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Woman to take failed medical negligence claim to Supreme Court


Cameras are to be placed at the Royal Courts of Justice

Cameras are to be placed at the Royal Courts of Justice

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Cameras are to be placed at the Royal Courts of Justice

A woman who sued over a bladder repair operation is set to take her legal battle to the Supreme Court in London.

Lawyers for Margaret Haughey confirmed their plans to press ahead after losing their appeal against a failed medical negligence claim.

Ms Haughey, 55, was seeking damages against Newry and Mourne Health and Social Care Trust over procedures carried out at the Daisy Hill Hospital.

She alleged a failure to ensure the operation in 1998 was carried out by someone sufficiently trained and experienced.

Further claims were made of a faulty operative technique, stitching deficiencies and failures to either obtain proper consent or take proper care.

Her lawyers argued that ureter drainage problems were due to surgical error rather than a rare complication of surgery.

But the defendant contended stitches were correctly inserted, and that elevation of the bladder may have resulted in immobilisation through lack of elasticity due to previous surgical scarring.

Following a High Court dismissal of the claim for damages, Ms Haughey took her case to the Court of Appeal.

Among her grounds of challenge were claims that medical literature was incorrectly analysed, and that too much weight was placed on defence witnesses who were allegedly biased.

But the Court of Appeal today upheld the original verdict.

Dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Higgins held that the trial judge was entitled to rely on the medical experts, and that his assessment of the literature was correct.

"Based on his findings it cannot be said that he reached the wrong conclusion," he ruled.

Following confirmation of the failed challenge, counsel for Ms Haughey informed judges of their intention to fight on.

Ronnie Bentley QC said: "I'm instructed to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom."

Any request for permission to take the case further must now be formalised.

Lord Justice Higgins said: "We will await any further application on behalf of the plaintiff."

Belfast Telegraph