"Compensatory damages" to be paid over pregnant woman's death during surgery

Malak Thawley died during surgery for an ectopic pregnancy in May 2016

"Compensatory damages" to be paid over pregnant woman's death during surgery

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

Alan Thawley’s case against the National Maternity Hospital for the death of his wife has been settled.

Malak Thawley died during surgery for an ectopic pregnancy in May 2016 – after what her husband’s lawyers described as a ‘cascade of negligence.’

The case was settled for damages only - not exemplary or aggravated damages, as had originally been sought.

Speaking this afternoon, Mr Hawley said the legal process had been “long and difficult.”

“There is no compensation that can replace the profound loss of my wife’s untimely, needless death,” he said.

“The proceedings were brought forth to expose the cascade of negligence demonstrated by the hospital.

“I will continue to work with the Health Minister and his Ministerial Inquiry to ensure that I am the last person in Irish history, who has to suffer what I suffered and continue to suffer today.”

The High Court heard Malak and Alan Thawley were profoundly happy at Malak’s first pregnancy; but at a six week scan they found out it was ectopic, meaning the foetus was developing in a fallopian tube.

On advice, the couple went to the National Maternity Hospital, where Mrs Thawley suffered a significant bleed during what was described as routine surgery.

Counsel for Mr Thawley described what followed as a cascade of negligence.

Mrs Thawley received a cut to her aorta; she died within a matter of hours from blood loss.

The hospital has since apologised and accepted liability, but Mr Thawley sued for negligence, as well as seeking damages for nervous shock.

This afternoon the parties announced they had reached a settlement, with the final orders to be made next week.

The court heard damages are just compensatory in nature, with the case for exemplary damages to be struck out.