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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 13 May 2021

Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal against judgement in Ruth Morrissey case

The government has said the appeal does not relate to the €2.1 million in damages and that the Morrisseys will retain that irrespective of the outcome.


THE SUPREME COURT has agreed to hear an appeal against the High Court’s judgement in the case taken by Ruth Morrissey – one of the women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal – and her husband.

In May the High Court awarded Ruth and her husband Paul €2.1 million in damages.

The judge found that the lab where the Limerick woman’s 2009 smear was read were negligent and in breach of duty.

He found that the lab that handled her 2012 slide failed to test it for adequacy before examining it for abnormal cells and that this was also negligent and in breach of duty.

The judge said in his decision that laboratories carrying out screening programmes should have “absolute confidence” in their decision if they are to give a slide the all-clear. He also said that the HSE had a primary liability in the case.

The two laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and Medlab Pathology, and the HSE are appealing this judgement. Today Chief Justice Frank Clarke said the case can bypass the Court of Appeal and be heard directly by the Supreme Court.

Last month the State Claims Agency said the State’s appeal would relate to issues of primary and vicarious liability and absolute confidence definition.

It said the appeal would not relate to the High Court’s decision on the award of damages to the Morrisseys.

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