A High Court judge has approved an interim settlement of compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence amounting to €1.5 million.
In December 2010, Martin Byrne (52) from Swords in County Dublin was admitted to the Mater University Hospital to undergo surgery for unstable angina. The operation appeared to go successfully, but five days later internal bleeding was caused by the removal of pacing wires and Martin suffered a heart attack.
Martin´s heart stopped for fifteen minutes after the heart attack, during which time he suffered profound brain damage. He went into a coma from which he did not awaken until February 2011 and Martin now needs full-time care, which is mostly provided for him by his wife Una.
On her husband´s behalf, Una claimed compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence – alleging that the pacing wires were removed by junior staff who caused the internal bleeding due to their inexperience. Liability for Martin´s injuries was not acknowledged by the Mater University Hospital until December 2014.
At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that Martin was a former taxi driver and father of four. The court was told that, prior to his heart attack, Martin had been an active man who enjoyed camping with his family 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 an interim settlement of compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence had been agreed amounting to €1.5 million. This interim settlement is due to cover Martin´s medical expenses for the next three years while reports are compiled on his future needs or until a system of periodic payments is introduced in Ireland.
After an apology was read to the family by Mary Day – the CEO of the Mater University Hospital – Judge Cross approved the interim settlement of compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence, saying that Martin had “suffered something nobody should have suffered”. The judge then closed the case and wished the family well for the future.