One young Irish doctor was recently awarded an undisclosed amount in settlement stemming from a career-ending personal injury at work.
34 year old Dr Louise Slevin had been seeking damages against the HSE for the serious injuries to her back that she suffered whilst on the job. Dr Slevin had been aiding to lift one seriously ill hospital patient at the time, according to her personal injury claims.
Dr Slevin brought her suit, through her personal injury solicitors, for loss of pension, loss of earnings to date and into the future, and costs of the medical treatment she required for her injuries.
Dr Slevin’s claims included being in nearly permanent and debilitating pain after the April 2002 incident. She had twisted her back during her attempt to to lift a patient back into the hospital bed out of which they had fallen.
Dr Slevin claimed that her injuries were so devastating that she had no choice but to abandon her plans to become a consultant anaesthetist.
During proceedings the HSE denied Dr Slevin’s claims. It also entered a plea of contributory negligence on Dr Slevin’s part. Additionally the HSE claimed that Dr Slevin’s back problems were related to a pre-exisitng condition.
However Dr Slevin’s personal injury lawyers announced that the case had been settled out of court.
Prior to the settlement Dr Slevin’s claims included negligence on the HSE’s part on several counts. Dr Slevin held the HSE responsible for her lack of training in either manual handling techniques or how to lift a patient. She also claimed that the HSE had neglected to provide a system to deal with patients in need of being lifted up.
Dr Slevin also made the claim that the HSE either knew or should have known that she would be exposed to risk of injury throughout the course of her duties. Moreover the doctor claimed the HSE had neglected to provide her with a safe working environment.
It was claimed Dr Slevin had suffered from serious pain in her back and lower body since the incident, which had had a devastating effect on her professional and personal life.
She had undergone a number of surgical procedures, none of which had been successful, the court heard.
She claimed that at the time of the incident she was on a clear path to becoming a consultant but, due to her injuries, will not be able to achieve that goal.