Personal Injury Compensation

Clinical Negligence Compensation Ireland

You will eligible to make a claim for clinical negligence compensation in Ireland if it can be demonstrated that you have suffered a loss, an avoidable injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to the negligence of a medical practitioner who “at the time and in the circumstances” should have chosen a more appropriate course of action. Because most claims for clinical negligence in Ireland are resolved by expert medical opinion, claimants should not apply to the Injuries Board Ireland for an assessment of their clinical negligence compensation claim but speak with an experienced Irish clinical negligence compensation solicitor on our freephone Legal Advice Centre.

€1.2m Swine Fly Vaccine Compensation Settlement for Boy Suffering with Sleep Disorder

October 27th, 2021. By Compensation News.

A swine flu Vaccine High Court action has been settled for €1.2m in favour of a now 16-year-old boy who alleged that having the vaccine administered resulted in him developing a rare sleep disorder.

Just four years old when he received the Pandemrix vaccine in November 2009, the teenager, who cannot be named by order of the court,

developed narcolepsy along with cataplexy which involves loss of muscle control and he will require medication for the rest of his life according to his legal counsel, Jonathan Kilfeather SC.

Mr Kilfeather informed the court that his client experiences extreme fatigue and anxiety at heightened levels. He added that there is little prospect for the young boy to ever hope to obtain a full-time job in future.

This most recent swine flu vaccine compensation settlement came after the ground-breaking settlement for a 16-year-old boy in November 2020 – a compensation settlement that cleared the way for the resolution of 80 cases related to the Pandemrix vaccine.

The boy had, via his mother, taken legal action against the Minister for Health, the HSE, and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK) — the manufacturer of Pandemrix. However, The State has already allowed GSK an indemnity by the State in relation to any ill effects caused by the swine flu vaccine.

In court the Judge was informed that the boy’s parents are content with the settlement. It was added that the boy’s father believed that narcolepsy is a misunderstood condition and that leading a typical life is very challenging for those suffering with it.

Mr Kilfeather informed the High Court the €1.2 million settlement represented 50% of the full value of the case. This is because it was agreed, under the terms of that settlement, that 50% of the settlement figure would be paid out.

Included in the settlement are educational supports, accommodation expenses for potential third-level education education, a “gold” level medical card and an allowance for the cost of childcare.

As he was giving his approval for the vaccine injury compensation settlement, Justice Paul Coffey remarked that it was at the higher end of the scale for a legal action such as this one.

HSE Pays €68,000 Alleged Negligence Compensation Settlement to Family of Deceased Woman

December 15th, 2020. By Compensation News.

An €68,000 alleged negligence compensation settlement will be paid by the HSE to the family of a woman who died of sepsis due to peritonitis.

In the action the family of 72-year-old Rose O’Malley, who had a history of pancreatitis, alleged her death was caused by a Peg feeding tube moving and causing there mother to experience septic shock.

Alistair Rutherdale BL represented Catherine O’Malley, of Latchford Green, Clonee, Dublin in Dublin. Ms O’Malley is a daughter Rose and took the case on behalf of her family. The case claimed that there was negligence in relation to the placing, monitoring and application of a Peg tube which resulted in Mrs O’Malley’s passing.

Mrs O’Malley had previously suffered with cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder and had a surgical procedure at Mayo General Hospital in October 2012. The Court was informed that a decision to leave gall stones in place allowed a risk of additional issues such as acute pancreatitis.

Mr Rutherdale said the family were claiming that Mrs O’Malley should not have been discharged on December 30 – having attended the Blanchardstown hospital on December 27, 2014 suffering with symptoms including vomiting. She was taken back to hospital on January 5 when she was diagnosed with pancreatitis and pneumobilia.

Counsel said their case was that a Peg feeding tube inserted on March 13, 2015 to aid her slow recovery, had moved and lead to peritonitis and, subsequently, was the main case of Mrs O’Malley’s death.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons approved the settlement which includes the full €35,000 solatium – the statutory payment under the Civil Liability Act – €8,402 in special damages, and the rest of the €68,000 settlement is accounted for in legal costs.

€65,000 Birth Injury Compensation Settlement Approved in Relation to Scaring Suffered by Boy (8)

February 12th, 2018. By Compensation News.

The High Court has approved a birth injury compensation settlement of €65,000 for a boy, now aged eight years old. Dara Brennan allegedly experienced a facial injury during his delivery at the Coombe Hospital on November 12, 2009.

It is thought that Dara, Brayton Park, Kilcock, Co Kildare, suffered the injury to his face as a result of an attempted forceps delivery at the hospital.

To this day resultant scarring and two indentations on the right side of his face remain visible when he smiles.

Lorraine Brennan, acting on behalf of her son, took the compensation action against the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital due to the alleged negligence Dara encountered during his birth.

Legal Counsel alleged that the incorrect use of forceps during the delivery inflicted the scars to right side of Dara Brennan’s face. Legal representatives for the boy claimed that there was an absence of the required level of care, competence, judgment and skill appropriate during the delivery of the boy.

It was argued that a more senior or experienced doctor in obstetrics should have attended the birth of Dara Brennan. Counsel for the Coombe Hospital denied these claims.

The High Court was advised by Dara’s legal team that liability was fully contested in the case. In addition, medical experts could not agree on the specific circumstances of the delivery.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross remarked, while approving the birth scarring compensation settlement said that it was as close to complete  compensation as possible for Dara Brennan.

Sanofi Acknowledges Class Action Against Them

July 13th, 2017. By Compensation News.

Drug manufacturer Sanofi has issued a statement acknowledging the valproate birth defect claims being made against the company in a French class action.

The drug responsible for prompting the valproate birth defects claims is sold as Depakine in France (since 1967), and as Epilim in Ireland (since 1983). It is commonly known as an anti-epilepsy drug, but is also used to treat bipolar disorder, migraine and other chronic pain conditions. Epilim contains an active ingredient – sodium valproate – that stabilises electrical activity in the brain.

When taken by pregnant mothers, the risk exists that the sodium valproate will be converted to valproic acid. This is then absorbed into bloodstream and adversely affects the health of their unborn child. In Ireland, children born after being exposed to valproic acid have been known to suffer from spina bifida, autism and a range of congenital and development issues under the umbrella term “foetal valproate syndrome”.

The risks were first identified in France in the 1980s, over a decade after the drug was introduced. However, no conclusive evidence was found linking the drug to the children born with defects, so no formal announcement was made to the medical profession. After further investigations, Sanofi informed medical authorities of the risks of the drug in 2006. In spite of the announcement, very few medical professionals were made aware of the side effects until France´s social affairs inspectorate – IGAS – investigated valproate birth defect claims in a case study the Rhone-Alpes region last year.

