€7.5m Delayed Brain Tumour Diagnosis Compensation Claim Settlement for Boy (11)

A €7.5m compensation settlement has been agreed for an 11-year-old boy in relation to an alleged delay in diagnosing a brain tumour, when he was still an infant, at the Children’s University Hospital Temple Street, Dublin.

Counsel for the boy,  who cannot be named by order of the court, Dr John O’Mahony SC (appearing with with Cian O’Mahony BL) informed Judge Justice Kevin Corrs the his client were of the belief that there had been three missed chances to diagnose the brain tumour when he was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Through his father, the boy took the legal action for delayed diagnosis compensation against the Children’s Health Ireland and the administrator of the Temple Street hospital. The settlement was without admission of liability.

The court was told that, when he was two years of age, the boy was taken to his family doctor as he was suffering with a weakness of his left upper and lower limbs. Subsequent to this appointment he attended Temple Street, on July 31 2012, for further review. At this appointed his parents claim that they ensured that their worry in relation to the child’s frequently falls were made known to those treating him. Despite this, the decision was taken to reassess the condition a year later.

Six months later, in January 2013, the young boy was again referred to the hospital again. Again his parent informed the physicians in relation to his reduced movements on the left side of his body. On this occasion An MRI scan scheduled for a few months later. Prior to this planned appointed, which had been scheduled for May 2013, the boy’s parents took him back to the hospital again on March 8 2013 as he was drooling from his mouth and dragging his left foot when he walked. As the MRi was already planned for May they were sent home but, three days later the his parents contacted the hospital and were asked to attend for an MRI on March 14, 2013. This scan indicated that the child was suffering with a brain tumour.

It could be seen that the brain tumour was increasing in size. Emergency surgery was carried out to remove it and the boy underwent a course of chemotherapy. However, he still suffers with a left side weakness and some sight deficiencies in addition to this.

Counsel for the boy and his family told Justice Cross that they they do not agree for the defence’s claims that any alleged delay would not have made a significant difference to the well being of the boy as he would still have had to undergo surgery.

The Court was told that the child is happy and well looked after by his adoring parents who ‘smother him with love’.

In the legal action it was claimed the hospital was negligent on July 31 2012 due to not conducting an adequate assessment and full neurological examination on the first occasion the boy attended the hospital. Additionally it was claimed that the boy’s issue with dragging his left foot was explained by those treating him as being due to leg-length inequality.

Finally it was claimed that a failure to arrange for an MRI scan in July 2012 resulted in the loss of the opportunity to conduct surgery at the best time possible. All of these claims were refuted by the defence.

As he was giving his approval for the compensation settlement for delayed diagnosis, Justice Cross said  it was a very good one and he wished the boy and his family all the best.

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland, Misdiagnosis Claim

Man Awarded €300k Faulty Medical Equipment Compensation Settlement in Relation to Wife’s Death

A defibrillator manufacturer has agree to pay a €300,000 faulty medical equipment settlement to a man in relation to the tragic death of his wife after she suffered a cardiac arrest in her workplace canteen.

At the hearing in the High Court proceedings, it was alleged that Elaine O’Keeffe, a 39-year-old mother-of-two, was not given an adequate chance of survival when she suffered cardiac arrest on October 10, 2012 due to the fact that defibrillator in canteen at her workplace in Bray, Co Wicklow, was malfunctional.

Mr Farrell was represented in the High Court by Finbarr Fox SC, Mr Farrell, of Hillside, Greystones, Co Wicklow against Takeda Ireland Ltd, for whom Ms O’Keeffe worked at the time as a quality assurance department manager against HSS Management Ltd trading as Heart Safety Solutions (HSS) and HeartSine Technologies Ltd, respectively the supplier and manufacturer of the defibrillator.

He took the wrongful death legal action on behalf of himself and the couple’s two children and the claim included financial dependency provisions caused by the death of Ms Farrell.

Through his legal representatives, Ms O’Keeffe’s husband Brendan Farrell claimed the defibrillator failed to operate when it was used to attempt to resuscitate Ms O’Keeffe. The Judge was advised that Ms O’Keeffe’s death was certified as being caused by acute heart failure by reason of a floppy mitral valve.

