HSE settles medical negligence action
The HSE has settled out of court with the widower of Savita Halappanavar a
medical negligence action in relation to the failures in her treatment whilst she
was under the care of University Hospital Galway.
Savita Halappanavar (31) was 17 weeks pregnant and miscarrying when she was
admitted to University Hospital Galway. She tragically died on 28 October 2012
as a result of septicaemia. An inquest into the death of Savita returned a verdict
of medical misadventure and a subsequent HSE clinical review found there to be
inadequate assessment and monitoring of the patient. A HIQA report into the
death identified thirteen missed opportunities “which, if acted upon, may
potentially have resulted in a different outcome for her”.
The High Court was told that the HSE admitted the death of the 31 year old was
wrongful. The settlement details were not disclosed to the Court but it is thought
involve a substantial sum and orders were also made for an additional €35,000,
payable under the terms of the Civil Liability Act, between Ms. Halappanavar’s
The settlement brings to a close the legal proceedings against the HSE following
the death of Ms Halappanavar. The HSE have promised to fully implement all 33
recommendations made in separate reviews into Ms Halappanavar’s death.
Ronan Hynes, Medical Negligence Expert, commented that “This tragic case
rightly invoked a public outcry on a number of different levels. The onus now
very much rests with the HSE to honour its commitment and implement fully and
swiftly all recommendations to ensure this never occurs again in the Irish
If you have any queries in relation to patient safety, rights or welfare, please
contact Ronan Hynes, Partner for expert advice on 061-414355 or