Brain damaged child awarded €17.8m settlement

Tadgh Costello, who is now 11-years-old, suffered brain injury at birth and is now totally dependent on others for his needs

Brain damaged child awarded €17.8m settlement

Pictured is 11-year-old Tadhg Costello

The High Court has approved a final settlement of €17.8m to the family of a boy who suffered severe brain injury at birth in Kerry General Hospital.

Tadgh Costello, who is now nearly 11, has cerebral palsy and is totally dependent on others for his needs.

Due to a delay in his delivery and an acknowledged failure to treat his case as an emergency, he suffered brain damage when he was born on May 25th 2006.

He now needs round-the-clock care, cannot speak or move his limbs and is confined to a wheelchair.

It took nine years for the HSE to admit liability and an interim settlement of €2.8m was made in March 2015.

The President of the High Court today approved an additional and final payment of €15m after hearing emotional evidence from Tadgh’s parents.

The award is now the highest on record and will be held and managed by the High Court to be used for whatever care Tadgh needs for the rest of his life.

Outside the court this afternoon, Susie Elliott, solicitor for Tadgh’s parents Mary and Gerard read a brief statement on the family’s behalf.

“Today marks the end of a very long struggle in finally getting justice for our darling boy Tadgh,” said the statement. 

“We are pleased that this legal chapter is now closed and we can now move on with the rest of our lives. 

“The Courts are not the place for a family like ours with a disabled child, however we are grateful that the legal system prevailed to see that justice was done for Tadgh.”

The statement warned that birth injury cases have “become far too common in our society today” and called on the government to further investigate the safety record in Irish hospitals to prevent the occurrence of similar cases with other children and other families.

They said the settlement funds will be held by the High Court and used to pay for Tadgh’s treatment and the 24-hour specialist nursing care and equipment he will require for the rest of his life.

“We would dearly love to give every penny of this back, if somehow Tadgh could magically do normal things like walk or talk or play football with his brothers and sisters,” reads the statement. “Sadly for us this can never be.”

“These are the cards we were dealt and Tadgh is the one who pays the ultimate price. That is, the loss of what could have been.

“Words can't describe that loss, nothing can compensate for that, nothing will fix it, absolutely nothing."