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

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

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

€5m Misdiagnosis Compensation Settlement For Roscommon Woman

Bernadette Surlis, 60 years old, has seen her settlement of €5 million approved in her legal action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) for misdiagnosis negligence in the treatment she received at Sligo General Hospital in November 2013.

Senior Counsel Mr Cush said that, if  had Ms Surlis been appropriately and quickly diagnosed and treated, she would not have experienced the injuries. He told the court that liability was admitted by the HSE.

Ms Surlis went to Sligo General Hospital on November 3, 2013, as she had a headache, was vomiting and had a dilated left eye pupil, but was triaged as category three and left to wait for treatment for a further three hours. ‘Triaged’ refers to the fact that she was not treated as an immediate emergency.

Medical Staff examined her for glaucoma and discharged her. However, she went back the following day when the seriousness of her condition was “appreciated for the first time”.

Ms Surlis from Drinaum, Strokestown in Co Roscommon was sent to Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital on November 5 as she had experienced a hemorrhage and severe/permanent injury. She requires full-time care and Mr Cush said the opinion of experts was that her condition will only marginally improve over the course of her life. She is knowledgeable regarding her condition and has  trouble communicating but can do so with the assistance of her family. Ms Surlis has three adult children and four sisters living close to her.

It is believed that if she had been transferred to Beaumont when she first went to the hospital, she could have been treated properly and made a complete recovery.

Mrs Surlis is now restricted to a wheelchair and resides in a nursing home. The personal injury misdiagnosis settlement means she may realise her wish to return home, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was advised.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the compensation settlement was a “reasonable and very good one” and that he hopes it will allow Ms Surlis to live out the remainder of her life at home.

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

Pre-Birth Injury Compensation Settlement of €7.5m approved

A young boy who suffered a brain injury just before has born when his mother was flung from a car as she was travelling in to have a final pregnancy scan has had a €7.5m compensation claim approved in the High Court.

Following the car accident, Cian Hammel an emergency Caesarean section had to be used to deliver him in hospital. The High Court was told that in the road traffic accident his mother Roisin, aged 17 at the time, was flung from the seven-seater motor car in which she was a rear-seat passenger. The driver of the car was not properly insured to be driving the car.  The accident occurred at Manhanagh, Screen, Co Wexford on February 3, 2009. The boy now has trouble walking and is unsteady while walking and also has difficulties with language.

Taking the legal action through his grandmother Ann, Cian Hammel of Ford Court, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford sued the driver of the vehicle Simon Jordan, of Monaseed, High Fort, Gorey, Co Wexford.

The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), which manages compensation claim for victims of uninsured driving, was also sued following the road traffic accident.

It was claimed that the car, driven by Mr Jordan, went out of control, turned over the air resulting in Cian’s mother Roisin Hammel being flung from the rear seat of the vehicle. Senior Counsel Rosario Boyle advised the court that Roisin, who was studying for her Leaving Cert, was being given a lift to attend her final pre-delivery scan.

It was also claimed that Mr Jordan had passed another vehicle when it was unsafe to do so and that he was driving too fast in the weather conditions. These claims were denied by the Defence.

Ms Boyle stated that Ms Hammel was not wearing a seat belt when the accident happened. However, the MIBI later agreed that, had she been wearing her seat belt, the results for her baby would not have been any better.

Ms Hammel’s waters broke and, due to foetal distress, she had to have an emergency caesarean section in hospital. When Cian was delivered he had to be resuscitated and experienced multi-organ failure.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the pre-birth accident compensation settlement and said he hopes it will provide for Cian’s needs going forward.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland

Conference Told 1,000 Deaths Caused by Medical Negligence in Ireland Annually

A legal expert speaking at a gathering of solicitors, medical professionals and patents in September said that approximately 1,000 unnecessary deaths are caused every year in Ireland due to medical error.

Roger Murray, joint Managing Partner at Callan Tansey solicitors, said that up to 160,000 hospital visitors suffer injuries annually due to human error. Mr Murray was speaking at the Pathways to Progress conference on medical negligence and insisted that there is “no compo culture” evident when it comes to medical negligence compensation action, saying that what we are seeing in the legal system is just “the top of a very murky iceberg”.

Mr Murray, a solicitor who has been involved in a number of high-profile medical negligence compensation cases, said that he believes that not all people injured in medical incidents report it while the HSE is notified of 34,170 “clinical incidents” annually. Of these 575 resulted in compensation claims against the HSE, a rate of less than 1.7 per cent.

He told those attending the conference that the most commonly experienced cases relate to surgery (36 per cent) medicine (24 per cent), maternity (23 per cent) and gynaecology (7.5 per cent).

Mr Murray stressed that while injured patients and families do have empathy for medical professionals who make errors, “they cannot abide is systemic and repeated errors”.

