Cancer victim's family awarded €325,000

The High Court in Dublin today approved a settlement of €325,000 for the family of a woman who died of cancer eight years ago.

Anne Broderick of Shankill, Dublin, known as Lulu, was only 30 years of age and the mother of a five-year-old girl when she died in 1998.

The High Court heard she had three smear tests between 1989 and 1993 in the UK and Ireland but was not told of abnormalities or they were not detected.

Her family sued the Coombe Hospital, Dublin and the Mount Vernon Hospital in Middlesex, England. Mr Justice Richard Johnson today approved the settlement.

In November 1989, Ms Broderick had attended another UK hospital for a cervical smear test and the results were sent to her GP in London. The advice from the hospital to her GP was that a follow up examination was necessary and a repeat smear test be carried out in six months.

The GP informed Ms Broderick the test was normal and accordingly no follow up test was carried out.

In February 1992 Ms Broderick had another smear test with was carried out in the Mount Vernon Hospital in the UK on February 13, 1992. The test failed to detect any abnormality.

On January 15, 1993 Ms Broderick gave birth to her daughter at the Coombe Hospital and was referred for a further cervical smear test.

This test was carried out in the Coombe on March 4, 1993. It was claimed that the test and the investigation and interpretation of the results by the Coombe Hospital failed to identify any abnormality.

In March 1994, Ms Broderick was referred by a doctor in the UK to the Mount Vernon hospital and was discharged in April without any diagnosis of her condition or the cause of her bleeding.

On May 6, 1994 Ms Broderick underwent a biopsy of her cervix in the Coombe Hospital which showed the presence of cervical carcinoma.

A large tumour was confirmed by investigations under general anaesthetic on May 25, 1994. Two days later Ms Broderick had a hysterectomy. She died four years later on April 21 ,1998.

It was claimed that the Coombe Hospital was negligent carrying out an assessment and reporting on a smear that was inadequate and unreliable and failing to request a repeat smear.

It was claimed that the Mount Vernon Hospital was negligent in relation to the February 13, 1992 test for failing to have regard to the presence of numerous severely dysaryotic cells in the smear and misinterpreting the smear.

The court heard Anne Broderick was 30 years of age at the time of her death and had been employed by Roches Stores up to June 1997.

It was claimed that she was a hard working and industrious person and her death has created a huge emotional loss for the members of her family.

Outside the court, Ms Broderick's husband Kieran said he did not feel victorious in relation to the settlement of the proceedings .

"No award of money can replace a mother for a child, a wife for a husband," he said.

He said he and Anne had been childhood sweethearts . His wife had begun the court proceedings initially but had died just days before a court hearing. She had made provisions in her will for her family to continue the action.


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