US Medical Expert says Vaginal Mesh is ‘Not Safe’

Expert Chartered chemist Dr Chris DeArmitt, has assisted over 9,000 women is have their vaginal mesh compensation actions settled, has referred to the that the material as not safe for treating incontinence.

Vaginal mesh is currently not being used due to suspension in the United Kingdom. This will remain so until the results of an independent safety review are revealed. The study was initiated after thousands of women reported harrowing complications. DeArmitt, a leading medical expert in the UK has been called upon during court action against producers of vaginal mesh.

In the United States over 100,000 people are taking legal actions due to injuries and illnesses that the believe arose from the use of vaginal mesh.

In an interview with Sky News Dr DeArmitt said: “There are two main reasons why any plastics material expert will tell you just obviously that this is a bad material and I have never heard anyone who disagrees with me. I see an absolute disregard for proper testing. Testing is way less than you would see on a vacuum cleaner or a washing machine. It’s shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.”

In Ireland there have been a number of case in relation to use if vaginal mesh in recent years, particularly in 2017. Legal representatives for a number of women, who initiated legal actions in 2017 after undergoing the vaginal mesh procedure, said that they (the women) only became aware of the issue after seeing media reports in the United Kingdom in relation to its use.

The US regulator, the FDA, in 2019 outlawed the sale and distribution of all mesh that was to be used for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse due to the many safety problems experienced by the general public. In the UK, the National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) has stated that it will be offered as a potential alternative form of treatment for women suffering from various injuries once the ban on using it is lifted.

A NICE representative commented: “The benefits and risks of each type of treatment are laid out to ensure every woman is fully informed. Where the evidence is limited, this is also highlighted. There are a number of procedures recommended by NICE, including mesh procedures.”

Due to work of many campaigners, the use of vaginal mesh has come under the microscope once more. Typical problems suffered by  women include chronic pain, not being able to make love, inability to work as normal and walking difficulties. These issues arise from vaginal mesh cutting organs or getting stuck in tissue, leaving permanent nerve damage.

 

 

 

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National Museum Fall Results in €67,000 Compensation Award for Tourist

A personal injury award of almost €67,000 has been approved at the High Court in favour of an Australian tourist who injured his leg when he slipped and rolled down stone stairs at the National Museum of Ireland.

Presiding Judge Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said the Dublin museum’s Portland stone steps had been shiny and slippery when the tourist, Warren Baldwin (70), from Revesby, New South Wales, ruptured a leg tendon in the accident. Mr Baldwin suffered significant trauma, inconvenience and expense due to the accident that occurred on June 5, 2016, on the second day of Mr Baldwin’s trip to Ireland with his wife. He fell on the third step from the bottom of the staircase he was descending in the museum.

Justice O’Hanlon ruled that the accident was caused due to negligence in not have a railing in place for a person to hold onto the entire way down the seven-step staircase. The steps date to 1890, when the museum, located in Kildare Street building was built.

The Judge ruled that, had there been an adequate and safe handrail on the steps at the time the accident occurred, Mr Baldwin would not have sustained the injuries. She accepted the contention that because the railing stopped before the end of the staircase there was a tendency for people to move towards the centre portion. The wrought-iron bannister currently in place is topped by a wooden rail terminates at the third-last step where it joins a stone balustrade.

Legal Counsel for the National Museum of Ireland argued that the stairs did not have any defects at the time of the accident and that there was one handrail in place for people to hold onto. In addition to his they informed the judge that, out more than 470,000 people visiting the museum during 2016, Mr Baldwin was the only person who fell on the stairs.

Justice O’Hanlon awarded Mr Baldwin €66,989 as, she said, the museum failed in its duty to take reasonable care to ensure his safety.

 

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€10.5m Cerebral Palsy Compensation Awarded to Young Boy

12-year-old Samuel Forde , who who sued the Health Service Executive in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Sligo General Hospital has settled his High Court Cerebral Palsy Compensation action for €10.5million.

Samuel, who lives at Glenview Park, Grange, Co Sligo had taken the birth injury compensation action through his mother Deborah Forde. Through his legal counsel, Des O’Neill SC, it was claimed there was an alleged failure to promptly diagnose and act upon the baby’s condition,  there was an alleged failure to admit Mrs Forde to hospital on August 19, 2006 when her condition and that of the baby could be monitored and acted upon appropriately and that the pregnancy was allowed to continue well past its due date resulting in the failure to deliver the baby at an appropriate stage.

The claims were denied by the legal team for the Health Service Executive.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was informed that Mrs Forde had gone for a check up on August 15, 2006 which indicated that nothing was out of the ordinary. However, two days later she attended the hospital as she thought she might be in labour. At this point in time a CTG was applied to monitor the baby’s heartbeat .

