Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit in Ireland Results in an $880,000 Award

Perry Larkin | January 7th, 2013

Cerebral Palsy LawsuitA boy from Ireland’s family filed a lawsuit due to medical malpractice and was awarded a large award because of his cerebral palsy and that his ability to earn a living in the future was compromised by his condition.

In December 2012, the boy was awarded 665,000 Euros because of lost future earnings. That amount comes to around $880,000 U.S. dollars.

This case was originally settled prior to the award from the court. Because of the medical negligence at his birth, the boy received a settlement of one million Euros—approximately $1.3 million.

Hospital accused of committing medical malpractice

Cerebral palsy is an incapacitating condition affecting the brain and nervous system. It inhibits muscle control and causes spasms and rigidity; it often occurs due to a birth injury. In addition, it can cause seizures, hearing and vision loss, learning disabilities, and slow growth and development.

The case was filed in November of 2011 as the mother alleged that during the child’s birth on November 2, 2004 at Erinville Hospital in Cork, Ireland, the staff committed medical malpractice. In the cerebral palsy lawsuit, the family sued the Ireland Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE provides healthcare for all Ireland residents and admitted to liability, apologizing to the family. The judge in the case, Justice Eamon deValera, was requested to decide on further monetary damages because of the loss of earnings in the future as his disability will prevent him from working.

Loss of earnings as a farmer are calculated in award

The boy’s father stated that if his son hadn’t suffered from cerebral palsy, he would have taken over the family’s farm when the father retired at age 60. When his father was 60, the boy would be 28 and it was ruled that the boy would have earned money prior to age 28 working other jobs, possibly for his father or in the field of agriculture. Possibly from age 28 until his own 60th birthday, he would have run the farm.

The figures from the farm’s income in recent years gave the judge a path to make the award. The farm has about 168 acres owned by the father and 110 leased from the grandparents and neighbors. It has a current value of about 2.3 million Euros.

Cerebral palsy may make long term care necessary into adulthood

There is no cure for cerebral palsy at present. People afflicted with the condition commonly endure a lifetime of medical care. Depending on its severity, patients may not be able to care for themselves as adults.

The exact cause of the condition cannot always be determined. Medical mistakes that can lead to birth injuries such as cerebral palsy include:

• A delayed C-section

• Improper use of medical equipment such as forceps or vacuum

• Umbilical cord problems improperly handled

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Contact Balkin & Eisbrouch for a consultation with a birth injury lawyer

People who have had children who suffer from cerebral palsy and suspect that medical negligence was the cause have rights and an attorney from Balkin & Eisbrouch can help.

Balkin & Eisbrouch has over four decades of experience in birth injury cases. You and your child might be eligible to gain compensation to assist in paying for medication, hospital costs, equipment to care for the child, and—like in the Ireland case—future loss of earnings.

The consultation is always free and you pay no money unless you win your case. Call today to schedule an appointment and we will be glad to assist you.

  1. Birth injury, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/newborn/

  2. Robert D. McFadden (1999, June 15) Hospitals unit found liable in birth injury, NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/06/15/nyregion/hospitals-unit-found-liable-in-birth-injury.html