US laboratory to appeal Morrissey judgment –


Quest Diagnostics is to appeal the landmark judgment in the case of terminally-ill Limerick woman Ruth Morrissey.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 and the case related to cervical smears taken under the CervicalCheck Screening programme in 2009 and 2012.

The 37-year-old and her husband Paul were awarded damages of €2.1m in the High Court last Friday.

The US laboratory confirmed before the High Court that is to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court and is to seek an expedited appeal hearing.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross granted a stay on his final judgment providing €700,000 is paid to Mrs Morrissey immediately. 

In his judgment last week, Justice Cross said that screeners should not give the all clear, unless they have “absolute confidence” that a sample is clear.

Council for Quest said the issue of “absolute confidence” will form part of the appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr Justice Cross said today, that in his decision last week, he “decided absolutely nothing new”.

He said the need for a screener to have absolute confidence was endorsed by the evidence in the case.

The judge rejected a request from council for the HSE, to have the case deferred for another week, while his clients continued to consider the judgment.

While council for MedLab, had today been seeking a stay on the final judgment, to allow his clients more time to consider the ruling.

Speaking afterwards, outside the court, Ruth Morrissey’s solicitor said he believed the judgment has been misinterpreted.

Cian O’Carroll said there has been “really quite remarkable, outrageous and hysterical remarks” since the judgment came out, from what he described as “members of the medical profession and officers of the HSE”.

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He said “only today we heard a threat was being made to the very existence of screening in Ireland based on what Judge Cross, reminded the parties, has absolutely nothing new in it.”

Cian O’Carroll added “all that happened in this case, was that law established for some 20 years, was restated and clarified in the way it applies to a particular element of one screening programme, being the screening part of cytology.”




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