A nine year old boy Benjamin Gillick, who sustained life-long brain injuries as a result of a delayed diagnosis of infection following surgery by medical staff has had a €32 million medical negligence compensation award approved at the High Court.
He sustained the injuries when his mother was giving birth to him as only a small child just an infant. Benjamin’s parents, Miriam and Andrew Gillick, expressed their wishes that with the judge would not give his approval to the birth injury compensation settlement as they felt that were of the opinion that the amount is not enough. This is due to the fact that it will not be enough to assist him for the remainder of his life. They said: “It leaves us with a shortfall that will be imposed on ourselves or our children, or possibly our grandchildren.”
Judge Justice Kevin Cross told the court that a small percentage of the birth injury compensation, under €500,000, was being awarded due to the life changing injuries inflicted on Benjamin during his birth. The rest of the birth injury compensation settlement is made up of the costs associated with Benjamin’s complex treatment, educational and housing needs for the rest of his life.
The family, who previously had an address at Knockmaroon Hill, Chapelizod, Dublin now reside in London. As party of the personal injury compensation action Benjamin claimed that the hospital was negligent with regard to the review, diagnosis, medical treatment and care of the shunt infection.
In giving his approval for a final settlement offer of €25m, Judge Cross stated: “When the headlines come to be written it should be noted that no one is getting a bonanza”.
The boy’s father, Andrew Gillick, informed Judge Cross that he is extremely concerned in relation to the proposed settlement award not being sufficient when compared to rates of return on investment in England, where the family now live. He added that there has recently been a similar case ruled on in the UK where the compensation award was approximately €45m due to the costs of medical-carers, therapists, aids and appliances, transport and education. Mr Gillick sobbed as he spoke of of his son’s “gruelling regime”daily that includes therapy for hours each day and that the necessity for at least two carers. He added that their estimations in relation to their son’s needs were not inflated.