Woman in pain after hysterectomy awarded €260,000 damages

High court heard operation had been carried out by gynaecologist Peter Van Geene

A woman who had pain after a hysterectomy operation and later had to have a kidney removed has been awarded €260,000 damages by the High Court.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said, when Margaret Browne underwent a hysterectomy operation seven years ago, sutures were placed in the ureter leading to the left kidney which caused a total obstruction of the ureter.

The blockage was not identified until a month later and, in the following years, Ms Browne experienced severe pain and discomfort and in 2013 her left kidney was removed, he said.

Ms Browne, from Co Waterford, had sued a gynaecologist, Peter Van Geene, who carried out the hysterectomy operation on April 6th 2010, and Mount Carmel Medical Group (Kilkenny) Ltd, trading as Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny.


Mr Justice Barr said liability was not at issue in the case and his judgment concerned assessment of damages.

Ms Browne argued she continued to experience significant sequela as a result of the negligent hysterectomy operation and subsequent investigations and procedures carried out in the years after culminated in the removal of her left kidney in 2013.

Her main complaint was of an unstable bladder and she claimed she was disabled in the work aspects of her life, he said.

The defendants accepted she suffered a significant injury as a result of the negligence of Mr Van Geene when carrying out the hysterectomy operation and she was subjected to a number of invasive treatments and tests in the three year period until the kidney removal operation, he said.

The main point of dispute was whether she had significant ongoing complaints after the kidney removal operation, he noted.

The other side contended she had gone on to make a good physical recovery, had set up an online clothing business which continued until November 2016 and had a clothes shop on the quay in Waterford from January 2014 to July 2015.

The defence also claimed she entered a dancing competition in 2015 and was engaged in organising a fashion show in 2015 but pulled out because of an ongoing knee injury.

Mr Justice Barr said he was satisfied Ms Browne was incapable of working from April 2010 to December 2013.

While she had considerable ongoing problems during 2014, he was satisfied things seemed to have changed substantially later and was not satisfied the closure of the online business at the end of 2016 was due to any disability on her part.

Referring to Facebook posts in relation to her clothing business, Sparkle Closet, he said it was a reasonably sophisticated online business and it was clear Ms Browne was actively engaged in the business particularly in 2015 and 2016. The material on the Facebook page did not indicate it was a low key operation which was more of a hobby than a business.

He accepted Ms Browne is somewhat disabled in the work aspects of her life at present and will remain so until further treatment is carried out.

After handing down his judgment, the judge was told a sum of €450,000 had been lodged in court in advance of the case. He will address cost issues next week.