Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.07 17 Jun 2019


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Ruth Morrissey has been left "terribly upset" by an appeal to a High Court judgement involving the terminally-ill Limerick woman, her solicitor says.

Ms Morrissey, who has cervical cancer, was awarded €2.1 million by the High Court in May over the misreading of her smear test results.

She and her husband Paul were awarded damages after suing the Health Service Executive (HSE) and two labs - Quest Diagnostics and MedLab Pathology Limited.

It emerged over the weekend that the State Claims Agency is to appeal aspects of the judgement.

The agency insists it doesn't relate to the decision to award Mrs Morrissey and her husband Paul damages.

It instead said the appeal is focused on "a number of important legal points that may have significant implications for the State".

A spokesperson said it will instead focus on parts of the judgement "dealing with issues of primary and vicarious liability and absolute confidence".

The appeal is set to be lodged today.

Ruth Morrissey's solicitor, Cian O'Carroll, said the Limerick woman was hoping the appeal wouldn't happen.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, he explained: "She had hoped - and had said to be me in the last week or so - that she was very, very hopeful that they wouldn't appeal.

"The issue isn't so much is that they've said they're going to appeal, because any party has a right to do that.

"I think that Ruth Morrissey has the right to challenge them on what they say is the need to appeal - her sense is that they want to appeal, rather than need to".

Mr O'Carroll added: "[The State] had a top flight legal team in that case, who advised them on how to deal with these issues - and they decided to say nothing about absolute confidence.

"How can they can now turn around and delay my client with an appeal on a point that they say is of central importance?"

Main image: File photo of Limerick woman Ruth Morrissey with her husband Paul, addressing the media outside the High Court. Photo: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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