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Mum's agony ‘I probably won’t be here much longer’ – young mother Lynsey Bennett weeps after settling CervicalCheck case

To my daughters Zoe (12) and Hailee (7), I hope I have done enough to secure you both a future free of financial worries and that even with me not here to guide you, you can both pursue your dreams.”

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Lynsey Bennett speaking to media outside the High Court after she settled her case. PIC: Collins Courts

Lynsey Bennett speaking to media outside the High Court after she settled her case. PIC: Collins Courts

Lynsey Bennett speaking to media outside the High Court after she settled her case. PIC: Collins Courts

A MOTHER-of-two who is seriously ill with cervical cancer has settled her High Court action over the alleged misinterpretation of her cervical smear slides.

Lynsey Bennett (32) sobbed as a letter of regret was read out in the court from the head of CervicalCheck national screening programme .

Outside court Ms Bennett said she can now focus on her own fight to stay alive for as long as she can.

She said she was relieved that her legal battle was over and she has security for her girls and their future. “Unfortunately, I probably will not be here much longer. It is just I will be able to have some peace knowing it is sorted.”

In a statement she said: “To my daughters Zoe (12) and Hailee (7), I hope I have done enough to secure you both a future free of financial worries and that even with me not here to guide you, you can both pursue your dreams.”

She cried as she stated: “And always remember, Mammy loves you X”.

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Lynsey Bennett

Lynsey Bennett

Lynsey Bennett

National Screening Service CEO Fiona Murphy said she wished on behalf of the CervicalCheck Programme “to express our deep regret to you and your family.

“I wish to acknowledge the many challenges that you have faced as a result of your diagnosis.

“I appreciate that this has been a very difficult time for you and your family and I hope you find some solace with the conclusion of this process.”

Ms Murphy said she hoped the settlement will give Ms Bennett and her family “some level of comfort, peace of mind and security. The letter concluded : “With deepest regret.”

Ms Bennett, Ennybegs, Killoe, Co Longford had sued the HSE, Irish testing laboratory, Eurofins Biomnis Ireland Ltd, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin and US laboratory Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, New Jersey.

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She had a smear test on February 3, 2010 which was sent to Eurofins Biomnis in Dublin. The test ,it was claimed, came back as negative and another smear test was recommended in three years.

On December 16,2013, she had another smear test as part of the national cervical screening programme.

This sample was sent to US lab Quest Diagnostics and it was claimed came back as showing atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance. A smear test in 12 months was recommended.

On December 2,2014, she had another smear test and the sample was reviewed by Quest Diagnostics. It is claimed the result came back negative and she was advised by CervicalCheck that no abnormalities and a repeat smear in a year was recommended.

It is claimed Ms Bennett had another smear test in January 2016 which was tested at the US laboratory Quest Diagnostics and she was told no abnormalities had been detected and she would be reminded to have her routine smear test in three years time.

Eleven months later, it is claimed, she went to her GP complaining of bleeding and was referred to hospital. 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 was claimed, was allowed to develop and spread unidentified, unmonitored and untreated until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in January 2017. The claims were denied.

The settlement was reached after mediation into the night. The details of the settlement are confidential

Her counsel Jeremy Maher SC instructed by solicitor Gillian OMahony told the court Ms Bennett had secured the future for her children. A trust will now be set up for the children.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said Ms Bennett was a person of great courage. The judge said her legal team had achieved a very good settlement.

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