Teenager Receives €8m Settlement Payout

Criticism of Lack of Stage Payments In Cases of Catastrophic Injuries.

A 13-year old boy has received a final lump sum payment of €8 million over alleged negligence during birth at Coombe Hospital.

Jamie Patterson, who has Cerebral Palsy, was left unable to talk and can only communicate through facial expressions and body language.

The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly said it was “really shameful” that there is still no legislation allowing staged payments in cases of catastrophic injury.

The settlement brings to €9.8m the total awarded to Jamie after an interim settlement of just over €1.8m was made two years ago. The interim settlement was made without admission of liability.

It was claimed the hospital was negligent by failing to monitor his mother and guard against foetal distress after administering a drug to speed up labour. The teenager is dependent on others for all his activities and will need round the clock care for the rest of his life.

In court, Mr. Justice Peter Kelly said it was the third case this week that he had been asked to approve a final settlement in cases of families with severely disabled children who told him they could take no more of the courts system.

The judge said “these people have enough to contend with without having to contest trial after trial. This settlement will mean Jamie and his mother can say farewell to the Four Courts and litigation and lawyers”.

Mr Justice Kelly also paid tribute to the care given by the boy’s mother before acknowledging that no money could compensate for what happened but it could provide a better life for Jamie.

In a statement read to the court, the Coombe Hospital conveyed its “deepest sympathy” to Jamie, his parents and their families for the considerable adversity endured arising out of the circumstances of his birth.