Injury Compensation News
Hospital death settlements are made by by the Health Service Executive when it can be proven that a loved one has died due to hospital negligence. As a claim for hospital death settlements cannot be made directly to the Injuries Board, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances surrounding your loved one´s death with a personal solicitor as soon as you have recovered from the shock of your loss.
Tuesday, 3 December, 2013
A family from Dromahair in County Sligo have heard the settlement of their claim for fatal hospital errors approved in the High Court following the death of Dhara Kivlehan three years ago from avoidable multiple organ failure.
On 20th September 2010, Dhara (29) was admitted to Sligo General Hospital for the delivery of her first child after having experienced painless contractions for two days. Dhara was two weeks passed her due date and, on examination, was exhibiting signs of pre-eclampsia – high blood pressure and fluid retention around her ankles (also known as oedema).
Blood taken from Dhara showed that she had abnormal kidney and liver function (a further symptom of pre-eclampsia), but no action was taken due the results of the blood tests not being communicated to Dhara´s doctors for twelve hours. The morning following her admission, Dhara gave birth to her son -Dior – by Caesarean Section and was transferred to a side room off of the main Maternity Ward.
While Dhara was in the side room, her condition started to deteriorate, but it was not until 4.45pm the following day that she was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at Sligo General Hospital. At 11.00pm that evening, Dhara´s condition became critical and she was air-lifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to receive specialist treatment.
Dhara died four days later due to multiple organ failure secondary to HELLP syndrome – a variant of pre-eclampsia – but, as yet, both the Belfast coroner and the Sligo coroner have declined requests to conduct a post-mortem.
Dhara´s husband – Michael – believing that the symptoms of haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and a low latelet count were not identified and treated in time to prevent his wife´s death, made a compensation claim for fatal hospital errors against the Health Service Executive (HSE) – alleging that the Sligo general Hospital had breached its duty of care and that the care provided for Dhara once she had given birth to Dior was negligent.
The HSE denied that there had been a failure in the duty of care by Sligo General Hospital in the treatment that Dhara had received, but Michael persevered with his claim, and a court hearing was scheduled to determine whether the HSE had a case to answer.
Shortly before the claim for fatal hospital errors was due to be presented in court, the HSE acknowledged that there had been shortcomings in the care provided for Dhara both before and after the birth of her son, and an €800,000 settlement of compensation for fatal hospital errors was negotiated.
At the High Court in Dublin, the family heard a statement read out to them in which the HSE apologised unreservedly for the errors that had been made which led to Dhara´s death and offered their condolences to Michael and Dior.
Following the apology, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of compensation for fatal hospital errors, and also used the opportunity to criticise the HSE for “holding out until almost the bitter end” before admitting liability, and consequently causing the Kivlehan family unnecessary distress.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Delayed Diagnosis, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Tuesday, 6 August, 2013
An Australian family has indicated they will be making a claim for a hospital death due to a lack of care following a hearing into the fatal accident in which a 26 year-old drowned while taking a bath.
The report followed the death of Amy Hauserman in March 2008, who had voluntarily been admitted to the Frankston Hospital in Melbourne after doctors feared she was showing signs of schizophrenia which had resulted in Amy previously suffering with anorexia.
Two days after her admission, Amy died from “a hypoxic brain injury in a setting of immersion” which Coroner Peter White attributed to either Amy lapsing into an unconscious state during the bath or slipping and falling as she tried to get out of it.
The Coroner noted that no risk assessment had been conducted as to whether it was safe for her to take a bath unsupervised and that Amy´s consultant had not been consulted beforehand. He also said at the inquest hearing that the absence of supervision was a primary feature of Amy´s death as it would have been avoided had a nurse been present in the bathroom.
One of the nurses involved in Amy´s care gave evidence at the inquest that she was unaware there was a protocol for patients taking baths, but her testimony was contradicted by the Hospital´s Head of Nursing who said that all psychiatric ward patients should only be allowed to take a bath unsupervised after a risk assessment had been conducted.
After the Coroner´s verdict had been delivered, Amy´s father made a statement in which he confirmed that the family would be making a claim for a hospital death due to a lack of care on the grounds that had staff at the Frankston Hospital “showed her the due and proper care she deserved, she would still be us now”.
