All Posts Tagged: Compensation for Surgical Errors

Advice about a Lip Implant Injury Compensation Claim

In order to receive legal advice relevant to your specific circumstances, speak with a solicitor about making a lip implant injury compensation claim.

If you have experienced an adverse event due to a poor standard of cosmetic surgery in Ireland, certain conditions have to be fulfilled before you can make a lip implant injury compensation claim. Having experienced an adverse event in itself is not sufficient grounds to claim compensation for a lip implant injury – particularly if you gave your informed consent prior to undergoing the procedure and were fully aware that the adverse event was a possible consequence.

Indeed, the first thing a solicitor will ask you is what information you were given before undergoing the procedure and whether you signed an agreement or contract. If so, your solicitor will need to review a copy to identify any exclusions or limits of liability. This will also help establish whether the adverse event was avoidable at the time and in the circumstances, and if your injury is attributable to a lack of skill or a lack of ability to demonstrate that skill.

If there is sufficient evidence to suggest “on the balance of probabilities” you have a lip implant injury compensation claim worth your while to pursue, your solicitor will write to the negligent cosmetic surgeon with a “Letter of Claim”. The letter will outline your injury and the consequences of your injury, explain why it is believed the injury was caused by negligence and request a proposal settlement of compensation for a lip implant injury.

An application for assessment will not be made to the Injuries Board, as lip implant injury compensation claims fall outside of their remit, and the value of your claim will be settled by negotiation once negligence has been acknowledged by the cosmetic surgeon. How much compensation for a lip implant injury you receive will depend on a number of factors including your age, whether or not the injury can be rectified and the reason for undergoing the procedure initially.

In this respect, your lip implant injury compensation claim will be unique from any other. To make sure you receive legal advice relevant to your specific circumstances, you should speak with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.

Read More

Woman Awarded Compensation for a Torn Artery during a Hospital Procedure

A fifty-year-old woman from Portlaoise has been awarded €855,000 compensation for a torn artery during a hospital procedure by a High Court judge.

The woman attended the Midland Regional Hospital in June 2002 for a routine diagnostic procedure to establish why she was unable to get pregnant. While she was under a general anaesthetic, a three-sided surgical instrument known as a trocar was inserted into her abdomen to allow for a laparoscopy.

However, during the insertion of the surgical instrument, the trocar punctured a vein and tore an artery, causing a significant amount of internal bleeding. A vascular surgeon was required to stop the bleeding, after which the woman spent two days on life support. As a consequence of the medical negligence, the woman continues to experience abdominal pain.

After seeking legal advice, the woman claimed compensation for a torn artery during a hospital procedure against the consultant obstetrician in charge of the procedure – Dr John Corristine – and the HSE. The defendants admitted liability for the original injury, but contested her continued abdomen pain was a consequence of the botched procedure.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard there was an alleged failure to ensure the equipment used for the laparoscopy procedure was in proper working order or that adequate precautions were in place to ensure the patient´s safety. He was told the woman lost eight pints of blood due to the torn artery, and that her pain and suffering is likely to persist for the rest of her life at its present level, if not worsen.

Judge Cross found that the botched medical procedure and the woman´s ongoing abdominal pain were linked. He said, although the injury was not catastrophic, the consequences of the medical negligence had significantly impaired the quality of the plaintiff´s life. Judge Cross awarded the woman €855,793 compensation for a torn artery during a hospital procedure to account for her past, present and future pain and suffering.

Read More

Judge Approves Compensation for Negligent Post-Surgical Care

After a hearing at the High Court, a judge has approved a €1.5 million interim settlement of compensation for negligent post-surgical care.

On 7th December 2010, fifty-two tear old Martin Byrne from Swords in County Dublin underwent surgery at the Mater University Hospital for unstable angina. The operation involved the insertion of pacing wires into his heart and, five days after the operation, he returned to the hospital to have the wires removed.

The removal of pacing wires is now considered to be a straightforward procedure, but as the procedure was underway, Martin started bleeding internally which caused him to suffer a heart attack. During the heart attack, Martin´s heart stopped working for fifteen minutes. He suffered substantial brain damage due to the lack of oxygen and was in a coma for the next two months.

After Martin was discharged from hospital, his wife – Una – made a claim for compensation for negligent post-surgical care on his behalf. Una alleged in her legal action that the pacing wires were removed by junior staff, whose experienced resulted in the internal bleeding that caused the heart attack. Despite a weight of evidence supporting the claim, the Mater University Hospital did not admit liability until December 2014.

