Settlement in case of young girl with Cerebral Palsy for a total of €16.3 million on a full & final basis using video conference technology
A young girl with cerebral palsy has secured a €14.8 million settlement from the Health Service Executive claiming negligence in the circumstances of her delivery. The Plaintiff was born in 2007 in the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar. She was born prematurely at 34 weeks of gestation following a pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia. She suffered serious injuries at birth and was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy with right spastic hemiplegia. As a result, proceedings were issued on her behalf seeking damages for alleged negligence in the management of her mother’s labour and delivery. Among a range of pleas, it was alleged that the Hospital delayed unreasonably in delivering the Minor Plaintiff by caesarean section despite evidence of unstable maternal hypertension and pre-eclamptic toxaemia. The young girl’s injuries have resulted in her suffering a loss in the use of her right upper limb and a restriction in her ability to walk for more than 200 metres. In April 2017, the young girl’s case was settled for €1,512,401 million on an interim basis on the basis of negligence on the Defendant’s behalf being assessed at 80% of the full value of the claim in respect of the assessment of damages. The young girl’s case was adjourned to the 28th April 2020 to reassess her future care needs for life, loss of earnings and other future losses. In light of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the unlikely scenario that the Trial would proceed on the 28th April 2020 as scheduled, Mediation was arranged. Usually Mediation would involve the Parties meeting in one location and Counsel on behalf of each side discussing matters with the Mediator in person, however due to the current restrictions this was not feasible. Accordingly, Mediation took place by way of remote electronic communication using Zoom and telephone calls. Mediation was ultimately successful in resolving this high value case involving a vulnerable minor. Given social distancing restrictions it was not possible for the legal parties to attend Court in person and seek to have the settlement ruled by a High Court Judge. As such, the Settlement was approved by a High Court Judge remotely on the basis of an Affidavit sworn by the Plaintiff’s Solicitor together with an Opinion of Counsel for the Plaintiff stating that the legal team approved of and recommended the full and final settlement sum of €14.8 million. The damages of €14.8 million brings the global damages payable to the Plaintiff to over 16.3 million. We at Michael Boylan Litigation are delighted to have been able to successfully resolve our client’s case, particularly in light of the current restrictions.