Father sufferes PTSD arising from his son’s death awarded €110,0002018-06-15T14:31:40+00:00

Father sufferes PTSD arising from his son’s death awarded €110,000. The High Court awards father who suffered PTSD arising from his son’s death €110,000. Malcomson Law acted for the father of a haemophiliac son who died after contracting hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood products. He has been awarded €110,000 damages by the High Court for PTSD.

The Court heard harrowing evidence of the shocking circumstances leading up to his son’s death and in particular how this man was informed of his son’s death. Mr Justice Hanna in the High Court described the death scene as “almost nightmarish”.

The Judge accepted that the Appellant did suffer “appalling shock” when he was brought by hospital staff to confront his son’s body.

Initially the case was brought before the Hepatitis C & HIV Compensation Tribunal who dismissed this particular application in 2013. An Appeal was subsequently brought before the High Court in respect of that decision. The Hepatitis C & HIV Compensation Tribunal Act (as amended) enables the Tribunal to award damages for post-traumatic stress disorder or nervous shock to parents and/or spouses and/or children of persons who have died as a result of hepatitis C or HIV where that infection arose as a result of receipt of contaminated blood products in this jurisdiction.

Mr Justice Hanna in the High Court accepted on the balance of probabilities that the threshold of PTSD had been met in this case, applying DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

Arising from the shock suffered by the Appellant Judge Hanna directed that he was entitled to compensation in the sum of €125,000.  He then reduced his damages by the sum of €15,000 as the Appellant did not undertake any counselling in relation to the PTSD he suffered from arising from his son’s death. While the Court felt that the fact that he failed to do so was understandable but it was nevertheless something that must be borne in mind in terms of damages. On that basis the final award granted to the father was €110,000.

Further details on this case are available in the below article published by the Irish Times on 7th December 2016 which is reprinted here with the kind permission of the newspaper.


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