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Judge Approves Compensation for a Lack of Medical Treatment Resulting in Death

A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a lack of medical treatment which resulted in the death of a woman from County Mayo.

The claim for compensation had been made against the Health Service Executive (HSE) by the family of Eileen Maloney (69) from Pullathomas in County Mayo – a mother of thirteen who had attended the Mayo General Hospital in February 2009 complaining of severe abdominal pains.

Eileen was admitted into Mayo General Hospital after a small obstacle in her small bowel was indicated on an X-ray. However, no doctor was available to review the x-ray for the possibility of a perforated bowel as it was a Sunday when Eileen was admitted.

It was not until the following Thursday that Eileen underwent a CT scan – which in it was revealed that a tumour had developed within Eileen´s bowel – but again this scan went unreviewed for the possibility of a perforation.

Despite suffering from cancer and being in constant pain, Eileen did not undergo surgery until the following week and died five days later. Following an investigation, it was claimed by Eileen´s family that had her condition been correctly identified and promptly treated when she was first admitted into the hospital, her death would not have occurred.

The family made a claim for compensation for lack of medical treatment resulting in death, alleging that they had suffered avoidable mental anguish due to the negligence of Mayo General Hospital and the HSE.

The HSE denied that it was liable for Eileen´s death, but the family pursued their claim and shortly it was due to be heard in court, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard that an out-of-court agreement had been reached

Under the terms if the agreement, the HSE will pay Eileen´s family €50,000 compensation for lack of medical treatment resulting in death without admission of liability. After hearing the circumstances of the case and that the family were satisfied with the agreement, Mr Justice Michael Peart approved the settlement, adding his sympathy for the family´s loss.

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