herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

€32.4m for brain-damaged boy (9) after infection missed by Temple St

Andrew Gillick said record settlement would leave a shortfall
Andrew Gillick said record settlement would leave a shortfall

A nine-year-old boy left brain damaged after Temple Street Children's University Hospital failed to diagnose an infection has settled his High Court action with a final payout of €25m.

It brings to €32.4m the total paid to Benjamin Gillick, originally from Chapelizod. It is the highest personal injury settlement in the history of the State.

The youngster, who now lives with his family in London, has cerebral palsy, is tetraplegic and cannot talk.

The €25m settlement followed an interim payment three years ago of €6.7m, plus a further uplift payment later.

Rejected

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the final €25m after Ben's parents earlier this week rejected an offer of €22m.

Ben's father Andrew said: "Ben is entitled to proper care and financial independence."

He said the settlement would leave a shortfall which his other children and grandchildren may have to take on.

The judge said most of the payout would be used to provide care for Benjamin, who has a near-normal life expectancy.

The hospital previously apologised "for the failings" that caused injury to Benjamin.

The court previously heard that Benjamin was one of identical twin boys, born in Dublin.At 11 months old, he underwent a procedure at Temple Street on March 21, 2011, to drain fluid on the brain.

A shunt was inserted and he was discharged three days later.

Between March 24 and April 15, 2011, he sustained a shunt infection and was vomiting.

He was taken to A&E at Temple Street.

The court was told that shunt infection is a known complication of the procedure, but that for up to three days this possibility was not investigated by the hospital.

It was claimed the hospital was negligent about the investigation, diagnosis, management treatment and care of the shunt infection. Liability was admitted.

Mr Gillick broke down as he told of his son's "gruelling regime" of therapy for hours each day, and the need for two carers.

He said the figures for Benjamin's needs were not exaggerated. He had claimed a €22m final payout would have a detrimental effect on his family and could leave them in "dire straits".

Mrs Gillick gave up a career in investment banking to look after her son.

She said Benjamin needed help to even play, while his twin brother was bright and involved in sports and activities.

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