IGAS´s research revealed just under 500 children born in the region had congenital defects exposed to valproic acid during the period between 2006 and 2014 after being. The report called for a warning to be printed on the outside of each box of Epilim advising pregnant women not to take the drug due to the serious risks to the foetus.
A much deeper study of the risks was conducted by France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM). The results of that study were recently released following an investigation into the health of 8,701 children, born to women known to have taken Depakine while pregnant between 2007 and 2014. The results revealed that up to 4,100 children had been born with “severe malformations” and many hundreds more had died in the womb or been delivered stillborn.

Following the release of the study, Sanofi issued a statement in which the company said: “We are aware of the painful situation confronting the families of children showing difficulties that may have a link with the anti-epileptic treatment of their mother during pregnancy.” However, the statement has not satisfied parents of the children affected by the side effects of Epilim. They sought legal counsel, and together have started a class action of valproate birth defect claims to recover compensation for their children.
In Ireland, Epilim is still sold without a warning in large type on the front of the packet, and it is not known how many children have been born with birth defects due to being exposed to valproic acid. If a member of your family has been affected by this tragic situation, and you would like to know more about valproate birth defect claims, you should speak with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Provisions for ATE Insurance in Ireland Given by Court of Appeal

June 4th, 2015. By Compensation News.

An opinion given by an appeal court judge is likely to increase the availability and use of After the Event (ATE) insurance in Ireland.

Due to the high costs of defending a court case, defendants who believe it is possible to successfully defend a claim made against them often apply to a judge to order a security of costs against the plaintiff. This is so that, if the plaintiff is unsuccessful in their court case, the defendants are assured of recovering their costs.

An application for a security of costs, if granted, can also be used as a strategy to force plaintiffs to abandon their court action due to not having sufficient assets to meet the demands for a security. Consequently many plaintiffs are being advised by their solicitors to consider ATE insurance in Ireland.

ATE insurance in Ireland is not, as yet, commonly used in litigation; but there are significant benefits to purchasing a policy when making a claim for compensation that is particularly complex or revolves around complicated legal arguments. Premiums are not charged for the policies until the outcome of the case is known and, if the plaintiff is successful, usually deducted from a settlement of compensation.

The use of ATE insurance in Ireland was challenged in a case heard at the High Court last year when a defendant claimed that a plaintiff should not be allowed to use after the event insurance as an alternative to security for costs, as ATE insurance in Ireland was contrary to the common law of champerty – a law that prohibits third parties (in this case an insurance company) from providing financial support in a court case when they have no direct interest in the outcome other than profit.

The judge hearing the court case conducted a review of how ATE insurance in Ireland operates, and ruled that the provision of insurance to plaintiffs by insurance companies did not constitute “trafficking in litigation” – the act of supporting a compensation claim in order to take a profit from the proceeds – because the insurance company´s role in the provision of insurance was not exclusively to derive a profit.

The ruling was appealed by the defendant, and arguments for and against ATE insurance in Ireland were heard last month by the Court of Appeal. In a recently-release written verdict from Judge Kelly, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court judge´s ruling due to the insurance policy offered as security of costs being “highly conditional” and containing a significant number of exclusions that meant the insurance company could have avoided payment of costs to the defendant.

However, Judge Kelly wrote in his judgement that after the event insurance is a factor for a court to give consideration to in exercising its discretion whether to order security for costs. Judge Kelly wrote that ATE insurance in Ireland could be used as a full or partial alternative to security for costs provided that it did not contain exclusions that would allow the insurance company to avoid the payment of the defendant´s costs.

Claim for a Brain Injury Caused by Hydrocephalus Resolved in Court

March 5th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A claim for a brain injury caused by hydrocephalus has been resolved in the High Court after the Health Service Executive was found guilty of medical negligence.

At the age of three months, Ava Kiernan started developing the symptoms of hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”). The condition was caused by spinal fluid “pooling” in Ava´s skull because it has failed to drain from the brain and is most commonly identified in children under the age of one year by a rapid expansion of the head´s circumference or bulges appearing as “soft spots” around the skull.

In April 2008, a public health nurse examined Ava and measured her head. However – despite the concern´s of Ava´s mother – no recall for a second examination was arranged. A subsequent measurement of Ava´s head in September, which could have identified the hydrocephalus condition, was conducted incorrectly.

Due to the nurse´s failure to act and the subsequent errors in the measurement of her head, the pressure from the spinal fluid pooling in her skull resulted in Ava suffering brain damage. Ava´s mother – Ruth Kiernan from Duleek in County Meath – made a claim for a brain injury caused by hydrocephalus against the Health Service Executive (HSE), claiming that her daughter´s mental and physical disabilities were attributable to medical negligence.

The claim for a brain injury due to hydrocephalus was contested by the HSE, and the case went to the High Court where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. After hearing evidence for three weeks, Judge Cross found in Ava´s favour. He said that if Ava had been recalled for a second examination four weeks after the initial head measurement in April 2008, or the subsequent measurement of her head in September had been conducted correctly, Ava´s hydrocephalus would likely have been identified.

The judge continued to say that Ava´s hydrocephalus would have been diagnosed after a scan and treated by a shunt before it resulted in permanent brain damage. Judge Cross said that the public health nurse´s failure to act on Ruth´s concerns was “materially causative” to Ava´s brain injury and he adjourned the claim for a brain injury caused by hydrocephalus in order that an assessment can be conducted to determine an appropriate settlement of damages.

Investigations Launched into Care Home Abuse

December 10th, 2014. By Compensation News.

Nine staff from the Áras Attracta care home – the intellectual disability centre featured in Primetime´s “Inside Bungalow Three” documentary – have been suspended while investigations are launched into allegations of care home abuse.

The staff were suspended prior to the showing of the RTÉ documentary, in which secretly shot footage showed care home abuse to three women with intellectual disabilities, after a preview of the broadcast had been shown to officials from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Four investigations have been launched in total – two by the HSE, one by the Gardaí and one by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) who are responsible for monitoring the standard of care in Ireland´s care homes.

“Inside Bungalow Three” was filmed by an undercover reporter posing as a work experience student after Primetime investigators had been tipped off about the care home abuse by a former employee after her complaints to senior management were ignored.

The program showed distressing scenes of physical and verbal abuse – the residents being force-fed, slapped and kicked – and scenes of psychological abuse – such as when a 75-year-old resident is kept seated in the same position for six hours.

The care home abuse was condemned by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who described the failure in the standard of care as “sickening”, and by Eamon Timmins – CEO of Age Action, who said “Age Action condemns the inhuman, degrading and abusive treatment highlighted in tonight’s Prime Time Investigates programme.”

Further condemnation of the care home abuse came from Hiqa´s Chief Executive Phelim Quinn, who said that he was “appalled” that such behaviour could occur in a centre housing “probably some of the most vulnerable in our society”, while Tony O´Brien – the Director General of the HSE – said that the level of care was “totally unacceptable”.

The HSE also publicly apologised to the residents and their families for the care home abuse. A statement said that the HSE did not wish to “pre-empt the findings of an independent investigation” but had taken immediate steps to ensure a caring a safe environment is now in pace for the residents of Áras Attracta.

Settlement of Compensation for Misdiagnosis of Fractured Knee Approved at the High Court

May 2nd, 2014. By Compensation News.