However, the judge was informed that there had been complications in relation to establishing causation of death arising from the alleged defective defibrillator. Mr Farrell’s legal team produced a medical report from a cardiologist which claimed that a functioning defibrillator would have increases Ms O’Keeffe’s chance of survival by approximately 38%

Mr Fox requested that Judge Justice Kevin Cross give his approval for a settlement offer of €300,000, plus costs, from HSS and HeartSine to settle the case. Mr Fox informed the Judge that there were some concerns that a full trial setting would face major issues in establishing, as a matter of probability, that a functioning defibrillator would have prevented Ms O’Keeffe’s death. He told Justice Cross that, due to this, the plaintiff and his legal team were happy to accept a settlement offer of some €300,000 made by HSS and HeartSine, subject to court approval.

Justice Cross struck out the case against Takeda with no order and agreed to make various orders, including orders against HSS and HeartSine for payment of €300,000. From the approved settlement the judge made orders for payments for €30,000 each to the two children, Rory and Eimear, aged 16 and 15 respectively, out of the settlement, with the remainder of the wrongful death compensation settlement being made to Mr Farrell.

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Accidents in Ireland

Family of Man with Died after Contracting COVID19 in Hospital launch Legal Action against HSE

The family of a man who passed away after suffering with COVID-19, after infecting his entire family, when he was discharged from hospital, have initiated a hopsital negligence compensation action against the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Last weekend, a Sunday newspaper reported that up to 20 other individual are launching similar actions due to contracting COVID19 during routine hospital visits and stays.

Responding to the claims, the HSE revealed that approximately 1,813 patients contracted Covid while being treated in hospitals for routine non-COVID procedures and tests since June 2020.  From January 4 to 17, another 846 individuals contracted COVID19 during routine hospital stays – mainly in hospitals located in Dublin, Donegal and  Louth. Figures compiled by the Health Services Authority show that there have been 48 COVID-19 outbreaks in Dublin hospitals, 16 in Co. Donegal and a further 13 in hospitals in Co. Louth.

This weekend the HSE said it does not yet know how many people have died after contracting COVID-19 while in hospital, and health authority officials claimed they did not have any information regarding the number of official complaints lodged by patients and families over contracting Covid on routine hospital visits and stays.

A source told the newspaper: “Many people are going into hospital for routine tests and procedures and they are contracting COVID and some of them are even dying. Families are really angry because their relatives are going into hospital with relatively nothing wrong with them and then they are either coming out after being really ill with COVID — or else they are coming out in a box. It has been happening since the summer when the hospitals were quiet and the numbers have being building up since then. There seems to me to be a scandal here and it is not being addressed. And when the dust settles this is going to become an issue because it is clear from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre data that the number of infections in healthcare facilities is quite high. The whole country is closed down so it’s a mystery to me why these figures are so high.”

Another source, familiar with the legal cases being taken against the HSE, informed the newspaper: “There are about 20 cases so far and one of them is being taken by the family of a man who went into hospital for a respiratory issue that had nothing to do with COVID. He ended up getting COVID while he was in hospital and the staff in the hospital told his family that when he was released he would need help from them when he got home. When he got home he ended up infecting all of his family and that meant a mother and six of her children got Covid-19.”

The HSE insisted the high level of COVID infections in the community was to blame for the extraordinary number of people contracting the virus during routine hospital visits. A statement released by HSE said: “In general it is not possible to be certain regarding where and when a person acquired infection with COVID-19. There is extensive testing of people on admission to hospital and while in hospital to help find people with infection as quickly as possible, so that measures can be taken to reduce the risk of spread of infection of others. It is important to note that when community transmission rates are at the level they are, it is inevitable and unavoidable that there will be outbreaks in hospitals.”

One source, familiar with medical negligence cases, commented to the newspaper: “I would doubt whether public policy would be in favour of suing healthcare workers, the very people we are trying to protect in all of this. And I think people who may take these cases may have difficulties trying to prove they got COVID in hospital, whereas you are as likely to get it in the community as you are in hospital.”

 

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland

€120,000 Birth Negligence Settlement Approved against Rotunda Hospital

Following a legal action based on a allegation of birth negligence due to a delay in the diagnosis of a post birth hip issues Dublin boy has settled his High Court compensation actions for €120,000.

The boy in question, Michael O’Connell, who is now seven years of age, was forced to undergo a surgical operation in order to deal with the hip issue in 2018. The problem that occurred during his birth was initially identified by his family doctor when he was just four month on.

Michael O’Connell, Butterfield Orchard, Rathfarnham, Dublin had through his mother Elizabeth O’Connell sued the Rotunda Hospital for the hip injuries that he sustained that the time of his birth.

