LM –v- IC
Augustus Cullen Law settled this High Court action on 22nd March 2011.
The Plaintiff in this case was diagnosed as HIV Positive at the beginning of 2008. This was despite the fact that the Plaintiff and his wife had both undergone medical tests at a Dublin Hospital in 2003, prior to their marriage to check their health and wellbeing. Following investigations, it transpired that although the Plaintiff was HIV negative at the time, his then partner was in fact HIV Positive, but was misinformed by the Dublin Hospital in question of her diagnosis. As a result, the Plaintiff contracted the HIV virus from his wife sometime between 2003 and late 2007 and this remained undiagnosed until the beginning of 2008. At no time during the intervening period of 4 ½ years did the Hospital realise their error or contact the Plaintiff or his wife to inform them of the correct diagnosis.
The Plaintiff’s diagnosis clearly had serious adverse implications for his health, life expectancy, earnings and medical expenses.
Proceedings were issued in the matter in January 2009 and the matter was ultimately fixed for Trial commencing on 5th April 2011. Breach of duty was admitted by the Defendant in its Defence, although the Plaintiff was put on proof of his injury. Assessing the value of damages in this case was extremely difficult and, as far as we are aware, there had not been a comparator case in this Jurisdiction. There were complex issues to be considered relating to the Plaintiff’s health, life expectancy, potential loss of earnings and pension, pain and suffering as well as the effect that his diagnosis would have on various other aspects of his day-to-day life, such as his ability to take out insurance policies and to travel etc.
Settlement negotiations took place between the parties and the matter ultimately settled on 22nd March 2011. The Plaintiff obtained substantial general and Special Damages as well as an undertaking that the cost of all of his future medical expenses would be discharged if necessary.
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16 November 2011