A young athlete, who was unable to attend the Athens 2011 Special Olympics World Games due to a medical error, is to receive €142,000 compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fractured knee after a hearing at the High Court.

The Special Olympics World Games is a bi-annual sporting event for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and, in May 2009, Amy Rose McGowan (31) from Trim in County Meath was participating in a training race when she fell and injured her knee.

Amy Rose was taken to Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan, County Meath, where she was given an x-ray and diagnosed with a soft tissue injury. The knee was strapped to give it some support and Amy Rose was discharged.

Within a few months, Amy Rose attended her GP complaining of knee pain. Her doctor re-examined the x-rays taken at Our Lady´s Hospital and found that doctors in the Emergency Room had overlooked a depressed fracture.

Unfortunately for Amy Rose, the discovery of her fractured knee came too late for corrective surgery; and she was unable to continue training for the Special Olympics, while her doctor believes she may now also have to undergo knee replacement surgery.

Through her mother – Charlotte McGowan – Amy Rose claimed compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fractured knee against the Health Service Executive (HSE), alleging that the care, diagnosis and treatment she had received in the Emergency Room of Our Lady’s Hospital had been negligent.

The HSE confirmed that Amy Rose´s depressed knee fracture had been overlooked and admitted liability was admitted for her injury. A settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fractured knee amounting to €142,000 was agreed; but, as Amy Rose suffers from an intellectual disability, the settlement had to go to the High Court to get approval from a judge.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard how Amy Rose had been a successful swimmer and runner before her accident, and the judge invited Amy Rose to show the court some of the medals and trophies she had won.  Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Michael Peart said he was “very impressed and full of admiration” for Amy Rose, and he wished her a happy life with her family.

Blood Test Error Compensation Claim Undecided after Hearing

April 14th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A blood test error compensation clam, brought by a woman who had mistakenly been told she was HIV positive, remains undecided after a High Court judge reserved judgement on the case.

Michelle Kenny (35) brought her claim for blood test error compensation after attending St James Hospital in Dublin in August 2010, complaining of feeling unwell when returning to work from a vacation in Majorca.

Doctors at the hospital gave Michelle a chest x-ray and an ECG before determining that her symptoms may be attributable to a blood clot on the lung. Michelle was admitted into hospital, where she remained for a week.

On October 6th, Michelle attended the hospital´s Outpatients Department, where a blood sample was taken to test for potential tuberculosis. Michelle also consented to being tested for HIV – quite sure that she did not have the virus.

However, a week later when the hospital telephoned her with the results of her blood test, Michelle was told that she had tested positive for HIV and should return to the Outpatients Department for a re-test to confirm the blood test results.

Michelle told the High Court that she was devastated at the news, believed that she had no future and was going to die. Despite a subsequent blood test confirming that Michelle did not have the HIV virus, she withdrew from social life due to nervous shock.

When it was revealed that the hospital had initially given her the wrong information due to a mix-up between blood test results, Michelle sought legal advice and made a blood test error compensation claim against the hospital for the emotional trauma she had suffered.

The hospital contested the claim on the basis that the mistake had been identified quickly and that Michelle had suffered neither injury nor loss due to the blood test error. Nonetheless, Michelle pursued her claim, and it was heard at the High Court before Judge Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon.

After hearing evidence from both parties, Judge O´Hanlon adjourned the case with a reserved judgement – meaning that she will consider the merits of Michelle´s blood test error compensation claim before delivering a verdict.

Claim for Fatal Organ Failure due to Dehydration Resolved after Court Hearing

February 12th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A family´s compensation claim for fatal organ failure due to dehydration has been resolved at the High Court after a statement was read out apologising for medical negligence at Cavan General Hospital.

The claim for fatal organ failure due to dehydration was made after Eileen Brady from Crosskeys in County Cavan died on 6th January 2010 – one day after being admitted to the Cavan General Hospital suffering from poor fluid intake.

Eileen (65) had been referred to the hospital by her GP after consulting him about a mouth ulcer issue. She was admitted into the hospital to be treated for dehydration but, due to ongoing chemotherapy treatment for stomach cancer, her veins collapsed when the intravenous drip was applied.

Without a source of fluids, Eileen suffered multiple organ failure and died – a death which medical experts concluded could have been avoided if medical staff had paid better attention to Eileen´s medical charts, consulted senior doctors when her condition began to deteriorate or spoken with the doctors who were treating Eileen for cancer.

Following the disclosure of a “catalogue of errors”, Martin Brady – Eileen´s son – made a compensation claim for fatal organ failure due to dehydration; stating that he and other members of the Brady family had suffered emotional distress following the tragic and preventable death of his mother.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) acknowledged that there had been a failing of care in Eileen´s case, and an undisclosed compensation settlement was agreed out of court.

A condition of the settlement was that a public apology be read to the family at the High Court, and before Ms Justice Mary Irvine, representatives of the HSE read a statement in which the HSE and Cavan General Hospital apologised for medical negligence which led to Eileen´s death, and the subsequent distress that had been experienced by Eileen´s family and friends.

Before closing the hearing, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard Aidan Brady read a statement on behalf of the family – in which it was hoped that the negligent parties had learned from the grave mistakes that had resulted in the death of his mother – before the judge extended her own sympathy to the bereaved family.

Alternative Settlements of Compensation for Symphysiotomy Injuries to be Explored by Judge

November 28th, 2013. By Compensation News.

Minister for Health Dr James Reilly has announced that the Government are appointing Judge Yvonne Murphy to explore alternative settlements of compensation for symphysiotomy injuries after the Government withdrew its support for Sinn Fein´s Private Members Bill.

Dr Reilly made the announcement in a press conference after it had been revealed that – due to legal advice – the Government was not going to continue its support of Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin´s Bill which would allow the 300 surviving victims of the controversial childbirth procedure to claim compensation for the injuries they sustained.

Many of the victims have had health issues such as incontinence, immobility and chronic pain since they underwent the symphysiotomy operations that were conducted in Irish hospitals between 1940 and 1990, and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin´s proposal to allow a one-year window in the Statute of Limitations would have enabled the women to obtain settlements of compensation for their symphysiotomy injuries.

However, it was considered that any such legislation would face a legal challenge from the insurance companies liable for making the settlements of compensation for symphysiotomy injuries, and the Government has instead appointed Judge Yvonne Murthy to explore alternative options to recovering compensation through the courts.

Dr Reilly said that one possible option was for the victims of symphysiotomy procedures to receive an “ex gratia” payment from a fund specifically set up for such a purpose, and the Minister indicated that the Government would contribute to such a fund. It is understood that Judge Murphy will be speaking with some of the insurance companies opposed to a window in the Statute of Limitations to determine whether they would also contribute to a central fund.

The announcement was welcomed by Tom Moran – Chairman of the support group “Survivors of Symphysiotomy Ltd” – who was happy that his members might at last receive settlements of compensation for symphysiotomy injuries and said “We welcome this decision to appoint the judge and hope it leads to women finally being given a chance of some kind of closure.”

