Court Approves Settlement of Compensation for the Misdiagnosis of a Brain Tumour

A High Court judge in Dublin has approved a settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a brain tumour in favour of a severely disabled student.

In 2006, Seamus Walshe Jnr of Taylor´s Hill in County Galway was a third-level construction studies student. Seamus started experiencing problems with his eyes when looking upwards before his symptoms deteriorated to include nausea and vomiting. Seamus attended the Galway University Hospital, where he was told after a neurological examination that no problems were identified.

Seamus´ symptoms continued; and, as a tumour in his brain grew and spread into the surrounding tissues, Seamus experienced increasing levels of pain and discomfort. A further visit to Galway University Hospital resulted in the tumour being identified, and Seamus was referred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin – where he underwent surgery in May 2007.

Unfortunately, complications during surgery to remove the tumour resulted in a brain haemorrhage. Seamus was in intensive care for nine weeks after his operation and left with permanent brain damage. He was transferred back to Galway University Hospital in November 2007, and then to the National Rehabilitation Centre in September 2008 – by which time Seamus was confined to wheelchair, had severe spasticity of the limbs and a severe eye disorder.

Through his father – Seamus Walshe Snr – Seamus claimed compensation for the misdiagnosis of a brain tumour, alleging that had scans been ordered when he first attended the Galway University Hospital, the tumour would have been identified sooner and the complications that occurred during the surgery at the Beaumont Hospital would have been less likely.

It was also alleged in the claim for compensation for the misdiagnosis of a brain tumour that the Beaumont Hospital had elected to perform surgery, rather than treat the tumour with radiotherapy and chemotherapy even though radiotherapy and chemotherapy had long-term survival rates of up to 90 percent.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that a €2.5 million interim settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a brain tumour had been agreed without an admission of liability by either hospital or the Health Service Executive. The settlement is to cover Seamus´ care for the next three years; after which it is hope that a system of periodic payments will be introduced to cover Seamus´ care for the rest of his life.