Wednesday 11 December 2019

Parents 'pushed into' corner over €1.5m settlement

Tim Healy

THE father of a boy with cerebral palsy caused by alleged medical negligence at birth says the family has been "pushed into a corner" to accept a €1.5m High Court settlement against a maternity hospital.

A lawyer for Jack Kenny (6) believed a more realistic offer from the hospital should have been between €3m and €4m, the court heard.

His father, Cathal O'Donovan, told the court the award would still mean they would be financially worried about the rest of the child's life.

"We are scared. It is so unfair. We really feel hard done by," Mr O'Donovan said.

Mr Justice John Quirke, approving the settlement, agreed it was not enough but there had been a similar case where a family got nothing.

The proceedings were taken by Jack, suing through his mother, Lynsey Kenny, of The Court, Larch Hill, Santry, Dublin, against the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.

The defendant denied the claims and the settlement was without admission of liability.

Denis McCullough, counsel for the boy, said his real concern was the family might fail in the proceedings. The defendant did not wish to go above €1m but eventually, with a great deal of persuasion, agreed to €1.5m and he was recommending that.

Mr McCullough said Jack was a very bright, alert boy because of the attention his parents had given him over the years.

They were not happy with the settlement and believed it was not enough to provide for their son.

He said the child was born with his umbilical cord around his neck on March 19, 2003. It was submitted Jack was nearly dead at birth and required extensive resuscitation taking some eight minutes in all.

Irish Independent

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