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.