A Limerick man who was released on a day pass from a psychiatric unit and suffered life-changing injuries when he fell from a multi-storey car park has settled his High Court action against the HSE for €7.25m.
Andrew Curtin, his counsel John O'Mahony SC told the court, ran from his mother's car in Limerick city in September 2011 and into a multi-storey car park where he fell from the first floor and suffered "appalling injuries" to his spine.
Liability was admitted by the HSE in the case. Mr Curtin had been admitted to the hospital unit after coming off his medication for a condition diagnosed nine years earlier of depression with psychotic features. It was claimed two days before he got his day release pass, Mr Curtin had been regarded as "high risk".
Mr Curtin who is now 35 years of age and uses a wheelchair told the court he is well and said he has seen sense in relation to staying on his medication.
He was in court with his mother Ann, who six years ago was named the Carers Association Carer of the Year for looking after her son and her husband MIchael, who has since died.
A separate legal action brought by Mrs Curtin for nervous shock over the incident is still before the courts.
Andrew Curtin, Ballinacurra Gardens,Limerick City had sued the HSE over the incident in September 2011.
Mr Curtin was an inpatient of the psychiatric unit of the Mid West Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, Limerick from September 5, 2011 to September 14, 2011.
Mr O'Mahony told the court it was a very tragic case where Mr Curtin began to suffer depression with psychotic features. Mr Curtin graduated and also studied for an MA and was episode-free for six years.
In May 2011 he decided to come off his medication and appeared to be doing well until August that year. He became unwell on September 5, 2011 and was later admitted to hospital.
It was claimed that on September 12 the view was formed that Mr Curtin should not have come off his medication and that he was "high risk".
However, he requested and was given a day release pass for September 14, 2011. Counsel told the court his family were apprehensive about the day pass.
Mrs Curtin picked her son up in the car and brought him to Limerick city to collect his father. It was claimed Andrew Curtin released the safety catch on the door of the car and ran down the street to the car park.
Counsel said Mr Curtin fell from a height to the ground. He said Andrew has been living in a nursing home would now like to live at home.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the HSE had admitted liability and Mr Curtin was being compensated in as far as money can do, but the judge said he knew Andrew would have like to have the full strength of his body.
Approving the settlement, the judge wished Mr Curtin all the best.