The Mornington Peninsula Health Service – against who the compensation claim for a hospital death due to a lack of care has been made – failed to comment on Mr Hauserman´s allegations; however a court date in May 2014 has now been set for the claim to be heard.
Posted in Falls in Hospitals, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Wednesday, 17 July, 2013
The High Court has heard that a family has settled its compensation claim against the HSE, made after the death of Eileen Maloney at Mayo General Hospital in February 2009.
Eileen (69) from Pullathomas in County Mayo had been admitted to Mayo General Hospital on 1st February 2009 complaining of a severe pain in the abdomen. Because it was the weekend and no doctor was available, the family alleged that an X-ray showing an obstruction in her small intestine was not reviewed and her perforated bowel misdiagnosed.
It was not until the following Friday that Eileen was given a CT scan – which revealed a tumour had developed in her large bowel – but despite Eileen being in constant pain, surgery was not scheduled until the Thursday of the next week. The family claimed in their action against the HSE that, had this scan be reviewed properly, Eileen´s perforated bowel would have been identified and surgery brought forward.
Eileen died five days after the operation to remove the tumour, and the family alleged in their compensation claim against the HSE they were told that Eileen – who was suffering from cancer – would have survived the surgery, and would have had at least six months to live, had the correct diagnosis been made at the time of her admission and the appropriate treatment provided.
Mayo general Hospital and the HSE denied their responsibility for Eileen´s wrongful death and disputed the family´s right to claim compensation for mental anguish due to hospital negligence. However, at the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart was told that an agreement had been reached which would see the compensation claim against the HSE settled for €50,000 without admission of liability.
After hearing the circumstances of Eileen´s death – which Mr Justice Michael Peart described as “very, very tragic” – the judge approved the settlement of the family´s claim.
Posted in Delayed Diagnosis, Doctor Negligence Claims, Failure to Diagnose, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Friday, 5 July, 2013
The husband of Savita Halappanavar has announced that he is seeking compensation for hospital negligence after the HSE report was release into the circumstances of her death in October last year.
Savita died at the University Hospital in Galway one week after having attended the Accident and Emergency department complaining of acute back pain. She was found to be in the process of miscarrying her 17 week foetus and was sent home.
Savita returned to the hospital later in the day as the pain had not subsided and was admitted under the care of consultant doctor Dr Katherine Astbury. Savita´s waters broke the following morning and requested a termination, but was told to “await events” as an abortion was not possible while there was still a foetal heartbeat.
Savita´s condition continued to deteriorate – during which time she was misdiagnosed by Dr Astbury as suffering from sepsis after the consultant doctor had failed to read the patient notes made the previous evening. Dr Astbury eventually consulted with a senior colleague about a termination, but a scan later revealed that Savita´s baby was already dead.
After being moved into theatre, Savita spontaneously delivered her deceased baby and was later moved into intensive care suffering from septic shock. The following morning it was discovered that Savita had developed severe septicaemia due to E.coli ESBL, due to which she became critically ill and, on Sunday October 28th, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died of multiple organ failure.
A verdict of medical misadventure was delivered at the inquest into Savita´s death, but a subsequent Health Service Executive investigation failed to identify who was to blame for the negligent treatment Savita received or acknowledge liability for her death; prompting family and friends to describe the investigation as a “whitewash”.
In order to get answers to the questions which remain after the investigation, Savita´s husband – Praveen Halappanavar – has made a claim for compensation for hospital negligence against the University Hospital Galway and the HSE alleging that the hospital failed to treat, failed to follow up blood tests, and failed to diagnose.
The University Hospital Galway and the HSE have not yet indicated whether they will acknowledge liability before a court date is arranged to resolve the claim for hospital negligence compensation.
Posted in Delayed Diagnosis, E.coli Infection Claims, Failure to Diagnose, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 9 May, 2013
A grieving family have had a settlement of compensation for a casualty department misdiagnosis approved after hearing a statement read out in court apologising for the healthcare that resulted in death of their son.
The parents of eight-year-old Richard de Souza made their claim for compensation for a casualty department misdiagnosis following the events of February 2011, when Ralmon and Flavia de Souza attended the A&E department of the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise with their son who was suffering from chicken pox.
