Family of Woman (42) Who Died of Heart Attack Hours after Visiting GP with Cardiac-Like Symptoms Settle Case for €750k

A medical negligence High Court compensation settlement of €750,000 has been awarded to the family of a 42-year old mother of three who died of a heart attack not long after visiting her local doctor due to cardiac arrest-like symptoms.

Sheila Tymon was found by her three young daughters after she had collapsed on her bed at home. The girls called their father Michael who sped to the house at Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim.

Following a post mortem examination on June 29, 2013, it was found that Mrs Tymon had extensive cardiovascular disease  and her heart was enlarged. The cause of death was officially recorded as acute cardiac failure.

The claimants alleged that there was there was a failure to care for her properly or at all and an alleged failure to treat her adequately or at all in their medical negligence compensation case.

Mr Tymon, who had been driving at 70km in a 50km zone with his lights flashing, had been followed by an off duty detective who later tried to  help him resuscitate his wife as her three daughters, aged between five and ten, stood watching.

Mr Tymon, along with his daughters  Rachel, Rebecca and Katelyn, with an address at Kilboderry, Summerhill, Carrick on Shannon. Co Leitrim, took the compensation action against GP Martina Cogan who was practising at Keadue Health Centre, Keadue, Boyle, Co Roscommon when his wife’s death occurred in 2013.

Legal Counsel for the Tymons family, Pearse Sreenan SC, said the family believed that the GP should have sent Mrs Tymon on for further investigation and treatment and that this course of action may have prevented her death.

It was alleged that Mrs Tymon attended Dr Cogan on June 10 due to having abnormal sensations in her chest and down both arms which were very unpleasant and causing her discomfort and pain. Dr Cogan, it was claimed, found that Mrs Tymon’s blood pressure was high and diagnosed a possible case of shingles.

A 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor was applied when Mrs Tymon attended the doctor’s surgery again two days later. An antihypertensive medication was prescribed and a further review was pencilled for later in July 2013. Despite taking the prescribed medication Mrs Tymon continued to get pain on exertion and at rest.

She (Mrs Tymon) called the doctor’s surgery to see if they could bring the review appointment forward on June 25 but she was advised that there was no appointment available until June 27.

On June 27, she attended the doctor’s surgery and it was noted she had constant jabs in the front of the chest, shoulders, the top of her back and down her arms. A working diagnosis of a musculoskeletal issue was the conclusion and the doctor prescribed anti inflammatories to treat this

After she returned home from the GP on June 27 Mrs Tymon, it was claimed, felt reassured. However, later that evening she felt some pain in her neck spreading into her head. At 19.45 pm, her children discovered her lying motionless on her bed.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the medical negligence compensation settlement without an admission of liability.

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Majority of €28,000 Distress for Wrongful Death Compensation Paid to Niece of 89-year-old who Allegedly Died Due to Bacterial Infection

The bulk of a €28,000 distress for wrongful death compensation payment is being made to the niece of an 89-year-old woman who allegedly died due to a bacterial infection.

Presiding Judge Justice Garrett Simons ruled that, once €7,890 for funeral expenses is accounted for, the niece should get the remainder of the compensation pay out.

The niece submitted a fatal injuries claim against the nursing home her aunt had been living in, and also a Dublin hospital shortly, before she passed away in 2009. The overall total of the claim being €33,290.

Her Aunt, allegedly died due to a bacterial infection which causes diarrhoea and colitis. Officially, the coroner recorded death as due to “health care-acquired” clostridium difficile infection.

Prior to her death, her aunt resided in a nursing home up until a month before her passing. At this time, in October 2009, she was admitted to a Dublin hospital. She was sent back to the nursing home in early November before being returned to the hospital on November 23 shortly before she passed away later that day.

Her niece took the wrongful death compensation action against the nursing home and the hospital pleading due to severe mental distress due to the death. The defence fully contested the claims that were made.

A settlement offer of €28,000 was made and accepted in 2015 and the High Court was then asked to rule on whether the offer was reasonable. However, as the deceased woman’s sister died in the interim, August 2016, the court also had to rule whether the settlement should go entirely to the niece or to the aunt’s sister. This was due to the fact that, as a surviving dependent at the time the woman died, the sister was entitled to a share of the solatium.

Mr Justice Simons said that he  believed the best course of action in this case would be to direct the full amount of compensation to be paid to the niece as sole surviving statutory dependent. He ruled the €28,000 settlement was reasonable and after the €7,890 has been paid out for the funeral, the balance of the stress in relation to wrongful death should go to the niece.

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Delayed Delivery may Have Caused Brain Injury High Court Told in Birth Injury Compensation Action

The High Court has been told that a girl with cerebral palsy may not have been inflicted with any brain injury had she been delivered ten minutes earlier.