MDL DePuy Court Cases Delayed for Two More Weeks

September 18th, 2013. By Compensation News.

The start of the MultiDistrict Litigation (MDL) DePuy court cases into the company´s faulty ASR hip replacement systems has been delayed for two more weeks.

U.S. District Judge David A. Katz rescheduled the start of the first case to be heard, which was originally due to begin on September 9th, to allow additional time for discovery and the consideration of other legal matters after the substitution of the original plaintiff – Faye Dorney-Madgitz – with Ann McCracken.

The reason for the substitution is still unclear. McCracken -v- DePuy was originally scheduled to be the second of the ‘bellwether’ court cases to be heard in a series of Federal cases which will determine how juries will respond to the relative strengths and weaknesses of each case. It is not yet known whether Dorney-Madgitz -v- DePuy is to be rescheduled at a later date or indeed heard at all.

Ann McCracken originally made her claim for DePuy injury compensation in March 2011; alleging that she received a DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system in August 2009 which had to be removed by January 2011. The 57-year-old single mother from Rochester in New York claims that when her surgeon removed the DePuy ASR hip implant he saw evidence of metallosis which had killed healthy tissue around the implant and resulted in a painful hip dislocation.

McCracken´s case is to be decided without reference to the DePuy hip replacement recall of August 2010, after Judge Katz ruled that the injury “began with the initial implementation” and agreed with DePuy´s solicitors that, to reference the recall at trial, might deter other companies from voluntarily withdrawing potentially harmful medical devices because of the financial consequences.

Once verdicts are delivered on the first ‘bellwether´ MDL DePuy court cases – and a benchmark has been set for the value of compensation settlements –  Johnson & Johnson (DePuy Orthopaedics´ parent company) are likely to make offers of settlement for the 7,800 outstanding MDL DePuy court cases consolidated within the multidistrict litigation.

If settlements are not reached following the series of ´bellwether´ MDL DePuy court cases, the 7,800 outstanding claims will be remanded back to the U.S. District Courts where they were originally filed to be heard individually. This would have serious implications for the DePuy court cases in Ireland, where notice of cases has been served against Johnson & Johnson, DePuy Orthopaedics and the Health Service Executive.

Woman to Pay Costs of High Court Hearing despite Winning her Claim

September 7th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A High Court judge has imposed sanctions on the recovery of legal costs due to a successful plaintiff, meaning that the woman will have to pay some of the costs of her High Court hearing herself.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine announced the sanctions after reviewing the case of Madeline Wright v. the Health Service Executive and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, which was heard in the High Court during May and June earlier this year.

Although the claim was successful – and the plaintiff awarded compensation for an avoidable delay in treatment – the judge was of the opinion that only 20% of the evidence presented in court related to the act of negligence for which Madeline was ultimately compensated.

Therefore, in a departure from the normal legal principal of “costs follow the event”, Ms Justice Mary Irvine – the judge who heard the original case – has penalised Madeline for attaching allegations to a genuine claim which could not be substantiated in court.

The judge said “Just because a plaintiff has one good point they should not, to my mind, be permitted to litigate a myriad of others and have the court make an order requiring the successful defendant on such issues to pay for that luxury.”

Despite admitting that she was tempted to allow just 20% of the costs of a High Court hearing, the judge acknowledged that the case was complex and it would be harsh to deliver such a stiff sanction when there was no precedent in this type of litigation

Ms Justice Mary Irvine subsequently sanctioned 35% of Madeline Wright´s costs of a High Court hearing, meaning that the successful plaintiff will have to pay the outstanding amount from her medical negligence compensation settlement.

Inspections Reveal High Possibility of Infections due to Poor Hygiene in Hospitals

August 30th, 2013. By Compensation News.

Five inspections conducted during the summer by the Health Information Quality Authority have revealed the high possibility of infections due to poor hygiene in hospitals in Ireland.

Reports from the five inspections have just been published, and among a catalogue of issues which could result in infections due to poor hygiene in hospitals, the failure to clean hands properly was identified as a major risk to health.

In one hospital – Waterford Regional Hospital – inspectors observed medical and nursing staff taking advantage of five of just twenty-three opportunities to wash their hands – eleven before treating patients and twelve after – although some of the blame could be attributed to the number of soap dispensers that were empty or that had their nozzles blocked by congealed soap.

Other issues identified at Waterford Regional Hospital which contributed towards the high possibility of infections due to poor hygiene in hospitals included:-

  • A patient with a suspected communicable infection being left in a general bay
  • Mould left untreated in patients´ shower units and around toilet areas
  • “Heavy sticky residue” found on the exterior of a patient’s wardrobe
  • A used tracheotomy tube stored above a tray containing disinfectant
  • Staff being observed failing to clean a commode after use

Commenting on the risk of infections due to poor hygiene at Waterford Regional Hospital, Clinical Director Rob Landers admitted that the hospital was “extremely disappointed” with the inspectors´ findings and said that future hygiene breaches would become a disciplinary matter. Mr Landers reassured patients that it was safe to attend Waterford Regional Hospital despite the finding in HIQA´s report.

The four other healthcare centres at which inspectors found a high possibility of infections due to poor hygiene in hospitals were:-

  • Louth County Hospital, where inspectors discovered that the doors of two isolation rooms containing patients with known transmissible infections were left open as standard practice
  • St Michael´s Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, where inspectors discovered unhygienic temperature probes and found that mould had been allowed to develop in the hospital´s toilets and showering facilities for patients.
  • Portiuncila Hospital in Galway, which had issues with the general cleanliness of the physical environment and medical equipment, and a poor standard of waste management.
  • Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan, where the Accident and Emergency Department was found to be generally unclean – with the walls of the patients´ toilets particularly being described as “heavily stained”.

Injury Compensation Claims for Missed Diagnoses top GP Malpractice Cases

August 23rd, 2013. By Compensation News.

A review prepared for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) by the Centre for Primary Care Research in Dublin has found that injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses are the leading reason for GP malpractice cases.

The review – “The Epidemiology of Malpractice Claims in Primary Care: A Systematic Review” published recently in the British Medical Journal – was compiled with the objective of establishing which areas of primary care in Ireland should be given specific attention when developing future educational strategies and risk management systems for front-line healthcare practitioners.

It found that the most common reason for GP malpractice cases were the missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer – specifically lung cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer – medication errors (in both administration and prescription) and, in children´s injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses, the failure to correctly diagnose meningitis and appendicitis.

The lead researcher for the report – Dr Emma Wallace – is herself a GP, and she acknowledged that reviewing GP malpractice cases may not be the preferred methodology to establish where the most attention was required; however, she did accept that injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses were creating an environment where GPs and front-line healthcare practitioners were acting more defensively.

The review found that more patients are being referred to consultants than before – potentially delaying a correct diagnosis and placing pressure on an under-resourced Irish health service – because of the risk of litigation should a mistake be made. Medical practitioners against whom injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses are made often experience increased stress levels, Dr Wallace said, reducing their effectiveness to diagnose correctly and placing more patients at risk.