The two parents were concerned about a large swelling under Richard´s left arm that was hot to touch and were told by a doctor at the hospital that Richard had developed an infection. The doctor prescribed a three-day supply of antibiotics and sent the family home.
However, later that evening, Richard developed a great thirst and became delirious. The following morning he complained of feeling the need to vomit before passing out at the family home in Athy, County Kildare. An ambulance was called, but Richard was in a state of cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived and he was declared dead on arrival at the Midland Regional Hospital.
At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Richard´s cause of death was a streptococcal infection which led to toxic shock syndrome. She was told that a patient displaying a high temperature and high pulse and heart rate would normally be admitted to hospital straight away and that had Richard been administered intravenous antibiotics at the time it would have saved his life.
The judge also heard that Ralmon de Souza had to be hospitalised due to the severity of the nervous shock he sustained on hearing about his son´s death and, because of Ralmon´s grief, eight-month pregnant Flavia de Souza had to attend her son´s funeral alone. Both parents were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following Richard´s death.
As part of the €160,000 settlement of the de Souza´s claim for a casualty department misdiagnosis, an apology was read out in court apologising for the mistakes which led to Richard de Souza´s death. After hearing the apology, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of compensation for a casualty department misdiagnosis.
Posted in Children's Injury Claims, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Friday, 8 February, 2013
The High Court has awarded a mother €100,000 compensation for a failed sterilisation after the son she was never supposed to give birth to died after only six months of life.
Karen Hurley-Ahern (41) from Newcastlewest, County Limerick, underwent the sterilisation procedure in February 2001 after discovering from her GP that she had a rare blood-clotting disorder that would pose a risk to herself and her unborn child if ever she were to fall pregnant again.
The operation was performed by gynaecologist Dr Victor Moore at the Tralee General Hospital in County Kerry, but in April 2002 Karen fell pregnant again and, after a difficult pregnancy, gave birth to baby Samuel on 10th October 2002 – six weeks early and by emergency Caesarean section.
Samuel suffered from severe abnormalities which were unrelated to Karen´s sterilisation procedure, and remained in hospital for six months – kept alive by a series of life -support machines. In April 2003, Samuel suffered a severe heart attack and Karen and her partner – Garrett Ahern – made the painful decision to switch off the life-support machines.
After seeking legal advice, Karen and Garrett made a claim for failed sterilisation compensation against Dr Moore and the Southern Health Board (now the Health Service Executive), for the suffering and trauma the couple had been through due to the unsuccessful procedure.
Dr Moore and the HSE denied liability – claiming that the procedure had been performed correctly and the couple had been warned that there was a risk of failure. However, in the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Sean Ryan found in favour of the now-separated claimants – acknowledging that Samuel´s disability was not a consequence of the failed sterilisation procedure, but stating that Karen had suffered to a significant extent due to the defendant´s negligence.
Awarding Karen €100,000 compensation for a failed sterilisation, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said that the award of compensation was in respect of the worry she had experienced when she discovered she was pregnant, the pain of childbirth, the distress of Samuel´s condition and distress after his death. However, no award was made to Garrett as – according to Mt Justice Sean Ryan – while he had undoubtedly endured emotional anguish, there was no proof Garrett had suffered a defined psychiatric injury.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Doctor Negligence Claims, Hospital Death Settlements, Medical Negligence Claims, Professional Negligence, Psychological Injury Claims, Surgical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 31 January, 2013
A widower, who lost his wife after she had given birth to their son via a C-section procedure, has made a claim for death after Caesarean against the Health Service Executive.
Dhara Kivlehan (29) from Dromahair, County Sligo, gave birth to her son – Dior – on 21st September 2010 at Sligo General Hospital via a Caesarean section operation but, soon after the procedure, developed multiple organ failure secondary to HELLP syndrome – a variant of pre-eclampsia. Dhara was rushed to Belfast´s Royal Victoria Hospital to receive specialist treatment, but died on September 29th.
Dhara´s husband – Kevin Kivlehan (33) – asked the Belfast Coroner John Lecky for an inquest into his wife´s death, but his request was turned down. Now he has asked the Coroner for Sligo to investigate the circumstances of his wife´s death and made a claim for death after Caesarean against the Health Service Executive (HSE).
