Wrong Drug Prescription Claim settled at £835k

In a wrong drug prescription claim a settlement in the order of £835,000 was awarded to the widow of the victim.

Colm O’Donovan (31) had become unwell in August 2005 with suspected food poisoning, and his wife, Patricia, had called an out of hours medical service. The doctor with the service injected Colm with Cyclamorah, but the following morning his condition had deteriorated. Colm collapsed as he tried to get out of bed and began to suffer seizures.

Patricia contacted the medical service again, and this time Colm was attended by Dr. Johan Dirk van der Meer. Dr. van der Meer diagnosed that Colm’s seizures were in reaction to the first drug and administered an injection of Largactyl – claiming that it would control the seizures. Instead, Colm’s condition disimproved and, shortly after being attended by his GP the following morning, suffered a heart attack and died.

It was claimed in the subsequent action that Dr. van der Meer had failed to conduct a full examination of Colm. This, it was claimed, would have shown a serious illness for which Colm could have received treatment in hospital. It was also alleged that by giving the injection of Largactyl, Dr. van der Meer accelerated the serious illness which eventually lead to Colm’s death.

The judge was told in the court that liability had been admitted by the doctor and the action against the medical service was struck out. Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill was also told that an agreement on settlement had been reached between Colm’s family and the negligent party for a compensation of £835,000, which he was satisfied to approve.