Lee Gibson is a bright, happy boy who cannot speak, but he was in the High Court yesterday to use his hands to sign ‘thank you’ to the judge who approved a €2m interim payment for his care.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross came off the bench to chat through sign with the 10-year-old from Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, who was in the Four Courts to settle his case against the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at St Finbarr’s Hosptial, Cork.
The judge told Lee he was sure he will grow up to be “a stunning member of the Ringaskiddy community”.
The court had heard that Lee’s case — where it was claimed he suffered brain damage during his birth at St Finbarr’s Hospital — was one of the most complex cases to come before the courts.
And that it was only when his mother brought her case to Cork solicitor Susie Elliott that “all the stops were pulled out” and the dogged approach of the solicitors brought the case to fruition.
Lee had, through his mother Aileen Gibson, of Carthage Place, Ringaskiddy, sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at St Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork, in July 2005.
It was claimed Lee suffered a number of injuries to his brain due to a lack of oxygen and the effect of an untreated infection suffered by his mother.
It was also claimed there was an alleged delay of between 91 to 106 minutes before delivery by emergency caesarean section once the decision for an emergency caesarean had been made.
It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to treat the case as an emergency case and an alleged failure to give a candid explanation for what happened and why.
The claims were denied and the settlement was without admission of liability.
Outside the Four Courts, Aileen said her son is an amazing person.
“We are so proud of him. He is so brave and cheerful, in spite of all he goes through every day of his life,” she added.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved