Archive for May 2014

Compensation for the Misdiagnosis of Stomach Cancer Approved in Court

The family of a young woman, who died due to a consultant´s negligence, are to receive €62,500 compensation for the misdiagnosis of stomach cancer.

In October 2007, Sharon McEneaney from Carrickmacross in County Monaghan attended Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, complaining of a pain in her abdomen. Her consultant – Dr Etop Samson Akpan – failed to consider the possibility of a tumour, and it was not until June 2008 that a biopsy was conducted which revealed the presence of cancer. By then the cancer had advanced beyond the stage at which it could be treated, and Sharon died ten months later.

An investigation into Sharon´s death conducted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) resulted in thirty-eight separate recommendations being made to prevent the misdiagnosis of stomach cancer happening again at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. A subsequent hearing of the Medical Council of Ireland´s Fitness to Practise Committee found Dr Akpan guilty of a poor professional performance in January 2012.

Sharon´s family claimed compensation for the misdiagnosis of stomach cancer and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that a settlement amounting to €62,500 had been negotiated – the settlement to be divided between Sharon´s mother – June McEneany – and Sharon´s four siblings after €10,000 has been set aside to cover funeral expenses and other costs related to Sharon´s death.

The High Court also heard Margaret Swords – the General Manager of the Louth & Meath Hospital Group – read an apology to Sharon´s family. In the apology Ms Swords admitted that the hospital had failed Sharon, and that Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital was making progress in implementing the changes recommended by the HSE´s report.

Judge Irvine approved the settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of stomach cancer and commended the McEneaney family for their “courage and tenacity” through the inquest into Sharon´s death. “You have shown marvellous fortitude in the face of such a loss,” the judge commented before closing the hearing.

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Woman Receives €40,000 Compensation for Negligent Treatment by a Dentist

A woman has received €40,000 compensation for negligent dental treatment by a dentist after making a complaint to the Dental Complaints Resolution Service.

The complaint by the unnamed woman was one of 130 grievances received by the Dental Complaints Resolution Service last year, made against dentist´s in Ireland for unsatisfactory treatment. The grievances were revealed in the Service´s Annual Report, and although it is not made clear how many of the grievances were upheld in the complainant´s favour, this case is particularly interesting.

According to details published in the Annual Report, the woman had attended her regular dentist twice a year since 1993 and believed that her teeth were in good health. However, when she visited a cosmetic dentist last year to have implants fitted, the woman was told that her gums were not in a good state and that she would need a significant amount of treatment before implants could be fitted.

The woman had to undergo specialist treatment from a periodontist to repair the damage to her gums – which was both expensive and painful. After the treatment, she wrote a letter of complaint to her regular dentist which went unanswered and then contacted the Dental Complaints Resolution Service.

The Service mediated on the woman´s behalf to secure €40,000 compensation for negligent treatment by a dentist. The compensation settlement includes a refund of the money she had paid her regular dentist for dental treatment over the past ten years, the cost of the periodontist´s treatment for her gums and the dental implants, and an amount to pay for check-ups over the next ten years.

However, what is interesting about this claim for compensation for negligent treatment by a dentist is that the settlement is basically what a claimant would expect to receive in special damages had the claim been made through a solicitor. The settlement fails to take into account the pain and suffering the woman experienced during the periodontist´s treatment, and the emotional trauma that accompanied ongoing and extensive treatment, and the impact that the treatment had on her quality of life.

If you believe that you have been the victim of negligent dentistry, and want to recover the maximum possible compensation for negligent treatment by a dentist, it is always in your best interests to discuss the nature of your injury with a solicitor before accepting any other resolution to your potential claim for injury compensation.

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Court Approves Settlement of Compensation for the Misdiagnosis of a Fractured Knee

The Dublin High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fracture knee in favour of a former Special Olympics hopeful.

The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports competition for adults and children with intellectual disabilities. The games are held every two years and attract tens of thousands of competitors from all over the world.

In May 2009, Amy Rose McGowan from Trim in County Meath was training for the Special Olympics that were to take place in Athens in the summer of 2011. Unfortunately, while running in a 50 metre sprint race, Amy Rose fell and injured her knee.

Amy Rose was taken to the Emergency Department of Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan, County Meath; where doctors diagnosed a soft tissue injury and strapped the knee for support. However, a few months afterwards, Amy Rose attended her GP complaining of pain in the same knee.

Following an examination and an x-ray, it was discovered that Amy Rose had suffered a depressed fracture. It was too late for corrective action to be taken or for an operation to break and reset the bone. Due to the oversight of the Emergency Room doctors at Our Lady´s Hospital, it is also likely that Amy Rose will need knee replacement surgery in the future.

Because of her intellectual disability, a claim for compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fractured knee was made against Our Lady´s Hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE) by Amy Rose´s mother – Collette McGowan. The HSE acknowledged that the original diagnosis was incorrect and admitted liability for Amy Roses´ knee injury.

A settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a fractured knee amounting to €142,000 was agreed between the two parties; but, as the claim had been made on behalf of a claimant who was unable to legally represent themselves, the settlement had to be approved in court to ensure it was in Amy Rose´s best interests.

Consequently, at the Dublin High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard how Amy Rose had previously won 34 medals and 10 trophies in athletics and swimming before her accident. Approving the settlement, the judge said that he was “very impressed and full of admiration” for Amy Rose and that it was a pity her athletics career had been cut short.

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Compensation Agreed for Hospital Negligence Lymphoma Cancer

A Merseyside man is to receive compensation for hospital negligence lymphoma cancer after developing the blood infection from an infected kidney transplant.

Robert Law (62) from New Ferry in Merseyside had a kidney transplant at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, and six days after the operation it was discovered during a post-mortem on the kidney donor that the kidney was infected with lymphoma – a type of blood cancer.

Robert was promptly told that the lymphoma cancer had not been identified when the kidney was screened for infection, but his immune system was vulnerable after the transplant operation, and he became ill very quickly.

Robert underwent a course of chemotherapy to treat the cancer and the cancer is currently in remission; however, he sought legal advice in respect of the hospital´s error and made a claim for hospital negligence lymphoma cancer compensation.

The NHS Blood and Transplant Unit admitted liability for Robert contracting blood cancer and – in 2012 – issued him with an apology. An undisclosed settlement of hospital negligence lymphoma cancer compensation was negotiated for the physical and emotion trauma Robert had been through, and the impact it had on his family.

The Chief Executive of the NHS Blood and Transplant Unit – Lynda Hamlyn – said she hoped the settlement of Robert´s hospital negligence compensation claim would enable him to move on from the unfortunate circumstances. She added that new mechanisms had been put in place in order that a similar event could not happen again.

A second claim for hospital negligence lymphoma cancer compensation remains ongoing.  A woman from St Helens in Merseyside – Gillian Smart (52) – also received a kidney from the infected donor, but is yet to settle her hospital negligence compensation claim against the NHS Blood and Transplant Unit.

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