Personal Injury

€4 Million Settlement for Boy (13) with Pre-Existing Cyst Involved in Car Collision


A 13-year-old boy has settled his High Court action for €4 million after being involved in a road collision five years ago.

The court heard how the teenager had been visiting his grandparents in Co Cork in August of 2017 when a hire car driven by his father collided with another car that was parked on the hard shoulder at Ballyhea, Charleville.

Following the crash, the boy, who was 8 at the time and had a pre-existing brain cyst, was taken to University Hospital Limerick but did not appear to have any injuries. However, six days later he was brought to Cork University Hospital with complaints of vomiting and persistent headaches. A scan was then taken of the brain, where nothing unusual was reported other than the pre-existing cyst. He was then discharged and prescribed anti-nausea medication and painkillers.

Cranial Pressure

It was at this point, counsel for the complainant contested, that an intracranial problem should have been suspected by the hospital staff. They further alleged that an examination of the back of the complainant’s eye had not been carried out, nor was there any test for cranial pressure which could have been uncovered with the “most basic eye test”.

Upon returning to the Cayman Islands where the boy resides, he had to be transferred to a Miami hospital to undergo three separate surgeries to drill tiny holes in his skull in order to relieve pressure and insert drains.

As a result of his injuries, the complainant, through his mother, had sued the boy’s father, who was the driver of the rental car at the time of the incident. He also sued the driver of the other car which had been parked on the hard shoulder where the accident occurred. Liability was admitted by both drivers, as well as the car rental company.

Failure to Perform Eye Examination

Against the HSE, it was claimed there was an alleged failure to properly investigate the persistence of the boy’s neurological symptoms following the accident, and an alleged failure to carry out the relevant eye examination that would have spotted the cause of these symptoms earlier.

It was further claimed that the boy’s brain cyst had been perforated in the accident, but that this had been missed by Cork University Hospital. These claims were denied by the HSE.

Approving the settlement amount of €4 million, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said it was a good one and wished the boy and his family well for the future.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

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