Medical Negligence News

Family Compensated for Postpartum Haemorrhage Death

Posted on: October 17th, 2012 by Medical Negligence

A widower, whose wife died after her hospital failed to treat a postpartum haemorrhage, has been granted a €850,000 compensation settlement.

Evelyn Flanagan died shortly after giving birth to her second child in October 2007 at the Mayo General Hospital. The first post-mortem attributed her death to an amniotic fluid embolism, yet her husband – Padraic – contested these findings, stating that the deterioration that was observed in his wife after the birth was because of a postpartum haemorrhage of Evelyn’s uterus. Mr Flanagan, aged forty-three from Castlebar in Co. Mayo, claimed that this haemorrhage was not noticed by the hospital staff, and as such it was not properly treated.

A second inquest into Mrs Flanagan’s death determined that she had died from medical adventure. Upon hearing this verdict, Mr Flanagan sought legal counsel and made a claim against the Mayo General Hospital and Dr Murtada Mohamed, his wife’s consultant obstetrician.

Both parties denied liability for Mrs Flanagan’s death, but Mr Flanagan persevered and continued with his case against the hospital and consultant. Court proceedings were issued against the parties for their alleged negligence, though shortly before the court hearing the Health Service Executive conceded liability for Mrs Flanagan’s death, saying that it could have been prevented had she received greater care.

Despite this admission of liability, the parties could not negotiate a compensation settlement for Mr Flanagan, and the case moved to the High Court in Dublin for an assessment of damages to be carried out. There, it was overseen by Mr Justice Michael Peart, who awarded a settlement of €850,000 to Mr Flanagan for the negligence his wife was subjected to and her subsequent death. The claim against the consultant obstetrician, Dr Mohamed, was struck out by the court.