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Boy (9) who Sustained Brain Injury as an Infant Award Record Medical Negligence Compensation of €32m

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.

 

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€1.26m Medical Negligence Compensation for Man who Contracted Hepatitis C from Contaminated Blood Transfusion

It was ruled in High Court today that a man, who is suffering from advanced liver disease, is to get compensation of more than €1.26 million as a result of contracting Hepatitis C from a contaminated blood transfusion administered to him when he was a young child boy.

When he was 20-years-old the man was given a provisional compensation award of €647,000 from the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal.  He appealed to the High Court in relation to  an additional compensation award of €200,000 made in 2018. He is now over 40-years old and is married with children.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton , in a judgment released this week, more than trebled the €200,000 award to a sum of €620,642 while also increasing the tribunal’s general compensation award of €150,000 to €220,000. This was in relation to the consequences of decompensated cirrhosis of the liver – advanced liver disease – caused by the Hepatitis C virus.

The man claimed  the award failed to properly take into account the devastating consequences de-compensated cirrhosis has had, and will go on having, on every aspect of his life, including shortening it and the likelihood he will develop liver cancer at some point in the future. Along with this he was seeking compensation in relation to some childcare costs arising from his inability to assist with childcare.

His spouse is in full time employment in a senior position, is not due to retire for many years, so they have had to hire a permanent childminder.

In his judgment, the judge remarked that the man contracted Hepatitis C due to a contaminated blood transfusion given to him as a toddler when he was taken to hospital in the 1980s in relation to a different medical condition which was successfully treated.

However, during his adolescence, the Hepatitis C illness began to affect impact on his bodily functions, he had to decline a promotion to an important position and had to retire from work when he was just 20 years old.

 

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