A medical negligence claim in Ireland may arise if you have suffered from an injury as a result of medical mistreatment or a lack of medical care.
Medical negligence can be a factor in a cases involving spinal injury, brain injury and birth injuries as well as other life change injuries. These cases can result from delayed treatment, failure in diagnosis or treatment, such as a negligently performed surgery, not providing patients with accurate information, or not involving them properly in decision-making around their own care.
What is the test for medical negligence in Ireland?
You must be able to prove the following:
1. Breach of Duty
2. Can the medical practitioner in question be proved guilty of such failure – that no medical practitioner of equal specialist or general status and skill would be guilty of, if acting with ordinary care?
How was the test for medical negligence determined?
The principles to be applied were set down in 1989 in the seminal case of Dunne v National Maternity Hospital and Jackson. In this case, the infant Plaintiff sustained irreversible brain damage and catastrophic injuries at birth and his mother (on his behalf) brought a claim in the High Court seeking compensation for those injuries. The facts of the case related to the alleged negligent mismanagement of the last six hours of the mother’s twin pregnancy and labour by failing to monitor two foetal heart beats instead of one. This was the very first birth injuries case to come before the Courts and the decision of the High Court was appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court’s judgement summarised the legal principles which the Courts should adopt in all cases of medical malpractice and since then they have become known as the ‘Dunne principles’ and are as follows:
The principles applicable are as follows:
In a recent Supreme Court case of Ruth Morrissey and Paul Morrissey v Health Service Executive, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated and Medlab Pathology Limited the Supreme Court affirmed that the ‘Dunne’ principles remain the appropriate legal test for establishing liability in medical negligence litigation in Ireland.
Medical Negligence & Birth Injury Claims
Birth injury claims involving children who are injured during the course of labour, delivery and in the neonatal period are some of the most tragic, emotional and distressing types of medical negligence cases that come before the Courts.
Typical injuries that lead to a birth injury compensation claim are often related to the baby not receiving sufficient oxygen during or just before delivery. This can be caused by inadequate monitoring, failure to diagnose a condition, the mother experiencing complications during the birth or improper handling of the baby once it is born. A reduction in the supply of oxygen to the brain may cause brain damage or lead to some other form of permanent disability, such as cerebral palsy.
Birth injuries which can arise as a result of medical negligence include the following:
Maternal birth injuries which can arise as a result of medical negligence include the following:
Medical Negligence & Spinal Injury Claims
Spinal cord injuries can arise or be exacerbated as a result of medical negligence. Examples of such:
Medical Negligence & Brain Injury Claims
Brain injuries can arise or be exacerbated as a result of medical negligence. Examples of cases have been made on behalf of Plaintiffs are:
Medical Negligence Solicitors
If you believe that you might have a medical negligence claim, it is important that you choose specialist solicitors to handle your case. We at McMahon Goldrick Solicitors specialise in medical negligence and serious injuries. At McMahon Goldrick Solicitors, we pride ourselves on the standard of care we offer to our clients. We act exclusively for individuals and families that have been affected by spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and birth injury resulting in permanent disability. Please, as always, email or telephone us with any queries on a non-committal basis.