herald

Saturday 18 November 2017

Husband, daughters settle €160k action in mum's cancer death

Daughters Patricia Lewis, Olive Burke and Yvonne Lewis
Daughters Patricia Lewis, Olive Burke and Yvonne Lewis

The family of a woman who died two years after an alleged failure to act on a cancer finding have settled their High Court action for €160,000.

Eva Lewis (65) lived for those two years as though nothing was wrong, even though a specimen taken during a gallstones operation showed she had cancer, the court heard.

Shock

The specimen finding was not acted upon and, by the time the cancer was discovered, it had spread, said the family's counsel, John O'Mahony.

Mrs Lewis had surgery, but it was much too late and she died two days after being discharged from hospital in October 2013.

Her husband, Patrick Lewis, of Ballincrokig, White's Cross, Co Cork, along with his daughters, Patricia, Olive and Yvonne, sued consultant surgeon Sean Brennan, of The Cork Clinic, Western Road, Cork, for nervous shock over the death.

Mrs Lewis was under the care of Mr Brennan when she had the gallbladder operation in 2011.

The Lewis family claimed there was a failure to take the appropriate steps in a timely manner in response to the analysis of the gallbladder specimen.

A significant delay was allegedly allowed to occur before Mrs Lewis received treatment for her cancer.

It was further claimed she was deprived of the opportunity of receiving appropriate specialist attention and appropriate treatment significantly earlier.

Her husband and daughters, it was alleged, suffered psychiatric injury due to shock caused by the death.

The claims were denied and the settlement made without an admission of liability.

The court was told by the family's counsel that Mrs Lewis was operated on in April 2011 for gallstones and, six days later, the specimen taken indicated cancer was present.

Two years later, she went to her GP complaining of pain in the right abdomen and she was referred to a specialist.

Mr O'Mahony said the cancer had spread.

Counsel added that, if treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, had taken place during those two years, Mrs Lewis would have lived longer and had a better quality of life.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross app-roved the settlement.

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