AE –v– AB & HSE
The Plaintiff attended a private Consultant Gastroenterologist, the first named Defendant at a private hospital in Dublin, the second named Defendant, having been referred by his General Practitioner for a colonoscopy. The procedure was carried out and the Plaintiff discharged later the same day. He went on to develop severe abdominal pain and attended his local out of hours GP service who referred him to his local general hospital emergency department with a queried suspected bowel perforation. An abdominal x-ray was performed and he was advised that nothing abnormal was detected and he was discharged home. He continued to complain of severe pain over the following days and finally attended the Adelaide & Meath Hospital, Tallaght where a diagnosis of a perforated colon was made and he underwent emergency surgery to remove and repair the damaged section of his colon.
The Plaintiff’s experts criticised the manner in which the colonoscopy was carried out by the first named Defendant. Whilst all colonoscopies carry with them a risk of perforation in the absence of any negligence, in the Plaintiff’s case there was evidence that the manner in which the biopsy was performed during the colonoscopy amounted to substandard care. Further it was alleged that the first named Defendant ought to have realised that there may have been a perforation and should not have discharged him from hospital. The Plaintiff’s experts also criticised the local hospital for failing to diagnose the perforation when evidence of it was clearly visible on the x-ray performed. In fact the hospital’s own records showed that the x-ray had been reviewed by a more senior member of staff following the Plaintiff’s discharge and that the error was identified and a call back requested for the Plaintiff who by that time had been admitted to the Adelaide & Meath Hospital, Tallaght.
Liability was denied by both Defendants and a trial date fixed for February 2013. Early in the New Year a settlement meeting was sought by the Defendants and the case ultimately resolved with payment of the sum of €95,000 to the Plaintiff in addition to his legal costs without admission of liability. This represented the full value of the claim.
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08 February 2013