Heart patient’s surgical negligence case settled for €3m
3 minute read
A male patient underwent a heart procedure at Blackrock Clinic, which led to complications. He developed a severe fungal infection, allegedly acquired during the operation, which resulted in catastrophic injuries.
This patient’s ordeal began in 2021 when he had an aortic graft replacement and an aortic valve repair at the Blackrock Clinic. A week after the surgery, he returned to the clinic with symptoms of rash and chills. Despite being treated and admitted into intensive care, his health deteriorated significantly. It was later discovered that he had contracted an aspergillus infection of a prosthetic graft, a fungal mould that can cause semi-invasive or invasive infections.
This was a complex case of medical negligence
This case was complex and involved allegations regarding the physical composition of the theatre, its layout, the building fit-out and materials used and the air exchange between the theatres and other rooms forming part of the complex. It was alleaged that the patient acquired the infection from an airborne source during the procedure.
Feeling aggrieved and wishing for justice, the man reached out to Augustus Cullen Law’s Medical Negligence Department and had an initial consultation with Neil Kidd. He instructed our firm with his case.
Neil Kidd sent a letter of claim on behalf of his client. The Blackrock Clinic contested the claim, suggesting that the patient may have had the fungal infection before he went in for surgery. However, the court granted our lawyers an order to inspect the theatre complexes at the Blackrock Clinic, which was crucial for presenting the case. Neil engaged an expert to carry out the inspection.
This was a difficult case and included a substantial claim for loss of earnings. However, our lawyers obtained a number of supportive expert opinions from specialists in engineering, infectious diseases, infection prevention and control, cardiology and cardio-thoracic surgery.
The matter settled in the sum of €3 million in just seven months
The defendant showed a willingness to settle, and the matter was settled in the sum of €3 million, plus costs such as legal fees. This was a relief to our client, who was spared a lengthy case that could have otherwise progressed to a hearing.
In light of our client’s poor prognosis, our team did everything possible to fast track this case through the courts with the matter being resolved within just seven months of proceedings issuing despite the complexity of the case.
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