Michael’s Counsel in the High Court, Alan Keating BL instructed by Rachael Liston solicitor, today informed presiding judge Justice Kevin Cross said it was their case the newborn baby boy should have been double checked for any evidence of hip instability that was caused by the nature of his birth according to the hip screening protocol that was being conducted at the maternity hospital.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told  that the Rotunda Hospital Dublin accepted that there had been a breach of duty in the case. The hospital also accepted that on October 28th, 2013 the baby was allowed to go home without the protocol having been adhered to as required. The Rotunda Hospital also accepted liability in relation to the delay that occurred in the  diagnosis of the baby’s hip problem for the duration of time from October 28 2013 to April 15 2014.

Legal representative informed the court there were problem in relation to causation, but the settlement had been reached after mediation talks were conducted.

Michael, Mr Keating informed the High Court, underwent surgery during 2018. It took him a number of several weeks to recover from the procedure. However, the you gnbouy is currently running and walking and in a much better position than his parents had initially been afraid of.

As he was giving his approval for the birth negligence compensation settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross referred to it as excellent one.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland

New Hampshire joins $60m national settlement over CR Bard surgical mesh

The state of New Hampshire has announced that it will be joining a $60m vaginal mesh liability compensation settlement against medical device producer CR Bard.

Currently the attorneys general for 48 US states and the District of Columbia have been added to the class action that alleges CR Bard did not recognize the possible issues with their transvaginal surgical mesh devices. These devices are implemented in order to address urinary incontinence by reinforcing the vaginal floor which can be harmed due to eroded organs. This condition can result in major pain during during the act of sexual intercourse and or while voiding bowels, etc.

The expense of treating those who are suffering due to the mesh devices is taken on by each states as it funds Medicaid and state insurance health plans. CR Bard is a New Jersey-based firm that had $17.3bn in revenue last year. New Hampshire’s is due to be awarded $661,071 as its portion of the legal action settlement.

Along with this CR Bard will have to fight other claims, made by individual plaintiffs. This includes around  5,000 federal legal cases in the state of Ohio and 3,000 legal actions in Rhode Island.

CR Bard discontinued the vaginal mesh device production in 2012. This move came in the aftermath of a $3.6m compensation settlement action for one woman. The claim had been submitted in relation to suffering caused by a vaginal mesh device.

CJ Bard released a statement which said: “Bard and BD have denied any wrongdoing and all allegations included in the litigation and chose to settle the matter to avoid the time and expense of further litigation.”

These class action legal cases claim that Atrium’s C-QUR hernia mesh products, which are lined with a fish oil derivative as a possible solution to adverse reactions to the treatment, are actually inflicting additional complications.

A legal representative for Atrium said: “We think there is a similarity, because there is the same underlying material involved. We are hoping they take a closer look.”

Posted in Medical Instruments Negligence

Family of Deceased Infant Rory Brennan Awarded €35k Wrongful Death Compensation

The passing of a baby boy who was only hours old was due to medical negligences according to a hearing at the High Court taken against the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital this week.

€35,000 in wrongful death compensation was awarded to Assumpta Sweeney and Jason Butler, the parents of Rory Jason Sweeney Butler who tragically died on November 19 2015. Tis was just following his delivery at the aforementioned maternity hospital in Dublin. The Butler family initiated the legal action to seek compensation for what was claimed as hospital birth negligence, resulting in Rory’s death, and the nervous shock and trauma they both had to deal with following this.

The Coombe Hospital has a history of having to answer for alleged negligent occurrences and had paid out large compensation awards over the last 15 years or so. These cases include:

  • €15m wrongful death at birth compensation to the McCallig family from Co Donegal due to injuries encountered by their son Eoin at the time of his birth. Further investigation into the infant boy’s suffering revealed that it was caused a being deprived of oxygen during his delivery,
  • A case of dyskinetic cerebral palsy, sustained by an infant during his birth, was also found to have been allowed to occur due to negligent work practices. A massive compensation award was transferred to his family.
  • €65,000 hospital negligence compensation was awarded to Dara Brennan, born in November 2009, due to facial cuts suffered at the time of his birth.

Representing the Butler family at the High Court proceedings, Richard Kean SC advised Justice Eager in relation to the unprecedented suffering that the boy’s parents had experienced. Liability was admitted by the defendant in the personal injury compensation claim.

