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Court Approves Settlement of Missed Diagnosis Compensation for Special Athlete

A High Court judge has approved a settlement of missed diagnosis compensation for an athlete who had been hoping to compete in the Special Olympics.

The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and every two years a Special Olympics World Games takes place which attracts tens of thousands of competitors from all over the world.

In May 2009, Amy Rose McGowan from Trim in County Meath was in training for the Special Olympics that were to take place in Athens in the summer of 2011. Unfortunately, while competing in a 50 metre sprint race, Amy Rose fell and hurt her knee.

She was taken to Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan, County Meath, where doctors diagnosed a soft tissue injury and strapped her knee for support. However, a few months later Amy Rose attended her GP complaining of a pain in her knee.

It was only then that a depressed fracture was discovered – too late for corrective intervention or an operation to break and reset the bone – and due to the oversight of the doctors at Our Lady´s Hospital, it is likely that Amy Rose will need knee replacements in the future.

Because of her intellectual disability, Amy Rose made a claim for missed diagnosis compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE) through her mother – Collette McGowan. After an investigation, the HSE acknowledged that a mistake had been made and admitted liability for Amy Roses´ knee injury.

A settlement of missed diagnosis compensation amounting to €142,000 was agreed between the two parties; but, as the claim had been made on behalf of Amy Rose because of her intellectual disability, the settlement had to be approved in court.

Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Michael Peart was told of 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.