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Settlement of Delayed Treatment Compensation Approved in Court

The family of a man who died in hospital of septic shock, due to the failure of the hospital to act in a reasonable time frame, has had their settlement of delayed treatment compensation approved in the High Court.

Barry Murphy (38) from Carrigaline, County Cork, was admitted to the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital in Cork complaining of abdominal pains on the morning of April 24th 2008. Barry was known to suffer from Crohn´s Disease, but was generally in good health and held a full-time job as a financial controller.

After a medical examination, Barry was diagnosed with a perforated bowel but due to “an unjustifiable delay” was not operated on until much later in the evening. By this time, Barry´s condition had deteriorated due to septic shock and he was pronounced dead at 11.15pm the same evening.

Barry´s distraught widow, Mary, made a claim for wrongful death compensation due to the delay in treatment, but for three years the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital denied liability – stating that that they had made no error in Barry´s treatment. During this period Mary sustained severe emotional damage and was diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Mary persisted with her claims that the hospital failed to properly care for her husband, failed to operate on him on time and allowed him to die, and eventually the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital acknowledged that “the level of care provided fell short of an acceptable standard” and made an offer of 500,000 Euros in delayed treatment compensation.

Approving the settlement in Dublin´s High Court, Mr Justice John Quirke expressed his sympathy to Mary and her two daughters, commenting that Barry´s death had been “unthinkable” and was “a tragic loss”, adding that he wished he could do more to help the family.