Claims News

Woman´s Claim for Emotional Trauma due to Blood Test Error Unresolved

Posted on: April 16th, 2014

A woman´s claim for an emotional trauma due to a blood test error remains unresolved after the High Court judge hearing her case reserved judgement on the claim.

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon at the High Court reserved judgement for a later date after hearing how thirty-five year old Michelle Kenny had attended St James Hospital in Dublin on 17th August 2010 due to feeling unwell on her return from a holiday in Majorca.

The judge was told that Michelle had undergone a chest x-ray and an ECG at the hospital and was subsequently admitted as an inpatient as her doctors believed she may have a blood clot on her lung. Michelle remained in hospital for a week and was discharged without the cause of her symptoms being diagnosed.

On October 6th, Michelle returned to the hospital´s Outpatients Department where blood was taken to test for the possibility of tuberculosis, and Michelle was also asked to consent to a HIV test. Michelle agreed to be tested for HIV but when she was telephoned the following week with the results, she was devastated to be told that she was HIV positive.

During her evidence at the High Court, Michelle told Judge O´Hanlon “I thought I was going to die, that I had no future” and she continued to explain that, even though subsequent tests showed Michelle not to have the HIV virus, she withdrew from her usual social activities and was diagnosed as suffering from nervous shock.

When it was revealed that Michelle had been given the wrong person´s test results, she sought professional legal advice and made a claim for an emotional trauma due to a blood test error against St James Hospital. The hospital disputed Michelle´s claim on the grounds that the error had been realised in a short space of time, that Michelle had been informed immediately, and that she had suffered neither loss nor injury as a result of the mistake.

After hearing evidence from both parties, Judge O´Hanlon reserved judgement on Michelle´s claim for an emotional trauma due to a blood test error and adjourned the case to be resolved on a future date.

This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.