Former soldier's claim over being prescribed anti malaria drug Larium adjourned to next week

Patrick Fedigan outside court today. Pic: Collins

A former soldier's action against the State over health problems he claimed he suffered as a result of being prescribed the anti-malaria drug Larium has been adjourned to next week.

Patrick Fedigan has brought proceedings over what he claims were the effects of taking the drug while he served with the Defence Forces during UN peacekeeping deployments to Africa between 2001 and 2009.

The claims are denied. The case is of one of several brought against the State by members of the Defence Forces who claim they suffered various illnesses as a result of being prescribed the drug.

Mr Fedigan from Lobinstown, Navan, Co Meath, claims that he was prescribed Mefloquine Hydrochloride (Larium) when he served in Eritrea in 2001, Liberia in 2002 and Chad in 2010.

The 51-year-old claims that as a result of his exposure to Larium he has suffered from various conditions including loss of balance, anxiety, panic, insomnia, vertigo, and memory problems.

He further claims the Minister for Defence, Ireland and the Attorney General were negligent and in breach of their duty towards him on grounds including he was not a suitable person to be prescribed Larium.

His prior medical history had not been ascertained before he was prescribed Larium, he alleges, and he further claims he did not get adequate support, treatment or management when he made complaints of symptoms of being prescribed the anti-malaria drug.

He further claims there was an alleged failure to provide him with a safe system of work. All the claims are denied.

Mr Fedigan retired from the Defence Forces in 2013.

The case, expected to last up to 10 weeks, was adjourned shortly after it opened before Mr Justice Bernard Barton today to allow Mr Fedigan's s lawyers consider documents recently discovered by the defendants.

The case before Mr Justice Bernard Barton resumes on Tuesday.

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