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Designer's family secures €215k over cancer tragedy

THE family of an award-winning fashion designer who died arising out of the alleged failure by a hospital to diagnose cancer while she was pregnant has secured €215,000 in a High Court settlement.

Miriam Mone (42) won the Late Late Show's Coat Designer Of The Year award in 1993 and the Designer Of The Year at the same awards in 1995.

She died as a result of ovarian cancer on February 22, 2007, just over a year after giving birth to her second daughter in the Coombe maternity hospital in Dublin. In an action brought by her husband, William Healy, of Rockingham Grove, Leixlip, Kildare, it was claimed there was a failure at the Coombe to carry out any or adequate investigative procedures after an ovarian cyst was discovered when she attended the hospital in June 2005, 11 weeks into her pregnancy.

It was alleged there were a number of failures, including a failure to carry out any or adequate procedures to detect the cancer. The settlement was against the HSE.

The case was before Ms Justice Mary Irvine yesterday when she gave formal judgment for €215,000 after she was told by Oonah McCrann that extended family members had waived their claims and the settlement could go to Mr Healy and his two daughters. The judge directed payments of €7,500 each to the children, Katrina (8) and Alana (6).

It was claimed that as a result of the death of Ms Mone, whose name was given as Miriam Healy in the statement of claim, her family suffered severe injury, mental distress, loss, damage, inconvenience and expense. Her death was caused by negligence and breach of duty, it was also claimed.


After the June 2005 visit to the Coombe, when an ultrasound scan revealed the ovarian cyst, she again attended the hospital on July 15 when it was allegedly reported the appearances of a cyst were typical of a benign haemorrhagic cyst and there were no concerning features. In further visits, on August 30 and October 25, the cyst was reported as being unchanged, it was claimed.

On December 27, she was was diagnosed with deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

She gave birth to Alana on December 30. She continued to be unwell and was referred to St James's Hospital where, by July 2006, she had undergone a course of chemotherapy to fight the tumour, it was claimed.

She died on February 22, 2007.