Benjamin Gillick, a nine year old boy who sustained life long brain damage due to a delayed diagnosis of infection following surgery by medical staff when he was only a small child just an infant, has had a €32 million medical negligence compensation award approved at the High Court.
The boy’s parents, Miriam and Andrew Gillick, urged with the judge not to approve the proposed award as they were of the opinion that is insufficient when it comes to dealing with his health 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.”
Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross told those present that a small percentage of the compensation, under €500,000, was being awarded due to the tragic injuries inflicted on Benjamin. Most of the remainder of the compensation awarded is being made s due to the cost of Benjamin’s complex treatment, educational and housing needs for the rest of his life.
The family previously live at Knockmaroon Hill, Chapelizod, Dublin but are now living in London. As party of the legal action Benjamin alleged the hospital was negligent about the investigation, diagnosis, management treatment and care of the shunt infection which he attended with on April 9th, 2011.Judge Cross, in giving his approval for a final settlement offer of €25m, stated: “When the headlines come to be written it should be noted that no one is getting a bonanza”.
Andrew Gillick, the boy’s father, told the Judge that he is worried with regard to the money being insufficient when compared to rates of return on investment in England, where the family have moved to. He went on to say that there has recently been a similar case decided in the UK where the compensation award was approximately €45m due to the costs of carers, therapies, aids and appliances, transport and education. He (Andrew) cried as he spoke of of his son’s “gruelling regime”daily that includes therapy for hours each day and that the need for two carers. Their figures for their son’s needs were not inflated he added.
Benjamin and his identical twin brother weres born prematurely. At 11 months old Benjamin had to undergo a clinical procedure at Temple Street Children’s Hospital to drain fluid from his brain. At the time a shunt was placed to address this issues. However, the boy was later brought back to the hospital as he was puking and feeling quite sick.
The High Court was informed that a shunt infection is a common complication of the process and the cause of the negligence was that for up to three days this possibility was not investigated. The court was also informed that Benjamin suffers with cerebral palsy, is quadriplegic, and cannot communicate verbally like other children of the same age.