There is, unfortunately, a long and disturbing history of the State appealing awards made in medical negligence cases. Occasionally, individuals or families struggling with very great challenges have their difficulties exacerbated by official stonewalling.
Very often, time is of the essence, so any delay has a special significance. All of these issues apply to Ruth Morrissey who is terminally ill with cervical cancer.
She, with her husband Paul, was awarded €2.1m in damages. However, her case has an extra layer of difficulty. The State Claims Agency, on behalf of the HSE, is to appeal the judgment, which, they contend, involves “significant implications for the State”.
Though this is unexceptional, it is exceptional that Ms Morrissey and her legal team heard of the appeal through a newspaper. Her solicitor, speaking at the weekend, said they had not been told directly that the State agency is to appeal.
This is grossly disrespectful and an insensitive failure in communications, but there will be no consequences for those responsible. What a rotten system, what a rotten culture.