At the High Court yesterday a 24-year-old Connor Corroon with cerebral palsy took a legal action in relation to the circumstances of his birth at a Cork hospital settled for a final lump sum payment of €17.5m.
The High Court approval of the final payment, one of the largest ever recorded in the State, signals the finish to a 17-year legal battle by the Corroon family. It mean the overall amount of payments made to Connor is €21.75m. Connor cannot walk unaided and must use a wheelchair to get around. He is only able to communicate with the help of special eye gaze technology.
Mr Corroon said: “Today represents the end of 17 long years. I feel free and today my life begins.” In relation to the final settlement he said: “I am happy with that. I am proud that for the first time ever I was able to speak in public and let people know what I wanted to convey rather than others guessing what I was thinking. The experience has been so liberating.”
In 2010 Conor’s case was adjourned on an interim as the legislation allowing for annual periodic payments involving the catastrophically injured was awaited. As a result of this Connor’s mother Jude pleaded with the court to permit a lump sum payment so the family could get on with their live. She asked that they allow the family to shif away from the “fishbowl life” as her son endured assessments by different specialists in advance of regular court appearances.
The court was told during an earlier hearing that Mr Corroon, of Copstown, Mallow, Co Cork, sustained catastrophic injuries when he was born at City General Hospital, Cork, in 1995 and will require care for the remainder of his life.
Mr Corroon’s legal representative David Holland SC returned to the High Court last week for a final lump sum birth injury compensation settlement. They informed the Judge that expert advice they received stated that, due to indexation, the annual periodic payment allowed for in the new legislation “will get more and more insufficient over time”. Mr Holland informed the Court that the family found the “burden of coming to court intolerable and horribly intrusive”.
Liability was conceded and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.