System should be easier for families, says mother of boy injured at birth

Luke Miggin

The mother of a 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who on Wednesday secured a €3m interim settlement in his action over the circumstances of his birth has told the High Court the system should be easier for families.

The latest court approved settlement figure for Luke Miggin brings to over €6m paid to the boy in his medical negligence action over the circumstances of his birth at Mullingar General Hospital in February 2006.

His mother Emily Miggin said it was her son’s fifth time in court and he had initially settled his action in 2011 with the first interim payment amounting to €1.35m.

She said her son has had to have 80 assessments to date in preparation for the court approved payouts. "The system should be easier," she told Mr Justice Kevin Cross.

She said Luke is a fabulous child who has complex needs and they were blessed with very good carers.

At a previous court appearance, Ms Miggin said she would give the money back fivefold to see her son kick a football. She said she was heartbroken and both her son and she had lost an awful lot.

The latest interim settlement in the action against the HSE and consultant obstetrician Dr Michael Gannon was brought about after mediation and is for the next six years.

Through his mother Emily Miggin, of Ballinadrimna, Athboy, Co Meath, and now living in Sutton, Dublin, Luke had sued the HSE and Mr Gannon of Mullingar Hospital.

Luke was born just after 5pm on February 28, 2006.

The court was previously told if Luke had been delivered even one hour earlier, he would have escaped injury.

Liability was admitted by both defendants.

In the High Court yesterday, Luke’s counsel Denis McCullough said Luke was very happy at school and was a bright and enthusiastic child. His mother, a therapist, had given up her job to care for her son full time.

Interim settlements had been paid out he said starting with €1.35m in 2011 and other payouts in the following years including just over €1m three years ago.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a good one and he thanked Ms Miggin for the care she has given her son. He wished the Miggins well for the future.

Luke’s case will come back before the court in six years’ time when his future care needs will be assessed.

Irish Examiner 1st July 2020

Ann O’Loughlin