The High Court has approved a €7.1 million settlement of compensation for a hypoxic brain injury in favour of a former barrister from County Meath.
In 2014, Frank Cowan (46) from Clonee in County Meath attended the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry, Dublin, due to suffering from persistent back pain. The former lawyer and barrister underwent routine cervical spine surgery; but, during the procedure, the management of his anaesthetic was inadequate and Frank suffered a hypoxic brain injury due to not receiving sufficient oxygen.
As a result of the anaesthetist´s negligence, Frank now requires around-the-clock care. Although he can smile at his two children and reacts in the presence of his family, he cannot communicate his needs or express when he is in pain. He is currently being cared for in a specialist care home, paid for by a trust set up by family and friends soon after he sustained his injury.
Frank´s wife – Janette – claimed compensation for a hypoxic brain injury on her husband´s behalf. The anaesthetist´s negligence was admitted last month, and a €7.1 million settlement of the claim was negotiated. As the claim for compensation for a hypoxic brain injury had been made on Frank´s behalf, the settlement of the claim had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Frank´s best interests.
Consequently, an approval hearing was scheduled for the High Court in Dublin. At the hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of Frank´s injury and that the family intend using the settlement of compensation for a hypoxic brain injury to provide care for Frank in the family home. The judge also heard that the litigation process had been distressing for the family, and that they were willing to accept the settlement to get the matter “done and dusted”.
After conveying his sympathy to the family for the terrible tragedy they had suffered, Judge Cross approved the settlement of compensation for a hypoxic brain injury and wished the family well for the future.