A LIMERICK man who was released on a day pass from a psychiatric unit and later fell from a multi-storey car park has settled his High Court action against the HSE for €7.25million.
Andrew Curtin of Ballinacurra Gardens ran from his mother’s car in Limerick city in September 2011 and into a multi-storey car park where he fell from the first floor and suffered “appalling injuries” to his spine, the court heard.
Liability was admitted by the HSE.
Mr Curtin had been admitted to the hospital after coming off his medication for a condition diagnosed nine years earlier as depression with psychotic features.
It was claimed that two days before he got his day release pass, Mr Curtin had been regarded as “high risk.”
Mr Curtin, who is 35 and now uses a wheelchair, was in court with his mother Ann, who has a separate legal action for nervous shock over the incident which is still before the courts.
His counsel, John O’Mahony, told the court Mr Curtin was episode free for six years.
In May 2011 he decided to come off his medication and appeared to be doing well until August that year. He became unwell on September 5, 2011 and was admitted to hospital.
It was claimed that on September 12 the view was formed that Mr Curtin should not have come off his medication and that he was “high risk.”
However, he was given a day release pass for September 14, a move his family was apprehensive about.
Counsel said Mr Curtin fell from a height to the ground. He said Andrew has been living in a nursing home would now like to live at home.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement and wished Mr Curtin all the best.
by Tom McCullough