High Court action | 

Man whose wife died of cervical cancer sues HSE over alleged smear slide misreporting

CervicalCheck campaigner Stephen Teap has also launched High Court action against two laboratories
Stephen and Irene Teap with their children, Oscar and Noah

Stephen and Irene Teap with their children, Oscar and Noah

Tim Healy

CervicalCheck campaigner Stephen Teap, whose wife died of cervical cancer, has launched a High Court legal action against two laboratories and the HSE.

Mr Teap from Co Cork is suing over the alleged misreporting of two of his wife’s smear slides.

His young sons have also lodged claims for nervous shock arising out of the death of their mother.

Mother of two Irene Teap was 35 when she died of cervical cancer on July 26, 2017.

On Wednesday, counsel for the Teaps, David Griffin BL, instructed by Cantillons solicitors, asked for a trial date before the end of the year.

Counsel for US laboratory Clinical Pathology Laboratories, Padraic Hogan BL asked that the hearing take place at the start of 2023.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey set a date in December for the hearing.

MrTeap, Carrigaline, Co Cork along with his sons Oscar, now aged 10, and seven year old Noah, have sued the HSE and American laboratory Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL) with offices in Austin, Texas and MedLab Pathology Ltd with offices at Sandyford Business Park, Dublin.

Mr Teap has sued on behalf of his family over the death of his wife and all have sued for nervous shock.

The case centres on two smear test taken from Mrs Teap under the CervicalCheck national screening programme in 2010 and 2013.

All the claims are denied.

It is claimed the first smear test was taken on November 25 2010 and processed by the American laboratory CPL. This smear test was allegedly reported as negative for cancer.

Mrs Teap gave birth to Oscar on December 13, 2012 and the following year on September 16, 2013 she had another smear test. This slide was tested by Medlab laboratory and was allegedly reported as negative

Noah was born in 2015 but months later in September 2015 Mrs Teap was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer and in the following months she underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy.

After the treatment an MRI scan showed no evidence of residual disease but on September 2016 cancer was found in her lung and liver.

Mr Teap and their two young sons, it is claimed, supported Irene Teap through a gruelling treatment programme in an attempt to cure the cancer.

It is further claimed they watched in horror at the pain she had to endure and the decline of a vibrant young woman who fought valiantly for the sake of her family.

Mr Teap and his wife attempted to shield their sons from most of the extremes of the disease process but it is claimed because she was nursed at home Mr Teap and his sons witnessed her decline as her body was overwhelmed with the disease and she became dependent on others to assist her in carrying out her activities of daily living.

It is further claimed that although Oscar and Noah were every young at the time, their abiding image of their mother is that she was sick and in pain and it is claimed they were thus deprived of the society of their mother and of the love and devotion at a crucial stage of their development.

Mr Teap, it is alleged, went into shock when he received a call in May 2018 from the HSE which informed him that his wife’s name had come up in an audit requested by the Minister for Health into CervicalCheck.

It is claimed Mr Teap is still trying to come to terms with the death of his young wife and that his children will have to grow up without her love and devotion.

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