Family settle action over mother's death
THE family of a 62-year-old woman who died after undergoing surgery have settled their High Court action for damages.
Dina Hayes died on September 27, 2005, days after undergoing surgical procedures at St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, carried out by consultant general surgeon Professor John Hyland, who practices at the St Vincent's Private Clinic at Herbert Avenue.
Her widower, Con Hayes, Annesley Court, Camolin, Co Wexford, and his two daughters, Helena Hayes-Tierney and Jacinta Hayes, yesterday settled their High Court action for damages against Prof Hyland. Details were not revealed.
In a statement afterwards, the family said the end of the case means they can "finally have closure and start our lives without our wonderful mother and devoted wife".
The court heard the proceedings could be struck out against Prof Hyland and the costs of the action awarded against him.
Proceedings against consultant anaesthetist Pat Benson and against the hospital itself were struck out with no order as to costs.
The defendants had denied the claims.
In their proceedings, the family said Mrs Hayes went to the hospital's A&E on September 17, 2005, and two days later Prof Hyland performed a colon-oscopy on her. Three days after that, he carried out a hernicolectomy, and five days later she died from multi-organ failure. Mr Hayes had been married to Dina for 33 years and suffered significant shock, upset and distress at the death of his wife, it was claimed.
He was not present when she died, having been allegedly asked to leave by the hospital, and this had added to his distress, it was also claimed.
The family claimed there was a failure by the defendants to use reasonable skill, care and judgment in making diagnoses about Mrs Hayes, and they also allegedly failed to adhere to a standard of medical practice which would have been reasonable in the circumstances.
It was also alleged there was a failure to caution Mrs Hayes about the risks and complications associated with the hernicolectomy and had allegedly not afforded her or her family time to consider those risks.
It was also claimed, among other allegations, that the defendants failed to examine, assess or monitor her post-operative condition adequately and had under-assessed the changes that were taking place in her post-operatively.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Sean Ryan expressed his sympathy with the family in what he said was "a very tragic case".