€268m was paid out in compensation related to medical negligence and hospital negligence in last 24 months by the State Claims Agency (SCA).
A response to a Dáil question included previously unreleased figures in relation to this. Minister for Health Simon Harris said the figures show that the amount of of compensation paid out by the State Claims Agency (SCA) in 2018 was €268.45m in relation to hospital and medical negligence cases – an surge of €18.6 million – or 7.5% – on the €249.77m paid out in 2017. This means that the entire amount of compensation for hospital and medical negligence handed over in 2017-18 to €518.2m.
The Dáil Question was submitted by Michael McGrath T.D., Fianna Fáil’s Finance spokesman. The response also revealed that the highest sum handed over in 2018 for was €15.5m to a person suffering with cerebral palsy since birth.
Medical Negligence compensation claims take with regard to birth/pregnancy negligence or cerebral palsy were responsible for seven of the top ten hospital or medical negligence compensation awards during 2018. The figures reveal that, in the 7 cerebral palsy legal compensation actions, a complete amount of €60.3m compensation was awarded in order for adequate treatment to be provided for the people involved for the rest of their lives.
The other slots in the top ten were cases where a compensation award of €6.3 million for a clinical procedure at surgery was paid out and a separate payout of €5.9m in similar circumstances.
The lowest amount of medical negligence injury compensation awarded in the top ten was €4.37m relating to a clinical procedure in the Gynaecology sector.
Karen Brown (31) settled a €60,000 whiplash rear end collision injuries compensation claim against a motorist from Dun Laoghaire, in relation a rear end collision incident that occurred almost two years ago.
Ms Brown was travelling in car owned by her partner Pete Taylor on March 5 2017 when a car owned by Enda Curran car crashed into them at Upper Glenageary Road, Co Dublin. Ms Brown’s legal counsel, Barrister Paul Gallagher, told Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke that a settlement had been agreed in her (Ms Brown’s) car accident compensation claim after negotiations with Mr Curran’s legal representatives and could be dismissed with an order for her legal expenses.
The Court was not informed if a similar whiplash compensation injury compensation claim had been lodged on behalf of Mr Taylor’s, who was driving the car that Ms Brown was travelling in at the time of the accident. Exact details of the settlement were not made available.
Mr Taylor accompanied Ms Brown throughout the settlement talks outside Circuit Civil Court No 28. Ms Brown alleged in her legal action that Enda Curran, of Highthorn Park, Dunlaoghaire, had shown a negligent attitude to driving when he crashed into the back of Mr Taylor’s vehicle in which she was a passenger.
She told the Judge that she had experienced whiplash injuries to her neck, shoulders and back and that pain had not subsided with the aid of painkillers. Due to this she attended to Dr Peter Joyce on May 25 at Beechlawn Medical Centre. Here the doctor said that she was suffering due to having some tenderness to her neck and upper back. Dr Joyce had prescribed her a course of anti-inflammatory tablets. However, but by early June she had noticed that the pain in her neck was only getting worse and that she was experiencing a constant dull ache with sharp headaches.
Brown claimed in her whiplash car crash legal action that she had been unable to work out due to the pain, something that she had done on a regular basis before the accident. An MRI of her cervical spine had been conducted and, following this, she had been advised that she should be seen by specialists.
Judge Groarke struck out the proceedings with an order for Ms Brown’s legal costs to be paid.
A boy, aged 5, has been awarded a personal injury compensation sum of €20,000 after he saw his mother suffering serious injuries and covered in blood after she hit against a pane of glass when he was just 15-months-old.
The boy’s team representatives, told the Circuit Civil Court that in December 2014 Jude Johnson-Rice was with his mother at Terenure College Rugby Football Club. It was here that he saw his mother Jill being seriously injured after she walked into a clear glass pane by mistake. She said that there was not sufficient warning signs present.
Even though the child did not directly see the accident happen or the glass shattering, he (Jude) had been very distressed to witness his mother covered in blood. Defendants Panda Play Café Limited and Terenure College Rugby Football Club had already agreed a €20,000 personal injury compensation settlement with the Jude’s claim and it was before the court for approval.
The legal representatives for the rugby club argued that the young boy had not sustained any recognised psychiatric injury. They also claimed that Jude’s mother had not taken him for medical treatment until two years after the incident happened despite her arguments that her child had remained very nervous and anxious for six months after the incident.
