Claim for the Negligent Management of Anaesthetic Resolved at High Court

A claim for the negligent management of anaesthetic, due to which a former barrister sustained an acquired brain injury, has been resolved at the High Court.

In 2014, the 46-year-old former barrister and father of two attended the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry, Dublin, complaining of ongoing back pain. He underwent a routine cervical spine procedure; but, due to a failure to adequately manage his anaesthetic, the former barrister did not receive enough oxygen during the procedure. As a result, he suffered a hypoxic brain injury.

Due to his acquired brain injury, the former barrister now requires twenty-four hour care. Although he can react to the presence of his family, he is unable to communicate when he is in pain or needs help. Friends and colleagues set up a trust fund in order that he could be cared for in a care home, but his family hope it will be ultimately possible to provide full-time care for him in the family home in Clonee, County Meath.

A claim for the negligent management of anaesthetic was made against anaesthetist Deirdre Lohan by the former barrister´s wife on his behalf. Negligence was admitted by the anaesthetist and a settlement of compensation amounting to €7.1 million was agreed. As the claim for the negligent management of anaesthetic was made on behalf of a claimant unable to represent themselves, the settlement of the claim had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in the claimant´s best interests.

Consequently, at the High Court this week, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of the claimant´s injury and the consequences it had for him and his family. After hearing that the litigation process had been distressing for the family, and that they were willing to accept the offer of settlement to get the matter “done and dusted”, Judge Cross approved the settlement of the claim for the negligent management of anaesthetic – conveying his sympathy to the family for the terrible tragedy they had suffered.