Compensation for Fatal Delayed Treatment Awarded to Family

A Cork hospital has “apologised unreservedly” and paid 500,000 Euros in compensation for delayed treatment to the family of a man who died from septic shock after being admitted with abdominal pains.

Barry Murphy (38) from Carrigaline in County Cork was admitted to the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital in the morning of 24th April 2008. Barry, a financial controller who suffered from Crohn´s Disease, was diagnosed with a perforated bowel but surgery was delayed until late in the evening – by which time septic shock had taken over Barry´s body – and he was pronounced dead the same evening.

Barry´s wife, Mary, and her two daughters alleged that Barry had died due to medical malpractice, and took the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital to court, claiming compensation for delayed treatment and wrongful death. The hospital initially denied liability for Barry´s death, during which time Mary suffered significant psychological damage and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

However, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice John Quirke heard that the hospital now admitted that “the level of care provided to the late Mr Murphy fell short of an acceptable standard”, and was willing to pay compensation for delayed treatment amounting to 500,000 Euros. After ensuring that the settlement offer was acceptable to Barry´s widow, Mr Justice John Quirke approved the settlement, adding his own sympathy to Mary and her two daughters for the unthinkable tragedy.