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settlement Family of teenage girl who died of nut allergy settle case against pharmacy for €50,000


Emma Sloan

Emma Sloan

Emma Sloan

The family of a teenage girl who died on Dublin’s O’Connell Street when she went into anaphylactic shock after mistakenly eating a sauce containing nuts has settled a High Court action for €50,000.

Emma Sloan allegedly could not get medication needed immediately to counter her reaction to the nuts because she did not have a prescription.

Her mother Caroline Sloan sued pharmacist David Murphy and the Hamilton Long Allcare Pharmacy on O’Connell Street where she had gone looking for an EpiPen but was allegedly declined because she did not have a prescription.

EpiPens are used to treat people suffering from anaphylactic shock.

On Monday, Gordon Walsh BL with Mark Finan BL, for Ms Sloan, said the €50,000 settlement was without an admission of liability.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Garrett Simons said as the deceased was only 14 there was no claim for loss of earnings and the full value of the settlement was achieved. He also noted a full defence had been filed in the action from both defendants.

The settlement includes special damages and the statutory amount , a solatium, in this case just over €21,000. A solatium is paid to the dependents of a deceased person for mental distress in fatal personal injuries action and is intended to be an acknowledgement of the grief and upset suffered.

Caroline Sloan of Kilworth Road, Drimnagh, Dublin, had sued the pharmacy and pharmacist over the events of December 18, 2013.

She brought the action on her own behalf and on behalf of Emma’s two younger half sisters.

In an affidavit, Ms Sloan said she along with Emma, her two sisters and aunt had attended a Chinese restaurant which at the time was on Eden Quay , Dublin.

She said they had a buffet style dinner and she said “tragically Emma consumed a nut sauce by mistake called satay.”

Emma suffered an anaphylactic reaction and her mother went to Hamilton Long Allcare Pharmacy on nearby O’Connell Street requesting an EpiPen.

In 2015, a charge of poor professional performance against pharmacist David Murphy was struck out after it was found by a Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland fitness to practice committee that he had no case to answer.

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