The woman, a young mother who cannot be named by order of the court, as a result, it was claimed, had to have two procedures to deal with the cancer and it was alleged she was entitled to very significant damages for alleged injuries to her physical and mental health.
Her counsel, Jeremy Maher SC with Patrick Treacy SC and instructed by Cian O’Carroll solicitors, told the court at the opening of the case the HSE admitted a breach of duty in relation to the reporting of a 2013 smear sample taken from the woman under the national screening programme.
The HSE further admitted a breach of duty in relation to a failure to disclose results of an audit four years later of that slide which indicated that the original reports of negative for malignancy were incorrect. The HSE denied other claims.
On the second day of the hearing on Wednesday, Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told the case had been settled.
Opening the case, Mr Maher said it was their case that if the 2013 slide had been correctly read the woman would have been referred for a colonoscopy and a Lletz procedure and the abnormal cells could have been completely excised.
Instead, he said “a mistake was made” and she had to undergo very significant procedures to treat her cancer. It was their case that the alleged delay in diagnosis led to the woman having to have a second Lletz procedure and the procedures in turn reduced the size of her cervix.
The woman’s cancer was diagnosed in 2016 and it was at an early stage. Counsel said, while the follow-up was good from the medical point of view and she was cancer free, there were consequences to having the second procedure.
He said it has affected every aspect of her life and she is not the person she was. The woman had sued the HSE.
It was claimed her cancer was allowed to develop and spread unidentified, unmonitored and untreated until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the summer of 2016. It was further claimed there was a failure to advise her in a timely manner of the results of a review of her 2013 smear sample.