Tuesday 26 March 2019

Woman with ovarian cancer settles her case against HSE for €2 million

High Court in Dublin
High Court in Dublin

Tim Healy

A woman with terminal ovarian cancer, who sued over an alleged failure to take adequate measures to protect her from the risk of developing the disease, has settled her High Court action against the HSE for €2million.

The mother, who cannot be named by order of the court, had a family history of ovarian cancer but claimed she was not referred for genetic testing.

The real  tragedy of her case, her senior counsel said, was that when she was genetically tested in September last year, months after developing the cancer, she was found to be a "carrier all the time."

The settlement of the action by the woman and her family was brought about after mediation talks and is without an admission of liability.

Her counsel Patrick Treacy told the court the HSE intends to send a "letter of regret" to the woman.

The woman’s case came to light during the CervicalCheck controversy and when Limerick woman Vicky Phelan settled her case over alleged delays for €2.5million.

Counsel said it was her concern that her case would improve the genetic screening services.

The woman, her husband and family had sued the HSE. It was claimed the woman who had a family history of ovarian cancer had from August 2010 attended  at regular intervals at University Hospital, Limerick, and at Mid Western Hospital, Nenagh, for screening in relation to her risk of developing ovarian cancer.

In 2015 she underwent a coloscopy at and was diagnosed a mild changes in the cervix area.

In February 2017,  she was found to have ovarian tumours and pathology showed high grade 3 serious cancer of both ovaries and she had to have a hysterectomy.

Following a genetic analysis in September 2017, she was found to have a pathogenic mutation in the BRCA1 gene , which means she was-a person who was at risk of ovarian cancer.

It was claimed that there was a situation where the woman’s cancer was allowed to develop and spread unidentified, unmonitored and untreated until she was diagnosed with Stage 3c high grade serious ovarian cancer in February 2017.

She further alleged her life expectancy was caused to be significantly reduced and stands at about 24 months.

All claims were denied by the HSE .

The case had been due to be heard as an urgent matter. Mr Justice Paul Butler approved the settlement.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News