Urgent case of cervical cancer sufferer Lynsey Bennett put back


A 32-year-old mother of two who is seriously ill with cancer and is suing over the alleged misinterpretation of her cervical smear slides, will have to wait until February to have her case heard at the High Court.

Lynsey Bennett’s case had been set down for an urgent hearing on January 20, but US laboratory Quest Diagnostics in the High Court yesterday secured a two-week adjournment of the action until February,

Her counsel Jeremy Maher told the court the two-week adjournment is a very significant ask for the young mother.

“Two weeks to her is an infinity,” Mr Maher said.

He told Mr Justice Kevin Cross Ms Bennett’s legal team is concerned about her health and he understood from her solicitor Gillian O’Mahony a two-week adjournment would be devastating for the young mother. Counsel for Quest Diagnostics, Emily Egan, had applied to the court for what she called “a short indulgence” and an adjournment of the hearing of the action for a further two weeks.

Ms Egan said her side were not ready for the case to go ahead on January 20 and difficulties had arisen in relation to expert reports. She said in one case an expert had worked from an image of a slide and had not seen the actual smear slide.

“We are only a couple of days from trial and we just are not ready,” Ms Egan said.

She said it was not possible to progress to mediation without the full expert reports. She added that she appreciated it is very difficult for Ms Bennett, but it was impossible for Quest to be ready for January 20.

Mr Justice Cross set February 3 as the new date for the hearing of the action and said he hoped the parties would move to mediation.

Lynsey Bennett, Ennybegs, Killoe, Co Longford has sued the HSE, Irish testing laboratory, Eurofins Biomnis Ireland and US laboratory Quest Diagnostics Incorporated over the alleged misinterpretation of her cervical smear slides taken under the national screening programme.

In January 2017, invasive cervical cancer was diagnosed and Ms Bennett had to have a hysterectomy and other surgery.

In March 2018, she was found to have a recurrence of the cervical cancer.

It is claimed there was an alleged failure to correctly report or diagnose and an alleged misinterpretation of Ms Bennett’s smear samples.

Ms Bennett’s cancer, it is claimed, was allowed to develop and spread unidentified, unmonitored and untreated until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in January 2017.

Irish Independent

Source: Irish News