Man who sued Blackrock Clinic over alleged infection after heart procedure settles for €3m

Man Who Sued Blackrock Clinic Over Alleged Infection After Heart Procedure Settles For €3M
Blackrock Clinic. Photo: Google Maps
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High Court reporters

A 49-year-old man who claimed he suffered catastrophic injuries from a fungal infection allegedly acquired while undergoing a heart procedure at Blackrock Clinic has settled his High Court action for €3 million.

The settlement was announced in the High Court a day after the court had granted lawyers for the man an order so their engineers could inspect the theatre complexes incorporating operating theatres 4 and 5 at the Blackrock Clinic, Rock Road, Blackrock, Dublin over the August bank holiday weekend.


The man’s counsel Bruce Antoniotti SC instructed by Augustus Cullen Law solicitors told the court the settlement which is without an admission of liability is a full and final settlement of the claim.

Counsel said liability was fully contested in the case. All the claims were denied by the Blackrock Clinic whose expert the court heard contended that the man’s fungal infection came on too soon and he may have had the fungal infection before he went in for surgery.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey who approved the settlement said the litigation risk in the case was great and over and above what one would expect in most cases.

Loss of earnings

The man’s action against Blackrock Clinic included a substantial claim for loss of earnings.


Previously in an affidavit to the court, his solicitor Neil Kidd said the inspection of the theatre complexes incorporating theatres four and five were necessary to present the man's case. He said in the affidavit the case involved allegations regarding the physical composition of theatre, their layout, the building fit out and materials used and the air exchange between the theatres and other rooms forming part of the complexes.

Mr Kidd said the man has allegedly suffered catastrophic injuries from the infection. Specifically he said it is alleged the man acquired the infection from an airborne source during the procedure.

Aspergillus Fumigatus he said is a fungal mould which can cause semi invasive or invasive infections and treatment options are limited.

He said the infection is almost impossible to treat surgically and long term anti-fungal agents are the only way to keep the infection under control.


Claims denied

All the claims were denied by the Blackrock Clinic.

The man had an aortic graft replacement and an aortic valve repair at the Blackrock Clinic in June 2021. In the proceedings it is claimed that he sustained an aspergillus infection of a prosthetic graft.

He was discharged from the Blackrock Clinic seven days after surgery but later represented at the clinic with rash and chills. He was treated at the Blackrock Clinic and was admitted in to intensive care where he underwent testing and procedures.

He later transferred to another hospital for treatment and underwent high risk surgery.

It has been claimed he has had multiple further surgeries.

However it is claimed when the man’s health began to deteriorate last year he and his wife were informed that the infection was out of control around his heart and he was advised he could choose to undergo an extremely high risk aortic surgery a third time. He made the decision to have the high risk surgery and has since had other surgery.

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