€4.75m settlement for boy left with cerebral palsy after birth

 Catherine and Martin Kenny, of Ballyduff, Co Waterford, parents of Shane, 9, who was left with disabilities. Picture: Collins

A boy left with spastic cerebral palsy after his birth at the Erinville Hospital in Cork has accepted €4.75m in final settlement of his legal action.

The latest lump sum settlement approved yesterday by the High Court for Shane Kenny comes two years after he accepted €1m in partial payment and was awarded a further €665,000 for his future loss of earnings.

Shane Kenny, aged 9, of Ballylouane, Ballyduff, Co Waterford, the High Court heard has developmental delay and motor dysfunction arising from the circumstances of his birth at Erinville on Nov 2, 2004. Through his mother Catherine, a nurse who gave up her job to look after him, he sued the HSE for negligence.

The HSE previously admitted liability and apologised for the fact it was negligent in the events leading up to the child’s birth and at his birth.

Approving the €4.75m yesterday, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told the total in relation to Shane’s case came to €6.4m.

Liam Reidy SC said while Shane is independently mobile his left leg is stunted in growth and he has poor co-ordination.

Shane, counsel said, goes to mainstream school but due to his brain injury his intellectual development is behind his peers and will never be able to work except under sheltered conditions.

The court previously heard that at the time of birth, there was a failure to act upon a CTG trace which showed the foetal heart rate was abnormal, and the decision to deliver the baby by Neville Barnes forceps was negligent. The forceps delivery resulted in Shane suffering a significant partial hypoxic insult.

The judge said the €4.75m was a very significant sum in the context of Shane’s disability. She said she was more than happy to approve the lump sum and knew how stressful it was for parents and children to be in the “litigation loop”.


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