Saturday 24 June 2017

Family get €105,000 after man killed himself with dog drug

Tim Healy

THE family of a man who allegedly killed himself using a drug given to put down his injured dog is to receive €105,000 in settlement of a High Court action.

The family of taxi driver Thomas Walsh (45), of the Crescent, Cappawhite, Co Tipperary, brought the case against the estate of a veterinary surgeon who gave him the drug.

Mr Walsh, a father of three adult children, had previously attempted suicide, the court heard.

It was claimed that Mr Walsh died as a result of injecting himself with the drug Euthatal on March 22, 2006, after receiving it from vet PJ Comerford, who has since died, of Tom Comerford Ltd, Main Street, Dundrum, Tipperary.

The case was settled without admission of liability. The settlement was against Mr Comerford's estate and separate proceedings against the company were struck out.

Depression

It was admitted that Mr Walsh was given the drug after telling Mr Comerford his dog had been involved in an accident, was in pain and needed to be put down.

The defence argued that Mr Comerford was in the middle of surgery and would have been unable to attend for at least two hours.

Following assurances from Mr Walsh that he would administer the drug to the dog, Mr Comerford gave Mr Walsh a syringe containing the drug, the defence claimed.

Mr Walsh's widow Kay Walsh sued for mental distress, claiming that his death was due to the defendant's negligence and breach of duty of care.

The claims were denied.

Mr Walsh suffered from depression and had attempted suicide on a number of occasions.

The defence denied that there had been any negligence and argued that Mr Walsh's death was caused by his deliberate decision to take his own life with a cocktail of drugs that may have included Euthatal.

Irish Independent

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