€8.5m for Waterford boy hurt at birth

Dylan Gaffney Hayes, of Kilcohan Park, Waterford, with his mother, Jean Gaffney, after a High Court settlement offer of €8.5m was approved. Picture: Collins Courts

The parents of a boy who was catastrophically injured at birth at Waterford Regional Hospital and who yesterday settled his case for €8.5m have severely criticised the State Claims Agency and the HSE for their “pokerapproach” to the case.

“We consider the HSE and State Claims Agency have abused the legal system by failing to deal candidly and fairly with Dylan,” said Thomas Hayes, father of Dylan Gaffney Hayes, at the Four Courts.

“Our son never deserved this.”

Mr Hayes said there had been no apology and that when a modest payment was sought on account to enable the family to buy a suitable house to accommodate Dylan’s needs, the claims agency refused to pay it.

“They dragged us out to the last. We have been dealt with in an appalling way, firstly by the HSE, and latterly by the State Claims Agency. Our life has been torn asunder by this,” he said.

Dylan, 6, has cerebral palsy and has to use a wheelchair. Flanked by Mr Hayes, his mother Jean Gaffney, and his 11-year- old sister Shauna, he was yesterday made the star of the show by Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who approved the €8.5m settlement of his case against the HSE as a result of injuries caused at his birth in Waterford Regional Hospital on July 22, 2007.

Mr Hayes said the family had particularly requested a Caesarean section for Dylan’s birth but his wife was told it “would be another feather in her cap” if she had the baby naturally.

Yesterday, the family said they were delighted their fight was over but strongly criticised the HSE and the State Claims Agency.

“During the course of negotiations, we made it clear, through our legal representatives, the case could be resolved for €8.5m,” said Mr Hayes.

“Yet it has taken 11 days of hearing in the High Court and they have now offered this sum.

“In fact, some days ago, it was indicated that if we asked for €8.5m it would be recommended. The following day, our request was rejected. Then they came back with an offer of €8m. On Thursday at lunchtime they offered €8.25m and that was rejected. Within 10 minutes they came back with €8.5m. Why were these games being played?”


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