Mediation Talks to Talk Place in Orla Church Cervical Cancer Failure to Diagnose Compensation Case

A 55-year-old woman suffering from cervical cancer has agreed to mediation talks in her legal action for the alleged misinterpretation of her CervicalCheck.

Mediation talks will take place tomorrow and the High Court has been advised that the legal teams representing Dublin woman Orla Church and the HSE and US laboratory Quest Diagnostics will be in attendance. The case is pencilled in for mention next week when the court will be informed if the mediation has lead to a positive outcome. The Health Service Executive made the suggestion that that talks take place.

Ms Church took the legal action against the HSE and Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, located in Delaware in the United States, which supplied cervical cytopathology laboratories and services to the HSE for the CervicalCheck screening programme.

Ms Church was called for a smear test in September 2011. This was then forward to a laboratory managed by Quest Diagnostics. Ms Church’s sample results stated there there was no abnormality detected and recommended routine screening being conducted. In line with this recommendation, Ms Church had a subsequent smear test in September 2014 and this sample also appeared to show showed no abnormalities and advised normal recall.

In December 2015 Ms Church began suffering from significant pelvic pain and went to hospital. At this point she was diagnosed with cervical cancer with a tumour measuring over 4cm. Ms Church’s previous smear tests, taken in 2011 and 2014, were revisited and it was initially claimed that the results of these tests were amended in both instances.

However, upon further review, Ms Church’s legal team claimed that a change was made to  2014 smear test result only. ALong with this, it is alleged that following additional reviews, including one by an independent external pathologist in March 2017, both smear test results were altered from the original negative category. Ms Church also claimed that the reporting by the Quest Diagnostics laboratory led to a false negative result being delivered both in September 2011 and in September 2014.

Ms Church advised the High Court that there was no intervention regarding her condition until after May 2016, when she underwent treatment prior before suffering a significant deterioration in her health in September 2017.

This  failure to diagnose cervical cancer caused profound shock, distress and upset. Ms Church alleged, in her legal action,  that there was a failure to refer her for the proper medical treatment.

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

€650,000 Birth Negligence Compensation Awarded to Family of Dead Woman

A High Court compensation action for nervous shock caused by death in childbirth has been settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of a woman who died at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) shortly after having an emergency caesarean section.

Nora Hyland (31), who was originally from Malaysia, died on the operating table at the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours after having an emergency caesarean section during the birth of her son Frederick. Despite the compensation action being settled, the hospital did not admit liability and refutes the claims that were made.

Legal Counsel for the Hylands, Sasha Louise Gayer, told the High Court that the family were satisfied with the settlement but were too upset to attend court for the approval hearing. Ms Gayer advised the court that Frederick was delivered successfully. However, shortly after the delivery Ms Hyland began to lose a lot of blood.

The inquest into Ms Hyland’s death returned a verdict of medical misadventure. She (Ms Hyland) had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she suffered severe bleeding during the emergency birth.

Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell ruled that the cause of death was cardiac arrest which happened as a result of severe post-partum haemorrhage. However, he could not confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” factor in her death.

The inquest was also told that a labelling error in the laboratory led to a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland being given the blood transfusion. Another issue was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were kept in operating theatres at the National Maternity Hospital at the time of the incident. Swift steps were employed in theatre and a request for blood was processed just after midnight.  A blood transfusion was completed 40 minutes later.

Mr Hyland, (42)  Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had taken the legal action against the National Maternity Hospital for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland

Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Compensation of €9.1m Awarded to 7 Year Old Boy

A €9.1m cerebral palsy birth injury compensation settlement has been approved at the High Court for a seven-year-old boy due to the events surrounding his delivery at Cavan General Hospital in 2011.

Jarrah Folkman (7) cannot walk or talk and Elysha McCrudden, his mother, told the High Court that she can never hear her son’s voice due to the injuries he sustained. She added that the birth injury compensation settlement will greatly help her son in relation to future treatment but she lamented that various windows of opportunities for Jarrah had been missed.  Ms McCrudden added that, along with Jarrah’s father Ben Folkman, she had been made to feel that they were responsible for the manner of Jarrah’s birth at times over the last seven years.

In approving the cerebral palsy birth injury compensation settlement against the Health Service Executive, Justice Cross praised Jarrah’s parents for the care they have provided for him over the previous seven years.

Taking the birth injury compensation action through his mother, Jarrah sued the HSE in relation to the manner of his birth at Cavan General on April 19, 2011.

