A woman, who sustained both physical and emotional trauma due to the negligence of a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, has been awarded €438,000 in surgical injury compensation following a court hearing.
Cynthia Kinsella, aged 52, from Dublin, underwent the operation in April 2008 after developing menorrhagia – an illness which results in heavy menstrual bleeding. Three weeks after her operation she started bleeding from the bladder – an affliction known medically as a fistula – which lead to major distress and loss of amenity.
The presiding surgeon for the operation – consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Gerry Rafferty – was also involved at a second operation in July in an attempt to fix the problem; where it was found that the condition may arisen due to a misplaced suture in the bladder. After being advised that the probable cause of her injury was her surgeon´s negligence, Cynthia sought legal advice and subsequently made a claim for surgical injury compensation.
Liability for Cynthia´s injuries w as not admitted by Dr Rafferty – claiming that her condition was due to an unusual complication of the hysterectomy procedure – despite this Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill rejected the surgeon´s argument at the High Court and found in favour of Cynthia negligent hysterectomy claim for compensation.
In assessing how much Cynthia should receive in surgical injury compensation, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill was informed that Cynthia had been made redundant from her job as senior secretarial position with an engineering firm in November 2008. As a result of the combination of her fistula condition and the severe anxiety she suffered as a result of her surgeon’s negligence, Cynthia was unable to find alternative employment and has not worked since being made redundant.
Justice O’Neill said that he was satisfied that Cynthia´s capacity for work had been affected by her condition and that there was little prospect of her finding employment in the future due toit. Awarding Cynthia €200,000 compensation for past and future pain and suffering, €225,000 for past and future loss of earnings and €13,184 for medical negligence special damages, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill said that had Cynthia not suffered as a result of the surgical injury, he believed she would have in all probability found alternative work after her redundancy.