The family of a woman, who died after an alleged failure to diagnose a perforated bowel, has settled its claim for wrongful death against the HSE and are to receive €50,000 in compensation for negligent medical treatment.
The family of Eileen Maloney from Pullathomas in County Mayo made their claim for negligent medical treatment compensation after the sixty-nine year old mother of thirteen died at the Mayo General Hospital in February 2009.
Eileen, who was suffering from cancer, was admitted to the hospital on February 1st 2009 complaining of severe abdominal pain. An x-ray was taken after her admission which – the family claim – showed an obstruction in Eileen´s bowel; but, as it was the weekend, no doctor was available to diagnose her condition.
A CT scan taken on the 6th of February confirmed the presence of a tumour, but neither the scan nor the original x-ray was reviewed to check for a perforated bowel. Had Eileen´s condition been diagnosed at the time, she would have undergone immediate emergency surgery rather than having to wait until February 12th for an operation.
Eileen died on February 17th – five days after her surgery – and it was alleged by her family in their claim for negligent medical treatment compensation that they were told by a member of the medical team Eileen would have survived the operation, despite her cancer, and lived for a further six months at least had her medical treatment been of an acceptable standard.
The family´s claim for Eileen´s wrongful death and their unnecessary mental anguish was initially denied by the HSE. However, Mr Justice Michael Peart at the High Court in Dublin was told that a settlement had been agreed between the two parties without admission of liability that would see the family receive €50,000 in compensation for negligent medical treatment.
Mr Justice Michael Peart approved the settlement of compensation for negligent medical treatment, stating that it had been a “very, very tragic case” and extending his sympathies to the family.
The HSE denied being responsible for Eileen´s wrongful death but, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard that the family had agreed a settlement of their negligent hospital treatment claim amounting to €50,000 without an admission of liability from the HSE.
The judge approved the settlement of the claim, stating that Eileen´s death had been “very, very tragic” and he extended his sympathies to her family.