After negotiations were held between both legal teams, Jude’s solicitor John Murphy told the defendants court that – if they denied liability – they could incur further serious costs following inspections and the provision of cctv footage. After these negotiations a personal injury compensation offer had been made.
According to Judge Garavan, while no recognised psychiatric illness was diagnosed for Jude, there were many cases that he hear in court that did not measure up to post traumatic stress disorder. He gave his approval for the personal injury compensation offer.
The High Court has been told that a girl with cerebral palsy may not have been inflicted with any brain injury had she been delivered ten minutes earlier.
Seven-year-old Faye Walsh, taking the birth injury compensation action against the Health Service Executive and two consultant obstetricians through her mother Martine, alleges that medical negligence and a breach of agreement in relation to the management and circumstances of her birth occurred at University Hospital Galway on August 15 2011. The defendants deny these claims.
Throughout her pregnancy with Faye, Martine Walsh was a private patient of Dr Una Conway, a consultant obstetrician. Dr Conway and Dr Declan Egan, the second defendant obstetrician, operate their own private medical practices at Brooklawn Practice, Brooklawn House, Galway West Business Park, while also being employed as consultants in the Galway hospital.
Mrs Walsh decided to use a private obstetrician as she had one previous birth by caesarean section and suffered from serious abdominal injuries when she was involved in a car accident in 2008.
The main legal argument, so far, in the case concerns the information that Mrs Walsh was given in relation to the dangers of a natural delivery for her. The defendants allege that the options and dangers associated were outlined and argue that Mrs Walsh wanted, and agreed, to a natural delivery.
The HSE denies the claims that birth was unreasonably delayed and stated that delivery of the baby via vacuum assisted delivery, using a plastic or metal cup attached to the baby’s head, was also completely reasonable.
In her birth injury compensation case Mrs Walsh said that she was aware that Dr Conway was on annual leave in August 2011 and would not be present at the delivery. However, she claims that she had been advised by Dr Conway that Dr Egan would be there and would be up to date with with her medical history.
Dr Conway and Dr Egan do not agree that Mrs Walsh was told Dr Egan would be present for the delivery. They claim that Mrs Walsh was supplied with an information sheet stating her delivery would be supervised by a covering consultant obstetrician on call for the hospital should Dr Conway be unavailable.
Mrs Walsh told the court that neither defendant obstetrician was called to the hospital when, or after, Ms Walsh began labour about 11pm on Sunday August 14 2011. This was despite her requests from this by her, and her husband, for one of them to be called. The court was told that the on call hospital obstetrician was called to the hospital from his home around 4.30am on the morning of August 15 for the delivery.
The obstetric registrar was also called and used a Kiwi cup on the baby’s head and that the delivery was completed by the on-call obstetrician at 4.55am that morning. Faye was delivered in poor health and had to be resuscitated straight away. The child suffers from spastic quadriplegia, is non verbal, a full-time wheelchair user and will need round the clock care for the rest of her life.
Following an accident at a Donegal hotel that left a then two-year-old child with a serious finger injury, a compensation award of €45,000 has been approved at Letterkenny Circuit Court.
The accident in question took place in the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran in July 2016 when the child was just two years old. Letterkenny Circuit Court was told that the child got his hand caught in a doorway and the top four millimetres of his finger were severed off in the course of the accident. The child, who is now four-years-old, was rushed to Sligo Regional Hospital before being transferred to a different hospital in Northern Ireland for further treatment.
The child, who cannot be named by order of the court, had to undergo a plastic surgery procedure in order to ensure that there was no lasting cosmetic damage to the limb. The court was told that the injury will have no adverse effect on the child’s dexterity and will not hinder him from any potential employment in the future. The injury was inflicted on his left hand and the child is right handed.
Letterkenny Circuit Court and presiding Judge John Aylmer was told that the child had suffered from some trauma due to the incident at the hotel in Bundoran. In the time period following the accident he had long periods where he experienced interrupted sleep. Thankfully, the child has not suffered from any lasting psychological issues and is no longer self conscious about the injury on his left-hand finger.
