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Former soldier settles case over health problems he claims were caused by anti-malaria drug

He brought proceedings over what he claimed were the effects of taking Larium while he served with the Defence Forces.
Mar 19th 2019, 6:38 PM 19,328 0

A FORMER SOLDIER has settled his damages action against the State over health problems he claimed he suffered as a result of being prescribed the anti-malaria drug Larium.

Patrick Fedigan brought proceedings over what he claimed were the effects of taking the drug while he served with the Defence Forces during UN peacekeeping deployments to Africa that occurred between 2001 and 2009.

The claims were denied.

Today, John Gordan SC, appearing with Bruce Antoniotti S, John Nolan Bl instructed by Kenty Carty Solicitors, for Fedigan told Justice Bernard Barton that following out of court talks between the parties the action had been resolved.

Counsel said that case could be struck out. No further details of the settlement, which are understood to be confidential, were given to the court.

The State defendants, represented by Eoin McCullough SC, Declan Buckey SC, Garreth Cooney BL and Joe Jeffers Bl, had denied negligence or were liable for any injuries suffered by the plaintiff.

The defendants had also argued that Fedigan had delayed in bringing his claim, meaning that his action was statute barred.

Justice Barton welcomed the settlement.

The action is one of several similar actions brought against the State by members of the Defence Forces who claim they suffered various illnesses as a result of being prescribed the drug.

Health conditions

In his action, Fedigan from Lobinstown, Navan, Co Meath claimed that he was prescribed Mefloquine Hydrochloride (Larium) when he served in Eritrea in 2001, Liberia in 2002 and Chad in 2010.

The 51-year-old claimed that as a result of his exposure to Larium he has suffered from various conditions including loss of balance, anxiety, panic, insomnia, vertigo, and memory problems.

He claimed the Minister for Defence, Ireland and the Attorney General were negligent and in breach of their duty towards him on grounds including he was not a suitable person to be prescribed Larium.

His prior medical history had not been ascertained before he was prescribed Larium and the defendants did not provide him with adequate support, treatment or management when he made complaints of symptoms of being prescribed the anti-malaria drug he claims.

He further claimed that the defendants failed to provide him with a safe system of work, and exposed him to risk of injury which they ought to have known.

He retired from the Defence Forces in 2013.

The case, had it proceeded, was expected to take up to ten weeks to hear.

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Aodhan O Faolain

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