ML –v– Tallaght Hospital 

The Plaintiff’s claim was for damages for personal injuries sustained by him on the 24th October 2008 whilst a patient in Tallaght Hospital for a routine colonoscopy procedure.  During the course of the procedure the Plaintiff sustained a perforation of his colon. Unfortunately, the Hospital did not adequately and properly treat that perforation despite the fact that there were clear signs of a perforation for approximately six hours post operatively, during which period of time the Plaintiff’s condition steadily deteriorated as a consequence of intra-peritoneal exposure to colonic contents and the Plaintiff developed post-operative sepsis. The Plaintiff spent approximately 36 days in intensive care and as result suffered and continues to suffer significant long term effects of critical illness. 

The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant was negligent in:- 

  • Perforating his colon 
  • Failing to commence appropriate treatment, i.e. appropriate IV antibiotics and repair of the perforation, in a timely manner. 

The Defendant denied the allegations and pleaded that:- 

  • That the perforation of the Plaintiff’s colon during the colonoscopy did not constitute negligence and that perforation is a known recognised risk and complication of the procedure;
  • That the Defendant carried out the colonoscopy with due skill care and diligence and at all times observed and reacted appropriately to the Plaintiff’s condition and the potential of colonic perforation was identified appropriate investigations occurred following diagnosis. 

The case proceeded to trial and on the morning of the hearing liability was admitted by the Defendant and the case ultimately settled in the sum of €590,000 plus costs.


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