Woman with cancer who sued over hospital care settles High Court action

A woman with breast cancer who sued over the care she received at two hospitals has settled her High Court action.

Joan O’Sullivan (50), who has a mutation gene which means she is at higher risk of cancer,  claimed she has suffered an alleged delay in the diagnosis and treatment of her cancer and as a result her life expectancy may have been reduced.

She sued St James’s Hospital, Dublin, claiming she suffered an alleged perforation to her bowel during an operation in 2013 which was part of a cancer preventative plan.

As a result, she claimed, plans for a preventative full mastectomy were derailed.

She also sued the HSE over her care at Cork University Hospital (CUH) where she claims an eight millimetre tumour in her right breast was not diagnosed when she had a scan in 2016 and when the tumour was diagnosed 522 days later it was three centimetres in size.

The settlement of the case came on the second day of the hearing. The details of the settlement are confidential.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna said he was glad to hear of the settlement and he wished Ms O’Sullivan the very best.. 

The court had heard that since the diagnosis of her breast cancer in October last year she has since had twenty weeks of chemotherapy and has had a right sided mastectomy.

Ms O’Sullivan, McDonagh Court, Old Road, Cashel, Co Tipperary, in her claim against St James in relation to the 2013 procedure, claimed there was an alleged failure to exercise reasonable care and skill and and her bowel was allegedly perforated.

She also sued the HSE claiming there was an alleged failure to identify or to heed adequately or at all a significant abnormality in an MRI scan carried out in CUH in April 2016 and there was an allegedly delayed diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer in her right breast.

St James’s and the HSE denied claims.

The court was told however that the HSE this week, by letter, admitted admitted a breach of duty in relation to some of the care afforded at CUH.

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