Saturday 18 November 2017

Judge hits lack of periodic payments as boy gets €580k

Luke Miggin and his specially trained dog, Fleur.
Luke Miggin and his specially trained dog, Fleur.

Tim Healy

THE High Court has approved a further payment of €580,000 for an eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who had received a €1.35m interim settlement for medical negligence at his birth.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the further payment for the future care needs over the next three years for Luke Miggin who has dyskinetic cerebral palsy after suffering injuries at birth at Mullingar General Hospital in 2006.

Since the original settlement three years ago, he received further payments from the court towards his care, bringing the total to over €2m.

Yesterday, approving a further €580,000 for the next three years, Ms Justice Irvine said successive Ministers for Justice had promised legislation to provide for periodic payments.

There was a failure to recognise the distress caused to families because the legislation is not available yet, she said.

"I will say no more than that. My frustration is evident. I apologise to you that we have not got the legislation," she told Luke's mother Emily Miggin who has had to come back to court three times in relation to payments for her son's care.

"This is the third or fourth time this case has come before the court. I know the distress litigation causes the families with children.

"They can't get on with their lives because of ongoing litigation," Ms Justice Irvine said.

Through his mother Emily, of Ballinadrimna, Athboy, Meath, Luke sued the HSE and consultant obstetrician Michael Gannon, of Mullingar Hospital. Liability was admitted by both defendants.

The court previously heard if Luke had been delivered earlier, he would have been spared his injuries. He was left with cerebral palsy, is wheelchair bound and requires 24-hour care.

His mother, who is a therapist, had given up her work and was his dedicated and full-time carer. Luke has a golden retriever dog which is specially trained to be with disabled children.

Ms Miggin told the court she applauded the judge on what she had said about the lack of periodic payments legislation.

The boy will still have to return to court when the amount allowed for his aids and appliances for the next three years will have to be decided and also in relation to care in to the future.

Irish Independent

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