Taking the birth injury compensation action through her mother Martine, Faye Walsh (7) sued the Health Service Executive and two consultant obstetricians, claiming that medical negligence and a breach of agreement in relation to the management and circumstances of her birth took place at University Hospital Galway on August 15, 2011. The defendants deny the allegations.

Mrs Walsh was a private patient of Dr Una Conway, a consultant obstetrician, throughout her pregnancy with Fay, Dr Conway and Dr Declan Egan, the second defendant obstetrician, run their own private medical practices at Brooklawn Practice, Brooklawn House, Galway West Business Park, and also practice as consultants in the Galway hospital.

Mrs Walsh opted for a private obstetrician as she had one previous birth by caesarean section and experienced serious abdominal injuries following a road accident in 2008. One of the main disputes in the legal action relates to the information that Mrs Walsh was given regarding the risks of a vaginal delivery. The defendants claim that the options and risks were explained and argue that Mrs Walsh wanted, and agreed to, a vaginal delivery.

The HSE denies that delivery was unreasonably delayed and said that vacuum assisted delivery using a plastic or metal cup attached to the baby’s head was also reasonable.

In her legal action Mrs Walsh says that she was aware that Dr Conway was on annual leave in August 2011 and would not be present at the delivery but claims that she had been advised by Dr Conway that Dr Egan would be there and was familiar with her history.

The defendants do not agree that Mrs Walsh was told Dr Egan would be present. They argue that Mrs Walsh was given an information sheet stating her delivery would be supervised, in the event of Dr Conway being absent, by a covering consultant obstetrician on call for the hospital.

Mrs Walsh claims that neither defendant obstetrician was called to the hospital when, or after, Ms Walsh went into labour about 11pm on Sunday August 14, 2011, despite requests for this by both her and her husband. The court was informed that the on call hospital obstetrician was called to the hospital from his home around 4.30am on the morning of August 15.

The official record of the birth shows that an obstetric registrar was also called and used a Kiwi cup to the baby’s head and that the on-call obstetrician completed the delivery of the baby at 4.55am. Faye was delivered in very poor health and had to be immediately resuscitated. She has spastic quadriplegia, is non verbal, a full time wheelchair user and will require 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Most of her care is provided by her parents and she is a “happy, content and smiling child” who gets on well at her community primary school and loves the TV cartoon Peppa Pig, the judge was told.

The case is expected to last a number of weeks.

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€9.9k Workplace Discrimination Compensation for Non-Irish National who was not given Holidays

A man, originally from Eastern Europe has been awarded almost €10,000 following a hearing at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) after it emerged that he was the only staff member at his company not receiving paid annual leave.

The WRC was advised that since he had begun working with the agricultural company, the man in question have received neither paid holidays nor payment in lieu. He told the WRC that he was the only non-Irish national working with the company.

The company under scrutiny did not appear to contest the claims that were being made by the man who claimed that he had suffered a work-related injury which caused him to leave his job, despite his employers arguing that incident had not occurred while he was at work. In addition to this he was not given a P45 after he left the role.

The man claimed in his submission that constantly worked for longer that 48 hours every week and would often be there long after other staff members had gone home. He said was only given paid leave once during his time at the company, during his first year in the job when he visited his home country.

The WRC adjudicator said: “He assumed that due to the plant being so busy that all the employees were treated like this, however this was not the case. In 2017 his Irish work colleague told him that if he were him, he would not continue to work for the respondent. This work colleague said that all workers are entitled to and received paid holidays. This was the first time that the complainant discovered this discrepancy in terms of less favourable employment terms.”

He told the WRC that his former employer claimed, in a meeting, that he was owed no money whatsoever. The WRC ruled that, due to the uncontested evidence regarding excessive working hours, the man was to be awarded €1,000 workplace discrimination compensation. Along with this he was also awarded €900 for the holiday pay he was not in receipt of.

Finally, the worker was awarded a sum of €8,000 for being treated differently to other workers. The adjudicator said: “I make this award taking into account the effects of the discriminatory conduct had upon the complainant, the fact that he suffered loss in terms of payment in lieu of holidays and to penalise the respondent in order that this conduct is not repeated in the future.”

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Restaurant Working Injury Settlement for Student Employed by Chinese Restaurant

A restaurant work injury compensation settlement has been agreed between a student, who was burned by hot oil and the Chinese takeaway he was employed at.

The work injury compensation case, which was being heard at the High Court, was told that the young man suffered burns when he unknowingly sat on a bucket of freshly discarded hot oil.

The High Court was told that the young man, Umesh Maharjan, was working to finance his studies in Fine Arts when he suffered the devastating injuries as the oil fell on his back and arm. Umesh experienced significant pain and sustained “grossly disfiguring” scars and wounds.

