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'I am lucky that I'm not profoundly disabled following traumatic birth'

Now a medical negligence lawyer, Johan Verbruggen has his own story to tell - due to his difficult birth, he suffers from Erb's palsy. Emily Hourican reports

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Johan Verbruggen is a solicitor for Callan Tansey in Galway. Photo: Douglas O’Connor

Johan Verbruggen is a solicitor for Callan Tansey in Galway. Photo: Douglas O’Connor

Johan Verbruggen is a solicitor for Callan Tansey in Galway. Photo: Douglas O’Connor

The passion for justice that informs Johan Verbruggen's work as part of solicitors Callan Tansey's medical negligence department, is both professional, and personal.

Just a few weeks ago, Verbruggen settled a case for a six-year-old girl who suffers with partial paralysis of her left arm and postural difficulty - a condition known as Erb's palsy - following a difficult birth. It is the same condition Johan himself has.

"I was born in Galway," he says, "although it's not a Galway name - my granddad is from Belgium." His parents moved from Dublin to Galway, where Johan's father set up a veterinary practice, after the birth of Johan's elder brother in 1987.