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Widow settles husband heart attack lawsuit


Marion O'Driscoll. Photo: Collins

Marion O'Driscoll. Photo: Collins

Marion O'Driscoll. Photo: Collins

A WIDOW has settled her legal action over the death of her husband following a heart attack 36 hours after he was discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of a trapped nerve.

James O'Driscoll, a 68-year-old senior counsel, was a well-known member of the Munster Bar when he died in 2009.

His widow Marion sued St Vincent's Health Care Group Ltd, trading as St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, for mental distress arising from the loss of her husband. The defendant denied the claim.

It was claimed there was a failure to carry out a further medical review of Mr O'Driscoll on five different occasions when he was detained overnight at the hospital and was given further painkillers.

There was also a failure to consider a diagnosis of coronary syndrome and a failure to adhere to the hospital's own protocol for coronary symptoms, it was alleged.

The case opened nearly two weeks ago, and following several days of evidence Mr Justice John Heidigan was told yesterday that the matter had been settled and could be struck out. No details were revealed.

Mrs O'Driscoll, of Rathgar, said that as a result of her husband's death she suffered personal injury and loss and their three grown-up children have been deprived of their father's love, affection and devotion.


Her counsel said that management of Mr O'Driscoll in hospital and the circumstances of his discharge "fell far below the acceptable standard".

If Mr O'Driscoll – who previously had a triple bypass – had received the appropriate treatment, his death from a heart attack would not have occurred, it was claimed.