Family of teenager who died settles case against pharmacist

Mother alleged refusal of EpiPen for daughter at O’Connell Street shop as no prescription

Fourteen-year-old Emma Sloan died after going into anaphylactic shock in December 2013. Photograph: Facebook/EmmasVoice

Fourteen-year-old Emma Sloan died after going into anaphylactic shock in December 2013. Photograph: Facebook/EmmasVoice

 

The family of a teenage girl who died on O’Connell Street, Dublin, after going into anaphylactic shock after mistakenly eating a sauce containing nuts, has settled a High Court action.

The settlement was made without an admission of liability.

Caroline Sloan had sued pharmacist David Murphy and Hamilton Long Allcare Pharmacy on O’Connell Street where Ms Sloan had gone looking for an EpiPen for her daughter Emma which was allegedly declined because she did not have a prescription.

The 14-year-old teenager later died of anaphylactic shock. EpiPens are used to treat people suffering from anaphylactic shock.

On Monday Ms Sloan’s counsel, Gordon Walsh, said the €50,000 settlement was made without an admission of liability.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Garrett Simons said as the deceased was only 14-years of age there was no claim for loss of earnings and the full value of the case was achieved. He noted a full defence had been filed in the action from both defendants.

The settlement includes special damages and the statutory solatium payment, in this case just over €21,000. A solatium is paid to the dependants of a deceased person for mental distress in fatal personal injuries action and is intended to be an acknowledgement of the grief and upset suffered.

Caroline Sloan, Kilworth Road , Drimnagh, Dublin 12, had sued pharmacist David Murphy and Ballychem Ltd trading as Hamilton Long Allcare Pharmacy over the events of December 18th, 2013.

Satay sauce

Ms Sloan brought the action on her own behalf and on behalf of Emma’s two sisters.

In an affidavit, Ms Sloan said she, Emma, her two sisters and aunt had attended a Chinese restaurant on Eden Quay, Dublin. She said they had a buffet-style dinner and “tragically, Emma consumed a nut sauce by mistake called satay”.

She suffered an anaphylactic reaction and her mother went to Hamilton Long Allcare Pharmacy on nearby O’Connell Street requesting an EpiPen.

In 2015, a charge of poor professional performance against pharmacist David Murphy was struck out. The fitness to practise committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland ceded to a request by lawyers for pharmacist David Murphy that he had no case to answer.

It had been alleged he failed to respond adequately when declining to give Caroline Sloan an EpiPen because she did not have a prescription for her daughter.

* This article was edited on May 26th, 2021