It is hoped that “The Epidemiology of Malpractice Claims in Primary Care: A Systematic Review” provides an insight into the nature of adverse events in hospital outpatients´ departments and GPs surgeries, and the reasons for them occurring. This would then reduce the number of injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses in Ireland and ultimately improve the standard of primary healthcare provided.

Family to Claim Compensation for Death of Daughter in Hospital

August 9th, 2013. By Compensation News.

The family of Amy Hauserman, who drowned while taking an unsupervised bath in the psychiatric unit of Frankston Hospital, have confirmed that they intend to claim compensation for the death of their daughter in hospital following the release of the Coroner´s report.

Amy´s fatal accident occurred in 2008 – just two days after she had voluntarily been admitted into Frankston Hospital due to doctors fearing she was relapsing into the schizophrenic condition which had caused her to suffer from anorexia in her youth.

The Coroner´s report into Amy´s death criticised nursing staff at the hospital for allowing to take a bath without supervision and for not conducting a risk evaluation or consulting her doctors beforehand.

Coroner Peter White concluded that Amy´s death was due to her either slipping and falling as she tried to leave the bath or lapsing into unconsciousness while taking it. He said that the presence of a nurse would have prevented Amy´s death.

The inquest also heard conflicting evidence from the Head of Nursing – who said that protocols existed for psychiatric patients to be observed at all times if no risk assessment had been undertaken – and a nurse who worked on the ward, who said she was unaware of such protocols and she did not think at the time that Amy needed supervision.

After the inquest, Coroner White said that it was an “appropriate response to this tragic episode” that the hospital no longer allowed patients in its high dependency psychiatric ward to take unsupervised baths, but Amy Hauserman´s father confirmed that the family would claim compensation for the death of their daughter in hospital against the Mornington Peninsula Health Service.

A Health Service spokesperson said that he was not prepared to comment on the case, but said in a prepared statement “Peninsula Health is deeply saddened by the death of Ms Amy Hauserman. We have expressed condolence to the Hauserman family on a number of occasions since Amy’s death.”

Judge Approves Settlement of Compensation for a Wrongful Death

July 19th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for the wrongful death of a woman from County Mayo, who died in February 2009 from a perforated bowel.

Mother-of-thirteen Eileen Maloney (69) from Pullathomas, County Mayo, was admitted to Mayo General Hospital on Sunday February 1st 2009 suffering from severe abdominal pain.

Eileen, who was also suffering from cancer, underwent an x-ray which suggested an obstruction in her small bowel; but it was claimed by the family that the x-ray was not reviewed for the possibility of a bowel perforation – the condition which eventually led to her death.

A CT scan, conducted five days after her admission to hospital, showed that a tumour was causing the obstruction in Eileen´s bowel, but again – the family allege – the possibility of a bowel perforation was not considered. Instead, surgery was scheduled for the following week, from which Eileen died on February 17th.

Following an investigation into Eileen´s death, the family claim they were told by one of the medical team that Eileen´s death could have been avoided – despite her being weak from her cancer treatment – if the perforated bowel had been identified in either the initial x-ray or the subsequent scan and prompt medical attention initiated.

The family consequently made a compensation claim for a wrongful death against the hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE), but the HSE denied liability for the mistakes that led to Eileen´s death. The family persisted with their claim and, just before their case was to be heard in the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard that an out-of-court settlement had been agreed.

Under the terms of the settlement, the HSE will pay Eileen´s family €50,000 compensation for a wrongful death without an admission of liability. After hearing the circumstances of Eileen´s death and expressing his sympathy for the family, Mr Justice Michael Peart approved the settlement – stating that “this was a very, very tragic case”.

Obstretic Negligence Claim for Birth Injuries Resolved in Court

April 28th, 2013. By Compensation News.

The family of a girl, Alex Butler, who suffered brain damage at her birth have had their obstretic negligence claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff resolved at the High Court in Dublin.

Alex (8) from Dunmore East, County Waterford, was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital in April 2005; however, due to the hospital´s failure to have an appropriate amount of properly trained competent medical staff to deal with the Alex´s delivery, and to ensure that an adequate and properly competent obstetrician was available, Alex´s delivery was delayed by twelve minutes – during this she suffered brain damage which led to permanent tetraplegic injury.

Through her mother – Sonya Butler – Alex made a obstretic negligence claim for birth injuries, alleging that her consultant obstetrician had been given clearance to take leave at the same time as the hospital´s two other obstetricians and that the hospital had employed a locum obstetrician without ensuring that he was indeed competent. They went on to claim that Sonya´s pre-operative assessment was substandard and there was a failure to recognise the necessity for a Caesarean section.

The High Court was told that the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted liability for Alex´s injuries, and the claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff against the consultant obstetrician – John Bermingham – and locum obstetrician – Mahmud Khbuli – were dismissed by the judge. A representative from Waterford read out an apology for the mismanagement of Alex´s birth and accepted that the mistakes that were made should never have happened.

The Court also heard that an interim settlement of Alex´s claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff amounting to €1.4 million had been agreed upon between the HSE and Alex´s parents. The obstretic negligence claim for birth injuries settlement is to be reviewed again in two years when an assessment of Alex´s care needs for the future has been made, and by which time it is hoped that the option of a structured settlement is available.

Compensation for Delayed Hospital Treatment Approved in Court

November 10th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A settlement of compensation for delayed hospital treatment has been approved at the High Court in the case of Brid Courtney – two years after the brain damaged child was originally awarded an interim payment.

Brid, who is now nine years of age and comes from Ardfert in County Kerry, was born in Tralee General Hospital in February 2003 suffering from brain damage after medical workers at the hospital allegedly failed to act on a sudden and dramatic change in the foetal heart rate pattern.

As a consequence of the drop in heart beat, Brid suffered perinatal asphyxia in the womb and due to the oxygen starvation is now confined to a wheelchair from which she has to be lifted bodily. She is also unable to speak and must rely on the use of her eyes and facial expressions to communicate with her family.

Following a claim for injury due to delayed hospital action taken through her mother – Deirdre – the Health Service Executive agreed to settle the claim without an admission of liability and, in November 2010, Mr Justice John Quirke approved an interim payment of 2 million Euros and adjourned the case for two years to allow for the introduction of periodic payments.

However, a system for periodic compensation payments for catastrophic injuries has still not been passed by government and – two years after the initial payment of compensation for delayed hospital action was approved – the case returned before the court for the approval of a final settlement.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was shown testimony from experts that a further 9 million Euros in compensation for delayed hospital action would be required to provide adequate care for Brid through the remainder of her expected life and, as both Brid´s mother and the Health Service Executive agreed with the expert´s assessment, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement.

Wrong Prescription Leads to Woman’s Death

November 8th, 2012. By Compensation News.

An inquest has told how a Dublin woman died two days after being given the wrong prescription by one of the city´s pharmacies.

