Saturday 21 September 2019

Family get €54,000 after mum dies from hot water bottle scald

Olive Sheeran’s daughter Carol Hayes took the action. Photo: Collins Courts
Olive Sheeran’s daughter Carol Hayes took the action. Photo: Collins Courts

Ray Managh

The family of a 90-year-old woman who died following scald injuries she suffered from a hot water bottle in a nursing home have been awarded just over €54,000 damages.

Olive Sheeran suffered severe scalding when the water bottle burst in her bed.

SRCW Limited, the operators of Ferndene Nursing Home, Deansgrange Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin, had agreed to pay the family €54,406 damages as assessed by the Injuries Board.

Her daughter Carol Hayes, of Corabally, Ardfield, Clonakilty, Co Cork, had sued SRCW Limited on her own behalf as well as her brothers Mark (57) and Conor Sheeran (55) and Ms Sheeran's grandchildren.

Ms Hayes, an office manager, said in an affidavit that she was asking to approve the Injuries Board assessment "in respect of the fatal injuries" her mother, then 89, had sustained at Ferndene Nursing Home on January 6, 2017.

Barrister Frank Crean said about five minutes before the accident a nurse at the home had visited Ms Sheeran's room and had taken two water bottles away to refill them.

A water bottle had then been placed next to Ms Sheeran's feet and burst shortly afterwards, severely scalding her.

Mr Crean told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that following an investigation all water bottles had been removed from use in the home. The investigator recommended they should be replaced with coded stock to be inspected monthly and replaced annually.

The court heard Ms Sheeran had developed pneumonia and a urinary tract infection in hospital. She had remained in hospital for about three months when her wounds had almost completely healed.

Ms Hayes said: "I have been advised by my mother's plastic surgeon that she suffered a life-threatening injury with a 31pc predicted mortality.

"My mother died on August 21, 2017."

Ms Hayes said that in her view her mother did not fully recover from the injuries.

Judge Groarke, approving the settlement, complimented Ms Hayes for having pursued the matter as she had done.

Irish Independent

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