The High Court in Dublin has approved a compensation settlement for medical negligence to a woman whose knee fracture was missed upon initial examination.

Amy Rose McGowan (31) was in training to participate in the Special Olympics World Games when she fell and damaged her knee while practicing  for the 50 metre race. She was immediately brought to Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, where she was attended to. X-rays were taken of the area, and she was told that she suffered soft tissue damage to her knee. The joint was strapped for support, and she was released without further care.

However, a month after the accident, Amy Rose developed increased pain in the area. She consulted her GP, who subsequently diagnosed Amy Rose with a depressed fracture. The injury had been overlooked at the hospital during her initial consultation. Unfortunately, due to the late diagnoses, it was too late to perform the necessary corrective surgery. Amy Rose was no longer able to train to compete in the Special Olympics in Athens, scheduled to take place in 2011.

On behalf of her daughter, Charlotte McGowan made a claim against the Health Service Executive (HSE) for compensation due to the missed knee fracture. She stated that the initial care her daughter had received had been negligent, as well as the missed diagnoses. An investigation was launched into the case.

The HSE admitted liability to the missed diagnoses. They acknowledged that the emergency department overlooked the depressed fracture upon initial inspection. The defendants made an offer of €142,000 as a settlement, which Charlotte agreed upon on behalf of her daughter. However, due to Amy Rose’s intellectual disability, the sum had to be approved by a judge in court.

Mr Justice Michael Peart heard how the athlete’s career had been cut short as a result of the accident, and expressed pity at this statement. Amy Rose had won 34 medals and 10 trophies over her career as a swimmer and athlete, but was unable to continue due to the incident. The judge approved the settlement offered by the HSE.



The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has received a report indicating that most claims for GP malpractice are the result of missed or delayed diagnoses.

The report, compiled by the Centre for Primary Care Research in Dublin, revealed that such claims for compensation frequently featured cases such as medication errors or missed diagnoses. The delay in diagnoses of colon cancer and breast cancer were altogether the cause of more claims of malpractice against GPs than any other form of such medical negligence.

The primary aim of the report was to identify which areas of primary medical care should be the focus of future educational strategies for the medical profession, and when developing risk management systems for such professionals.

Along with breast and colon cancer, cancers of the skin, female genital tract and lungs were all frequently misdiagnosed or identified late. The report indicated that appendicitis and meningitis in were the illnesses most likely to be misdiagnosed in children.

Dr Emma Wallace – the lead researcher of the new report-acknowledged that one of the reasons for the surge of late or missed diagnoses is due to the increase in the number of patients being referred to consultants, often unnecessarily. The number of malpractice claims against GPs in Ireland continues to increase, causing doctors to practice more defensively, this causing the increase in the number of referrals.

According to Dr Wallace, doctors facing such claims offer a reduced level of service and care due to the stress that is associated with such a malpractice allegation. Therefore, more patients are at placed at risk of a medication error or missed diagnosis as a result.

She commented that such a review is “timely considering the increased interest in focusing on primary care as a way of improving patient care and safety”, hoping that a review of this nature would provide an insight into the best way forward in reducing the number of GP malpractice claims in Ireland.

Hospital found Guilty of Negligence

A ten-year-old boy who sustained severe brain damage leaving him with dyskinetic cerebral palsy has had his compensation claim adjourned for the assessment of damages.

Eoin Murphy of Malahide, County Dublin sustained his brain injury during his birth on the 12th July 2002 after the hospital failed to resuscitate him for seventeen minutes while the paediatric registrar was found after he was born with near total acute hypoxic ischaemia.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine found the Coombe Women’s Hospital guilty of negligence which resulted in the catastrophic brain injury to the boy.

Compensation Settlement for € 9 million Agreed

Two years after Brid Courtney was awarded an interim payment of € 2 million for brain injury after delayed hospital action during her birth, the High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for her injury.

An expert told the court that a further € 9 million would be needed to provide adequate care for the nine-year-old for the rest of her life.

The child suffered catastrophic brain damage after hospital staff allegedly failed to react to a dramatic change in her heart pattern during her birth at Tralee General Hospital in February 2003. The brain injury has left the girl confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine agreed with the expert and awarded the victim – represented by her mother – € 9 million.

Girl Suffering from Erbs Palsy Settles with Hospital

A 14-year-old girl from Cork has had a compensation settlement for €700,000 approved by the High Court after she was born with Erbs Palsy in 1998.

