Stabbing Victim’s Family Awarded €35,000 in Damages

The family of a Waterford grandmother, who was stabbed to death in St Otteran’s Hospital in 2014, was awarded €35,000 damages in a legal action for damages heard at the Circuit Court in Waterford last week.
Maria O’Brien (55) died near a residential home in the hospital grounds after she was attacked and stabbed by a male patient, Paul Cuddihy.
Family members sued the HSE for failing to protect the Ms O’Brien, who was also a patient in the hospital.
Judge Alice Doyle awarded Patrick Halley, a son of the stabbing victim, the sum of €35,000 plus €2,400 in ancillary costs.
Barrister David Bulbulia, instructed by Emmet Halley, Solr, for the plaintiffs, said a disagreement between Maria O’Brien and the male patient led to her being stabbed repeatedly to death. A friend tried to help her during the brutal, nasty attack which left the family shocked.
The court heard that the male patient suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had not been taking his medication and had been displaying symptoms of psychosis prior to the attack.

Mr Emmet Halley, Solr, said the HSE indicated at an early stage that they wanted to resolve the case. In a letter to the O’Brien family the HSE expressed sincere apologies.
It read: “The management and staff of St Otteran’s Hospital, Waterford, offer their sincere apologies for the failings in the care of your late (mother) Maria O’Brien, rest in peace, which led to her untimely and tragic death.
“We acknowledge the upset that this has caused to you and your family and wish you and your family all the best into the future

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