Judge Aylmer approved the €45,000 child hotel injury compensation award in relation to the accident that occurred at the Allingham Arms in Bundoran and the injuries suffered by the child.
A High Court birth injury negligence action in relation to nervous shock has been settled for €650,000 for the husband and son of a woman who died at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) shortly after an emergency caesarean section.
31-year old Nora Hyland died on the operating table at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours after undergoing an emergency caesarean section that resulted in the birth of her son Frederick. There was no admission of liability by the National Maternity Hospital as part of the settlement.
Sasha Louise Gayer, the Hylands’ legal counsel, told the High Court that the family were content with the settlement but were too upset to attend court for the hearing. Ms Gayer told the Judge that Frederick was delivered successfully but Ms Hyland began to quickly lose a lot of blood following the procedure. A later inquest into her death returned a verdict of medical misadventure. Mrs Hyland had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she suffered severe bleeding in the emergency birth.
Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell, at the inquest in question, said that the cause of death was cardiac arrest which happened due to severe post-partum haemorrhage. However, he was not in a position to say if the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” cause of her death.
The inquest also heard that a labelling mistake in the laboratory resulted in a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland having a blood transfusion. Along with this there were no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, kept onsite at the National Maternity Hospital at the time of the delivery. Steps were quickly taken in theatre and a request for blood was submitted just after midnight. A blood transfusion was carried out around 40 minutes later.
Nora Hyland’s husband, with an address at Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin took the legal action against the NMH for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances at the time off his wife’s passing.
A Galway teacher who fell to the ground suffering from a brain hemorrhage four years after being told that nothing had showed up in a brain scan has settled a High Court hospital negligence action for €750,000.
Barrister John O’Mahony, plaintiff Ms Lorraine Duffy’s legal representative, told the High Court she had gone to the Galway hospital in 2008 to have a brain scan as she was experiencing severe headaches and pain around her left eye. Following the scan Ms Duffy was advised that nothing abnormal was to be seen and she was allowed to go home. However in 2012, just four years later, Ms Duffy collapsed when she was out running.
Counsel said that, following Ms Duffy’s collapse, it was found that there was an aneurysm in the right side of the brain which should been evident in the initial brain scan four years earlier. Due to the failure to diagnose correctly in 2008 Ms Duffy now suffers from injuries to the brain.
Ms Duffy (42) of An Creagan, Barna, Co Galway, took the hospital medical negligence action against the Bon Secours Hospital, Renmore Road, Bon Secours Ireland Ltd and Bon Secours Health System Ltd of College Road, Cork which runs the Galway hospital. Along with this she sued for compensation from consultant radiologist Dr Davidson and Alliance Medical Diagnostic Imaging Ltd of Raheen, Co Limerick which was operated the diagnostic imaging at the Galway Hospital when the 2008 scan took place.
The wrong diagnosis of migraine headaches, to be managed with medication, was given to Ms Duffy. However, following her collapse in 2012 the matter was further looked into at a Dublin hospital and Ms Duffy was discovered to have been experiencing aneurysms.
Ms Duffy can now only do her job part time due to the brain injuries she suffered during the aneurysms. Sadly, she will suffer from the consequences for the rest of her life.
An apology by consultant radiologist, Dr Ian Davidson, of Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, was read aloud to the court in which he accepted and apologised for “the failings” during the care he provided that led to the delay in diagnosis of Ms Duffy’s inter cranial aneurysm.
His apology stated: “I would like to offer my sincere sympathy and regret for the upset and harm you have suffered arising from the subarachnoid hemorrhage in May 2012.”
Two opposition TDs, Marc MacSharry and Clare Daly, urged the Government to “do the right thing” and offer mediation or a redress scheme over the swine flu vaccine controversy.
Sligo TD Mr MacSharry warned that the State’s stance to date has been outrageous and said that “the State Claims Agency (SCA) has spent over €2m rigorously defending discovery (of documents) in these cases alone”.
The Government failure to address the controversy has been described as “extraordinary” in light of major international studies, including an Irish report, which uncovered possible links between Pandemrix and the sleep disorder narcolepsy.
The Government fully indemnified the drug in 2009 to fast tack it into service, as happened in many other European countries. The drug manufacturers GSK insisted upon this. This meant that the Irish taxpayer became liable for any of the possible side effects from Pandemrix.To date the State has fully contested all compensation claims in relation to the drug.
