Family of mother (42) settle six court actions over her death at Dublin hospital

Family Of Mother (42) Settle Six Court Actions Over Her Death At Dublin Hospital
Mary Moorehouse’s family had sued St Vincent's Hospital and St Michael's Hospital in Dublin over her death. Photo: PA
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High Court reporter

The family of a mother of four who went to hospital with left sided abdominal pain but later died has settled six High Court actions over her death.

Mary Moorehouse’s family had sued two Dublin hospitals for nervous shock and over the death of the 42-year-old woman over four years ago.


The family’s counsel, Richard Kean SC, with Esther Earley BL, told the High Court it was their case that Mrs Moorehouse, who was admitted to St Michael’s Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, at around 12pm on April 23rd, 2019, was allegedly wrongly diagnosed with diverticulitis when in fact it was a vein rupture.

Mr Kean said they contended if the iliac vein rupture had been diagnosed it could have been repaired, but “tragically it was not” and there was an alleged “enormous delay” before Mrs Moorehouse was transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin shortly before 11pm.

In the meantime, he said, Mrs Moorehouse had suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. At St Vincent’s Hospital she had a scan and had to have emergency surgery to repair the left ruptured iliac vein. She was transferred to the intensive care unit but died the next morning, on April 24th, 2019.

All the claims were denied by both hospitals.


Mr Kean told the court that an incident review at St Michael’s Hospital identified a delay in accessing emergency treatments and services for Mrs Moorehouse.

As part of the review, the hospital also apologised unreservedly to the family and said it was committed to ensure lessons were learnt to improve the services for future patients.

Mr Kean told the court that Mrs Moorehouse’s four children – the youngest was 13 years old at the time – had settled nervous shock actions for €45,000 each. Mr Moorehouse also settled his nervous shock action and a case he brought on behalf of his family over the untimely death of his wife. Counsel said that the case was settled for a substantial sum.

All the settlements were without an admission of liability.


Christopher Moorehouse, husband of Mary Moorehouse. Photo: Collins

Mr Kean said the Moorehouse family wanted the court to know that the money involved “was irrelevant to them.”

Christopher Moorehouse, of Wicklow town, Co Wicklow, had sued St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin and St Michael’s Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin over the death of his wife.

It was claimed against St Michael’s Hospital that a wrong diagnosis was made and that there was a failure to arrange for the urgent emergency transfer of Mrs Moorehouse to St Vincent’s Hospital for a CT scan and further urgent assessment and treatment. Instead, it was claimed there was an unnecessary delay in arranging the transfer, which was fatal for Mrs Moorehouse.


It was claimed her condition deteriorated over a period of about 11 hours, and she was allegedly denied the opportunity of early surgical intervention to treat her ruptured vein.

Against St Vincent’s Hospital, it was claimed there was a failure to heed the woman’s deteriorating condition following her surgery and a failure to take all necessary steps and conduct all necessary assessments to establish the cause of her continuing deteriorating condition.

Both hospitals denied all the claims.

Noting the settlements and approving the division of the statutory mental distress €35,000 payment, Mr Justice Paul Coffey conveyed his deepest sympathy to Mr Moorehouse and all the family.

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