Man with locked-in syndrome due multi-million payout

Edmund and Karen O'Mahony leave court yesterday where it was decided that their son Eoin is due a massive lump-sum payment for his future care needs.

A man who suffers locked-in syndrome following an operation at Cork University Hospital is in line for a lump-sum payment running to millions of euro in a final settlement of his case after a judge yesterday found in his favour on his future care needs.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty will in May put a figure on a payout to Eoin O’Mahony after hearing submissions from both sides.

Mr O Mahony, from Blarney, Co Cork, was a Leaving Certificate student in 2001 when he developed headaches. He was admitted to Cork University Hospital where brain surgery was subsequently carried out.

He later lapsed into a coma-like state and the High Court heard he had devastating brain injuries.

Five years ago, he settled his High Court action with an interim payout of €2.9m and a further interim payment of €1.2m three years ago.

His parents Edmund and Karen O’Mahony, Station Rd, Blarney, had pleaded with the court to finalise the case with a capital lump-sum payment after some 13 years in litigation.

The couple sat through 19 days of hearings as their son’s future care needs were analysed.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty said the approval of a long-established professional regime to take care of Mr O’Mahony at night was reasonable. He also held that the role of a service co-ordinator in relation to his care be continued.

The judge has now asked the sides to look at specific items of expenditure and to address him on that on May 1.

Mr Justice Moriarty said he did not want any further delays beyond the absolute minimum for the parties, particularly the O’Mahonys.

Eoin O’Mahony had, through his mother, sued the HSE over injuries he sustained in 2001.

Liability was conceded in the case and a total of €4.1m in interim payments has already been paid out.

He sustained traumatic brain injuries after a hospital procedure. On November 23, 2001, following complaints of headaches, he was referred to Cork University Hospital.

He was readmitted four days later and underwent a brain procedure to reduce pressure on the brain.

On November 30, he underwent another brain procedure and partial removal of a tumour but on December 1, he lapsed into a coma.

The court heard that he cannot even use his finger to press a button if he needs help and essentially suffers from locked-in syndrome.


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