Medical Negligence

Success Stories

Family settle case over care given for thyroid cancer at Cork University Hospital

A MAN and his three children who sued over the care given at Cork University Hospital to his 68-year old wife who had thyroid cancer and died have settled their High Court actions.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to investigate properly whether radioactive iodine therapy could be provided at the hospital to Eileen Hyland from Mitchelstown, who was on dialysis.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to advise her family the treatment was available in the UK.

In the High Court today, a letter was read to the court in which Cork University Hospital expressed sincere regret on Mrs Hyland’s “untimely death”.

The letter was read as Mitchelstown bookshop owner Jim Hyland and his three children John, Sinead and James settled their individual actions.

Mr and Mrs Hyland had been married over 43 years at the time of her death.

The details of the settlements against the HSE are confidential.

In the letter, Cork University Hospital said it is fully committed to addressing the recommendations of an internal report of March 29, 2019, in relation to the Hyland case.

“In that regard, the recommendations will be reviewed and assessed in particular in relation to the provision of radioactive iodine therapy (RAIT) to cancer patients on dialysis.

"In the event that facilities to treat patients with RAIT while on dialysis is not possible in the hospital these patients will be given advice to seek such treatment in other specialist centres."

The hospital also extended “our deepest sympathies to all of Mrs Hyland’s family on their undoubted loss.”

Outside court, Mrs Hyland’s son John said it was “very important that people will have that opportunity our mother was not given”.

He said it was “a fitting legacy to our mother” and they hoped nobody else will be in the situation.

In court, Counsel for the Hyland family Aongus O’Brolchain SC instructed by Michael Boylan, solicitor, told the court the settlement is without admission of liability and a full defence was filed in the case.

Mr Hyland and his three children had sued the HSE claiming there was an alleged failure to treat Mrs Hyland’s cancer with radioactive iodine therapy.

Grandmother of six, Mrs Hyland, who suffered from end-stage renal failure and was undergoing dialysis, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in July 2016. She had a total thyroidectomy at Cork University Hospital a few months later.

In October 2016, it was recommended Mrs Hyland be treated with RAIT but the family were later told that this treatment was not available to a patient on dialysis.

It was claimed that Mrs Hyland and her family were allegedly wrongfully advised the RAIT could not be given to a patient on dialysis.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to make any or any adequate enquiries concerning the referral of Mrs Hyland to a centre where RAIT was available.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to advise that RAIT was available at Liverpool University Hospital to patients undergoing dialysis and there was an alleged failure to investigate properly whether RAIT could be provided to Mrs Hyland at the Cork hospital.

The claims were denied.

Mr O’BrolchIn told the court there was “huge upset” in the Hyland family over whether Mrs Hyland should have been transferred to the UK for treatment.

Mrs Hyland who was prescribed medication for her thyroid cancer in April 2017, was admitted to hospital two days later with nausea and vomiting.

Her condition, it is claimed, deteriorated and she died in hospital on May 5, 2017.

Approving the settlements, Mr Justice Kevin Cross expressed his sympathy to Mr Hyland and his family.

Ann O’Loughlin -