Mrs Forde attended the hospital again two days later but was told she could return home after a number of tests were carried out. Following this a midwife checked with her, over a phone call, regarding the baby’s movement and when she reported less movement on August 20 she was told to return to hospital at once. A CTG and checks were completed again and Samuel was born by cesarean section August 20,2006 and he had to be intubated.

The High Court was informed that Samuel has cerebral palsy which has completely impacted his existence and the requirements for the future are thorough extensive including lifelong care.

The Judge was informed that the Forde family only initiated court proceedings after they sought legal advice a few years ago when Samuel’s medical card was withdrawn a few years ago.

Outside court solicitor David O’Malley for the Fordes said the family wished for Samuel to have a life which is “as happy and as included as possible. Hopefully the financial settlement can bring him that stability. Mediation was a very effective mechanism to resolve this case”.

In approving the settlement, without admission of liability, Justice Kevin Cross said the Fordes had looked after their son “over and above” and he wished “the loving and protective family” the best for the future.

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Dentist Negligence Compensation Action Settled for €60k

Roisin Mimnagh, has settled a €60,000 dentist negligence compensation claim against her former dentist for an undisclosed figure in the Circuit Civil Court following a treatment that she said left her scared to smile.

Following the treatment of 50-year-old Mrs Mimnagh, the Court was informed that she had been shocked to see that an incisor had been filed away without her permission and filled in with an amalgam or composite.

Mrs Mimnagh legal counsel, David McParland, informed Judge Jacqueline Linnane that his client was someone who was normally happy with how she looked. She had made an appointment with Dr Anna O’Donovan, Griffith Avenue, Dublin, to have an incisor realigned. He stated: “To her horror she afterwards found that her tooth had been filed away and replaced with an amalgam or composite that was smaller and shorter and different from her original tooth”.

Dr O’Donovan, represented Barrister Sarah Corcoran, informed the Judge that her client had entered a full defence to Ms Mimnagh’s legal action. However they had accepted that written consent for the specific treatment for her tooth had not been received prior to it being administered. She went on to say that the case before the court was not one of deciding liability but a matter of assessing damages.

Remedial work was carried out in 2013 shortly after the initial treatment. Mr McParland said Ms Mimnagh was still wearing an appliance on her tooth. He added that a dental expert was of the opinion her that she would need further realignment work.

Judge Linnane was informed by Mr McPartland that his client at first thought she was going to have some white filling applied to her tooth to make it look straighter. She was very traumatised when she later saw it had been filed away and an amalgam or composite applied to it. This left her scared to smile.

Judge Linnane told the Court that she had reviewed the pleadings and had found that the latest expert report was over three years old. Due to this she said that she would be unable to assess damages as the reports were outdated. As an alternative route, Judge Linnane suggested some talks about settling the case. Ms Corcoran informed her that Dr O’Donovan had always had “a significant willingness” conduct talks. Mr McParland returned to Court shortly later to advise the Judge that the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for Ms Mimnagh’s legal costs to be taxed in default of agreement.

 

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Family of Woman Who Died After Receiving Half Epilepsy Drug Dose Awarded €260,000

The family of Kathleen Leech who passed away due to a charting mistake lead to her only getting half her necessary epilepsy medication treatment for 23 days have settled their High Court action over her wrongful death for €260,292.

The 68-year-old mother of five adult children from Co Wexford died at Peamount Healthcare nursing home, Newcastle, Co Dublin on June 30 2012 after her caring staff failed to recognise that she had only received a single daily dose of Keppra, an anticonvulsant to stabilise her epilepsy, despite the fact that she should have also been allocated a second daily dose.

Her husband, Gregory Leech senior,  took a legal action for wrongful death compensation. In a separate action her children – Noreen, John, and Gregory Leech junior, and Marian Dalton and Kathleen Caulfield – sued for nervous shock.

Along with admitting liability, Peamount Nursing Home issued an unreserved apology for failings in care provided to her. In a letter read out in court on Thursday, the nursing home gave Mr Leech an unreserved apology for failings in care of his wife and for the distress and upset it had caused to the family.

Legal counsel for the family, Barney Quirke SC, informed the court that Mrs Leech suffered a stroke in November 2011. Sadly she never recovered enough to be sent home from Tallaght Hospital but a place was found for her in Peamount in June 2012.

Counsel informed the Court that, following a thorough investigation and a subsequent inquest, a number of major changes have been implemented by the management of Peamount to ensure that a mistake like this does not occur again.

On the day she arrived at Peamount Ms Leech was taking 21 medications. However, in a sad turn of events, the pharmacy was closing and it was not recorded that she required to be administered with two doses of Keppra. Due to this Ms Leech went 23 days without her second daily dose. Following suffering a major seizure and was returned to Tallaght Hospital. However, it was too late to save her a she had developed an infection and passed away on June 30.

