Medical Negligence – An update December 2016

Developments in Medical Negligence Law, 2014-2016 

By John Healy SC

Medical negligence cases continue to generate a significant number of reported decisions, some of them unique to their context (the parameters of the Dunne test) and many of them more generally applicable to the law on causation and damages. This paper rounds up the significant developments since 2014. On this occasion, for convenience, I have not included decisions on wrongful death / Part IV, as this had been a focus in preceding years.


  • Application of the Dunne Test to Nurses:
    • Kiernan (Minor) v HSE v [2015] I.E.H.C. 141.
  • The Dunne Test & the Locality Rule:
    • Hamilton v Health Service Executive [2014] I.E.H.C. 393.
  • Junior Doctors:
    • O’Connor (Minor) v HSE & Carthage Carroll [2015] I.E.H.C. 848.
  • Informed Consent:
    • Healy v Bon Secours Hospital & Ors [2015] I.E.C.A. 251.
  • Nervous Shock:
    • Lalor v National Maternity Hospital [2015] I.E.H.C. 423;
    • Kenny v St. James’s Hospital (5th June 2014).


  • Special Damages for Future Loss & the Real Rate of Return:
  • Russell (Minor) v HSE [2014] I.E.H.C. 590, [2015] I.E.C.A. 236;
  • Mullen v Minister for Public Expenditure [2016] I.E.H.C. 
  • Catastrophic Injury, Future Nursing Care & Periodic Payment Orders:
    • Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill 2015;
    • Corroon (Minor) v Pillay’s General Hospital Ltd High Court, 29th October 2014;
    • O’Neill (Minor) v National Maternity Hospital [2015] I.E.H.C. 160;
    • Miley v Birthistle [2016] I.E.H.C. 196.
    • Russell (A Minor) v HSE [2014] I.E.H.C. 590, [2015] I.E.C.A. 236;
    • O’Mahony v HSE [2015] I.E.C.A. 752.


  • Disclosure of Expert Reports: 
    • Harrington v Cork City Council & Cork County Council [2015] I.E.H.C. 41.
  • PIAB Authorisations & the s.3(d) Exclusion: 
    • Murphy v DePuy [2015] I.E.H.C. 153.
  • Pre-Action Protocol Reforms: 
    • Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (Part 15).

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