Woman Settles Case of Negligence Which Caused Husband’s Death

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A woman has settled her case against the Tipperary General Hospital for negligence which she alleges resulted in the death of her husband.

In March 2008, John Devereux attended the South Tipperary General Hospital with a swollen toe on his right foot, and was diagnosed as having a toe infection caused by septic arthritis. Doctors prescribed John Sodium Fusidate to treat the infection, and sent John home the same day.

Several weeks later, John returned to the hostile complaining of pains in his legs. The infection in his toe had not improved, so John was administered further doses of Sodium Fusidate and admitted to hospital so he could be kept under observation.

John’s condition deteriorated, and it was later diagnosed that he was suffering from the condition rhabdmoloysis-a condition in which the muscles break down-due to which John developed acute renal failure. John died due to the renal failure in March 2008.

John’s widow-Margaret-made a claim against Tipperary General Hospital for negligence on the gourds that the medication John had been prescribed when he first attended the hospital had conflicted with the treatment that he was receiving for his diabetes.

She further claimed that the doctors at the hospital had failed in diagnosing her husband with rhabdmoloysis, even though they should have recognised the symptoms of the disease. The claimed that she had suffered form severe mental distress due to the Health Service Executive’s breach in their duty of care of her husband.

The defendants denied liability for John’s death. The case was brought before the High Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Mrs Justice Mary Irvine. She was told that an out of court settlement had been negotiated between the parties which would see Margaret receive €45,000 in compensation. However, the HSE refused to admit liability.

The judge approved the settlement, saying that John’s death and been very tragic but given the circumstances Margaret would have had a huge hill to climb to establish negligence against the South Tipperary General Hospital if the case went to trial.

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