Aoife James (14) from Douglas in Cork suffers from the birth injury which was caused by the over-extension of the nerves between the neck and shoulder during delivery. Usually the injury heals but in this case the condition remained on her right hand side. Aoife’s condition has not improved despite intense physiotherapy and two operations and she is still unable to carry out basic tasks such as wash herself or dry her hair using her right arm.

Claiming on behalf of her daughter Carol James is making the claim for compensation on the basis that her injury was caused by medical negligence by consultant obstetrician Patrick Kieran of the Cork Clinic, Western Road, Cork during her birth which the family were willing to accept.

Boy’s has Compensation Settlement with Hospital Approved

A boy who suffered brain damage during his birth and now has cerebral palsy has had his compensation settlement for birth injury approved by the High Court in Dublin.

 Kyle McMahon from Nenagh in County Tipperary was born at the St Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital in Limerick. Labour had been induced to speed up his birth as his mother Theresa McMahon had been admitted to hospital due to high blood pressure. During the birth however Kyle was starved of oxygen and now requires round-the-clock care as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Claiming on his behalf his mother argued that his injury could have been avoided if the situation had been handled better. The Health Service Executive and St Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital did not dispute the allegations and a settlement was agreed.

Wrong Medication Leads to Patient Deaths

Four patients died while in hospital care between January 2004 and December 2010 after they were given medication to which they had a known allergy. These figures were released by the State Claims Agency which is responsible for the clinical indemnity scheme on behalf of the healthcare system.

Earlier this year figures were released showing that over a seven year period 35,310 incidents were recorded and in certain instances patients became ill and had to be admitted to intensive care in the hospital.124 of these resulted in a compensation claim for medical negligence due to a reaction to a known allergen. Studies carried out show that many of the errors were due to the complicated system in place for administrating medicine.

Patient lobby groups believe that treatment incidents are still under-reported in Ireland despite the acknowledgment of more than 5,000 medication errors each year.

Doctor Found Liable for Severe Brain Damage

The doctor who oversaw the birth of 13-year-old girl that was left with severe disabilities after he delayed her birth for no apparent reason has been found liable for a 3.75 million euro medical negligence settlement that was agreed previously in her case.

The High Court heard that consultant obstetrician; Dr. Raymond Howard delayed the birth of Nicole Hassett of Clonmel, County Tipperary by over half an hour on November 15 1997 for ‘absolutely no apparent reason’. In the original court action the settlement was agreed against the South Eastern Health Board (now the Health and Safety Executive – HSE) with Dr. Howard and the UK-based Medical Defence Union as third parties but Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill ruled that Dr.Howard was liable as he failed to adequately perform his duties and failed to provide the child with a duty of care.

€2 million Partial Settlement for Birth Injury Agreed

A partial settlement of €2 million has been agreed in the High Court for a baby who suffered a serious birth injury during her birth.

Brid Courtney was born at Tralee General Hospital but their failure to deliver the baby as soon as possible allegedly caused her to suffer brain damage. Claiming on behalf of her daughter Deirdre Courtney is also arguing that the hospital did not take account a sudden change in the heart rate pattern of the baby.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) agreed to the settlement but did not admit liability.

‘Medical Accident’ to blame for Death of Young Woman

The coroner’s court has determined that a medical accident led to the death of a woman who was mistakenly diagnosed with a migraine by the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

One month later the 21-year-old died from a large subarachnoid haemorrhage.  The error came despite the victim’s repeated requests for a brain scan. The Health and Safety Executive has apologised to the deceased family and made a compensation payment. The Jury has recommended that patients who complain of persistent and severe headaches should in future; receive Cat scans as soon as possible.

Courts Approves Settlement of €4.7 million for a Child Birth Injury

A child left with serious brain damage after complications with his birth has been awarded €4.7 million in the High Court.  Although the claim has been settled, the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork did not admit medical negligence in the case, telling the family it was ‘just one of those events’.

Colm Daly was born on July 12 2000, his health worsened when he was a month old and it was subsequently found that a small blood vessel in his brain had burst and did not clot properly. As a result he will be left with life-long physical and mental problems.

The settlement of €4.7 million plus costs was approved in court by Mr Justice Vivian Lavan.


See also: http://www.ukmedicalnegligencesolicitors.co.uk/