Cosmetic surgery cases hit by doctor’s death

Woman suing over botched procedures in a difficult position, judge says

Mr Justice George Birmingham said women  in a more difficult position after Medical Defence Union’s decision to end involvement in two actions

Mr Justice George Birmingham said women in a more difficult position after Medical Defence Union’s decision to end involvement in two actions

Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 01:00

The Medical Defence Union’s decision to end its involvement in two actions against a

cosmetic surgeon who died bankrupt, has left two women who were suing the doctor over alleged botched procedures in a more difficult position, a High Court judge said.

The position of Mary Jo Moloney, suing over an alleged botched breast operation, is particularly difficult because the procedure was done by Samy Malhas in Dublin in November 2003 at the Advanced Cosmetic Surgery clinic (now in liquidation) which was not insured, said Mr Justice George Birmingham.

Ms Moloney claims she was left with scarring, asymmetry, nipple mal-positioning and hypersensitivity, and distortion of breast shape. She also raised issues about the validity of consent for the procedure. All claims were denied.

In the second case, Deirdre Shortt claims she was left “a nasal cripple” following a rhinoplasty by Mr Malhas at Cosmedico Clinic Dublin in August 2007. Mr Malhas accepted she developed a small dent on her nose but denied other claims and pleaded contributory negligence by Ms Shortt in failing to let the nose heal.

The judge noted Ms Shortt’s prospects for damages recovery, should she win, are “not as bleak” because Cosmedico exists and is insured.

Died bankrupt

Mr Malhas, a member of the MDU, sought its help with the claims and MDU was represented by Arthur Cox solicitors. In January 2013, Mr Malhas died in Germany. He had been declared a bankrupt.

The MDU decided to stop its assistance and told Arthur Cox to come off record. Both plaintiffs opposed those applications and Cosmedico supported Ms Shortt in that.

As a condition of allowing Arthur Cox come off record, the judge directed that the applicant pay Ms Moloney’s costs of the motion and for outlay incurred by her.

As a condition of coming off record in Ms Shortt’s case, the costs of the motions should be paid to Ms Shortt and Cosmedico, the judge ordered. He adjourned the matter to allow the sides consider his judgment.