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€90k award to family of nose op death man

THE family of a 38-year-old man who died almost two years after suffering a heart attack following a medical procedure to unblock his nose have settled their High Court action for wrongful death.

Brendan Minnock suffered severe brain damage and was left in a vegetative state after undergoing a medical procedure in December 2007 called a nasal polypectomy -- which is to remove growths from inside the nose and sinus -- at St Francis Private Hospital, Ballinderry, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

His widow Ashling Foy, of Tullamore, Co Offaly sued consultant anaesthetist Kieran Murphy for the mental distress the family suffered.

She claimed Dr Murphy was negligent and in breach of his duty of care in the medical treatment he provided to father-of-one Mr Minnock. It was alleged that prior to the procedure Dr Murphy administered medication to treat Mr Minnock's high blood pressure when it was unsafe to do so.

Dr Murphy denied the claim. The action was settled without admission of liability.


At the High Court Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved a payment of €90,000 to the family as settlement of what was one of a number of cases brought arising out of Mr Minnock's death.

The court heard that two other related actions had also been settled.

After approving the award the Judge expressed sympathy to the Mr Minnock's widow and their family. It was "extremely tragic" to lose someone at such a young age, she said.

It was claimed that prior to undergoing the procedure, which is done under anaesthetic, Mr Minnock was given medication by Dr Murphy to treat his high blood pressure.

It was claimed that Mr Minnock was observed by a recovery nurse to turn blue, due to lack of oxygen in his blood and suffer a heart attack. He was given CPR, and his heart started again after 30-40 minutes.

He was transferred to Mullingar hospital and was eventually moved to the Mater hospital in Dublin, and was diagnosed as having sustained serious brain injuries. He remained in a vegetative state requiring full time care until his death in December 2009.