Another woman sues in High Court over alleged misinterpretation of CervicalCheck smear tests

File photo.

A 60-year-old widow who is seriously ill with cancer has launched a High Court action over the alleged misinterpretation of her smear slides which were taken under the CervicalCheck screening programme.

The woman who has cervical and lung cancer has brought an action against the HSE and US laboratory Quest Diagnostics.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross today suggested the parties consider mediation as he fixed the case for hearing next October.

The woman who has two children has brought proceedings relating to smear tests she underwent between 2009 and 2014.

It is claimed there was an alleged failure to diagnose the woman's cervical cancer in a timely manner and that her cancer was allegedly allowed to go undetected, unmonitored and untreated until September 2016.

It is further claimed the woman was allegedly denied the opportunity for earlier, less-invasive treatment which, it is claimed, would have prevented the subsequent development of her cancer.

She has also claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure her smear tests between 2009 and 2014 were properly interpreted and an alleged failure to arrange any follow of a borderline abnormal finding on her 2009 smear test.

Against Quest Diagnostics, with registered offices in New Jersey in the United States, she has claimed there was an alleged failure to take reasonable time and attention when screening her smear tests and the results of smear tests taken in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014 were allegedly wrongly reported.

The woman who was suffering from severe lower back pain around December 2015 was referred to a number of different discipline specialists. Her cancer was diagnosed in September 2016 and she was treated with a course of chemo-radiotherapy. The chance of a long-term cure, it is claimed, is very unlikely and the outlook is guarded.

It is claimed her prolonged symptoms of severe and debilitating back pain prior to diagnosis, her cervical cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment and her recent diagnosis and treatment for a lung tumour have had a profound impact on the woman physically and psychologically and also on her ability to partake in her normal everyday activities.

All claims are denied.

In court today Richard Kean SC for the woman said his side were seeking case management for an expedited hearing in July.

Counsel for Quest Diagnostics told the court it wasn’t possible to be ready for a July hearing, due to the complexity of the case.

Setting down the case for October, Mr Justice Cross said he had to balance the woman’s right to have her case heard in her lifetime, with the fact he did not believe there was time for the defendants to be ready.

He suggested mediation be tried to see if there was a chance it could be fruitful. Brian Foley BL for the HSE said he had instructions to co-operate with whatever the court decided.

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