Donegal girl awarded further €1m settlement at High Court

February 24, 2018

A further €1m interim settlement has been approved by the High Court for a young Co Donegal girl with cerebral palsy, bringing to more than €2.45m her total payments to date.

The President of the High Court, noting Ruby Leanne McCandless will celebrate her 12th birthday next month, wished the child a very happy birthday.

Ruby has diskinetic cerebral palsy and will require lifelong care. She suffered her injuries as a result of her mother not being referred to hospital with symptoms of pre-eclampsia, it was claimed.

Des O’Neill SC, for the family, said Ruby’s mother, Christina McDaid, had high blood pressure at the end of her pregnancy and should have been referred to hospital immediately.

Through her mother, Ruby, of Foxwood, Gleneely, Inishowen, sued the HSE in relation to the care Ms McDaid received at the end of her pregnancy in 2006.

It was claimed there were failures to diagnose and treat pre-eclampsia at the earliest reasonable opportunity and to have her admitted to hospital to have her high blood pressure properly managed.

In 2014, the High Court approved a settlement including an interim payment of €1.45m to cover care to 2018.

When the case came back before the court on Friday, Mr Justice Peter Kelly was asked by Mr O’Neill to approve a further payment of €1m for the next four years, to include payments to assist Ruby’s parents, her main carers, in providing her care into the future.

The judge said he was satisfied it was a good settlement and perfectly adequate to meet her future care costs over that period. He was also glad to be told by the child’s parents they were satisfied with the settlement.

He adjourned the matter to March 2022 on the understanding the parents would have the option of a further interim settlement or lump sum payment. He was hopeful the legislation necessary to provide for periodic payment orders, which was passed last year, would be commenced “long before 2022” and the parents had the option to avail of that.

Outside court, a representative of Callan Tansey, solicitors for the family, said they were happy with the settlement but he said politicians should remedy the “fundamentally flawed” periodic payments legislation.

It will not ensure the lifelong needs of the catastrophically injured will be sufficiently funded, he said.

For full report on this court case see