14-year-old Brain-damaged Boy Award Final €23m Payout by the Health Service Executive

A last once-off payment of €20m had been agreed in a birth complication compensation settlement between and Health Service Executive (HSE) and a 14-year-old boy who, it is claimed, sustained brain damage at the time of his birth in a Cork hospital.

The boy, Lee Gibson of Carrigaline, Co Cork, suffers with cerebral palsy, cannot speak and has to move about in a wheelchair. It brings to a record €23m the total paid out to the young boy and the compensation settlement against the HSE is the highest so far in the State for this type of compensation action.

In the legal action submitted it was claimed that Lee suffered a range of injuries to his brain due to a lack of oxygen and the effect of an untreated infection his mother was experiencing. It was also alleged that there was delay of somewhere between 91 and 106 minutes before delivery by emergency caesarean section once the decision to go ahead with one had been taken. There was also a claim that the incident was not treated as an emergency case and to give a candid explanation for what happened and why it occurred. The claims were not accepted but liability was later settled in the case.

As he was approving the final sum of compensation, President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly paid tribute to the teenager’s mother, Aileen Gibson saying: “Lee makes the best of a life that is possible because of the care of his mother, grandmother and other family support.”

In 2015, an interim settlement payment of €2m was approved for Lee and in 2017 an additional interim payment of €1m was transferred. On those occasions, liability was also settled in relation to case.

As she was speaking outside court, Ms Gibson said that the day was a bittersweet one. She stated: “I must say that today is bittersweet. All the money won’t change what has happened to Lee. We will have to live with that pain forever.”