The surgeon noted that it was a difficult procedure with adhesions and acute inflammation of the gallbladder which he removed. A scan was performed later that day which showed an amount of free fluid in the upper abdomen and there was a strong suspicion that the Plaintiff had suffered an injury to a bile duct. The Plaintiff was thereafter transferred to the Mater Hospital for care under an expert hepatobiliary surgeon who carried out a laparotomy (open surgery) to assess the extent of the injury. The Plaintiff was extremely unwell and was transferred to the high dependency unit.
The Plaintiff remained in hospital for a number of weeks and was discharged home with a number of drains still in place. She was re-admitted a few days later with a raging infection and required further care in the isolation unit. Her recovery period was extremely protracted and she required a number of major operations to repair the damage to her bile duct and later to repair a hernia which developed post operatively.
The Plaintiff contacted Augustus Cullen Law who obtained expert opinion from a highly regarded Consultant Surgeon in England with a specialist expertise in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. He expressed the view that the Plaintiff had suffered a major “Strasberg E 4” bile duct injury with loss of the confluence of the hepatic ducts. It was the expert’s opinion that the Defendant had not employed the “critical view of safety” technique in identifying the anatomy which has become standard practice among surgeons performing these procedures, and as a result, was confused as to the anatomy which he was dissecting during the procedure with the result being damage to the Plaintiff’s bile duct.
Proceedings were issued against the Defendant in early 2015 and settlement negotiations commenced in May 2016 shortly before an application was made to have a trial date fixed. After protracted settlement negotiations the Plaintiff accepted the sum of €420,000 and costs which were paid without an admission of liability.
25 July 2016