MBLLF secure €1million in damages for failure in psychiatric care to patient
In June 2017 the Plaintiff ( a middle aged public servant) attended with a family member at the Emergency Department of a major Dublin hospital seeking help for their deteriorating mental health issues. The plaintiff had suicidal ideation and was seeking admission. The Plaintiff had a significant previous history of mental health issues. Against the Plaintiff and the family’s wishes, the patient was discharged from the hospital and was referred to Community Mental Health Services for further treatment. There were various errors made in the assessment of the Plaintiff by the Psychiatric Registrar on duty, including an inaccurate assessment of the Plaintiff’s risk of self-harm (using the ROVI risk assessment tool), a failure to consider the Hospitals own prior records of the Plaintiff’s previous psychiatric history and self-harm attempts and a failure to have regard to the significant relevant collateral history given by family members.
Unfortunately, the patient/Plaintiff was discharged from hospital and went home and within hours had made a serious attempt of self harm causing very significant injuries with life altering effects. The plaintiff required in patient hospital care for in excess of 6 months to recover from their injuries. The Plaintiff’s family consulted this firm who secured strong supportive expert reports from a leading Irish Consultant Psychiatrist which was critical of the care provided at the A & E Department of the hospital and the failure to admit the patient overnight for further proper assessment and care.
Proceedings were issued in December 2018 and initially a full Defence was filed on behalf of the hospital. The action was scheduled for hearing in recent weeks before the High Court. Fortunately, the week before the trial was due to commence the Defendant requested that mediation talks would take place. Given the sensitive nature of the case this was readily agreed to by the Plaintiff. Fortunately, at the mediation talks a settlement was reached with damages being agreed at €1m plus costs. This was a satisfactory outcome from the Plaintiff’s point of view and spared the Plaintiff and close family from the distress of a full High Court trial. The settlement will make a major beneficial difference to the Plaintiff’s future quality of life. Fortunately, in the years since the incident occurred the Plaintiff has been well from a mental health point of view and is doing very well presently. It is hoped that the settlement will provide all the financial and personal support that will be needed for their future life.
Michael Boylan Litigation Law Firm can be contacted on 01-9017418 or at email@example.com