Vicky Phelan calls on the State to protect terminally-ill Limerick woman's €2.1m award

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Vicky Phelan calls on the State to protect terminally-ill Limerick woman's €2.1m award

Vicky Phelan, pictured, has called on the State to protect Ruth Morrissey's award

VICKY Phelan has called on the State to “do the morally right thing” and protect Limerick woman Ruth Morrissey’s €2.1m High Court award.

Her call comes after the State confirmed it was going to submit an appeal to the Supreme Court to appeal last month’s award.

Ruth Morrissey, 37, and her husband Paul, from Monaleen, sued the HSE and two laboratories— Quest Diagnostics and MedLab Pathology Limited. 

The High Court awarded Ms Morrissey €2.1m over the misreading of a smear test and the failure to inform of her of it. 

Confirming the appeal on RTE's The Week in Politics on Sunday morning, Minister for Health Simon Harris said he wanted to ensure that the appeal was not about Ms Morrissey's "individual case" but wider legal issues. 

This case, which ran for 37 days, is the first case of its kind to be heard in full with a High Court judgement. 

Dr Phelan took to social media this Monday, and called on the Government to “end this inhumane treatment of women in this country.

“Has anyone stopped for ONE second over the last 24 hours to think about Ruth Morrissey and her family in all of these power games?

“Ruth has spent the past four weeks in a hospice. Her condition is terminal. Some of the reactions on Twitter are clinical. none of you know what it feels like to take on the State when you are fighting for your life or to find out that that very same State failed you,” Dr Phelan added. 

Ms Morrissey’s solicitor Cian O’Carroll told Today with Sean O’Rourke that she learned of the appeal in the Sunday Business Post and heard it being discussed on RTE’s The Week in Politics. At this stage, neither were informed directly, Mr O’Carroll said.

“For the State to appeal now against the Morrissey judgement is an affront to Ruth Morrissey.

“Simon Harris and the SCA are claiming that the appeal is a partial one and the award of damages is not being challenged but if the appeal to the Supreme Court is successful and the SC overturns the decision in Ruth's case, then, obviously, Ruth's award will be at risk.

“Do the morally right thing and protect Ruth's award. Ruth and her family deserve that much. And end this inhumane treatment of women in this country,” Ms Phelan said this week. 

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

Vicky Phelan was awarded €2.5m in the High Court against a US lab over alleged misreading of smear tests, in April 2018.