€30m settlement for Offaly boy who suffered 'catastrophic injuries' at birth
A €30m settlement was approved by the High Court last week in the case of a Birr boy with cerebral palsy who had sued over the circumstances of his birth
14-year-old Oran Molloy, from Riverstown, Birr, Co Offaly, suffered catastrophic injuries due to a lack of oxygen during birth at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. He had sued the HSE through his mother Deirdre Molloy over the circumstances of his birth at the hospital on December 31st, 2006.
It is the largest sum of damages ever recorded for a birth injury case in the State.
Speaking outside the court afterwards Gillian O’Connor, solicitor, on behalf of Oran’s parents Adrian and Deirdre Molloy, said while €30 million was a lot of money “the Molloys would give it back in a heartbeat” if only the night of the December 31 when Oran was born and injured at birth “could be changed and the errors erased.”
"Undoubtedly, a huge burden has now been lifted from their shoulders", she said, "but the compensation would be returned in a heartbeat if the serious mistakes made that night could have been avoided".
"This is the highest award, but justifiably so, because Oran will live a long and happy life hopefully", she said.
Only three weeks before the trial date she said liability was admitted in the case and the HSE then sought to adjourn the case for four years.
Ms O’Connor said they had asked for an annual payment linked to wage inflation but this was refused and so the Molloys were obliged to go for a lump sum.
She said the Molloy family wished to thank everybody who had helped them on the road to date.
Deirdre Molloy needed a caesarean section on New Year’s Eve 2006 after being admitted to hospital the day before. She was 32 weeks pregnant. Oran was born on New Year’s Eve by emergency casearean section but was unresponsive and required intensive resuscitation. Oran suffered a lack of oxygen and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Now 14, the court heard he can’t stand or walk unaided, but he can walk on crutches for short distances and also uses a wheelchair for longer distances. The Court heard that when he was five years old he had surgery in the US which was financed by local fundraising and he could then take some steps with crutches. However, his mobility has since lessened.
His cognitive function is normal and he has been in secondary school since September 2020.
The High Court heard that his favourite subject is engineering and that in the future he wants to become an electrical engineer.
The HSE accepted liability and a settlement of €30m was approved by Mr Justice Paul Coffey, who offered his best wishes to Oran, along with his parents Deirdre and Adrian, who were present in the court.
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