Friday 28 July 2017

Apology for family of man who died after ambulance fall

The apology was read out as part of the settlement of a High Court action by the widow of paramedic Simon Sexton against the HSE over the death of her husband over six years ago. Stock Picture
The apology was read out as part of the settlement of a High Court action by the widow of paramedic Simon Sexton against the HSE over the death of her husband over six years ago. Stock Picture

Tim Healy

The HSE has apologised to the family of a paramedic who died when he fell out of the side door of a moving ambulance.

The apology was read out as part of the settlement of a High Court action by the widow of paramedic Simon Sexton against the HSE over the death of her husband over six years ago.

Father-of-six Mr Sexton (43), of Carricknashoke, Clifferna, Stradone, Co Cavan, died after the fall onto the road as a patient was transported from Cavan to Dublin.

Mr Sexton was in the back of the ambulance when he heard a noise and found the door was not shut properly.

When he put his hand on the lever, the door opened and "wrenched him out".

He suffered serious head injuries and died shortly afterwards.

Three years ago, the HSE pleaded guilty and was fined €500,000 for health and safety breaches in the 2010 death.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon yesterday extended her sympathy to Catherine Sexton and her family as she approved a settlement, believed to be a six-figure sum, against the HSE.

Counsel for the HSE Micheál Ó Scanaill, as part of the apology, read an extract from a letter which the HSE sent to Mrs Sexton in March 2013.

"This was a tragic accident that should not have occurred. All employees of the HSE are entitled to expect a safe system of work, without risk to their life or health.

"The HSE fell below that duty of care in respect of your husband and for this I sincerely apologise," it stated.

Mrs Sexton sued the HSE over her husband's death and for nervous shock over the accident on the N3 on June 3, 2010, about seven miles out of Cavan town.

She claimed she has suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.

The court last year heard from Mr Sexton's colleague, PJ Cahill, the driver of the ambulance, who also settled his action over the accident.

He said he was driving the ambulance when he heard a thud.

He looked in a mirror to see his friend Mr Sexton hit the ground.

A court previously heard that, since the 2010 incident, all ambulances have been altered to include front facing hinges along with several other safety measures.

Irish Independent

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