Justice Eager awarded the statutory compensation award of €35,000 which will be given to the boy’s family who reside in Drimnagh.

 

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Wrongful Death

€7m Brain Injury at Birth Compensation Awarded to Boy (6)

As a result of injuries that he suffered at the time of his birth Mayo University Hospital, a six-year-old boy has settled his birth injury compensation action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) for €7m.

This comes after lengthy mediation talks between all of the parties involved in the legal action. The boy is not allowed to be named due to an order issued by the court in relation to the case.

Appearing in Court on behalf of the boy, Denis McCullough SC said that this is the first legal action of its type in Ireland where it was claimed that a baby suffered a neonatal stroke. He informed Judge Kevin Cross that said medical experts had said that a stroke such as the one suffered by the infant can be caused by hypoxia ischemia. Experts appearing on behalf of the HSE denied this claim.

The boy’s mother had had attended Mayo University Hospital in 2013 in preparation for his birth. A number of scans that were conducted indicated that amniotic fluid had seriously reduced and the foetus was quite small – congenital abnormality was suspected, and the mother to Dublin. The defence team claimed that this was not an appropriate course of action to take.

However, it was claimed that the infant was not suffering from a congenital abnormality and the foetal compromise should have been diagnosed and a quick delivery was completed. Along with this it was  claimed that too much time was allowed to pass during attempts to confirm a bed in a Dublin hospital for the mother. Due to this she was transferred to an ambulance but then taken back out as it was too late for such a transfer to be completed. A CTG trace to monitor the baby was started and it is claimed it was grossly abnormal but was discontinued. A caesarean section was used to to give birth to the boy.

Following delivery, the boy underwent intensive resuscitation and he was later taken to a Dublin hospital for further treatment. The legal action said that there was an alleged failure to deliver the baby in a proper and timely fashion and an alleged failure to recognise the CTG irregularities were causing damage to the baby or the situation required urgent intervention.

The HSE had denied this and argued that the boy suffered a stroke because of hypoxia ischemia – reduced brain oxygen caused by inadequate blood flow.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Hospital Injury in Ireland

Involvement of Dismissed Doctor in Birth Leads to Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claim Against HSE

The Health Service Executive is being sued by a two-year-old boy who suffers with cerebral palsy amid claims that a doctor was involved in his birth who, it has since emerged, had previously been struck off in the United Kingdom. The cerebral palsy compensation claims is for aggravated damages.

At the the High Court yesterday it was revealed that Tadhg McKenna, of Sruth An Mhuillan, Emyvale, Co Monaghan, is now seeking exemplary or aggravated damages due to the revelation that Dr Aamir Iqbal Malik was allegedly involved at his birth. Just last month, Dr Malik was suspended by the High Court from the medical register in Ireland pending further order.

That court was informed that Dr Malik, who qualified as a doctor in Pakistan in 1989, had been struck off the medical register in the UK in 2018 for professional misconduct. This dismissal was due to the findings of dishonesty linked to the history of his conduct as a doctor.

It is claimed that due to the circumstances that Tadhg experienced at his birth in Cavan General Hospital, when his care was entrusted to Dr Malik, he now suffers with quadriplegia cerebral palsy. It is also alleged that Dr Malik had neither the professional capacity nor the competence to provide such care either at all or without proper supervision.

At the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was made aware that the new developments in the case have lead to an increased level of stress for the McKennas. However, the Judge was also informed that the young boy’s parents do not wish for the case to be further delayed.

Tadhg was delivered suffering from severe perinatal asphyxia and had to be resuscitated. It is claimed his mother’s labour was permitted to continue for over 16 hours and there was failure to appropriately monitor the mother during labour and delivery.

Legal representatives for the Health Service Executive informed Justice Cross that the body is currently investigating the new information in relation to the case.

Prior to this liability had been conceded in relation to breach of duty but causation was still proving problematic. Tadhg, through his mother Emma Louise McKenna, sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth on August 31, 2017.

The case, expected to last two weeks, was listed for hearing in September.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland

High Court Approves €12m Delayed Diagnosis Compensation Settlement for Girl (12)

At the High Court Judge Justice Kevin Cross has given his approval has for a €12 delayed diagnosis compensation settlement for a 12-year-old girl.

The girl, Robyn Kilgallon, initiated the legal action due to the fact that she was not admitted to Sligo General, upon first presenting there, when she was suffering from bacterial meningitis.