No decision has yet been made by the Sligo Coroner, but the HSE is expected to defend themselves against the claim for death after Caesarean, and the alleged breach of duty and alleged negligence claimed by Kevin Kivlehan, after the symptoms of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and a low latelet count were allegedly not identified and treated in time to prevent his wife´s death.
A High Court decision on whether the HSE have a case to answer in respect of the claim for death after Caesarean is expected soon.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Delayed Diagnosis, Hospital Death Settlements, Medical Negligence Claims, Surgical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Saturday, 15 December, 2012
A woman, who child was delivered stillborn due to the necessary blood not being available on an ambulance, has been awarded €170,000 stillborn child compensation in the High Court.
Fiona Ni Chonchubhair (36) from Killarney, County Kerry, was thirty-one weeks pregnant when she attended the Tralee Hospital in May 2009 suffering from internal bleeding. An ambulance was arranged to transfer her to Cork University Hospital – some 71 miles away – but the ambulance was not equipped with blood transfusion equipment.
A further delay of 20 minutes, when the ambulance crew could not locate the accident and emergency unit, led to Fiona losing a substantial amount of blood and despite being immediately operated on and given six units of blood on her arrival at Cork University Hospital, the treatment came too late to save her baby, who was delivered stillborn by Caesarean section.
Fiona and her husband – Stephen Cotter – made a claim for stillborn child compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE) alleging that, had she received a transfusion en route to Cork University Hospital, Fiona would have suffered a less severe level of hypovolaemic shock, which would have provided sufficient oxygen to her child to ensure its survival.
The couple´s claim included compensation for the post-traumatic stress, severe bereavement disorder and adjustment disorder that Fiona had suffered, and also for the cost of renting a home in Cork during a later pregnancy so that Fiona would be closer to the hospital. After an investigation into the stillborn child claim for compensation, the HSE admitted liability and issued and apologised to Fiona and Stephen.
At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said that the HSE had demonstrated “extraordinary ineptitude” and that it was “scarcely credible” in this day and age an ambulance would be arranged for a patient suffering from internal bleed without someone thinking of having the necessary cross-matched blood for transfusion.
Hearing that the claim for stillborn child compensation was before him for the assessment of damages only, Mr Justice Sean Ryan told Fiona that he could only determine compensation for a stillborn child on the basis of legal principles and not based on his sense of indignation, and awarded the couple €170,000 in stillborn child compensation.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Mental Stress Claims, Psychological Injury Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Monday, 15 October, 2012
The family of a woman who died 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 died 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 – claiming 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 resulted in a verdict of death by medical adventure, following which Evelyn´s husband – Padraic Flanagan – made a claim for medical misadventure compensation against the Health Service Executive and consultant obstetrician, Dr Murtada Mohamed. It was alleged 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 initially 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 maximum allowable 25,395 Euros for mental distress and payments for each of Evelyn´s two children as they grow older.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Doctor Negligence Claims, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Tuesday, 21 February, 2012
The family of a man who died in hospital due to “an unjustifiable delay” in his treatment have received an apology from the hospital in question and 500,000 Euros compensation in settlement of their wrongful death claim.
Barry Murphy (38) from Carrigaline, County Cork, was known to suffer from Crohn´s Disease – but was generally in good health – when he was admitted to the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital on the morning of 24th April 2008 complaining of abdominal pains. Barry was diagnosed with a perforated bowl but, by the time the hospital operated on him, parts of his body had already shut down due to septic shock and he died at 11.15pm the same evening.
Barry´s widow, Mary, claimed that the hospital had not cared for her husband by failing to operate on him in time, and that they were guilty of medical negligence in the avoidable and wrongful death of her husband. The South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital initially denied the claims, but in front of Mr Justice John Quirke at the Dublin High Court apologised to the family and admitted that the level of care that was provided for Barry fell short of an acceptable standard.
The apology and admission of liability for Mary Murphy´s wrongful death claim was accompanied with an offer of compensation for delayed treatment amounting to 500,000 Euros. Mr Justice John Quirke approved the settlement, once he had Mary Murphy´s agreement that it was acceptable, and extended his sympathies to Mary and her two daughters – commenting that what had happened to Barry was “unthinkable” and “tragic”.
Posted in Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »