Wednesday 28 September 2016

€60,000 for widow after doctor fails to detect husband’s cancer

Published 11/03/2016 | 12:56

Rosarii Molloy Curran, wife of the late John Curran with her children Ruairi and Niamh, leaving the court
Rosarii Molloy Curran, wife of the late John Curran with her children Ruairi and Niamh, leaving the court
Picture posed.

A widow who brought a High Court medical negligence action against a consultant doctor and the HSE over an alleged failure to diagnose her late husband's lung cancer has been awarded €60,000.

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The action was brought by Mrs Rosarii Molloy Curran arising out of the death of her husband John Curran from lung cancer in April 2011.

She had sued Dr Colm Quigley, a specialist in respiratory and general medicine at Ely Hospital, Wexford, and the HSE for alleged negligence and breach of duty of care towards Mr Curran, who was their patient between August 2009 and the time of his death.

Liability was admitted in the case.

An apology was made in court to the Curran family on behalf of Dr Quigley.

There was a failure to either diagnose or immediately investigate Mr Curran, who was a smoker, for lung cancer it was claimed.

In her action Mrs Molloy Curran of Carrigmannon, Killurin, Co Wexford sought damages for the emotion suffering and psychological injury she says she suffered as a result of her husband's death.

Dr Quigleys counsel in apologising to the Curran family told the court that as a result of what happened changes to the system of patient management have now been implemented to ensure there what happened didn't occur again.

The action came before Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court on Friday morning who approved the settlement.

Mrs Molloy Curran claimed that August 2009 Dr Quigley diagnosed her husband as suffering from low blood sodium.

It was claimed having purported to investigate Mr Curran's condition further, no such investigations, including a bronchoscopy to look at the lungs, or follow ups were arranged or carried out.

This it was alleged was despite Mr Curran's request to Dr Quigley to do a follow up and conduct further investigations.

It was also claimed between December 2009 and March 2010 Mr Curran attended at Waterford Regional Hospital for investigation and treatment for a vascular condition.

Mr Curran, it was alleged, again showed signs he was suffering from low sodium in his blood, but this was not investigated or followed up.

In December 2010 it is claimed Mr Curran was diagnosed by Dr Quigley as having 'Raynaud's phenomenon'  a condition where a person has excessively reduced blood flow generally caused by stress, and prescribed him with medication.

No further investigation or follow up was arranged or carried out, it was claimed.

In March 2011 Mr Curran was diagnosed with lung cancer at St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin. He died at home in Co Wexford on April 16th 2011.

Mrs Molloy Curran claimed her husband was deprived of the opportunity and the benefits of an early, proper and prompt diagnosis and subsequent treatment of his condition.

As a consequence of not getting such a diagnosis or treatment he died, it was further claimed.

There was an alleged failure to have a proper regard for Mr Curran's clinical presentation including his age, and his high tobacco consumption.

The standard of care provided was inadequate it was further claimed.

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