High Court Approves Surgical Negligence Settlement

The High Court of Dublin has approved a €7.1 million settlement of compensation for a man who was left severely paralysed after he was deprived of oxygen during a surgery.

The patient in question, who has remained anonymous throughout proceedings though is known to be forty-six years old and an ex-barrister, attended the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry, Dublin, with pains in his back. The patient then elected to have voluntary surgery in the hope of relieving the pain. This surgery was carried out in 2014, and though the spinal surgery was considered a success, it transpired that the patient had been deprived of oxygen during the procedure.

During the surgery, the patient’s anaesthetic was not adequately administered and as a result his brain was deprived of oxygen. Since then, he has been reliant on round-the-clock care in a residential care home. He is able to respond to some external stimuli, such as the presence of his children, though has very limited communication otherwise. His family hope that, in the future, he will be able to return to live with them in Clonee, Co. Meath.

The patient’s wife made a claim for medical negligence compensation on his behalf against Deirdre Lohan, the anaesthetist who acted negligently during the procedure. Though Lohan initially contested any allegations of liability, the parties eventually negotiated a compensation settlement of €7.1 million. As it was made on behalf of a claimant unable to represent themselves in court, before the settlement could be paid it first needed to be approved by a judge in the High Court.

Earlier this month, Mr Justice Kevin Cross oversaw proceedings at the approval hearing. After hearing that the costs of the patient’s care were being supported by a trust fund established by his friends and former colleagues, Judge Cross heard that the patient’s wife was happy to accept the settlement, as she wanted the distress of the legal proceedings behind her.

Judge Cross approved the seven-figure settlement for medical negligence and offered his own sympathies towards the family.