The High Court was told that there was an alleged failure to properly read the CTG trace which indicated a number of decelerations when Ms McCrudden was brought to the hospital on April 15, 2011. Ms McCrudden was sent home and came back to the hospital two days later.

The initial CTG trace, it was also alleged, was not noted as decelerative after Ms McCrudden’s admission and a plan was implemented to continue close monitoring and prepare for an expedited delivery.

Legal representation for Jarrah, Denis McCollough SC, told the High Court that an unsafe set of conditions had remained during the delivery.  The baby it was alleged, should have been delivered on April 16. Mr McCollough said  was flat and unresponsive and required resuscitation when he was finally given birth to.

The HSE accepted liability in the cerebral palsy compensation case which was before the court for assessment of final damages.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Hospital Negligence in Ireland

Reports: Company Involved of Cervical Screening may be Pulling out of Ireland

According to a report published in last weekend’s Sunday Business Post, Cervical the US providers of cervical screening may pull out of Ireland when their current contract expired in October 2018.

The US labs that have a service agreement in place to provide screening have said they will to quit Ireland due to a disagreement with the State in relation to the liability for the compensation claims for medical negligence in relation to the CervicalCheck Scandal. The report came as Minister for Health Simon was getting ready to meet with the author of the Scally report, which will soon be published. Minister for Health Harris has said he will see to it that women and families affected by the Cervical Check crisis will be formally briefed on the Scally report, before it is published.

Update Wednesday September 12 The independent Scally review, which was published today, came to the conclusion that the cervical cancer controversy came about as a result of a system-wide failure. In a note the Minister at the beginning of his report, Dr Gabriel Scally, said that it seemed as though the system established “was doomed to fail at some point”. The Scally report revealed the fact that there were major flaws and weaknesses management of the screening services structures.

The current contract for Cervical Check is up during October, and under its terms the labs accept liability for any medical negligence costs incurred under the current scheme in place. The company is now asking that the Irish taxpayer to underwrite those costs – a move that the HSE fears would collapse the service due to the costs.

Reports suggest that the HSE attempting to establish a contingency plan, however the current controversy in relation to the cervical programme has seen other overseas testing laboratories reluctant to offer the service in Ireland.


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

Woman Suffering with Ovarian Cancer Awarded €2m Failure to Diagnose Compensation

A woman, who cannot be named by order of the court, suffering with terminal ovarian cancer, has settled her High Court action against the HSE for €2million. She took the legal action in relation to an alleged failure to take proper measures to protect her from the danger of developing the disease.

Despite the fact that there was a known family history of ovarian cancer she was not sent for genetic testing. When this was remedied and she was sent for the testing ,when she had begun to develop the cancer, in September 2017 it was discovered that she had been a “carrier all the time.”

Her counsel Patrick Treacy SC, instructed by Cian Carroll, solicitor, told the court the HSE had stated its intention to send a “letter of regret” to her. The settlement was the result of mediation talks with the the woman and her family was brought about after does not require an admission of liability.

Counsel said it was her concern that her case would improve the genetic screening services and her case came to light during the CervicalCheck controversy.

The legal action was taken by the woman, her husband and family against the HSE. It was alleged that the woman who had a family history of ovarian cancer had from August 2010 attended at regular intervals at University Hospital, Limerick, and at Mid Western Hospital, Nenagh, for screening in relation to the danger of her developing ovarian cancer.

In 2015 she underwent a colposcopy and was found to have mild changes in the cervix area. By February 2017 it was discovered that she had ovarian tumours and pathology showed high grade 3 serious cancer of both ovaries and she required a hysterectomy.

It was found, following a genetic analysis in September 2017, that the woman had a pathogenic mutation in the BRCA1 gene , which means she was-a person who was at high risk of ovarian cancer. Furthermore, it was claimed that there was a situation where the woman’s cancer was allowed to develop and spread unidentified and untreated until she was diagnosed with Stage 3c high grade serious ovarian cancer in February 2017.

The woman also claimed that her life expectancy was greatly diminished and stands at about two years.

The HSE denied the claims. The case, which had been due to be heard as an urgent matter, ended as Mr Justice Paul Butler approved the Failure to Diagnose compensation settlement.

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

Woman Settles Dental Treatment Negligence Case for Undisclosed Amount

Roisin Mimnagh, a Co Dublin woman who has settled a €60,000 Dental Treatment Negligence compensation claim told the CIrcuit CIvil Court that she is still afraid to smile following a treatment to one of her teeth.

