Friday 14 December 2018

Widow of dad-of-three settles case over his death for €800,000

Allison Ryan pictured leaving the Four Courts Photo: Collins
Allison Ryan pictured leaving the Four Courts Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

The widow of a 42-year-old father of three who died of a heart attack over three weeks after presenting to his GP with pains in his chest and arms has settled her High Court action over his death for €800,000.

Allison Ryan's case was that the wrong diagnosis was allegedly made when her husband Gerry Ryan visited his GP on March 4, 2014, and he should have been referred to a cardiologist, her counsel told the court.

Mrs Ryan, Bruce Antoniotti SC said, rang the GP medical centre around March 28 to say her husband's condition was not improving and he was given an appointment for March 31.

But Mr Ryan collapsed at home on the night of March 30 and died later, counsel said.

Mr Ryan, a senior car salesman who was a heavy smoker, was pre-diabetic and there was a a history of heart disease on his father's side, he said.

A full defence on every aspects of the case had been put forward, counsel said.

Allison Ryan, Bantry Road, Drumcondra, Dublin, had sued GP Paul Neary who has a practice at Fair Gate Medical Practice, Fair Street, Drogheda, Co Louth  over her husband's death on March 31, 2014.

It was claimed that on March 3, 2014 Mr Ryan experienced severe chest pain with shooting pains into his arms and he made an appointment with Dr Neary at the Medical Centre for the next day.

Mr Ryan was advised by the GP he had a burnt oesophagus and the pain in his chest and arms were caused by nerve endings touching the base of his oesophagus, it was claimed.

It was further claimed Dr Neary diagnosed Mr Ryan as having a digestive disorder - gastro oesophageal reflux disease - and prescribed medication.

Mr Ryan's symptoms, it was claimed, continued and on March 14 he telephoned the medical centre and allegedly reported ongoing chest pain  and was advised to increase his medication.

Mrs Ryan contacted the medical centre around March 28 and her husband was booked in for an appointment on March 31, 2014.

However, Mr Ryan collapsed at the the family home and was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda where he was pronounced dead in the early hours of March 31.

An autopsy report stated the cause of death to be acute cardiac failure.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to consider and investigate Mr Ryan's symptoms and complaints and an alleged failure to refer him to hospital in a sufficiently prompt and timely manner or at all.

All the claims were denied.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross sympathised with Mrs Ryan and her family on their loss.

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