The case was settled for €260,292 and all of Mrs Leech’s children agreed to waive their claim to the statutory €25,000 payment to the family in relation to the wrongful death of their mother. Instead the award is to go to their father for him to manage.

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€7.25m Settlement for Autistic Teenager Agreed with Hospital

€7.25m birth injury compensation has been awarded to a 13-year-old boy at the High Court in relation to the issues that occured during his birth at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH), Dublin on July 30, 2005.

Legal counsel for the the boy, Finn Phillips, who is on the autism spectrum, Jeremy Maher SC said that the basis of their case was the protracted labour and difficult birth were the alleged cause of Finn’s autism. He went on to say that this was a test case as this issue had never been determined by a court in Ireland, the UK “or anywhere”.

Legal counsel for Finn, who took the legal action through his mother Lisa Marie Murphy, argued that he (Finn) is on the autism spectrum due to complications which arose during his birth at the hospital. The National Maternity Hospital denied all of these claims.

Finn was delivered via ventouse delivery and it is claimed he was unnecessarily exposed to both asphyxia and trauma from the vacuum extraction. Due to this, the Judge was told. he was allegedly unnecessarily exposed to their potential long term consequences. The injuries he sustained suffered, it was alleged, included developmental delay and autism. There was an alleged failure to oversee Finn’s mother’s labour appropriately and an alleged failure to intervene in time. Finally there was a claim from his legal team that Finn was pulled an excessive number of times and he had been allegedly subjected to excessive tractions.

Outside court, Finn’s mother Lisa Marie Murphy said: ” (her son) is a wonderful boy. He would have been a fantastic man if everything had gone according to plan. Now we can make strides to help him be the best man he can be,” she said. The settlement means as parents we don’t have to worry, Finn’s care is there. It means we can go privately for his care.”

Justice Kevin Cross was informed that mediation talks had taken place last Monday and a settlement was reached to bring before the court. In approving this settlement, Justice Cross said he was glad to hear it had been reached. He wished Finn and his family all the best for the future.

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€60k Caesarean Section Accident Compensation Sought by Boy (15) Due to Cheek Scar

15-year-old Rory Saunders has taken a €60,000 birth injury compensation action against the master of the National Maternity Hospital and Dr Stephen Carroll, the surgeon who performed the Cesarean section procedure as he medical negligence at childbirth inflicted him with a cut on his cheek.

Rory’s legal representative Barrister Mark O’Connell informed  Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that his (Rory’s) cheek was cut when he was being delivered by Cesarean Section on September 9, 2003.

O’Connell told the judge that the Caesarean delivery injury compensation action as Rory’s left cheek was cut by the scalpel used in the clinical procedure that Dr Carroll carried out. After the clinical procedure was completed the cut was cleaned out  and Steri-Strips were put implemented.

Rory’s permanent 2.5cm cheek scar can be seen when standing close by to him and is more visible during the summertime. The cheek scar has become stressful for Rory as he has been on the receiving end of negative comments during school and among his friends.

The claims were not accepted by Dr Carroll, who is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and an expert in high-risk pregnancies, and the National Maternity Hospital. Plastic surgeon Matt McHugh said that they were of the opinion that the scar was not going to improve in the future.

Judge Groarke considered the medical reports provided by two eminent consultants into court and was also told that a birth injury compensation offer of €25,000 had been put on the table.

He (Judge Groarke) said he was not happy with the compensation offer before the court. he was of the opinion that one of the medical reports appeared to give “a very blunt view” on the injury. He felt this particular expert, who had not seen his colleague’s medical report before formulating an opinion, should be asked to review the other medical report.

The birth injury compensation proceedings were adjourned until such time as the authors of the reports can reconsider the facts.

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Record Medical Negligence Award for Boy (9) who Sustained Brain Injury as an Infant

Benjamin Gillick, a nine year old boy who sustained permanent brain damage after medical staff made a delayed diagnosis of infection following surgery when he was just an infant, has been awarded €32 million medical negligence compensation at the High Court award has been approved for a nine-year-old boy – the largest award in the history of the State.

The parents of the boy, Miriam and Andrew Gillick, pleaded with the judge not to approve the proposed award as they believed the money was not a sufficient amount for the rest of his life. They told the Judge: “It leaves us with a shortfall that will be imposed on ourselves or our children, or possibly our grandchildren.”

The Judge commented in Court that , when added to the interim settlement of €7.4m made thee years previously, this brings to over €32m the total amount of the compensation that will be paid out to the boy.

Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross explained that only a small part of the the awarded compensation, under €500,000, was being handed over in relation to the tragic injuries inflicted on Benjamin. The vast majority of the compensation awarded is being made in relation to the cost of Benjamin’s complex treatment, educational and accommodation needs for the rest of his life.

