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Dead woman's eye-loss case cannot go ahead

Posted 17/11/2016

A legal action for damages by an elderly woman who died before her appeal against the dismissal of her case was decided cannot be continued for the benefit of her estate, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Bridget Doyle was aged 79 when she underwent surgery at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in January 2010 to remove a cataract from her left eye.

The surgery was unsuccessful, and post-operative complications required removal of that eye in February 2010 to prevent damage to her right eye.

Further complications arose, requiring further interventions in 2010 and 2012, and this left her often depressed and reliant on family members for care.

In June 2011, she initiated proceedings alleging she had not given informed consent to the surgery and administration of a general anaesthetic. The claims were denied.

In December 2013, Mr Justice Eamon De Valera gave judgment dismissing her claim. An appeal was lodged in January 2014, but Mrs Doyle passed away on July 11 of that year.

The proceedings were reconstituted and the Supreme Court directed a hearing on whether the cause of action survived her death.

Her side said the claim for general damages survived, plus a claim for €90,000 for care services provided by Edward Doyle to his mother between 2010 and 2012

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