A native of Kathmandu, Nepal, Mr Maharjan was working at the Rathnew Chinese Takeaway in County Wicklow in order to support his time in University. Mr Maharjan (29), who lives at Dock Road, Limerick, submitted his restaurant employee injury compensation action against Rathnew Restaurant and Takeaway Ltd as a result of the accident in which he was burned with hot oil on August 21, 2015.

Senior Counsel Declan Doyle, legal representative for Mr Maharjan, told the High Court that he was taking a break at the back of the takeaway in an area where plastic buckets were kept for storage. A different member of the restaurant staff had placed a bucket of hot cooking oil from a deep-fat fryer there, unbeknownst to Mr Maharjan, and he sat on top of upon it. When he did so the lid shifted and he (Mr Maharajan) fell backwards and the oil fell all over his back and left arm.

Due to the accident Mr Maharjan suffered significant injuries and burns that will stay with him for the rest of his life. His colleagues came to help him when the accident occurred and used water to cool the areas of his body that were burned before taking him to hospital.

Justice Michael Hanna was told by legal representatives that the issue of liability had been withdrawn and the case was before the court for assessment of damages. Mr Doyle SC told that Justice Hanna that the case had been settled and could be dismissed.

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Childbirth Death Compensation of €650,000 Awarded to Dead Woman’s Family for Nervous Shock

A High Court action for nervous shock has been settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of a woman who died at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) not long after having an emergency caesarean section.

31-year-old Nora Hyland, originally from Malaysia, passed away on the operating table at the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours following an emergency caesarean section procedure during the birth of her son Frederick. The hospital did not admit liability and denies the claims.

The Hylands’ legal representative, Sasha Louise Gayer, informed that the Hylands were satisfied with the settlement but were too upset to attend court. Ms Gayer informed the court that Frederick was delivered successfully but Ms Hyland began to quickly lose a lot of blood.

A subsequent inquest resulted in a verdict of medical misadventure.  The first-time mother had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she experienced severe bleeding after an emergency birth.

In presenting his ruling on the cause of death, Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell ruled that the chief factor was cardiac arrest which occurred due to severe post-partum haemorrhage. However, he was unable to confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” cause of her death.

In addition to this the inquest was told that a labelling mistake in the laboratory led to a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland having a blood transfusion. Another issue was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were stored in operating theatres at the National Maternity Hospital at the time. Measures were implemented in theatre and a request for blood was processed just after midnight.  A blood transfusion was carried out around 40 minutes later.

Mr Hyland, (42)  Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had sued the NMH for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances at the time of his wife’s death.

 

 

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Family of 52-Year Woman Who Died Following Hernia Operation Awarded €300,000

Yesterday at the High Court a private medical clinic apologised, for the failures in the care given to a 52-year old woman who died from sepsis after developing a rare infection following a hernia operation, as part of a €300,000 settlement to her family of the deceased Ms Susan McGee

Ms McGee, a mother of two, died eleven days after the hernia operation at the Hermitage Clinic in Dublin on July 24, 2013. Ms McGee had contracted a rare Clostridium Difficile infection in her bowel in the aftermath of the hernia operation. A verdict of medical misadventure was returned at the inquest into the death of Ms McGee.

Ms McGee’s daughter, Melissa Barry, spoke to the court revealing that the death of her mother had a significant effect on the family. She said: “Our mother is missed every day by her entire family and a large circle of friends. We owed it to our amazing mam to seek answers and justice. We hope she can now rest in peace while we can rebuild the rest of our lives.”

Ms Barry went on to say: “The Hermitage Medical Clinic has reassured us new procedures are in place for the handover of patients and we hope lessons have been learned. Patients need to be assured that details of their medical condition and care plan are properly communicated  if they are being put in to the hands of a different medical professional. Hospital staff must also listen to and act on the concerns of a patient’s family.”

Melissa Barry, Grange Rise, Stamullen, Co Meath and her brother John McGee , Bretton Woods, Skerries Road, Rush , Co Dublin had taken the medical negligence compensation case against the Hermitage and consultant surgeons Arnold Hill and Colm Power in relation to the manner of her treatment at clinic in 2013.

The High Court was told that the defendants accepted liability after McGee experienced complications following hernia surgery in July 2013. Ms McGee’s surgeon was on annual leave when she was readmitted to the clinic after becoming ill. The court was told that another doctor was not available to administer care to her as he was on duty in a separate hospital and a third doctor was not advised of Ms McGee’s condition. Following some attempted emergency surgery, she passed away on 22 July 2013.

In approving the medical negligence compensation settlement Mr Justice Robert Eagar offered his condolences to the McGee family.

