Medical Negligence* Claims
Medical negligence* occurs when the treatment provided by the hospital, a doctor, surgeon, nurse, carer or dentist falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical profession, resulting in the unnecessary suffering, injury or death of a patient.
When receiving professional medical advice or assistance, we place a tremendous amount of trust in the competence of the professionals. However, there are occasions when mistakes are made, which can lead to physical injury resulting in serious consequences.
Where can you turn?
Medical negligence leading to serious illness, injury, or even death, can be caused by:
- Incorrect treatment
- Overlooking Important symptoms
- An unnecessary delay in diagnosis or treatment
- Failure of medical equipment
If you or a family member has suffered as a result of medical negligence, it is not always easy to know where to turn for the help you need. At M.M Halley & Son, we have extensive experience delivering sensitive, approachable and expert legal assistance across South East Ireland.
How we can help
The first step is to arrange an initial consultation to establish whether there is a medical negligence case to answer. There is unlikely to be any charge for the first consultation. Thereafter, we will present a copy of the medical records to an independent consultant to determine whether there has been a deviation from accepted medical practice.
Once we have established the treatment has fallen short of the level expected, our medical negligence solicitors will work tirelessly to gather the evidence required to present the strongest possible claim. This may take the form of medical reports and opinions from medical experts.
Emmet Halley, who leads our specialist medical negligence claim team, is recognised as one of the leading authorities in this area. He has been involved in a number of significant court cases in recent years, where figures in excess of €1million for clients has been achieved (see front page). Our expertise in this area enables us not only to understand the traumatic issues you are dealing with, but also to provide the sensitive, discreet and personal approach you need.
To discuss a potential claim…
Some Recent Case Studies
“Medical negligence action settles for considerable sum”
The firm recently represented an elderly lady who was diagnosed in January 2011 with end stage glaucoma in the right eye. Given her history of glaucoma, she should have been followed up on a six monthly basis to ensure that the pressure in her eye remained under control. However this did not occur and she “fell through the cracks” which led to her being rendered effectively blind, given that she also had difficulties with her other eye.
Her case was listed for trial and the week beforehand, it settled for €600,000.00 plus all legal costs.”
“Settlement in Cerebral Palsy Case”
Emmet Halley represents Ruth Carmel Foley of Killoughternane, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow who suffered severe injuries at birth in 1986 at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. She has dyskinetic cerebral palsy, is unable to walk and has no consistent control over the movements of her limbs.
We received instructions from the family to commence High Court proceedings in 2012 against the HSE.
It was claimed that the management of the pregnancy and delivery fell below the requisite standard of care.
The claim was denied and the HSE contended in their defence of the case that they were prejudiced by the long delay in the case being taken, as one of their witnesses, involved in the management of the delivery, had died.
A settlement offer of €2,100,000.00 plus costs was made a short time before the case was due to go to trial and the offer was approved by the High Court on the 4th June 2015.
This was a very complex case. It was necessary to source expert witnesses such as obstetricians and midwives who were practising at the time when Ruth was born in 1986. This was not an easy task however we were lucky to secure the assistance of a retired Irish obstetrician and midwife, along with some support witnesses from the UK.
In our opinion it is always more beneficial to a case to have Irish experts giving evidence for you.”
Traumatic Birth Cases
These can have serious consequences for both mother and baby.
Mother can suffer from a 3rd or 4th degree tear which can give rise to long lasting issues including incontinence, which can have a major impact on one’s self-confidence. We have dealt with such cases in the past and they have been successfully settled out of Court.
Baby can be born with what is called “shoulder dystocia” and we have also dealt with several of these types of cases.
Failure of Anaesthesia
We have had a number of cases of this nature.
Some have related to failure of general anaesthetic during caesarean section child-birth, whilst another related to the failure of an epidural anaesthetic during caesarean section.
In another anaesthetic case, a client was having surgery to repair a comminuted fracture of the left femur. The surgery was being carried out under spinal anaesthetic, however this failed, and she was aware of what was going on but was not offered general anaesthetic.
Late Diagnosis of Crohns Disease
Crohns disease is a severely debilitating inflammatory bowel disease which can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and malnutrition.
We have successfully dealt with cases where this condition was undiagnosed for many years, in spite of the fact that the clients had been under consultant care and had undergone a battery of medical tests and investigations.
Once diagnosed, and treated properly, this condition can usually be brought under control
The firm recently represented a client who had been an inpatient in a local hospital for 5 weeks and whilst there, a serious infection which he had, was not treated at all or properly and as a result, he ended up in another hospital, where the infection was treated and he had a good outcome.
The case was settled by the HSE on a very satisfactory basis.
We reported here in December 2016 about the successful outcome and interim payment to a young boy seriously injured by a misdiagnosis of chickenpox at UHW, when aged 2 years.
A further interim payment was agreed in December 2018 which will ensure that his needs for the next 4 years are taken care of.