Jack’s cerebral palsy claim settled for over €4.5 million
3 minute read
Jack was born in 2018, following an emergency caesarean section. Within moments of his birth, it was evident that something was gravely wrong. Jack had sustained an acute hypoxic-ischaemic injury just before his birth, leading to severe neurological injuries and a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
Family told their son may not survive
The news was devastating for his parents, who were at one point told that their son might not survive. After an extended stay in the hospital, Jack was finally discharged home. However, he remains entirely dependent on others for all his daily needs and will continue to be for the rest of his life.
Jack’s parents contacted Augustus Cullen Law
Living in a small house unsuitable for Jack’s disability and care needs, the family faced immense challenges. Jack has two younger sisters, and the family was referred to Augustus Cullen Law by another local family whose child also has cerebral palsy and for whom we had acted.
Jamie Hart provided the family with an initial consultation and talked them through the options available.
We sought the opinions of many leading experts
Upon taking the case, we immediately sought an initial report from an obstetrician. The report criticised several aspects of the ante-natal care Jack received, stating that he should have been delivered two days earlier.
This early delivery could have prevented the acute hypoxic injury he suffered. To establish causation, we enlisted the expertise of seven different specialists, including a pathologist, neonatologist, paediatric neurologist and neuroradiologist.
Assessing Jack’s needs
To understand the full extent of Jack’s injuries and his future needs, we engaged another set of experts. These specialists assessed Jack and provided comprehensive opinions on his future needs and the associated costs.
Negligence was admitted
Although negligence was admitted, the issue of causation remained open. A trial date was set and a mediation session was held just days before. During mediation, the defendant hospital argued for a discount, claiming that Jack’s injuries might have been unavoidable.
We firmly rejected this argument.
Eventually, the defendant relented and the case was settled on an interim basis.
The comprehensive settlement
The settlement covered Jack’s general damages, retrospective over-and-above care, loss of future earnings and accommodation needs. His future care needs, physiotherapy, aids and appliances, assistive technology, speech and language and neuropsychology will all be addressed over the next five years. The case will then return to the Courts for final disposal.
The hospital apologised and provided a guarantee
The hospital issued a written apology to Jack’s parents and provided a legal guarantee that nighttime nursing care from the HSE would continue for the next five years. This guarantee is worth an additional €1 million and comes with the added benefit of being provided by nurses who are already familiar with and trusted by the family.
The total value of the settlement reached over €4.5 million, ensuring that Jack will receive the necessary care and support for the rest of his life.
Learn more about our cerebral palsy claims services
If you or a loved one developed cerebral palsy or another form of birth injury as a result of clinical negligence, we may be able to advise you.
In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
The name referenced throughout this case study is a pseudonym that has been put in place to protect the client’s privacy.
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