€100,000 damages after failed procedure

Sat, Feb 2, 2013, 00:00

A woman has been awarded €100,000 damages at the High Court over a failed sterilisation operation.

Karen Hurley-Ahern (41) got pregnant after the operation and gave birth to a severely disabled baby boy, Samuel, who died nearly six months later.

Ms Hurley-Ahern, who had two other children, was shocked to find herself pregnant again as she had a blood-clotting disorder which had led her to have the sterilisation as she was concerned about risks both to herself and a child from the condition.

She and her husband Garret Ahern sued consultant gynaecologist Dr Victor Moore, who carried out the sterilisation procedure in Tralee General Hospital in Kerry in February 2001, and the Southern Health Board (now the HSE).

They sought damages alleging a number of failures including negligence in how the operation was performed. The defendants denied the claims and said the couple were warned of the risk of failure.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Seán Ryan awarded €100,000 to Ms Hurley-Ahern, Assumpta Park, Newcastle West, Limerick, saying she had suffered to a significant extent as a result of the defendants’ negligence.

While Samuel’s severe disability was not a consequence of this negligence, Ms Hurley-Ahern suffered in a number of ways including mental distress on the death of her baby, he said.