Belfast Telegraph

Dublin hospital in record £21m payout to disabled boy

In court yesterday, Benjamin's parents Andrew and Miriam Gillick said they thought the final offer should be around €27.5m (stock photo)
In court yesterday, Benjamin's parents Andrew and Miriam Gillick said they thought the final offer should be around €27.5m (stock photo)

By Tim Healy

A nine-year-old boy left brain-damaged and disabled after a Dublin hospital's failure to diagnose an infection when he was a baby has settled his High Court action with a record damages payout of €25m (£21.5m).

It brings to €32.4m (£27.8m) the total paid to Benjamin Gillick, who now lives with his family in London. He has cerebral palsy, is quadriplegic and cannot speak. It is the highest ever settlement in the Republic's history for a personal injuries claim.

The €25m settlement was approved by the High Court in Dublin yesterday. Children's University Hospital, Temple Street, previously apologised in court "for the failings" that caused injuries to Benjamin.

In court yesterday, Benjamin's parents Andrew and Miriam Gillick said they thought the final offer should be around €27.5m.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he appreciated their concerns but had to act in the best interests of the boy. "I appreciate you are disappointed but I believe it is in Benjamin's best interests," the judge said, approving the €25m figure.

The family claimed the hospital was negligent in the investigation, diagnosis, management treatment and care of a shunt infection Benjamin presented with on April 9, 2011.

It was claimed that at no time was the possibility of a shunt infection considered, and gastroenteritis and a chest infection were suggested. Liability was admitted and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

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