A compensation claim for a botched laparoscopy has been settled at the High Court, with the plaintiff being awarded more than €855,000 compensation.

The plaintiff – a fifty-year-old woman from Grenville in County Laoise – attended the Midland General Hospital in Portlaoise in June 2002 to undergo a laparoscopy. The purpose of the procedure was to establish why she was unable to fall pregnant; but, as a trocar was being inserted into her abdomen, the surgical instrument punctured a vein and tore an artery, causing the woman to haemorrhage.

Due to the botched procedure, the woman lost eight pints of blood. She was transferred to the hospital´s intensive care unit, where she remained on life support for two days. The woman was discharged after six days of treatment, but still experiences significant pains in her abdomen region fifteen years after the error by her consultant obstetrician – Dr John Corristine.

The woman made a compensation claim for a botched laparoscopy against Dr Corristine and the HSE, alleging there had been a failure to ensure the equipment used during the procedure was in a good and proper working order. She also claimed there was a lack of adequate precautions for her safety and that the pain and suffering she currently experiences are a direct result of the botched laparoscopy.

Dr Corristine and the HSE acknowledged mistakes had been made during the procedure and accepted liability for the woman´s initial pain and suffering. However, both defendants denied there was a connection between the procedure and her ongoing pain and suffering. The compensation claim for a botched laparoscopy subsequently proceeded to the High Court to be settled.

At the High Court hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard medical evidence supporting a connection between the procedure and the woman´s current condition. He also her condition was likely to deteriorate over time. The judge said the woman´s quality of life had been seriously impaired as a result of Dr Corristine´s lack of care, and he awarded her €855,793 in settlement of her compensation claim for a botched laparoscopy.

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