State Appeal


Ruth Morrissey and her husband Paul outside the High Court last month

Yesterday, Susan Mitchell, in the Sunday Business Post, reported that the State Claims Agency is to appeal the recent High Court judgment in favour of terminally ill mum Ruth Morrissey who has cervical cancer.

Last night, a statement released by Ms Morrissey’s solicitor Cian O’Carroll, on behalf of her and her husband Paul, said the first Ms Morrissey came to know about this pending appeal was the Sunday Business Post report.

Ruth and Paul Morrissey were awarded €2.1million damages last month over the misreading of  smear tests and the failure to tell her about it.

Ms Morrissey claimed that if her smear tests in 2009 and 2012 had been correctly reported, she could have been successfully treated and not developed terminal cancer.

The State Claims Agency has said it is appealing the judgment and focussed on “a number of important legal points that may have significant implications for the State” but not the award of €2.1million to the couple.

Mr O’Carroll told Newstalk this morning that Ms Morrissey is “terribly upset” about the appeal.

State set to appeal landmark Morrissey CervicalCheck case (Susan Mitchell, Sunday Business Post)

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


Limerick mother-of-two Vicky Phelan, who settled a case against Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas, for €2.5million last year, has tweeted her thoughts on news of the appeal.

Ms Phelan, who refused to sign a gagging order about her case, was diagnosed with terminal cancer following a cervical smear test error.

Following her case, it later emerged that more than 200 women diagnosed with cancer were not informed of an audit which revised their earlier, negative smear tests.

Ms Phelan tweeted:

Previously: Vicky Phelan on Broadsheet

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9 thoughts on “State Appeal

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Yep. He’s ‘looking at’. He ‘would like to see a mechanism’
      Etc etc etc. Waffle

  1. eoin

    In fairness, the appeal will not have come completely out of the blue. After the High Court ruled that diagnoses needed “absolute certainty”, it wasn’t just the government that was uneasy, doctors and hospitals are also frightened that the standard of “absolute certainty” for their diagnoses is impossibly and impractically high. So, there has been the distinct probability of an appeal by the State and it was openly talked about and I see doctors rep organisations want to join in the appeal.

    Of course, as a courtesy, there should have been some official contact with Ruth after the decision was made but before it was leaked to the wonderful Susan Mitchell, but at the same time, I get the impression Cian is overdramatising here.

  2. Cian

    The €2.1 million isn’t being paid by the state, it is being paid by the US Labs (or their insurance). They do have the option to appeal too.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      On April 14 2018, Harris during a press conference promised that no woman affected by the scandal would have to go to court.Varadkar re-iterated it on the news that night.
      Well? Guess what?

  3. Pavel

    The High Court made some crazy general statements about medical screening requiring “absolute certainty” which is impossible to achieve. All medical screening and diagnoses are subject to a certain margin of error (false negatives / false positive) and if you impost a 100% certainty rule many screening programmes would have to stop or risk massive lawsuits. There is a real public interest in this appeal, notwithstanding the poor women at the center of it or the specifics of her case.

  4. Catherine costelloe

    Couldn’t we let poor Ruth go to her grave in the near future with a level of peace . Heartless, inhumane treatment from dysfunctionall HSE.

  5. Dr.Fart MD

    more proof of Harris and his inaction. “no victim of this will have to go thru the courts” .. he says these things and thinks that somewhere, someone else puts it into action. he doesn’t do ANY actual work at all.

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