Woman to be paid Ksh240 million following wrong cervical cancer diagnosis


A 37-year-old woman from Ireland has been awarded £1.8 million (Ksh240 million) as damages by the courts after two medical laboratories in the country failed to correctly interpret her medical test results in 2009 and 2012.

The test results showed Ruth Morrissey had cancerous cells in her cervix, but the lab technicians interpreted them wrongly, to mean the complainant wasn’t diagnosed with cervical cancer at the time.

The BBC reports that the laboratory misread smears tests done on Ruth Morrissey, but upon finding out that they were wrong, the facility staff failed to tell the complainant.

Ms Morrissey and her husband Paul sued the Ireland’s Health Services (HSE) and two laboratories – MedLab Pathology Limited and Quest Diagnostics.

It is the first such case to have been heard in full and to be the subject of an Irish High Court judgment.

Ms Morrissey was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014.

But the court heard she was not told until May, 2018 that a review showed that two smears taken under the Cervical Check screening programme were reported incorrectly.

She claimed that if the tests in 2009 and 2012 had been correctly interpreted and reported, she could have been successfully treated and would not have developed cancer.

Ms Morrissey also claimed that if she had known about the results of the 2014 review earlier, she would have asked for more scans and better surveillance of her condition.

She was diagnosed with a recurrence of her cancer in February last year and given a prognosis of 12 to 24 months.

Mrs Morrissey told the court she did not think she would ever have been told about the review of smear tests if it had not been for the case of Vicky Phelan, who settled her action against a US laboratory a year ago.

While a number of other women have also reached settlements, this case which ran for 35 days, is the first of its kind to have been heard in full and to be considered in a High Court judgment, the BBC reports.

The HSE admitted it owed a duty of care to Mrs Morrissey. The laboratories denied all the claims.

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