A €1.5 million interim settlement of compensation was agreed while reports are conducted into Martin´s future needs; but, as the claim for compensation for negligent post-surgical care was made on behalf of a plaintiff who was unable to represent himself, the settlement had to be approved by the High Court.

Consequently, at the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that prior to his surgery for angina, Martin was a former taxi driver who had enjoyed an active lifestyle which included camping with his wife and four children and scuba diving. Una told Judge Cross “we thought it was the beginning of the rest of our lives as our children were working or at college”.

Judge Cross also heard that the interim settlement of compensation for negligent post-surgical care was to cover Martin´s care costs for the next three years until a final settlement is agreed upon or until a system of periodic payments is introduced in Ireland.

An apology was read to the Byrne family by Mary Day – the CEO of the Mater University Hospital – after which Judge Cross approved the interim settlement of compensation for negligent post-surgical care, wishing the family well for the future and commenting that Martin had “suffered something nobody should have suffered”.

Read More

Claims for Botched Cosmetic Surgery in Balance due to Death of Surgeon

Two compensation claims for botched cosmetic surgery have been left in the balance following the death of the surgeon who allegedly performed substandard procedures on his patients.

A High Court judge has allowed the Medical Defence Union (MDU) to withdraw from two compensation claims for botched cosmetic surgery following the death of the defendant in both claims – Mr Samy Malhas. Mr Malhas had been represented by the MDU in the defence of two claims made against him – but, in January, the doctor died in Germany after being declared a bankrupt.

Mr Malhas was being sued by Mary Jo Moloney, who was left with scarring, nipple mal-positioning, hypersensitivity, and distortion of breast shape following an allegedly negligent breast augmentation procedure. Mary Jo also claimed that her consent for the procedure was not valid. Her claim for botched cosemetic surgery is all the more difficult because the clinic at which she underwent the procedure in November 2003 – the Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Dublin – is now in liquidation and had no insurance.

The second claim for botched cosmetic surgery was made by Deidre Shortt, who underwent a rhinoplasty procedure in August 2007 at the Cosmedico Clinic in Dublin. Deidre claimed that she was left “a nasal cripple” due to Mr Malhas´ alleged malpractice, but Mr Malhas had contested her claim on the grounds that Deidre had contributed to the condition of her nose by failing to allow it to heal after the surgery. Cosmedico is still in business however; and according to Mr Justice George Birmingham does have an insurance policy against which Deidre may be able to make a claim.

Mary Jo and Deidre were in court to fight the application from the MDU to withdraw from the claims for botched cosmetic surgery, but Judge Birmingham allowed the MDU to “come off record” on condition that the organization refunded the legal costs so far incurred by the two plaintiffs.

Read More

Leading Causes of Clinical Negligence Claims Revealed in Report

A report compiled by the State Claims Agency has revealed the leading causes of 166 clinical negligence claims for compensation closed in 2010, with poor staff knowledge heading the list.

The report, compiled by the clinical risk team of the State Claims Agency,  only accounts for claims for clinical negligence compensation covered by the Clinical Indemnity Scheme and not compensation for non-medical accidents in hospitals and clinics which result in injuries to patients, visitors or staff.

It revealed that, of the 166 clinical negligence claims closed in 2010, 44.2 percent of claims for clinical negligence were due to poor staff knowledge, skills or competency. The second most common reason for settlements of clinical negligence compensation was a failure in communications (14.4 percent) with a lack of effective leadership coming a close third (9.6 percent).

Among the other primary reasons for clinical negligence claims were:-

  • Safety culture issues (8.7 percent)
  • Lack of guidelines or protocols (6.7 percent)
  • Inadequate supervision (5.8 percent)
  • Insufficient staff to cope (2.9 percent)

By speciality, the majority of claims for clinical negligence were attributable to surgical errors (27.1 percent), emergency medicine (25.9 percent) and obstetrics (18.7 percent), while the leading “contributory factors” in clinical negligence compensation claims were delay or failure to treat (11.2 percent), delay or failure to recognise complications (10.6 percent) and misdiagnosis of a medical condition (4.7 percent).

Commenting on the report, Debbie Dunne – Clinical Risk Advisor at the State Claims Agency – said “This is consistent with the trend in 2009. Over 50 per cent of these cases were within the specialties of surgery and emergency medicine”.

Read More