Margaret Swaine (64) passed away due to a heart attack in July 2010 after being mistakenly dispensed Tegretol – an anti-convulsant and mood stabilising drug – instead of Trentol, a drug which had been prescribed for Margaret to assist the flow of blood through her body due to a pre-existing heart condition.

The Coroners Court was told Dr Brian Farrell testify that Margaret´s death was due to her heart condition, but the effects of the Tegretol had constituted an “additional stressor”. His proof was supported by University College Dublin´s Professor Patrick Murray, who confirmed that the presence of Tegretol had been a contributing factor to Margaret´s heart attack and said “It is very unlikely that she would have passed away on that given day had she not taken the Tegretol.”

The court was also told the circumstances surrounding how Margaret was dispensed the wrong medicine. Margaret´s friend – Ann Murphy – related how Margaret had come home from the Janet Dillon Pharmacy in Stoneybatter with the tablets which Ann believed were for the treatment of depression. Margaret took the Tegretol tablets three times over the course of the day and became groggy, disorientated and unstable on her feet.

Ann visited the pharmacy and showed the box of tablets to pharmacist Janet Dillon, who was alarmed that the pharmacy had dispensed the wrong medicine and who exchanged the Tegretol for the correct medicine. However, Margaret´s symptoms persisted and the following morning she was discovered sitting on the side of her bed having difficulty breathing. White foam was coming from her mouth and her pulse had slowed. An ambulance was called but attempts to resuscitate Margaret at the Mater Hospital failed.

In court, Janet Dillon stated that a “picking error” by a trainee assistant had been the reason why the wrong medicine was dispensed, but that she checked the medicine before it was dispensed to Margaret and her failure to spot the mistake was attributable to human error. The DPP has decided not to prosecute the pharmacy, but Margaret´s family may be entitled to claim compensation for being dispensed the wrong medicine.

Brain Tumour Delayed Diagnosis Claim Heard in Court

October 30th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A former student, who suffers severe spasticity of the limbs and has eye movement problems allegedly due to the negligence of a Galway hospital, has had his brain tumour delayed diagnosis claim heard in court.

Seamus Walshe Jnr (27) of Taylor´s Hill, Galway, was a 21-year-old student studying construction studies when he first began suffering problems with his eyes in 2006 whenever he looked upwards. His symptoms worsened to the point where upward eye movement left him feeling nauseous and he would start to vomit.

Seamus went to Galway University Hospital with his problems, but was told after a neurological examination that there was nothing seriously wrong with him and he should get used to having problems with his eyes.

Seamus went back to Galway University Hospital later in the year when he started to develop pains in his head and underwent a scan which revealed a brain tumour. He was sent to Dublin´s Beaumont Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove the tumour in May 2007.

However, complication during the brain tumour procedure resulted in severe haemorrhaging around the brain and Seamus was kept in intensive care for nine weeks following surgery. When he began to recover, he was transferred back to Galway University Hospital in November 2007.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court was told that in September 2008 Seamus was sent to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dún Laoghaire but, because of the alleged negligent treatment he had received, was confined to a wheelchair with spasticity of the limbs and had problems moving his eyes.

Seamus filed a compensation claim for the delayed diagnosis of his brain tumour through his father, Seamus Snr, claiming that had he had a scan when he first attended the Galway University Hospital, the tumour would have been diagnosed earlier and he would have been referred to the Beaumont Hospital sooner.

A second claim was filed against the Beaumont Hospital for choosing to perform brain surgery when treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy had resulted in long term survival rates of up to 90 percent.

Both the Health Service Executive – on behalf of Galway University Hospital – and the Beaumont Hospital did not accept their liability for Seamus´ injury, but Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that a negotiated settlement of 2.5 million Euros in compensation for the delayed diagnosis of a brain tumour had been agreed without admission of liability.

The settlement of compensation is hoped to provide Seamus with the care he needs for the next three years, after which time a structured periodic payment system would provide for his future care if legislation was passed by the Government in time to allow such a payment procedure.

Medical Misadventure Compensation Awarded

October 18th, 2012. By Compensation News.

The family of a woman who passed away giving birth to her second child has been awarded 850,000 Euros in compensation for medical misadventure following a High Court hearing.

Evelyn Flanagan (38) from Castlebar in County Mayo passed away at Mayo General Hospital on October 19, 2007, following the birth of her daughter Niamh as a result of serious complications. An initial post-mortem suggested that Evelyn´s death was attributable to an amniotic fluid embolism; however Evelyn´s family contested the findings – alleging that the deterioration in her condition was due to a postpartum haemorrhage which could have been prevented with greater care.

Inquest proceedings in 2008 and 2009 lead to a verdict of death by medical adventure, following which Evelyn´s husband – Padraic Flanagan – filed a claim for medical misadventure compensation against the Health Service Executive and consultant obstetrician, Dr Murtada Mohamed. It was  claimed in the action that Evelyn suffered a postpartum haemorrhage as a result of a rupture of her uterus which was not detected or adequately dealt with.

Mayo General Hospital at first denied that negligence had occurred but, as Mr Justice Michael Peart heard at the High Court, an acknowledgement of liability had been made during mediation prior to court proceedings. The judge awarded the family 850,000 Euros in compensation for medical misadventure to include the highest amount allowable 25,395 Euros for mental distress and payments for each of Evelyn´s two children as they grow older.

Compensation Claims against the State Forecast Expected to Rise

October 15th, 2012. By Compensation News.

The State Claims Agency has predicted that compensation claims against the State for hospital negligence could increase by more than a quarter in 2012.

Commenting in the Clinical Indemnity Scheme newsletter, Ciaran Breen – Director of the State Claims Agency – said that “It appears that people, injured as a result of a medical negligence event, are more likely to sue doctors, dentists and hospitals in these more difficult economic times” after attributing the increase on the economic downturn.

Mr Breen´s remarks were in complete contrast to those made by Patricia Byron – Chief Executive of -after the Injuries Board Interim Report was released last month, which saw only a 4.1 percent increase in claims over the first six months and not the “recessionary spike” that had been predicted. However, both public officials referred to the fact that there had been a significant increase in claims related to the DePuy hip replacement recall.

As 345 compensation claims were filed against the State in the first six months of 2012 (as opposed to 542 in the whole of 2011), and the Statute of Limitations expired in August 2012 for many victims of the DePuy hip replacement recall, Mr Breen´s outlook may appear unjustifiably depressing. However, some compensation claims filed against the State are finding their way to court long after they might previously have been time-barred.

In July this year, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court judgement in favour of Olivia Kearney who, forty-three years beforehand, had went throufh a symphysiotomy procedure which the High Court determined was “entirely unjustified and unwarranted”. Should the remaining two hundred survivors of the symphysiotomy procedure be permitted to make compensation claims against the State, Mr Breen´s forecast could be very conservative indeed.

