Skye Worthington (a minor) V HSE
On the 15th February 2018, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, President of the High Court, approved an interim settlement achieved by Augustus Cullen Law in a birth injury claim on behalf of a six year old Kerry girl. This was a second interim payment for Skye Worthington, the first agreement having been reached in February 2015, when liability was admitted by the defendant for causing the injuries Skye sustained at the time of her birth at Kerry general Hospital in April 2011. At the first settlement, Skye was awarded a total amount of €2.52 million to cover a 3 year period, which included the cost of specially adapted accommodation. (http://www.aclsolicitors.ie/news-events/current-news/augustus-cullen-law-secures-2.52-million-interim-payment-for-3-year-old-kerry-girl)
Given the Plaintiff’s young age and the fact that at the time of the second interim settlement, no suitable periodic payment order legislation was yet in place, her parents agreed to seek a further interim payment to cover a three year period from February 2018 to 2021.
Due to the assistance and equipment available to her following the first interim payment award in 2015, Skye, who suffers from Dystonic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, was noted to have made significant progress in various areas in the intervening 3 years, particularly the area of communication. It was noted since the first payment that she had become proficient at using an eye gaze communication system which helped her to communicate with her parents, her carers and also at school, as she is non-verbal. Skye is a very happy, sociable little girl who loves to be involved in what is going on around her. She participates in lots of activities, attends a hydrotherapy pool for swimming, takes part in horse riding, loves music and is part of an activity group for wheel chair users known as “rebel wheelers”.
Skye’s claim at this second hearing comprised several categories including Care, aids and appliances, assistive technology, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and neuropsychology, all of which will help to ensure that she maximizes her potential by having access to all of the appropriate help and technology that she needs to allow her to learn and to communicate with everyone around her.
At the ruling of the matter, the Judge noted that Skye had recovered effectively 100% of her claim in these categories. Judge Kelly approved the settlement on the basis that he felt that same would essentially meet 100% of the Plaintiff’s needs over the next three years. He noted that Skye could communicate and had good understanding and that she even chooses some of her own clothes and has the making of a future “fashionista” in that regard.
If you have further queries, please contact Joice Carthy, Managing Partner, Medical Negligence Department
08 March 2018