He called for thorough reviews when mistakes do happen, Mr Murray said he had witnessed many inquest situations where families learned that desktop reviews had been completed following a death, and the results were not disseminated to appropriate staff.

Posted in Hospital Injury in Ireland, Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Incorrect Treatment, Medical Accidents in Ireland, Medical Misadventure, Medical Negligence in Ireland, Nursing Negligence in Ireland, Wrong Diagnosis Medical Negligence

Settlement of Meningitis Misdiagnosis Compensation Approved

A €5.6 million settlement of meningitis misdiagnosis compensation has been approved at the High Court in favour of a fifteen-year-old girl from County Cork.

On July 2005, the concerned parents of a three-year-old girl from Ballinalough in County Cork phoned the South Doc service to express concerns about their daughter´s condition. After explaining that their daughter was suffering from nausea, drowsiness and a high temperature – and had developed a rash on her stomach – they were told to bring their daughter to the clinic for an examination.

The family arrived at 5:00am and the little girl was examined by Dr Leon Britz, who diagnosed tonsillitis and told the family to go home. However, the girl´s condition deteriorated and – at 9:30am – the family returned to the clinic where, after an examination by another doctor, she was diagnosed with meningitis and taken to the Emergency Department of Cork University Hospital.

Once antibiotics were administered at Cork University Hospital, the girl was transferred to Our Lady´s Children´s Hospital where she had to have both legs amputated below the knee. The girl subsequently underwent 132 operations over the next twelve years to deal with other health issues that were caused by the meningitis and that could have been avoided with a correct initial diagnosis.

The girl´s mother made a meningitis misdiagnosis compensation claim on her daughter´s behalf against Dr Britz and South West Doctors on Call Ltd. It was alleged in the claim that the misdiagnosis of meningitis constituted negligence on the part of the doctor and that South West Doctors on Call Ltd was vicariously liable for the “profound consequences” of the initial misdiagnosis.

Liability was admitted for the misdiagnosis and the girl´s subsequent injuries. A settlement of the meningitis misdiagnosis compensation claim amounting to €5.6 million was agreed between the parties; but, as the claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in the girl´s best interests.

At the approval hearing at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told about the visits to the South Doc service on 10th July 2005 and that, had antibiotics been administered at an earlier stage, many of the consequences of the girl´s condition could have been avoided. Judge Cross approved the settlement of meningitis misdiagnosis compensation and praised the girl´s parents for the care they had provided – commenting that the outcome could have been a lot worse.

Posted in Medical Negligence in Ireland, Misdiagnosis Claim, Wrong Diagnosis Medical Negligence Tagged with: , ,

Judge Approves Settlement for Creche Abuse Case

A judge in the Circuit Civil Court has approved a settlement offered by a creche to a young girl who had suffered abuse at the facility, after a previous judge rejected the initial settlement, deeming it too low.

In September 2012, the young girl was enrolled in the Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre in Stepaside, County Dublin began to attend her creche´s “Toddler´s Room”, as she was of a sufficient age. After the transfer, her parents alleged that she started showing signs of anxiety, and would cry “No creche! No creche!” as she was prepared each morning. When her parents picked her up in the evening, was often withdrawn and lethargic.

The girl´s parents, concerned by their daughter’s sudden change in behaviour, made an appointment to express their concerns with her carer. They discussed the signs of anxiety and disturbed sleep, but were told she was receiving an appropriate level of supervision offered by the creche. However, after watching the RTE documentary “A Breach of Trust”, they witnessed their daughter´s carer being abusive to children in the same age group, the parents removed the girl from the creche. They immediately sought legal counsel.

On behalf of their daughter, a creche abuse claim was subsequently made against the Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre on the grounds that the girl had suffered emotional injuries due to the abuse. The defendants initially denied liability, but an offer of settlement was made amounting to €15,000 in spite of no admission of liability. As the creche abuse claim had been made on behalf of a child, it first had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was fair and in the child´s best interest.

The case was heard by to Judge James O´Donohue at the Circuit Civil Court in July 2015. The circumstances behind the creche abuse claim, and the affect it had on the young girl, were detailed to the judge. Judge O´Donohue ruled that the proposed settlement of the crèche abuse claim was insufficient for the level of injury it was claimed the girl had suffered. He refused to approve the settlement made by the creche.

The two parties entered a period of negotiation, after which a further offer of settlement was made to the girl´s parents. This time, the approval hearing was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The circumstances of the girl´s alleged emotional injuries were once again related to the court. Judge Groarke enquired whether the girl had suffered lasting psychological damage and, after assurance that she had not, he approved the larger unknown settlement of the claim.

Posted in Nursing Negligence in Ireland