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Kerry Boy Settles Case Against Cork University Hospital and Crumlin Children’s Hospital For €4million interim settlement for five years due to medical negligence in his care

Posted in on Thursday, October 12th, 2023

Orla Kelly and the medical negligence team acted on behalf of John O’Brien a minor, instructed by his mother.

We brought proceedings arising out of the failings in the care given to him at various stages during the first year of his life at Cork University Hospital and also Crumlin Children’s Hospital.  Extensive reports were gathered to support liability and also demonstrate his injuries and requirements due to the medical negligence which we alleged caused him to develop a catastrophic brain injury and to become blind.  The HSE denied liability until a matter of days before Mediation.

An agreement was reached at Mediation avoiding the need to go to trial and the terms of the interim settlement were ruled and approved by Coffey J in the High Court.  In ruling the matter Coffey J said that he found the facts “very disturbing” and that they had “been failed every step of the journey”.

It was a complex case medically and legally, and a hard-fought battle.  Thankfully we achieved a substantial sum of money to compensate John and allow him to hopefully live a more comfortable life.  The matter will come back before the Courts in 2028.

The Plaintiff’s Mother’s Statement is reproduced below:

“We have had a long hard 15-year battle with the HSE but finally today we have received monetary compensation for our cherished son and brother.  When he was born, we trusted the various medical professionals to look after him and give him the care he needed.  Sadly, that did not happen.  At the time we fought for him, but we were not listened to.  As a result, he now lives with significant mental and physical injuries and is blind.  He is dependent on us for everything.  He has limited communication and cannot see.  He cannot tell us when he is in pain or basic things such as when he is hungry or thirsty.

 He loves music and reacts to the sounds of our voices.  He is loved beyond words and our lives centre around him. 

 It took 15 years for the HSE to admit liability but they did a few weeks before we were set to go to trial.  The admission was bittersweet and confirms that he could and should have had a very different life.  They at last accept that they caused him to suffer brain damage and to be blind.  It did not need to end up this way if only they listened to us when we pleaded with them to intervene.  The money awarded will not cure any of his significant injuries but it will hopefully allow him to live a more comfortable life. 

I truly hope that lessons will be learned from the mistakes made and will prevent others from suffering the way he did.  I also hope that other parents will not be afraid to speak up and will not be ignored or silenced when they do. They should trust their gut instinct.

I am grateful to my legal team including Solicitor Orla Kelly and all at Cantillons Solicitors together with our barristers for being his voice throughout and assisting us to achieve this result today.”  

Media coverage:

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 4275673 or  if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.  Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.

Related Solicitors

Ernest J. Cantillon

Managing Partner

Orla Kelly


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