A severely disabled girl, aged 7, who sued the National Maternity Hospital, Holles St, Dublin, over her care at the time of her birth, has secured an interim payout of €2.4m in settlement of her action.
Viktoria Curilla, who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, was described in court by her counsel as one of the most severely damaged children he had come across.
Her father, Yan Curilla, told the court how he and his wife initially hoped their daughter would recover.
“That was all caused by a strong hope and belief by us as first-time parents that something bad and terrible like cerebral palsy could not happen to our child,” he said.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that the interim settlement for the next three years was without an admission of liability.
At the outset of the case, Adrienne Egan, counsel for the hospital, said it regrets any shortcomings in so far as they may have contributed to the outcome for Viktoria.
Viktoria Curilla, Arbored Lawns, New Rd, Donabate, Co Dublin, had, through her mother, Lucia Curilla, sued the National Maternity Hospital.
Mrs Curilla had been admitted to the National Maternity Hospital on December 29, 2008.
Viktoria’s father told the court that he and Lucia came to Ireland from Slovakia 12 years ago “to find a better future”.
He said it was only two weeks after Viktoria’s birth that they were told she may have “some minor problems in the future”.
He said it was not until she was five months old that they slowly started to realise how serious her condition was and “how massive was the brain damage she had suffered”.
He said the “bitter taste will stay with us forever” in relation to the legal battle they have been involved in over the last seven years, when “there wasn’t a single day that we were not thinking deeply with fear about our daughter’s future and our future”.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross praised the couple’s care of their daughter and he said he hoped the settlement would remove the fear and burden of her care costs into the future.
Outside court, Mr Curilla said Viktoria is the “real sunshine of our lives” and they are so grateful for every second spent with her.
He said: “I have to say that it is a real shame that, for all cases like Viktoria’s, it takes so many years for children in such circumstances to access funds for services that they desperately need from the very beginning of their lives.”
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