Garda settles cancer negligence claim against GP
A GARDA superintendent yesterday settled his legal action for alleged medical negligence against a doctor who he claimed tried to cover up his failure to act on a report recommending that he undergo surgery
Supt Martin Dorney (50), from Waterfall, Co Cork, who is seriously ill with cancer, sued GP Dr Patrick Lee, of Link Road, Poulavone, Ballincollig, Co Cork for alleged negligence and breach of duty arising out of his treatment in August 2003.
Supt Dorney, a married man with three children, claimed that after a mole was removed from his leg in August in 2003, Dr Lee failed to act on a report that recommended further excision of the area.
It was also claimed Dr Lee tried to cover up the fact he had failed to act by misleading Supt Dorney into believing the report stated the mole was benign, when it stated that while it was not malignant it required excision. The claims were denied.
Yesterday, after discussions between the parties, Mr Justice John Quirke was told at the High Court that the matter had been settled and that it could be struck out.
No details of the settlement were revealed to the court.
The court heard Supt Dorney attended Dr Lee in August 2003 with a mole on his knee that had changed colour.
Dr Lee excised the mole and sent it for analysis. A lab report said there was no evidence of malignancy, but a wider local excision was advised.
The court heard Dr Lee informed Supt Dorney that the mole was benign, and no further excision took place.
In February 2009, Supt Dorney noticed a swelling on his groin and was referred by Dr Lee to a surgeon who a month later removed the lump.
He was diagnosed with cancer, and underwent further treatment. The court was told that, while Supt Dorney was seeking information, Dr Lee told a number of untruths "to cover up" his mistake.
Counsel said his client asked the Dr Lee, "Who do you think you are codding?", after the doctor said untruthfully that he did not get the complete histology report from the lab.
Counsel said that, after this, the doctor admitted his mistake.