The High Court has approved a settlement of just over €14 million in the case of a nine-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who sued the Health Service Executive over the circumstances of his birth in 2012.
Henry Nally from Ballyglunin, Tuam in Co Galway, took the action through his mother Deborah Nally, alleging negligence and breach of duty by Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, Co Galway.
The settlement was made without admission of liability by the hospital, following five days of mediation.
Richard Kean SC for the family told the court that Henry was in an extremely grave condition after his birth and he suffered a catastrophic injury.
He told the court that the cerebral palsy resulted from alleged "sub-standard treatment" by Portiuncula Hospital.
The court was told that Ms Nally had attended the hospital on 14 August 2012, and baby Henry was born at 2.10am the following morning, 15 August.
The court heard she had a high fever and was feeling unwell during and after labour.
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Following Henry's birth and after being returned to his mother at 7am, Ms Nally believed Henry was not breathing well and his breathing was noisy and rapid and he was not feeding.
Ms Nally raised concerns throughout the day about her son's condition.
The court was told Henry was not taken to the hospital's Special Care Baby Unit until 6pm on 15 August 2012 to be seen by a paediatrician, after which stage, he was transferred to the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.
He was diagnosed with meningitis and septicaemia and placed in a coma for three weeks and he was later diagnosed with diplegic cerebral palsy.
Ms Nally sued the HSE on behalf of her son, alleging there was an unacceptable delay in administering an antibiotic therapy to her son in Portiuncula Hospital.
Mr Kean said evidence presented to the court from medical experts concluded that when Henry was transferred to the Rotunda for treatment, it was "way, way too little and way, way too late".
Mr Justice Paul Coffey approved the settlement of €14.166 million, which he described as "fair and reasonable".
He wished Henry and his family "the very best for the future".
Speaking outside the court, Ms Nally said the family "cannot believe this day has come after all this time".
She said the settlement achieved "will secure all of Henry’s needs going forward".
Ms Nally said her son is "a witty, determined and very sociable little boy, who always lights up a room with his smile".
"He has a very close bond with his brother Luke, who is always looking out for him and protecting him," she said.
She paid tribute to her legal team and also thanked their "families and close friends for all their support over the years, which has been very much appreciated".
The family’s solicitor, Keira O'Reilly of Keans Solicitors, said the Nally family are satisfied and relieved that the legal case has been resolved following what she described as "an extremely protracted and difficult negotiations at mediation recently".
"Whilst the matter has now settled, liability was always fully in issue with each and every aspect of the case challenged," she said.
"My clients feel they have finally been vindicated, after years of stress and turmoil, and they have toady secured an immense victory for their precious son Henry."
Ms O'Reilly said the Nally family would give all the money "back in an instant, and more, if the events of the 15 August 2012 could be changed".
"This of course is not possible and the settlement secured reflects the lost opportunities for Henry," she added.
She said the settlement will not change his condition or prognosis but "it will allow him to live his life to the best of his abilities, which is the very least he deserves."
She also said the settlement will provide Henry with "access to therapies, assistive technology, aids, appliances and so much more that he would not have been able to have otherwise".
Henry was also accompanied in court by his father Seamus and brother Luke.