Judge Cross, in giving his approval for a final settlement offer of €25m, commented: “When the headlines come to be written it should be noted that no one is getting a bonanza”.

He went on to explain that Benjamin would only have been awarded around  €450,000 in relation to general damages for the injuries he still suffers from. The rest of the money to be made by the Children’s University Hospital at Temple Street to cover the expenses related to his future medical treatment.

Judge Cross told those present that compensation figure was already very high as, in relation to Benjamin, “thankfully he has a higher life expectancy and would have to be cared for long after his parents have departed”. The judge said it was very difficult to tale into account his (Benjamin’s) position in life in 60 years’ time when calculating to figure to be awarded.

Andrew Gillick, the boy’s father, told the Judge that he is worried with regard to the money being insufficient when compared to rates of return on investment in England, where the family have moved to. He went on to say that there has recently been a similar case decided in the UK where the compensation award was approximately €45m due to the costs of carers, therapies, aids and appliances, transport and education.

Benjamin was delivered prematurely at his birth along with his identical twin brother. After delivery he had to undergo a clinical procedure when he was just  11 months  of age at Temple Street Children’s Hospital to drain fluid from his brain. A shunt was placed to deal with this and the boy was later returned to hospital due to vomiting and feeling quite sick.

The High Court was informed that a shunt infection is a common complication of the process and the cause of the negligence was that for up to three days this possibility was not investigated. The court was also informed that Benjamin suffers with cerebral palsy, is quadriplegic, and cannot communicate verbally like other children of the same age.

 

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€64,000 Awarded to Man after Bicycle Accident on Repaired Road

A 47-year-old man who sustained a serious back injury when his bicycle slipped on a road where a lot of bitumen sealant had been applied in repair work, has been awarded €64,000 Bike Accident Compensation at the High Court.

Mr Kearney, from Portlaw, Co Waterford took the road bike accident compensation action against Tipperary County Council as it is the body responsible for the upkeep of the road.  He took a separate action against Roadstone Wood Ltd, the company which carried out the repairs on the road.

Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon said it was obvious that the man, Joseph Kearney, experienced major pain and a loss of the amenities of life to a significant degree due to the accident that occurred at Ballinaraha, Kilsheelan, Cloneml, Co Tipperary, on St Stephen’s Day 2011.

In addition to this Mr Kearney had also suffered serious ongoing pain for nine months and had significant pain and suffering for another two years. According to the judge.

The judge, in ruling that both Tipperary Co Council and Roadstone Wood were liable, said it seemed to the court they accepted the testimony of Mr Kearney that there was faulty workmanship in terms of the original work on the road and the repair. Additionally, a similar incident had occurred elsewhere on the road which had been witnessed by a person who gave evidence in this case.

The Judge told the Court that Roadstone Wood had completed he remedial works without ensuring it was done to the correct standard in line with the correct specifications. She said Tipperary County Council was also negligent because it could have been reasonably foreseen that such patching negligently done, in breach of the regulations, would result in an accident. This should have been obvious after the other accident had occurred, she said.

The court was advised that Mr Kearney’s accident occurred when 17 people were cycling two abreast on the hard shoulder. Mr Kearney was a member of this group and was wearing a helmet. As he approached a curve on the road, he was suddenly slipped and fell from his bike. The judge said Mr Kearney had given his evidence carefully and honestly and did not exaggerate his accident or injuries.

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Medical Negligence Compensation Payouts of €268m Made by State Claims Agency in last two years

The overall amount of compensation paid out by the State Claims Agency (SCA) in relation to medical negligence claims totals over half a billion euro in the past two years.

New figures released by Minister for Health Simon Harris show that the amount of compensation paid out by the State Claims Agency (SCA) in 2018 was €268.45m for medical negligence cases – an increase of €18.6 million – or 7.5% – on the €249.77m paid out in 2017. This brings the total amount of compensation for medical negligence paid out in 2017-18 to €518.2m.

The figures were provided by the State Claims Agency (SCA)  in response to a a written Dáil question by Fianna Fáil’s Finance spokesman, Michael McGrath. It also reveals that the highest sum paid out last year under medical negligence was €15.5m in relation to a cerebral palsy case compensation claim.

Cases linked to birth negligence or cerebral palsy accounted for seven of the top ten medical negligence payouts in 2018. The figures release indicate that, in the seven cerebral palsy cases, a total of €60.3m compensation was paid out in order to provide adequate treatment for the individuals concerned for the remainder of their lives.

The remainder of the top ten was made up of cases that in the top ten payments concerned a pay-out of €6.3 million for a clinical procedure at surgery and a separate payout of €5.9m under the same category.

The lowest payout in the top ten was €4.37 million paid out concerning a clinical procedure in the Gynaecology service.

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