Fitzpatrick v White, [2005] IEHC 479 (2005)

Docket Number:1997 9955P
Judge:White J.
 
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Neutral Citation Number: [2005] IEHC 479THE HIGH COURT[1997 No. 9955 P]BETWEENPAUL FITZPATRICK PLAINTIFFAND

AIDA WHITE, AS THE NOMINEE OF THE ROYAL VICTORIA

EYE AND EAR HOSPITALDEFENDANTJUDGMENT of Mr. Justice White delivered on the 3rd day of June, 2005.

The Plaintiff herein is a 37 year old musician. He was born with a squint in his left eye. As a child, he had an operation to correct this squint. On the 4th day of March, 1994, he attended the Defendant's Hospital for elective surgery to improve the cosmetic appearance of his eye. Subsequent to this surgery, the Plaintiff experienced double vision with his eye. Further surgery was carried out, but the Plaintiff continues to experience double vision.

The Plaintiff claims damages for negligence in respect of the operation carried out on the 4th day of March, 1994, principally on the basis that the Defendant's Hospital, its servants or agents, failed to inform him, in advance, that double vision was a possible consequence of the surgery. He further alleges negligence, in a general way, in relation to the manner in which the operation was carried out, but such claim has not been pursued to any great extent.

Negligence is denied. The Defendant accepts that it was obliged to inform the Plaintiff of the risk of double vision. The Defendant claims that the Plaintiff was informed of the risks of double visions.

To succeed herein, the Plaintiff must establish, on the balance of probabilities not only that a warning was not given, but also that, had a warning been given, he would not have undergone the operation.

Quite clearly, the Plaintiff asserts that he was not warned or informed of the risk of double vision.

In evidence, the Plaintiff stated that he attended by appointment at the Defendant Hospital in November 1993. There he was seen by Ms. Fitzsimons, Orthoptist, who carried out a series of eye tests, and who arranged for him to see Mr. Moriarty, Consultant Surgeon.

The Plaintiff again attended the Hospital in December 1993. There he again saw Ms. Fitzsimmons who introduced him to Mr. Moriarty. He stated that his conversation with Mr. Moriarty consisted of Mr. Moriarty saying "I was discussing with Ms. Fitzsimmons, you would like your eye straightened" he replying "I would like it done" and Mr. Moriarty saying "yes". He stated that nothing was said to him at this meeting as regards possible risks, complications, or side effects to the operation.

The Plaintiff again attended the Hospital on the 4th day of March...

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