Mrs Mimnagh (50) alleged that she was traumatised to find an incisor had been filed away without her giving the dentist permission, before it was replaced with an amalgam or composite. Her legal representative, David McParland, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that she had attended Dr Anna O’Donovan’s dental clinic, Griffith Avenue, Dublin, to have an incisor realigned.

McParland advised the judge: “To her horror she afterwards found that her tooth had been filed away and replaced with an amalgam or composite that was smaller and shorter and different from her original tooth”.

Dr O’Donovan legal team advised the judge that a full defence to Ms Mimnagh’s claim had been submitted prior to an admission that no written authorization for the specific remedy for her tooth had not been received before the dental treatment in question.

Judge Linnane said she had examined the pleadings and had discovered that the latest expert report was more than three years old. There had been some remedial work completed in 2013 shortly after the first set of treatments.

Mr McParland told the judge that Ms Mimnagh was still wearing an appliance on her tooth and one of the specialists who had reviewed her felt that she would need even more realignment work. He added that she had thought at first she was going to simply have some white filling applied to her tooth so it would look straighter. When she later found that it had been filed away and an amalgam or composite put on it, she said that she not brave enough to smile.

Ms Mimnagh had personally identified an orthodontist who had given her an estimate for more than €5,000 to realign the damaged tooth. The specialist concurred with Ms Corcoran that this estimate had applied to the provision of treatment to all of her teeth including a consultation with a dental hygienist.

Judge Linnane mentioned the possibly settling the dental negligence case through talk hewas advised  by Ms Corcoran that Dr O’Donovan had always had “a significant willingness” to address the case. Mr McParland told the judge that the dental treatment negligence case had been settled and could be dismissed with an order for Ms Mimnagh’s legal expenses to be taxed in default of agreement. The amount of the compensation was not made public.
Posted in Dentist Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland

Cervical Cancer Screening Misdiagnosis Compensation Cost May Total Over €500m

In the Dáil, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has stated that those impacted by the CervicalCheck scandal will be compensated through a redress scheme. Early estimations are that the cost of providing this misdiagnosis compensation s could be in excess of €500m.

Mr Varadkar made this statement as new reports point to the fact that the initial estimate that the amount of misdiagnosis cases is probably as high as 3,000 and not the 1,500 it was at first thought to be. If this os the case then it is possible that the number of individuals given the wrong results may be much higher that the 208, of whom 17 have now passed away, first reported when the controversy became public knowledge.

During Leader’s Questions in the Dáil this week the Taoiseach, Mr Varadkar remarked: “We will need a scheme of redress for women whose cancer was missed and should have been detected beyond normal error and for women where there was a breach of duty to inform them of the audit results”.

He went on to say: “Once again, I want to say how deeply concerned and upset I and the whole Government are at the situation with which we are now grappling.”

The Taoiseach added that if anyone that women wished to have a repeat smear or review of their original test, the State will meet that cost, as well as the family doctor appointment fee.

The CervicalCheck Misdiagnosis controversy became public folowing the compensation action taken by Mrs Vicky Phelan, a terminally ill mother of two. Mrs Phelan was advised, after a smear test in 2011 that she showed no evidence of cervical cancer. However, an audit the occurred during 2014 showed that the firstresults of the smear test were actually wrong. Regardless of this she was not advised that she had contracted cervical cancer until 2017. Sadly, in early 2018 she was advised that her illness was now terminal and was given less than one year to live.

A 43-year-old mother from Co Limerick, Ms Phelan, was awarded a €2.5m cervical cancer compensation settlement in the High Court last week.

Posted in Doctor Negligence in Ireland, Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Incorrect Treatment, Medical Negligence in Ireland, Misdiagnosis Claim, Wrong Diagnosis Medical Negligence

Terminally-Ill Vicky Phelan Awarded €2.5m Following Error in 2011 Cervical Cancer Smear Test

43-year-old Vicky Phelan, a terminally ill mother, who was incorrectly told she did not have cervical cancer during 2011, has been awarded an incorrect diagnosis settlement of €2.5m from US lab Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc.

Ms Phelan, a resident of Annacotty, Co Limerick, was told, in January 2017, that she has less than one year to live.

