High Court begins hearing new cervical smear case

It is the first case of its kind to go to hearing since Vicky Phelan’s

The High Court has begun hearing the case of a terminally ill Limerick woman who claims two smear tests were wrongly reported as showing no abnormalities.

Ruth Morrissey of Schoolhouse Road in Monaleen is suing the HSE and two labs in what is the first case of its kind to go to hearing since Vicky Phelan’s.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in May 2014. She fought it and beat it but it came back in February.

She is 37-years-old and has a seven-year-old daughter. She was told she has less than two years to live.

Ms Morrissey and her husband Paul claim smear tests carried out in 2009 and three years later in 2012 were wrongly reported as being normal.

She also claims she was not told about the wrongful readings until early this year – despite the fact the HSE became aware of it four years ago.

The Morrisseys are suing the HSE, US lab Quest Diagnostics and Irish lab, Medlab Pathology for what they claim was negligence and a breach of their duty of care to Ruth.

They are also seeking aggravated and exemplary damages for the HSE’s alleged failure to advise her of the incorrect reporting when it became aware.

This is the first case to go to hearing since Vicky Phelan’s €2.5m settlement of a similar case three months ago.