The Plaintiff in this matter, a man in his fifties, suffered very severe and life threatening injuries following a fall in May 2014. The Plaintiff had various pre-existing health problems.

The Plaintiff suffered very severe injuries in the fall and was in a critical condition, but he recovered from those injuries. In these proceedings however, it was alleged that due primarily to inadequate nursing care, the Plaintiff developed severe pressure sores which became infected leading to sepsis, a very protracted recovery, an acute kidney injury, various infections and ulcerations, a permanent colostomy and a permanent wound in the peri-anal region which, at the time of settlement, was unlikely ever to heal. 

The case was very complex, insofar as it was necessary to establish exactly what injuries were caused by alleged medical negligence, as opposed to injuries the Plaintiff would likely have suffered anyway, as a result of the original fall.

The Plaintiff developed a critical care myopathy/neuropathy following his surgical procedures and now requires a wheelchair. It was alleged that due to the pressure sores and his protracted period of immobility, his ultimate outcome was significantly worse than it could otherwise have been, as he was unable to undergo adequate physiotherapy, rehabilitation etc.

Liability was withdrawn by the Defendants in the case in July 2018.  However, whilst the Defendants admitted breach of duty, they disputed that their negligence caused all of the injuries alleged by the Plaintiff.

In particular, the Defendants were of the view that the pressure sores would have developed in the first instance regardless of the treatment the Plaintiff was given and that they were not fully liable for the Plaintiff’s permanent colostomy, nor indeed for the entirety of his current position or the fact that he is now wheelchair-bound with very limited mobility.

Expert reports on liability were obtained from a wide variety of specialities including a Nursing expert, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Microbiologist, Nephrologist, Colorectal Surgeon and a Rehabilitation expert.  Proceedings were issued in the matter in May 2016 and the matter was fixed for Trial. Following two unsuccessful settlement negotiations, the case was ultimately resolved at mediation for a sum in excess of €1 million to include General and Special Damages. 

If you have any further queries, please contact:

Joice Carthy, Managing Partner, Medical Negligence Group

06 March 2019

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