Tuesday 20 March 2018

HSE pays out €850,000 over mum of two's death

Evelyn Flanagan: a jury ruled 'death by misadventure'
Evelyn Flanagan: a jury ruled 'death by misadventure'

Tim Healy

THE family of a 38-year-old woman who died hours after giving birth to her second child, is to be paid €850,000 plus legal costs by the HSE under a settlement of a High Court action.

Evelyn Flanagan died at Mayo General Hospital on October 19, 2007, as a result of serious complications following the birth of her daughter, Niamh.

It was alleged she suffered a post-partum haemorrhage as a result of a rupture of the uterus which was not detected or adequately dealt with.

Her husband, Padraic (43), of Holyhill, Ballyheane, Castlebar, had brought proceedings against the HSE and a consultant obstetrician, Dr Murtada Mohamed, alleging the care given to his wife at the hospital was substandard and led to her death.

The settlement, ruled this week by Mr Justice Michael Peart, arose following a mediation of the proceedings during which the hospital admitted liability. The settlement is to be paid by the HSE with the case against Dr Mohamed struck out. The sum includes payments for two children and the maximum €25,395 payable for mental distress.

In a statement released after the ruling, Mr Flanagan said he welcomed "the acknowledgement of liability by Mayo General Hospital, albeit late in the day".

In legal documents, Mr Flanagan described his wife as "a very healthy, strong individual" and a great mother.

Mr Flanagan said he was rearing the girls alone and the loss of his wife's companionship and support "has been devastating".

Mr Flanagan is a senior executive officer with Mayo County Council. His wife was also employed with the council at the time of her death.

Although an initial post-mortem suggested Mrs Flanagan's death was the direct result of an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE), a rare obstetric emergency, the family claimed the sudden deterioration in her condition could be attributed to postpartum haemorrhage.

At inquest proceedings in 2008 and 2009, counsel John Jordan argued on behalf of the family that Mrs Flanagan's death could have been avoided.

The jury returned a verdict of death by medical misadventure.

Irish Independent

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