Medical Negligence

Success Stories

€5.9 million settlement for man made blind due to medical negligence

Brendan Doyle - receiving the keys to his own home following the settlement in October 2018
Brendan Doyle - receiving the keys to his own home following the settlement in October 2018

The High Court has approved a settlement of €5.9 million in the case of a man who went blind because of mistakes in his medical treatment.

Brendan Doyle, 49, had a mild disability since his birth but had lived almost independently with some supports.

However in June 2011 a shunt to drain fluid from his brain became infected and was removed at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

He was discharged home without the shunt being replaced.

As a result, his condition deteriorated and he lost his sight.

His lawyers told the High Court the tragic consequence of the error is that he is now totally blind.

They said Mr Doyle had been able to cope reasonably well with his pre-existing disabilities but this was "the final straw".

He had to move out of his accommodation and live in a nursing home which he dislikes intensely, they said.

His family said that while living in the nursing home he could not receive proper rehabilitation and support and lost his independence.

They criticised what they said was a six-and-a-half year delay in the hospital admitting liability.

They said today's settlement will enable Mr Doyle to have a specially adapted home and the one-to-one support he needs.

In a statement issued after the settlement, his family said: "We and Brendan would return every cent of this settlement were it to mean that he could see again but we hope that with therapy and proper rehabilitation, Brendan will, at least, once again become an active member of his community and begin to enjoy life once more.

"We are very aggrieved that liability was admitted only in January of this year, some six-and-a-half years after the event and Brendan has consequentially wasted almost seven years of his life in a nursing home with no effective rehabilitation programme, surrounded by elderly patients and having to wait for a call bell to be answered just so he can use the bathroom."

Mr Doyle's lawyers told the court the hospital had met the case reasonably and fairly but after difficult negotiations a settlement figure had been reached in the sum of €5.9m.

The money will pay for the construction of a new home and his care needs into the future.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement and thanked Mr Doyle's brother, John, for the care the family had given him to date.

The judge said he was pleased that liability had been admitted and that the defendants had taken a reasonable approach to the settlement.