Woman Settles Claim for Missed Diagnosis of Broken Knee

A woman who had been hoping to compete in the Special Olympics, until it was discovered that a hospital had overlooked a fracture to her knee, has settled a claim for the missed diagnosis of a broken knee after a High Court hearing.

Amy Rose McGowan (31) from Trim in County Meath made her claim for the missed diagnosis of a broken knee after it was discovered that medical staff in the Emergency Department of Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan, County Meath, had failed to diagnose a fracture in her knee while she was in training for the Special Olympics in Athens.

Amy had fallen and hurt her knee during a 50 metre sprint race, and had been taken to Our Lady´s Hospital for a precautionary x-ray on May 8th 2009. At the hospital, an x-ray was taken, but doctors overlooked the depressed fracture and diagnosed Amy´s injury as soft tissue damage.

It was only a few months later, when Amy attended her GP because of a pain in her knee that the fracture was discovered. Unfortunately for Amy, it was too late for operative or corrective intervention, and she missed her opportunity to qualify for the games. It is likely that Amy will also need to have knee replacement surgery later in life because of the hospital´s negligence.

Amy made a claim for the missed diagnosis of a broken knee and, after an investigation at Our Lady´s Hospital, the Health Service Executive admitted liability for her injuries. A settlement of €142,000 was agreed, but had to first be approved in the High Court – where it was heard by Mr Justice Michael Peart.

In the High Court, Judge Peart heard how Amy had previously won 34 medals and 10 trophies in the area of athletics and swimming before the accident. He said he was “very impressed and full of admiration” for her and that it was a pity that her athletics career had been cut short.

The judge approved the settlement of compensation for the missed diagnosis of a broken knee and wished Amy a happy life with her family before adjourning the hearing.