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Daughter of HIV Victim wins Appeal on Compensation Claim

The rejection of an award for psychological suffering and shock by the Hepatitis C compensation tribunal to the daughter of a man who died from HIV infection from contaminated blood products has been overturned by the High Court.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton said it was hard to correlate making an award to the man’s spouse in 2009 in relation to what was referred to as the “horrific” circumstances of the death and then not make a similar finding in respect of his daughter using the same reasoning. He ordered the matter be sent back to the tribunal “for assessment and award”.

The daughter, now aged 44, who was in her teens when her father died and had appealed to the High Court against the Minister for Health and Children, with the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal as a notice party, over the ruling by the tribunal in February 2015 to dismiss her claim. Her father was one of more than 100 haemophilia sufferers who was given a blood transfusions that was contaminated. Due to this he contracted HIV and died from complications with the disease in 1989, aged just 40 at the time of his passing.

Nine years ago the tribunal made an award, in 2009. to his wife in relation to the trauma she suffered due to the circumstances leading up to her husband’s death. The tribunal had previously referred to his death as “one of the worst cases” before it.

Mr Justice Barton, who was presiding over the appeal filed by the daughter, said she became seriously depressed, and was taken to hospital in 2006 to be treated for the illness which she continues to suffer from. The Judge said he believed her testimony and evidence about the psychological impact that that death of her father had on her.

The judge ruled that her appeal was successful and sent the issue back to the tribunal “for assessment and award”.

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€9.1m Birth Injury Compensation Awarded to Boy (7) with Cerebral Palsy

The High Court has approved a €9.1m birth injury compensation settlement for a seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General Hospital in 2011.

The boy, Jarrah Folkman, is unable to talk or walk, and his mother – Elysha McCrudden – stated in the High Court on Tuesday she will never hear her son’s voice. Reacting to the settlement she said it will go a long way towards her son’s future treatment but she regretted that windows of opportunities for Jarrah had been lost.  She went on to say that she and Jarrah’s father Ben Folkman have been made feel that what happened was their fault at times over the last seven years.

Mr Justice Cross, in approving the birth injury compensation settlement against the Health Service Executive,  praised Jarrah’s parents for the care they have given him at all times since his birth.

Through his mother Jarrah, with an address at Station Road, Cootehill, Co Cavan, took the birth injury compensation action against the HSE in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General on April 19, 2011.

In the High Court it was stated that there was an alleged failure to correctly interpret the CTG trace which showed a number of decelerations when Ms McCrudden was admitted to the hospital on April 15, 2011. Ms McCrudden was sent home and she returned to the hospital two days later.

It was also alleged that after Ms McCrudden’s admission the initial CTG trace was not noted as decelerative and a plan was not put in place to continue close monitoring and and prepare for an expedited delivery.

Counsel for Jarrah, Denis McCollough SC, alleged that an unsafe set of conditions had persisted during the course of the labour.  The baby, it was claimed, should have been born on April 16. Mr McCollough told the court that Jarrah  was flat and unresponsive when he was finally delivered and required resuscitation.

Liability was accepted in the case which was before the court for assessment of final damages only.

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State Claims Agency Conference Hears Medical Negligence Represents 50% of Total State Payouts

Child-birth related medical negligence cases make up over half of the overall compensation awards issued by the State according to numbers released on Friday at a State Claims Agency (SCA) conference on patient safety.

This is a significant figures when it is considered that maternity services represent only 3% of the Health Service Executive (HSE) annual budget. The release also pointed to the fact that maternity related compensation settlements have also gone up by roughly 80%.

Speaking at the conference, Clinical Director of the HSE’s National Women and Infant Health Programme Dr Peter McKenna said that preventable brain damage in normally formed infants is the “single biggest risk” in the HSE nd referred to occurences of this as “the most egregious insult the heath service can cause to a service user”.

He (Dr McKenna) claimed that, by spending a relatively small percentage (5%) of the funds that are paid out in compensation settlements,  the HSE could cut these preventable incidents by half. This argument is further highlighted by the fact that  in 2014 the State made compensation payments of €58m in childbirth related negligence cases. Dr McKenna also said that this 2014 amount represents 54% of the totalical negligence compensation payouts by the State in that year.

He said, referring to the fact that only €500 million of the HSE’s €15 billion budget goes on maternity services: “This is massive for a part of the health service that accounts for 3 per cent of total expenditure.

“In the past, six, seven, eight million might have been a big settlement. Now the figure is running at €15 million. The number of cases hasn’t changed but the payout amount has. I don’t think that one cent of what the parents get will compensate them for having a child that does not live up to their expectations,” Dr McKenna said. “If you think I am complaining about the size of the payouts, I’m not.”

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