Hospital pays wife €500,000 over death of husband
Published 15/02/2012 | 05:00
A HOSPITAL has "apologised unreservedly" to the family of a man who died following a "regrettable" delay in treatment.
The family of Barry Murphy (38), who died at the South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital, Cork, will receive €500,000 in settlement of their wrongful death action against the hospital in the High Court.
Mr Murphy, a financial controller who suffered from Crohn's disease, was admitted to the hospital on April 24, 2008, suffering with abdominal pain. This was later diagnosed as being due to a perforated bowel.
His widow Mary (41) sued, claiming that the hospital failed to properly care for her husband, failed to operate on him on time and allowed him to die.
Liability was admitted by the hospital. Yesterday at the High Court, the hospital said in its apology that "regrettably" the level of care provided "fell short of an acceptable standard".
The apology, by the hospital's CEO Gerard O'Callaghan, added that it "deeply regrets" the family's loss and wished to "apologise unreservedly to Mrs Murphy, their two daughters and the late Mr Murphy's extended family".
Counsel for Mrs Murphy said she was satisfied with the apology and happy to accept the settlement.
However, outside court, Mrs Murphy said the family had been robbed of their hopes and dreams.
"All we ever wanted to understand was what happened and why it happened. However, as a grieving family we were met with a wall of silence and denial for almost three years before liability was admitted and four years before we got an apology. I find this appalling.
"Had the hospital admitted wrongdoing and apologised on day one, as it certainly should have, the unnecessary pain and worry of legal proceedings would have been avoided."
In her action, Mrs Murphy, from Meadowgrove, Westwood, Carrigaline, Co Cork, claimed that she suffered significant psychological damage and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of her husband's loss.
Mrs Murphy claimed that there was an unjustifiable delay in delivering adequate and proper care to her husband.
By the time Mr Murphy underwent surgery that night, septic shock had set in and he died at 11.15pm.