Adult Child with Cerebral Palsy

I read your recent legal column called Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy. My adult child, my son who is 25 years old has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and a severe intellectual disability. He relies on me, as his mother for help with day-to-day activities. I worry that as I get older, I will struggle to care for him. My memories of his birth in the hospital are vivid. I believe that his birth was poorly managed and if he had been born in another hospital then his situation would be much different. I know he is 25 years old now and it might be too late to investigate a case for him but when I read your recent article, I thought you might be able to help me.

Thank you for your kind letter. As mentioned in my article last week, if it can be established that a mother’s pregnancy, labour and delivery was mismanaged by the delivery team and an injury to a baby’s brain could have been avoided, had competent medical treatment been given, then certainly questions will need to be answered.

Am I too late?

I note that your concerns about your adult child and his birth management remain after all this time. Under the Statute of Limitations, one normally has two years from the date of an incident/accident to bring a compensation claim for injuries. However, a mentally disabled person has a period of two years from the date on which they cease to be under the disability to bring a legal action. Therefore, and most importantly for you, a person such as your son who is permanently mentally disabled may now investigate a potential legal case in medical negligence.

Any such legal action may be brought on his behalf by you as his mother given that your son would not have capacity to bring legal proceedings in his own right by virtue of his intellectual disability.

How can Byrne Carolan Cunningham help me?

Please give me a call on 090 6478433 or email me at and I will arrange an appointment at a date and time of your convenience to discuss matters further with you. I work within the Medical Negligence Department of Byrne Carolan Cunningham Solicitors and I specialise in the area of Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injuries, sadly issues I deal with on a regular basis on behalf of an adult child.



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