Claims News

Nursing Negligence Claim Settled at Court Hearing

Posted on: September 4th, 2017

A nursing negligence claim, made by a woman who fractured her spine when she fell out of bed, has been settled at a hearing of the Circuit Civil Court.

The plaintiff – a seventy-nine year old woman from Finglas in Dublin – had attended the city´s Mater Hospital for day surgery in April 2015, and was recovering from the general anaesthetic, when she attempted to get out of bed and fell – fracturing her spine in the fall.

The woman – who spent almost a month in the Mater Hospital recovering from her injuries before being transferred to the Clontarf Orthopaedic Hospital for further treatment – now has to wear a lumbar brace and use a Zimmer frame to support herself when she walks.

Having previously led an independent life, and now requiring a considerable level of care from her daughter, the woman made a nursing negligence claim against the Mater Hospital, alleging that it had failed to adhere to its fall prevention policy.

The nursing negligence claim was heard by Judge James O´Donohoe at the Circuit Civil Court, who was told by the plaintiff´s barrister the woman should have been closely monitored following a fall at her home the previous November. An expert witness on behalf of the witness testified the hospital should have been aware of her fall and recorded it in the woman´s care plan.

Judge O´Donohoe heard from the head of nursing, who explained to the judge how the accident had happened, but could not explain why the hospital´s fall prevention policy had not been adhered to or why the nurse who attended the woman after her fall had not been called to give evidence. The judge told the court the absence of the attending nurse spoke volumes.

After hearing from the plaintiff´s daughter that her mother was not the woman she had been prior to her fall, Judge O´Donohoe found in the woman´s favour – awarding her €58,500 in settlement of her nursing negligence claim, but placing a stay on €28,500 of the settlement pending an appeal from the Mater Hospital.

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.