Did outsourcing of cancer testing sentence a woman with cervical cancer to death?

Noble Guardian

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Summary
249. The first named plaintiff is entitled to:

Damages in respect of failure by first named defendant in relation to the audit €10,000

As against all defendants:

General damages €500,000

Miscellaneous special damages (agreed) €12,508

Cost of home adaption (agreed) €70,000

Occupational therapy (agreed) €55,000

Loss of earnings for life €50,000

Care costs €60,000

Total to first named plaintiff €747,508

+€10,000

Total €757,508

250. The second named plaintiff is entitled to:

General damages for loss of consortium €60,000

Loss of first named plaintiff’s income €600,000

Loss of pensions, company care and share options €150,000

Cost of care for Libby €500,000

Cost of domestic assistance €75,000

Retrospective costs and bereavement counselling €20,000

Total €1,405,000

Damages to the first named plaintiff +€757,508

Grand total €2,162,508
 


ruman

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Summary
249. The first named plaintiff is entitled to:

Damages in respect of failure by first named defendant in relation to the audit €10,000

As against all defendants:

General damages €500,000

Miscellaneous special damages (agreed) €12,508

Cost of home adaption (agreed) €70,000

Occupational therapy (agreed) €55,000

Loss of earnings for life €50,000

Care costs €60,000

Total to first named plaintiff €747,508

+€10,000

Total €757,508

250. The second named plaintiff is entitled to:

General damages for loss of consortium €60,000

Loss of first named plaintiff’s income €600,000

Loss of pensions, company care and share options €150,000

Cost of care for Libby €500,000

Cost of domestic assistance €75,000

Retrospective costs and bereavement counselling €20,000

Total €1,405,000

Damages to the first named plaintiff +€757,508

Grand total €2,162,508

Looking forward to a similar breakdown from Orbit for his alternative 20- 25k cost estimate.
 

Orbit v2

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Looking forward to a similar breakdown from Orbit for his alternative 20- 25k cost estimate.
Well you can see there is no breakdown for general damages in the list above. How do you measure something like "loss of consortium" (a concept abolished in England & Wales in 1982)? As I have repeatedly said, the way to deal with this is to benchmark against other countries, both common-law and European civil law. As far as I can tell, 20K is a lot closer to what the statutory ex-gratia scheme is offering than 2.1 million.
 

ruman

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Well you can see there is no breakdown for general damages in the list above. How do you measure something like "loss of consortium" (a concept abolished in England & Wales in 1982)? As I have repeatedly said, the way to deal with this is to benchmark against other countries, both common-law and European civil law. As far as I can tell, 20K is a lot closer to what the statutory ex-gratia scheme is offering than 2.1 million.
Ok so lets knock off general damages + loss of consortium. That leaves 1.5 million odd compared to your 25k.

How about care costs ? I;d imagine it's easy enough to check an hourly rate and estimate the number of hours. Were you paying 50 cents an hour or how many hours a week did you project to arrive at your figure ?

How about home adaption, are you bringing in some builders from Mexico ?

How about loss of earnings ? Salary is easy enough to estimate, life expectancy more guesswork obviously. What portion of the 30k did you stick down for this ? Perhaps you've projected them to live longer.

As far as i can see your figure just covers counselling. Did you get an hourly counselling rate and how may hours did you project for ?

How did you come up with 25k and what exactly does it cover ?
 
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Noble Guardian

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What I found interesting about the breakdown was the determination by thecourt that screening services don't just have a duty of care towards the person being screened, but also apparently to their next of kin.
 

Orbit v2

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Ok so lets knock off general damages + loss of consortium. That leaves 1.5 million odd compared to your 25k.

How about care costs ? I;d imagine it's easy enough to check an hourly rate and estimate the number of hours. Were you paying 50 cents an hour or how many hours a week did you project to arrive at your figure ?

How about home adaption, are you bringing in some builders from Mexico ?

How about loss of earnings ? Salary is easy enough to estimate, life expectancy more guesswork obviously. What portion of the 30k did you stick down for this ? Perhaps you've projected them to live longer.

As far as i can see your figure just covers counselling. Did you get an hourly counselling rate and how may hours did you project for ?

How did you come up with 25k and what exactly does it cover ?
It's unspecific; just like general damages are. I don't accept that the state is negligent in these cases except in some small way. The same outcome would have occurred with any other country's screening system.

Maybe you could tell me how the judge came up with general damages of 500K?
 

ruman

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What I found interesting about the breakdown was the determination by thecourt that screening services don't just have a duty of care towards the person being screened, but also apparently to their next of kin.
Not sure why that would be surprising really. If a childs mother died due to negligence and the father had to leave work to care for the child would you believe the family deserve compensation for his loss of earnings ? Didnt the courts pay compensation to Savita's husband for example.

Just making a legal point , not commenting on the merits of any particular case or cervical check here. Once the issue of negligence was accepted that became inevitable.
 
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Noble Guardian

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The sections prior to the summmary detail the Court's thinking on damages.
 

ruman

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It's unspecific; just like general damages are. I don't accept that the state is negligent in these cases except in some small way. The same outcome would have occurred with any other country's screening system.

Maybe you could tell me how the judge came up with general damages of 500K?
I dont believe it works that way. Either you're negligent or you're not, there's no "small way".
Once you are, it's a matter of quantifying the costs of losses.

