HSE and two US labs admit liability in Irene Teap case

Ms Teap's husband and CervicalCheck campaigner Stephen Teap, told the court that following her diagnosis his wife had constantly asked: "How this happen, I did everything right?" and these words continue to haunt him.
HSE and two US labs admit liability in Irene Teap case

Pictured today is Cervical cancer campaigner Stephen Teap speaking to media outside the Four Courts in Dublin after he settled his High Court action over his wife's death. Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

THE HSE and two US laboratories have admitted liability in the case of mother-of-two Irene Teap who died after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Ms Teap's husband and CervicalCheck campaigner Stephen Teap, told the court that following her diagnosis his wife had constantly asked: "How this happen, I did everything right?" and these words continue to haunt him.

"The day we lost Irene, we lost our world, our world ended," Mr Teap told the court, adding that the "difficulties and obstacles put in our way" by the HSE and the labs over the past four-and-a-years, have "only delayed our repair".

However, he said the admission made by the three parties now means "there is no more hiding the truth when it comes to Irene Teap".

Mr Teap detailed how prior to the full admission of liability from CPL and Medlab in recent weeks he had been forced to fight for the truth which his wife had been denied before her death.

He told the court how their youngest son was just 20 weeks sold when Ms Teap was diagnosed with cancer and the boys were aged two and four when she died with one still in nappies.

Judge Paul Coffey said the details of the case were "stark" and "deeply disturbing" and paid condolences to Ms Teap's husband, children, parents and family.

Ms Teap’s two young sons and her husband had taken the High Court action for nervous shock over her death in 2017.

In taking the case, it was stated that the abiding image for the Teap boys Oscar and Noah is that she was “sick” and in pain and it was previously claimed they were deprived of her love and devotion at a crucial stage of their development.

STATEMENT

Outside the court Mr Teap made this statement:

"The day Irene got diagnosed with cervical cancer she asked the following question - how did this happen? I did everything right. The day the HSE called me to say Irene's they had audited Irene's slides and showed different results. I knew then that I had to get the answers to the question how did this happen.

"I've dedicated the last four and a half years in battling, seeking the truth for Irene. At every turn obstacles were put in my way by the HSE and the laboratories who misread Irene's smears. What was most important to me was to firstly get the answer to Irene's question: how did this happen? Nobody answered this question when she got diagnosed with cancer, nor did they answer it when Irene died even though they had the results of those audits telling them clearly that the smears were misread.

"Secondly, so that our children Oscar and Noah in years to come would know that I did absolutely everything I could in not letting those who wanted to hide the truth get away with burying it.

"I got a lot of help along the way - firstly Pat Daly and all my legal team in Cantilons who fought inIrene's name, secondly Dr Gabriel Scally who discovered through his own investigations this system was doomed to fail, but my biggest thanks goes to my incredible friend Vicky Phelan. Vicky may not be here today with us but I know she's here in spirit, standing next to Irene knowing that today the truth was achieved.

"Today we receive a full admission of liability from the labs CPL and MedLab, that they did misread Irene's slides and in doing so delayed her cervical cancer diagnosis which caused her death.

"A properly run and well funded screening programme is the least the women and families of Ireland deserve. Over the years it has saved hundreds and thousands of lives in Ireland, but it hasn't saved some. A minor few medical professionals who don't know better keep going on about the limitations of screening and that's all the CervicalCheck debacle about. 

"I want you, them, those medical professionals, particularly to hear this now, what happened to Irene goes way beyond the limitations of screening. Screening should have saved Irene's life, but didn't. The labs involved have, less than three weeks before the trial was due to begin, admitted their negligence and admitted they breached their duty of care to Irene. She would be alive and well today if they just did their job.

"These labs denied Irene her life, these labs denied Irene the opportunity to be a mum and raise her kids, these labs denied her her life with her parents and sisters, but most importantly these labs denied Oscar and Noah a life with their mother. Shame on them all."

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more