In 2011, she was told there were no abnormalities found in the smear sample sent to the Austin, Texas based testing company. In 2014, at her next smear test it was found that she had cervical cancer. A review was completed by the company that showed the earlier the results were incorrect. However, Ms Phelan was not told of this error and the resulting audit until 2017.

During the High Court action her lawyers said if the cancerous cells had been found in 2011 she would have had a common procedure and would have a 90% chance of surviving the illness.

However, Ms Phelan commented in a television interview on RTÉ that she believed at least three women who had earlier got an all-clear smear result had since died due to cervical cancer. The Health Service Executive (HSE) will, this week, confirm the number of women who died away once the current review finished.

The legal action taken against the HSE was struck out and the settlement was against the US laboratory Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas only, with no acceptance of liability.

Mrs Phelan has been administered a new drug recently and is also hopeful of being accepted on to the US-based programme offering a radical new innovative treatment and has already raised €200,000 through a Go Fund Me web page.

Figures published yesterday showed that in 206 cervical cancer cases reviewed the delay in the cancer being identified following smear tests suggests these women missed out on previous intervention. A phone helpline for women concerned about their cervical cancer screening results is now available.

Posted in Incorrect Treatment, Medical Negligence in Ireland, Misdiagnosis Claim, Wrong Diagnosis Medical Negligence

Major Review of Breast Cancer Cases at St James’ Hospital Urged

There have been renewed renewed calls made to Minister for Health Simon Harris to begin an investigation into the diagnosis of a number of breast cancer patients who were treated at St James’s Hospital in Dublin in 2010.

A medical negligence specialist with Orpen Franks law firm, Rachael Liston has called on the minister to begin the review. Alison McCormack, her client, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 when she was aged 35. After being referred to the St James’ Hospital breast clinic she was diagnosed with DCIS, Ductal carcinoma in situ, a curable type of cancer.

Ms McCormack had a mastectomy. However there not no chemotherapy prescribed as DCIS is a non-invasive cancer.

Sadly she (Allison) was diagnosed with DCIS a second time – this tie in her lymph nodes and neck. Her treatment, on this occasion, included chemotherapy which resulted in reduced use of her right arm.

Alison secured a meeting at St James’s Hospital in 2013 to discuss questions she had over her case. At the meeting she was told that she had been misdiagnosed in 2010.

In 2010 her original biopsy had indicated that she was suffering from invasive cancer but this had gone unnoticed.

The hospital said this was a mistake that any pathologist could have made and a review of 39 of the specialist’s cases from 2010 was conducted.

Ms Liston has called for Minister for Health Simon Harris to begin a complete review, saying: “Whilst it is reassuring that efforts are being made to enhance and improve our cancer services in Ireland, clearly you would also like to ensure the health and well being of patients who may have been affected by a misdiagnosis and who may not be aware of [it].  A review of the pathology in the remaining 270 patients is likely to take no longer than one week for an independent Pathologist to complete.”

Responding Mr Harris stated that the Health Service Executive has advised that a review is not possible at this time.

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

Irish Mother Addresses EU Review of Epilepsy Treatment Drug

Karen Keely, from Rathoat Co Meath, is a mother of three sons who have experienced illness due to use of the Epilepsy treatment drug Epilim. Two of her sons will never live a normal life due to issues caused by the drug.

Last September (2017) Ms Keely, a member of the Foetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome Forum gave evidence at the European Medicines Agency about the difficulties her sons have gone through over the duration of their lives.

She said: “Two of my 3 boys require life-long care and will never live a normal life, will never be able to have children or get married. The effects of sodium valproate have been unbearable.

Ms Keely added: “I have been mourning my children since the day they came into my life and I’m determined to not let this injustice happen to other families in the same way that it has happened to mine.”

She also remarked said one of the issues was that some people treated with valproate long term may receive the drug medication contained in a plastic bag.

A national register in Ireland of those who were on the medicine and people who are being prescribed it in the future should established according to Ms Keely who also called for more studie into the scale of the problem and accountability to be conducted. Though the HSE makes the information available online but wider publicity was needed according to the Co Meath mother.

The EU hearing brought together speakers from six EU Member Countries to tell the story their experiences to the members of the PRAC (Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee). Epilim has been seen to be a leading cause of physical deformities, brain damages and autism in children whose mothers are treated with it while pregnant. At present it is being implicated in 40 cases of birth defects and disabilities, reported to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA)  in Ireland.

Findings of the EMA review are expected to lead to new guidelines regarding it being prescribed to pregnant females.


Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland