Thursday, 22 December, 2011
The widow of a man who died due to the hospital medical negligence of a consultant gastroenterologist and a surgeon at the University College Hospital in Galway has been awarded almost 1.6 million Euros in wrongful death compensation.
The High Court in Dublin heard how Michael Davoran (47) from Ballyvaughan, County Clare, died in August 2003 from a fatal cardiac arrest after being admitted to the University College Hospital the previous month suffering from colitis. It was claimed in the action brought by Michael´s widow, Grace, against Ireland´s Health Service Executive, consultant gastroenterologist John Lee and consultant surgeon Oliver McAnena, that doctors continued treating her husband with medication for three weeks following his admission, when it was clear that his condition was deteriorating.
It was alleged in the claim for hospital medical negligence that an emergency laparotomy had to be performed eight days after standard surgery had failed to prevent Michael´s health from getting worse and, as a result, Michael died two days later when the cardiac arrest was brought on by multiple organ failure. As a result of Michael´s death, it was claimed that his mother had re-written her will to disinherit Michael´s widow and descendants from the family home on the 623 acre Ballyalben Farm, and instead passed the estate and income from it to his sister. Michael´s mother passed away soon after.
Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at Dublin High Court heard that the three defendants did not dispute liability for the wrongful death claim, but claimed that the disinheritance was as a result of a disagreement between Michael´s mother and widow and was not connected to his wrongful death. The judge dismissed the argument, stating that had it not been for the hospital medical negligence and wrongful death, Michael´s dependents would have inherited the farm and any disagreement between the grieving mother and widow could be attributed to their emotional state of mind at the time.
Awarding Grace 1,312,275 Euros for her husband´s wrongful death due to hospital medical negligence, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill, added a further 184,271 Euros in special damages to account for the loss of income Michael´s dependents had experienced due to being unable to work the farm and a further 50,436 Euros for lost income on the assumption that they would have rented out their existing property had the disinheritance not prevented them from moving into the family home on the farm
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