A case in which a man fell off a hospital trolley while he was asleep was won compensation from the HSE after the case was settled in an out-of-court agreement.
In September 2015 when Anthony Whelan, a sixty-four year-old caretaker from Tallaght, attended the nearby Adelaide and Meath Hospital to seek medical assistance for post-operative pain. The hospital admitted Anthony overnight under observation, and a second operation was scheduled for the following morning to investigate the pain.
Anthony was taken to an overnight ward in a hospital trolley.The medical staff quickly realised that there was no bed available to him. As such, he was brought to a corridor near a nursing station, with screens around him to afford him the privacy to sleep.
Whilst he was sleeping, Anthony rolled off of the trolley and landed hard on the bases of the screens that surrounded him. An x-ray was immediately taken to investigate if he sustained any damage. It showed that there was no apparent damage to his chest or back, but the staff still administered a dose of painkillers before moving Anthony to a private room.
The next morning, Anthony was operated upon as planned. Once he recovered, he sought the advice of a solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation. He alleged that, whilst he was staying at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, he did not receive an adequate level of care. He claimed that the trolley was not adequate for him to sleep on, and thus the hospital was liable for his accident.
Despite acknowledging the accident, the hospital disputed the amount of compensation Anthony was claiming, as they claimed x-rays showed that he had not been seriously injured. As such, the case was scheduled for an assessment of damages at the Circuit Civil Court. There, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was informed that the parties had settled upon a compensation settlement, as well as the payment of costs. The judge was also informed that District Court was now responsible for the case.