There is currently a significant test case is now before the High Court. This may lead to up to to 100 further cases.
Mr McSharry TD has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris to immediately introduce a round of mediation talks to those who suffered due to the side effects of the drug.
In tandem with these calls campaign group Sound (Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder) said it is important proper that proper supports are given to children and young adults battling narcolepsy due to the side effects of the drug.
Co-founder of Sound Tom Matthews said “Sound has always stated that it is not anti-vaccine, and that the Pandemrix scandal was a result of the State rushing to get whatever vaccine it could and that it was acting with the best intentions. We believe it is way past time for the State to finally step up on this issue and to fulfil the duty of care it is morally bound to provide to these children and young adults.”
Cork man Donal O’Sullivan as settled his High Court compensation action for €850,000 in his wrongful death compensation action tkane against a family doctor and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to the untimely and tragic death of his wide on November 8 2011.
Evidence was presented in court to show that his wife, mother-of-four Maureen O’Sullivan, who was in her 50s, should have been taken immediately to hospital after her blood test showed she was suffering from low levels of potassium. It was claimed in court that on November 4 2011 Ms O’Sullivan had seen Dr Crotty as she was experiencing some palpitations. Her doctor had a blood test was taken and sent for analysis at Cork University Hospital. The result came back to the Doctor’s surgery on November 7 and showed severe hypokalaemia, a low level of potassium.
Doctor Crotty, it is alleged, did not have Ms O’Sullivan admitted to hospital immediately upon discovering she was suffering from severe hypokalaemia. In addition to did Dr Crotty did not advise the patient that this is what her ailment was at the time.
Also, the Court was told that the HSE did not properly communicate the significance of the abnormal blood test results to the doctor and that there was no appropriate systems of communication evident. It was further claimed by Mr O’Sullivan’s legal representatives that the HSE had relied on a clerical officer to not relayed, with the test results, that they should be addressed immediately.
In a letter of apology read aloud in court, Dr Crotty and the HSE expressed how sorry they are for their role in the events that led to Ms O’Sullivan’s death. It spoke to the O’Sullivan family on behalf of Dr Crotty saying: “I deeply regret the tragic circumstances that led to the death of your wife, mother and sister Ms Maureen O’Sullivan. I apologise unreservedly for the part I played in the events leading up to her death. I am acutely conscious of the pain and suffering which this has caused to you all.”
Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that liability in the case was accepted in recent weeks. He approved the settlement.
The family of a little girl who died due to a hole in her heart being not being diagnosed has been apologised to by the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE must also pay over €40,000 clinical misdiagnosis compensation to the parents of the child.
Aimee Keogh aged two when she died. She had been waiting in an ambulance as she was due to be taken from Limerick Hospital to Our Lady’s Hospital for Children, Crumlin for a cardiac treatment on July 10, 2014.
Aimee had first attended hospital in March 2014 for febrile convulsions caused by tonsillitis. Consultant radiologist Padraig O’Brien said that after viewing Aimee’s X-ray, he was worried with regard to a septal defect – a hole between the chambers of Aimee’s heart.
Regardless of this, Aimee was not brought to see a paediatric cardiologist and more negligence was suffered when a paediatric neurologist and a treating paediatrician did not examine or identify irregularities in the X-ray, the Keogh family claimed in court.
Four months later, Aimee’s major congenital heart defect went undiagnosed until her condition worsened in the days leading up to her death.
Aimee had experienced 17 different seizures before being rushed to hospital on July 9 and was being about to be transferred to Dublin for a paediatric cardio echo procedure that can be performed by a paediatric cardio consultant working at Crumlin Hospital in Dublin.
An enquiry into the little girl’s death was told her compensation case was never examined by a paediatric cardiologist, but paediatric consultant Annemarie Murphy, who was in charge of Aimee’s case, said she thought that the X-ray was normal and a multi-disciplinary team who reviewed over the same X-ray around three weeks later also found it to be normal.
There were no paediatric cardiologists located outside Crumlin when this happened and children needing treatment would have had to wait up to two years to be seen by a specialist.
The Health Service Executive was told by Judge Eugene O’Kellyto to pay hospital misdiagnosis compensation of €40,000 to Aimee’s family.