Saturday 21 October 2017

'Nothing can bring her back' - Family of grandmother (82) who died days after she fell off A&E trolley settle case

Geraldine Eaton from Templeogue, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts holding a photograph of her late mum, Leticia Lawlor - after a High Court action for damages (Image: Collins Courts)
Geraldine Eaton from Templeogue, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts holding a photograph of her late mum, Leticia Lawlor - after a High Court action for damages (Image: Collins Courts)
Geraldine Eaton (Right) pictured leaving the Four Courts with her solicitor, David O Malley after a High Court action for damages (Image: Collins Courts)
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Aodhan O'Faolain

The daughter of an 82-year old woman who died days after she fell off a trolley at St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin has settled her High Court action over the fall.

Grandmother of four Letitia Lawlor died seven days after she fell from the trolley three years ago striking her head.

Counsel Doireann O'Mahony BL told the court when Mrs Lawlor was transferred to the hospital A&E  three years ago  after she fell at her nursing home,  she was known to be at risk of falls.

Counsel said this was a tragic fatal case and Mrs Lawlor was missed by her family, a son, a daughter and four grandchildren. Counsel said Mrs Lawlor after her admission to St Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park, Merrion Road, Dublin in August 2013 had been on the trolley overnight and was reviewed by a consultant the next day.

Counsel said her side would contend the side bars on the trolley were lowered so Mrs  Lawlor could have lunch and she later fell from the trolley and suffered lacerations to her head. Five days later on August 22, 2013 Mrs Lawlor died.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death was an acute or chronic subdural haematoma secondary to a fall. An inquest later returned a verdict of medical misadventure in the case.

Today, Mr Justice Kevin Cross in the High Court approved a settlement of €51,000.

Mrs Lawlor's daughter Geraldine Eaton, Fortrose Park, Tempelogue , Dubln had sued St Vincent's Healthcare Group Ltd as a result of the fall from a trolley at St Vincent's Hospital.

It was claimed that Mrs Lawlor had suffered a fall on August 14 2013, while a resident of a nursing home. She had lacerations to the elbow, lip and nose and was taken to the St Vincent's Hospital A&E and admitted for observation.

It was claimed that it was known Mrs Lawlor suffered from several other falls over a period of eight weeks prior to the fall of August 14 and was deemed to be at risk of falls.

It was claimed on August 15, 2013 while she remained remained unattended, she suffered an unwitnessed fall from the trolley where the trolley it was alleged had had been left with with side bars lowered  to allow Mrs Lawlor to feed.

It was further claimed Mrs Lawlor's family had suffered significant distress upset and grief as a result of her untimely death and that the dead woman had played a central role in the lives of her daughter son and grandchildren and had been a devoted mother and grandmother.

Outside court Geraldine Eaton said they miss the devoted grandmother very much.

We miss her very much, and we hope that what happens to her does not happen in any other hospital. She was a very loving grandmother. She had four grandchildren and she doted on them and they all miss her, as we all do. Nothing can bring her back," she said.

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