Second Interim Settlement for Claim against a Consultant Obstetrician Approved in Court

A judge at the High Court in Dublin has approved a second interim settlement for a claim against a consultant obstetrician in favour of an eight-year-old boy.

Luke Miggin was born at the Mullingar General Hospital on 26th February 2006 in a poor condition due to consultant obstetrician Michael Gannon failing to act on CTG traces taken throughout the day that indicated a deceleration of the foetal heart rate.

Luke´s delivery was delayed several hours longer than it should have been under normal circumstances and, when he was born, he needed to be resuscitated before being transferred to the hospital´s special care baby unit.

Due to being deprived of oxygen in the womb, Luke now suffers from cerebral palsy, is unable to walk and requires around-the-clock attention. Through his mother – Emily Miggin of Athboy, County Meath – Luke made a compensation claim against the consultant obstetrician and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

In 2010, Dr Gannon and the HSE admitted liability for Luke´s birth injuries and, the following year, a €1.35 million interim settlement of Luke´s compensation claim against a consultant obstetrician was approved by Mr Justice John Quirke.

The case was then adjourned for three years to allow time for a periodic payment system to be introduced, but as legislation has not yet been passed to allow for structured settlements, Emily Miggin returned to the High Court in Dublin to have a second interim settlement of €580,000 approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine.

Judge Irvine commended Emily for her patience and commented that ongoing litigation prevents families such as the Miggins from getting on with their lives. She apologised for her frustration at not being able to approve a structure settlement, and criticised successive Ministers of Justice for failing to deliver on their promises of a periodic payment system.

The judge then approved the €580,000 interim settlement of Luke´s claim against a consultant obstetrician and adjourned the case for a further three years, when a further assessment of Luke´s future needs will be conducted and the family will have to return to court once again.