Compensation claims against the State for hospital negligence account for a small number of claims managed by the State Claims Agency – the majority are for public liability and employer liability – but account for almost 90 percent of the value of claims each year. In 2011, the value of the 542 compensation claims against the State for medical negligence amounted to 860 million Euros.

Lack Of Oxygen at Birth Compensation Approved in Court

August 30th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman, who was starved of oxygen at birth and has suffered a lifetime of learning difficulties, has had a settlement of lack of oxygen compensation approved at London´s Royal Courts of Justice.

Susanne Turner (45) from Wittersham in Kent was given birth to at Buchanan Street Hospital in St Leonards-on-Sea after a delayed Caesarean operation due to neither a surgeon nor an anaesthetist being available to perform the procedure. Due to this, Susanne was deprived of oxygen in the womb, unable to breathe independently when she was born and sustained serious brain damage.

Susanne´s parents – Christopher and Sandra – raised Susanne without financial assistance, and unaware that they were entitled to claim compensation for lack of oxygen at birth, until they read a magazine article which explained Susanne´s rights to compensation.

When they sought legal advice about the situation they found themselves in, Christopher and Sandra discovered that – as Susanne did not have the mental capacity to bring a claim for mismanaged birth compensation herself – they were still within the time frame allowed to sue the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority for the negligent situation which had occurred in 1967.

After reviewing the claim for lack of oxygen at birth compensation, South East Coast Strategic Health Authority quickly admitted their liability for Susanne´s birth injury and, at the Royal Courts of Justice, issued a formal apology for the mismanagement of Susanne´s birth.

Approving the settlement of lack of oxygen at birth compensation, which will take the form of annual payments and a lump sum payment to pay for a specially-adapted home for Susanne, judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies paid tribute to Christopher and Sandra´s “love and devotion”. The settlement is believed to be worth 4.2 million pounds and will provide Susanne with the care she needs for the rest of her life.

Heart Surgery Medical Negligence Compensation Awarded by Court

June 16th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A court in Pasadena, California, has awarded a woman who grew up with an avoidable heart condition due to “baffling” post-natal surgery one million dollars in heart surgery medical negligence compensation.

The woman, who was not named in court, was born in the Huntingdon Hospital in May 1979 with a heart problem. An operation the day following her delivery was supposed to repair the septal wall which separated the left and right chambers of the heart; however the Los Angeles County Superior Court heard that during the operation the vena cava artery – the artery which carries de-oxygenised blood to the heart – was connected to the wrong side of the septal wall and, as a consequence, the flow of blood was directed into the heart´s left chamber instead of the right.

Due to the surgical error, the girl grew up with permanent oxygen deprivation which caused hypoxia, physical disabilities and other health problems, and it was not until 2007 that the cause of the problem was identified. The court heard that the claimant had surgery shortly before her thirtieth birthday in 2009 to correct the problem, and subsequently sought legal advice about making a claim for heart surgery medical negligence compensation in relation to the initial error.

The defence for the negligent surgeon – Dr Alan Gazzaniga – argued that it was too late to make a claim for heart surgery medical negligence compensation according to the Statute of Limitations; however the claimant´s counsel successfully argued that the woman could not have been expected to known that her heart condition was the result of Dr Gazzaniga´s medical negligence prior to the discovery of the error in 2007 – with the claim subsequently made within the Statute of Limitations after the discovery of the negligent heart surgery.

In court, the physician who corrected the heart mistake described Dr. Gazzaniga´s work in court as “baffling” and “incorrect” and along with two other cardiothoracic surgeons, a cardiologist, a paediatric cardiologist and a vocational rehabilitation specialist, argued that the woman´s heart condition and subsequent problems could have been avoided had it not been for the negligence of Dr. Gazzaniga.

After three weeks of litigation, the jury at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pasadena returned a verdict in favour of the claimant and awarded her one million dollars in heart surgery medical negligence compensation, having found Dr. Gazzaniga guilty of medical negligence by demonstrating a lack of skill – or the ability to demonstrate that skill – during the first surgical operation.

Brain Operation Negligence Compensation Awarded

May 23rd, 2012. By Compensation News.

An ex-paramedic, who was left severely disabled after doctors removed the wrong part of his brain, has accepted a seven figure settlement of compensation for negligent brain operation from the NHS Trust responsible for the error.

John Tunney (63) from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, underwent the procdure in April 2008 after an MRI scan had revealed abnormalities around his pituitary gland. However, instead of extracting the tumour, surgeons took away healthy tissue during the operation which resulted in John´s brain haemorrhaging.

The error left John partly blind and requiring 24 hour care. He later found that the operation had not even been necessary as doctors had failed to check the results of a blood test which would have revealed that John was suffering from prolactinoma – a benign and common pituitary tumour which can be treated with tablets.

After taking legal guidance, John – who worked for the West Midlands Ambulance Service as a paramedic for 23 years – made a claim for negligent brain operation compensation against the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and, after an investigation, the NHS Trust admitted liability for the dual error.

John´s solicitors entered into negotiations with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust over how much compensation for negligent brain operation should be awarded and, although details of the final settlement have not been released, a settlement in excess of one million pounds has been agreed.

Negligent Foetal Monitoring Procedure Compensation Approved in Court

April 27th, 2012. By Compensation News.

An eleven-year-old girl, who suffered catastrophic injuries due to avoidable errors made prior to her delivery, has had a settlement of compensation for negligent foetal monitoring procedure approved at London´s High Court.

Milly Evans from Cranwell in Lincolnshire was given birth to at the Lincoln County Hospital on 1st March 2001, but shortly after her birth suffered a seizure which resulted in her developing cerebral palsy. Her injury was of such severity that Milly is now restricted to a wheelchair, requires 24 hour care and communicates through sophisticated eye-gaze equipment.

The seizure was put down to negligent observation shortly before the delivery which, if the baby’s heart had been properly monitored, would have shown that the foetus was distressed and Milly´s birth would have been brought forward – avoiding her catastrophic injuries.

Although United Lincolnshire Hospital NHS Trust accepted liability for Milly´s injuries, the amount of compensation for negligent foetal monitoring was contested and, due to the delay, Milly´s father – Andy Evans – had to give up his career as a Red Arrows pilot.

Sir Robert Nelson at the High Court heard that an agreement had now been reached on a compensation for negligent foetal monitoring procedure package which consisted of a lump sum payment of 5.86 million pounds and lifelong annual periodic payments increasing over time to 204,000 pounds per year.

Speaking after Sir Robert Nelson had approved the settlement, the Evans family said that the money would be used to construct a properly adapted home which would be big enough for Milly to have access to all the rooms and include a hydrotherapy pool.

Windpipe Injury Operation Negligence Compensation for Mother

March 18th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman, who had to undergo a tracheostomy operation after a negligent doctor severed a nerve in her neck in a previous surgical procedure, has won an undisclosed settlement of compensation for windpipe injury operation negligence.

Joanne Roche (42) from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, underwent the initial operation in February 2008 at the Scarborough Royal Infirmary when she was admitted for routine surgery to remove a thyroid gland. However, when she woke up from the anaesthetic, Joanne knew immediately that something was not correct.

