The relatives of a woman who passed away as a result of suffering from sepsis caused by peritonitis have won a €68,000 negligence compensation settlement from the HSE.
The family of 72-year-old Rose O’Malley took the legal action as a result of the moving of their mother’s Peg feeding tube, inserted to help her deal with pancreatitis, allegedly leading to septic shock and her subsequent death.
Catherine O’Malley, of Latchford Green, Clonee, Dublin in Dublin took the action on behalf of her family and was represented in court by Alistair Rutherdale BL. Ms O’Malley is a daughter of Rose and alleged in the action that there had been clinical negligence during the placing, monitoring and application of a Peg tube in her mother, leading to her untimely death.
Having had a detailed history of cholecystitis and inflammation of the gallbladder, Mrs O’Malley underwent surgery at Mayo General Hospital during October 2012 to address this. However, a decision was taken durin gthat procedure not to remove the gall stones. It was claimed that this allowed the potential for further problem including acute pancreatitis.
Mr Rutherdale informed the judge that the O’Malley family were alleging that Mrs O’Malley should not have been discharged from the Blanchardstown hospital on December 30 2014, having been admitted on December 27 suffering with symptoms including vomiting. Mrs O’Malley was brought back to same hospital on January 5 when she it was noted that she was suffering with pancreatitis and pneumobilia.
The plaintiffs were claiming that a Peg feeding tube had been inserted on March 13, 2015 to support their mother’s slow recovery. However, they said that this shifted and resulted in peritonitis which was the main issue that resulted in Mrs O’Malley’s death.
Mr Justice Garrett Simons gave his approval for the medical negligence compensation settlement which incorporates the entire €35,000 solatium – the statutory payment according to the Civil Liability Act – €8,402 in special damages, and the remaining part of the €68,000 settlement is made up of legal costs.