Despite being taken to Sligo General Hospital by her parent, following a GP referral, as she was in an extremely poorly condition on February 1, she was sent home. At the time her symptoms included a high temperature, vomiting, her body had gone floppy and her eyes rolling. Her condition did not alleviate over the next 24 hours they returned to the hospital once more.

She was now extremely ill, in an unresponsive state and had experienced a seizure. On this occasion she was admitted to an ICU unit for treatment. However, a little while later she was moved to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for specialist treatment – there were no beds free in Crumlin or Temple Street in Dublin to admit her there.

After she was transferred, Robyn was diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis a form of bacteria that impacts the thin lining around the brain and spinal cord. She remained in an isolation unit for a number of days. Sadly, despite the treatment she got in Belfast, Robyn had already been impacted with major brain injuries.

Via her mother, Cabrini Fallon of Caltragh Road, Sligo Robyn took the hospital negligence action against Sligo General Hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE). It was claimed the HSE had behaved in a negligent fashion as there was a failure to admit and deal with a suspected bacterial infection. In addition to this it was claimed that Robyn now suffers from brain damage due to the failure to admit her Robyn when she first presented.

Liability in the action was accepted and Robyn’s legal representative Alistair Rutherdale Bl, instructed by solicitor Donnacha Anhold advised Justice Cross that the matter had been resolved following a mediation between the parties.

Robyn, who is now ten years old, has many medical and physical requirements, suffers from significant development delay and has trouble communicating with others and moving. She will require assistance for the remainder of her life.

Counsel said that there is a high probability that if Robyn been admitted and had treated with antibiotics on February 1, when she first presented at the hospital, she would not have sustained the catastrophic injuries.

In approving the settlement figure, Justice Cross praised Robyn’s parents for the wonderful work they done as they dedicated themselves to raising their daughter.

 

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Incorrect Treatment, Medical Negligence in Ireland

Family of Woman Kept on Life Support due to Eighth Amendment Awarded €1.5m Settlement

A €1.5m hospital negligence settlement, incorporating expenses, has been approved for the family of Ms Natasha Perie, a young mother kept alive on life support when she was pregnant due to doctors’ concerns about the Eighth Amendment

 Natasha, aged 26 at the time of her death, was pronounced brain dead during November 2014 when she was 15 weeks pregnant. She was maintained on life support for an another four weeks after this due to doctors’ uncertainty when it came to the, at the time unrepealed, Eighth Amendment. Life support was disabled following a High Court order being received by her family on December 26, 2014.

The final settlement was awarded for negligence in the treatment Natashed was given at Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar and €1.3m of it will be handed over to Ms Perie’s two children, who are now aged eleven and nine. Her father Peter Perie took the injury compensation action for damages on behalf of his two grandchildren (Natasha’s children) due to the loss of their mother. Both children, who have different fathers, had been residing with their mother in Mr Perie’s house but, since her death, have been residing with their respective fathers.

The HSE accepted liability in the case but did not accept the extent of damages which were estimate at €3.2m. The State Claims Agency offered a settlement of around €1.5m to be made by the HSE. Nervous shock claims by seven family members had been settled on a previous occasion and Ms Perie’s daughter received €150,000 in those particular proceedings.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy presided over the fatal dependency case, which began yesterday, after a mediation did not result in an agreement and the €1.5m offer made earlier this week was not accepted.

An apology had been issued by the HSE for the family last November from the Mullingar hospital and the HSE in relation to issues with Ms Perie’s care at the hospital in late 2014. She was confirmed as brain dead just days following her admission there on November 27, 2014, but was then placed on life support.

Justice Murphy was informed in court, by members of his extended family and the children’s fathers and relevant medical staff, in relation to the impact on the children of seeing their mother on life support. Dr Frances Colreavy said Ms Perie’s eyes did not shut properly. She said nurses informed her that the young children, especially the then six-year-old girl, were upset, with both refusing to go near their mother. The present state of the girl was referred to as “inconsolable”. A care expert also told the Court that both children would need live-in nannies until they were old enough to leave home. The judge expressed concern about that and certain other aspects of the lawsuit.

Yesterday morning, however, following further mediation talks, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was asked by Jonathan Kilfeather SC, instructed by Gillian O’Connor solicitor, of Michael Boylan Litigation, to give his approval the €1.5m settlement offer.

 

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland