Legal battle leaves bitter taste, says father of girl who got €2.4m payout
The father of a severely disabled seven-year-old girl who received a €2.4m interim payout from the National Maternity Hospital says the seven-year battle for justice has left a bitter taste that will stay with him forever.
Jan Curilla, whose daughter Viktoria has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, was described by her counsel as one of the most severely damaged children he had come across.
Her father told the court how he and his wife initially hoped their daughter would recover.
It was not until she was five months old that they slowly started to realise how serious her condition was.
The court heard the interim settlement for the next three years was without an admission of liability.
At the outset of the case, Adrienne Egan, counsel for the NMH, said the hospital regrets any shortcomings in so far as they may have contributed to the outcome for Viktoria.
Viktoria of Arbored Lawns, New Road, Donabate, Co Dublin, sued Holles Street Hospital through her mother Lucia.
The court heard Lucia Curilla had been admitted on December 29, 2008. When Viktoria was delivered, she needed to be resuscitated and was in poor condition. It was alleged there was a failure to carry out any or any proper monitoring of Ms Curilla and her unborn daughter. The NMH denied all the claims.
Denis McCullough SC, for the family, said Viktoria has no speech, has to be fed through a tube and it is not clear how much she can see. Her mother, a nurse, gave up her job to care for her daughter.
Viktoria's father, Jan Curilla, told the court he and his wife Lucia came to Ireland from Slovakia 12 years ago "to find a better future."
It was only two weeks after Viktoria's birth that they were told she may have "some minor problems in the future", he said.