The judge doesnt come up with general damages figures , its' agreed by both parties and subsequently simply rubber stamped by him. That figure seems to be pretty much the ball park in most negligence cases so it;s unlikely there was much arguing over it once negligence was admitted. The HSE/state claims agency has pretty much approved this award as it does in most cases.

I dont know why people think judges are coming up with these figures, they're not. The idea that the HSE/SCA is having these awards imposed on them against their will and with no input is not true. They largely agree with these figures, there may be care cases where there is a huge difference in estimates and the judges will need to rule but that's not the norm.
 

Orbit v2

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I dont believe it works that way. Either you're negligent or you're not, there's no "small way".
Once you are, it's a matter of quantifying the costs of losses.

The judge doesnt come up with general damages figures , its' agreed by both parties and subsequently simply rubber stamped by him. That figure seems to be pretty much the ball park in most negligence cases so it;s unlikely there was much arguing over it once negligence was admitted. The HSE/state claims agency has pretty much approved this award as it does in most cases.

I dont know why people think judges are coming up with these figures, they're not. The idea that the HSE/SCA is having these awards imposed on them against their will and with no input is not true. They largely agree with these figures, there may be care cases where there is a huge difference in estimates and the judges will need to rule but that's not the norm.
The link above points to a judgement. The matter was contested and decided by the judge. I presume the only agreed figures are the ones marked as agreed.
 

Noble Guardian

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I dont believe it works that way. Either you're negligent or you're not, there's no "small way".
Once you are, it's a matter of quantifying the costs of losses.

The judge doesnt come up with general damages figures , its' agreed by both parties and subsequently simply rubber stamped by him. That figure seems to be pretty much the ball park in most negligence cases so it;s unlikely there was much arguing over it once negligence was admitted. The HSE/state claims agency has pretty much approved this award as it does in most cases.

I dont know why people think judges are coming up with these figures, they're not. The idea that the HSE/SCA is having these awards imposed on them against their will and with no input is not true. They largely agree with these figures, there may be care cases where there is a huge difference in estimates and the judges will need to rule but that's not the norm.
I think you'd like this podcast;

There's an interesting bit in episode 6 (I think) regarding the unintended consequences of limiting court awards which I hadn't previously considered. In any case, it's fascinating.
 

Orbit v2

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From what I hear the testing for Covid 19 is a bit chaotic. Does this mean they expect the same extraordinary standard for what in this case is actually a diagnostic test, and therefore required to have even more stringent standards. These judges are living in a dream world. Well, we're in a new world now, and reality is going to bite very hard.
 

Orbit v2

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Interesting that the SC use the UK standard to support their argument in this case, maybe even hung the whole case on it. But, when it came to the free-speech for TD's in the Dáil case, they simply waved the UK practice away, barely acknowledging it.

So having accepted the UK standard in this case, we now apply Irish monetary compensation standards, not UK ones of course.
 

ruman

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Be interesting to see what the legal fees of that appeal are to the Irish taxpayer. HSE management should be questioned about it but of course they wont as (unlike frontline medical staff) HSE management are not accountable to any independent body.

As an aside what has happened to the report on medical negligence reform ?
An interim report was published in early 2019 and the final report was due in June 2019 but there has been nothing since.


“I welcome the Interim Report of Judge Meenan’s Expert Group and want to record my appreciation for the valuable work done to date by the Group. We need to explore all options to seek an alternative mechanism for resolving clinical negligence claims, which is more person-centred and yet fair to all parties. Both myself and Minister Flanagan look forward to receiving the final report of the Expert Group in June 2019.” Minister Harris
 
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ShoutingIsLeadership

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Supreme court have issued judgement HSE, labs lose court appeal against cervical test award.

I find this astonishing. This will make it next to impossible to run a screening programme from now on.
Have you read the judgment?

It's as close as one gets to the Supreme Court rejecting an appeal as utterly groundless in parts.


Some of the “more extreme” comments are “very hard to reconcile” with clear evidence that such a standard applied in the UK and in Northern Ireland specifically without the screening systems there becoming unworkable, he said.

The suggestion the High Court was applying an absolute confidence test in a way which effectively meant every error, even with the benefit of hindsight, must result in negligence, is “demonstrably wrong”, he said.
 

Orbit v2

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They are playing with words. On one hand they are saying the tests don't have to be perfect. But, the interpretation of the test result has to be perfect in the sense of zero tolerance for false negatives. Maybe, that's acceptable in the UK where the compo payouts for this specific issue, have been tiny fractions of what was paid out in this case. But, this does still call into question the future viability of screening programs here.
 

ruman

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They are playing with words. On one hand they are saying the tests don't have to be perfect. But, the interpretation of the test result has to be perfect in the sense of zero tolerance for false negatives. Maybe, that's acceptable in the UK where the compo payouts for this specific issue, have been tiny fractions of what was paid out in this case. But, this does still call into question the future viability of screening programs here.
Obviously you're entitled to your opinion but it's been completely rejected now by both courts.

HSE ****ed up, they then squandered yet more taxpayer funds with a ridiculous appeal. If it wasn't for the current crisis people would justifiably be calling for heads to roll.

Par for the course with the HSE. It's their core policy is to deny any negligence , a policy that prevents learnings being applied and consequently causes repeat errors. The taxpayer then foots the bill and medical staff face regulatory body inquiries.
 
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