‘I Didn’t Think I’d Be In This Position’


Ruth Morrissey and her husband Paul outside the High Court this morning

Orla O’Donnell, of RTE, reports:

Ruth Morrissey has won her High Court action over the alleged misreading of smear tests and the failure to tell her about it.

The 37-year-old and her husband Paul have been awarded €2.1 million in damages.

Ms Morrissey and her husband, Paul, of Monaleen in Co Limerick, sued the HSE and two laboratories – Quest Diagnostics and MedLab Pathology Limited.

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

Terminally ill woman awarded €2.1m in smear test case (RTE)

Ms Morrissey spoke to reporters after the judgment.

At one point she said:

“What can I say, I didn’t think I’d be in this position because our Taoiseach told us none of us would have to go through this but unfortunately I’m one who had to. So I hope that’s a positive thing for the women who are left – that they don’t need to do this.

“To fight for what is there right to have a good life of what they’ve left.

I’d encourage every woman to continue on getting their smears because it’s very important even though it failed me but it does save many, many lives and it’s a screening programme that we need. The HPV [vaccine], if you’re eligible, please get it. This is not a cancer that you want.

“And I’d just like to thank this man here [Paul] for being my rock through everything.”



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8 thoughts on “‘I Didn’t Think I’d Be In This Position’

  1. eoin

    Who is paying the €2.1 million and the legal costs? The US laboratories which “allegedly misread the smear tests” or the Irish taxpayer? Whose decision was it to force this woman to go through court to get damages?

    (And best wishes to Ruth Morrissey, she’s not well, the court hearing will have been very difficult for her)

    1. Rob

      US lab pays all but 10k of the award. Who pays the bill is still to be decided, but it is likely to be the lab also.

      1. Cian

        There were two separate labs:
        In his judgment today, Mr Justice Kevin Cross found that the laboratory who tested the 2009 smear slide was negligent and in breach of duty.

        He found the second lab which tested her 2012 smear was not negligent in its failure to determine the slide contained abnormal cell, but he said that they were negligent or in breach of duty by not testing the adequacy of this slide.

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

        Today, the court found that the HSE was not negligent in this regard and that Mrs Morrissey should fail in these allegations.

  2. GiggidyGoo

    Not a good week for ex Health Minister ‘I wasn’t aware’ Varadkar. He’s a disgrace.

  3. Marbe

    Am delighted for Ruth and her family, though I question the word ‘justice’. It’s surely compensation for the diabolical way she has been treated by our medical services and by our Government, though really, nothing compensates for the loss of a life.

  4. Daisy Chainsaw

    It’s an obscenity that she had to go to the High Court in the first place.

  5. Birdie

    Really heartbreaking watching her husband breath out such heavy emotion when Ruth talks about her limited time.

    Incredible couple. I hope you can now just spend time together.

    Shame on the powers that be that stole more time from that woman and her family by putting her through that. Utter scumbags.

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