of his birth.
Jamie Patterson has cerebral palsy with spastic quadriplegia, is not able to talk, and can only communicate through facial expressions and body language.
This final lump sum payment brings to €9.8million the total compensation.
The settlement was without an admission of liability.
Mr Justice Kelly said quite clearly Jamie's mother, Teresa Patterson, was tired and worn out. This was the third case in three weeks where the parents of catastrophically injured children have asked for a final lump sum payment to end the litigation, he said.
Ms Patterson told the court she wanted to leave the court and not look back.
"I feel I am so tired. Jamie is tired of all this, he just wants to play", she said.
Before every court date, the child had to endure examinations by medical experts on both sides, she said.
Mr Justice Kelly said with the final lump sum payment the Pattersons could say farewell the Four Courts.
He also called for mediation in cases like this which were "bruising" on both sides.
Ms Patterson also told the court the family had "no choice but to got through a huge legal battle to try and get the best quality of life possible for Jamie."
She added: " Jamie has gone through so much in his 13 years, medical procedures, pain, constant appointments and he still has a big smile on his face.
"I want to leave court today and not look back. We need to move forward for Jamie. Tomorrow we start a new chapter."
Jamie of Mountdown Park, Terenure, Dublin through his mother, sued the Coombe Hospital for alleged negligence at the time of his birth on November 3, 2002.
It was claimed the hospital failed to exercise any or any proper careor adequate care for the safety and well being of Ms Patterson and her son.
In a statement read to the court on behalf of the Coombe, the Master Dr Sharon Sheehan, conveyed the hospital's deepest sympathy to the family for the "considerable adversity that you have endured arising from the circumstances of Jamie's birth.
"I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts and steps that you have taken in dealing with this difficult situation."