The surgeon who had carried out the operation – Dr Nayef El-Bhargouti – had severed a nerve to Joanne´s vocal chords, which were blocking her airways, leaving her struggling to breathe whenever she lay back and unable to talk.

Although she was permitted to leave hospital, and even return to her part-time job as a health-care assistant, Joanne´s condition failed to improve. Four months after her initial operation she had to undergo a tracheostomy procedure to insert a tube into her throat to enable her to breathe more clearly.

Joanne, initially had no intention of making a claim for windpipe injury operation negligence compensation, but after the tracheostomy had been inserted, Joanne was unable to speak without placing a hand over the opening in her throat, has become more prone to infections and has to avoid family events – such as swimming – where there is a risk that water may get into her lungs.

After taking legal counsel, Joanne made a medical negligence windpipe operation claim against Dr Nayef El-Bhargouti and the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Trust. In the course of constructing the claim, Joanne´s solicitors found that Dr Nayef El-Bhargouti was not skilled in thyroid surgery and her operation had been done in half the time it should have.

Joanne filed a complaint to the General Medical Council, who suspended the doctor from practising. After such a clear indication of liability, the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust made an undisclosed offer of compensation for windpipe injury operation negligence which Joanne accepted and which will enable her to afford special breathing apparatus so that she may enjoy swimming with her children once again.

NHS Negligence Compensation Claims in UK Against on the Rise

January 20th, 2012. By Compensation News.

Increased awareness of patient rights has resulted in a serious increase in claims for medical negligence against the National Health Service (NHS). According to UK government figures, the number of claims made in the past five years has gone up from 5,697 to 8,655 per year, and has forced the NHS Litigation Authority to seek additional funding from the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansbury.

Tom Fothergill, financial director of the NHS Litigation Authority, confessed that marketing by “No Win, No Fee” solicitors had contributed to the public body´s financial shortfall and had added a premium to legal costs. However, he was also eager to point out that legislation which linked the wages of claimants´ carers to earnings rather than inflation has also led to increased payouts.

With approximately 100 claims for NHS negligence compensation a year relating to birth injury compensation, and the average value of each claim close to 6 million pounds in the lifetime of the child, an improvement in the survival rates of brain damaged babies – who will require a lifetime of care – has also placed significant strain on the NHS Litigation Authority´s budget.

A further 185 million pounds will be needed by the NHS Litigation Authority to prevent it running out of money by the end of the financial year, a sum which has been approved by Mr Lansbury and health minister Lord Howe. Following the publication of the bail-out Lord Howe said “Following a review of claims, we have made additional funds available to the NHS Litigation Authority in order to make sure that those claimants who are entitled to compensation receive it in a timely way.”

Cancer Misdiagnosis Neglience Compensation for Hospital Victim

December 12th, 2011. By Compensation News.

A woman who had her stomach erroneously removed after being misdiagnosed with cancer has won her hospital negligence claim and received an undisclosed cancer misdiagnosis negligence compensation settlement from Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust.

The 74-year-old woman from Rugeley, Staffordshire, underwent the surgery in 2004 after doctors advised her that a tumour in her stomach was malignant. She later discovered from support staff that her test results had been misinterpreted and that the tumour was benign.

As a result of her operation and long recuperation period the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has lost significant weight and suffers from painful digestive problems. She has been unable to go on with the voluntary work she did before the operation and now requires regular care and assistance.

The undisclosed out-of-court cancer misdiagnosis negligence compensation claim settlement has been calculated to include the psychological trauma of being told that she had a life-threatening tumour inside of her and the deterioration in her quality of life due to the unnecessary surgery. It will enable the woman to get a higher level of care in the future and support to help her recover from her emotional ordeal.

Medical Clinical Negligence Hearing Man Awarded 17,300 Pounds

November 25th, 2011. By Compensation News.

A Devon man has been awarded a total of 17,300 Pounds in medical clinical negligence compensation after the unauthorised access of his medical records resulted in the exacerbation of his paranoid personality disorder.

Judge Cotter QC, sitting at the Plymouth County Court, was told how the medical records of Sean Robert Grinyer of Plymouth, Devon, had been access and disclosed by Mr Grinyer´s ex-partner who was, at the time of the offence in December 2007, working at the hospital as a nurse.

This unauthorised access and disclosure was alleged by Mr Grinyer´s legal counsel to be in breach of S.13 of the Data Protection Act 1988 and the action by the claimant´s partner, plus a claimed mis-handling of his subsequent complaint, had caused Mr Grinyer´s pre-existing paranoid personality disorder to worsen. It was also alleged in the action against Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust that the deterioration in his condition had also caused Mr Grinyer to reject an offer of temporary employment.

After hearing expert medical testimony in respect of Mr Grinyer´s paranoid personality disorder, Judge Cotter QC ruled that the exacerbation of his condition did indeed constitute an injury and was due to negligence on behalf of the Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust. The judge awarded Mr Grinyer 12,500 Pounds in medical clinical negligence compensation for the injuries he had sustained plus a further 4,800 Pounds for loss of earnings when unable to accept the offer of employment.

Birth Brain Damage Compensation Settlement Approved

October 23rd, 2011. By Compensation News.

An eleven year old girl, who was starved of oxygen during her birth and is now permanently brain damaged, has had a birth brain damage compensation settlement of 1.75 million pounds approved at the High Court.

The anonymous girl was born at West Sussex Hospital in 2000 but, during her delivery, obstetric staff failed to notice signs of foetal distress. The girl is not able to walk or talk, and uses an electric scooter for mobility and a computer to communicate.

“I am constantly amazed by the triumph of hope over adversity” ssaid Mr Justice Butterfield, as he approved the  birth brain damage compensation settlement against the West Sussex NHS Trust which includes an immediate lump sum payment of 1.75 million pounds and annual payments to fund a lifetime of care.

Mr Justice Butterfield also had words for the girl´s parents, stating that “The devotion and care of her parents is undoubted and we very much hope that this sum of money will provide her with the very best possible future.”

Birth Cerebral Palsy Girl Awarded Compensation

July 25th, 2011. By Compensation News.

A twelve-year-old girl, who sustained brain damage due to errors made during her delivery, has been awarded 5 million pounds in a birth cerebral palsy compensation settlement.

Sophie Clarke (12) from Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf, was born in 1998 at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. However, a gross abnormality of Sophie´s heart rate was not recognised, despite it being picked up on monitoring equipment.

Had staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital recognised Sophie´s condition, they would have intervened and delivery her by Caesarean Section. However, they allowed the birth to continue naturally, causing Sophie to suffer from a lack of oxygen in the womb.

Sophie suffers from severe cerebral palsy as a result of the mistakes made and now needs twenty-four hour care, is fed via a tube and is confined to a wheelchair.

Solicitors acting on behalf of the family sued the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board for birth cerebral palsy negligence, and in a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court the negotiated settlement of 5 million pounds was approved.

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