A woman with terminal cervical cancer has settled her High Court action over the alleged misreading of a smear test for €2.5 million.

The woman, who has two young children and is in her 40s, had sued the Health Service Executive and three laboratories over the alleged misreading and misreporting of the test taken in 2010.

The settlement has been made with one of the defendants - Clinical Pathology laboratories - the laboratory in Austin, Texas, responsible for reading the slide taken from the smear test.

That laboratory has also admitted a breach of duty in relation to the reading of the slide.

Proceedings have been struck out against the HSE and two other laboratories - Sonic Healthcare and Medlab Pathology.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the woman had shown great courage and wished her well.

Outside court, her solicitor Cian O'Carroll read a statement on her behalf in which she said she had been left with no choice but to go to court.

She said cervical screening saved lives, but people needed to know that the screening system was of the highest standard. And she asked why errors like the one which was costing her life, were not investigated.


Read her statement in full

Cian O'Carroll speaks outside court alongside one of his firm's solicitors


The woman was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2015.

She has subsequently been diagnosed with incurable cancer and given a prognosis of between 12 and 22 months.

Her experts claimed the 2010 test taken under the CervicalCheck screening programme showed high grade precancerous abnormalities were clearly present.

They said if she had been called back and treated then, she would have had only a 1% chance of developing cervical cancer.

The woman and her husband gave evidence in the case.

The woman said she felt angry, hurt and let down. She said if her smear had been read correctly in 2010, she would not be in this mess.

She told the court her two young children were relying on her and she was "too young to die".

The woman gave details of her debilitating symptoms and treatment and described missing her youngest child's fourth birthday and sitting "in a heap" in the corner, as her family put up a Christmas tree.

She told the court there was no accountability and she was in this situation because "someone did not do their job right".

Her husband described being scared about the future and worried about his ability to look after their two children.

The woman has been feeling unwell and had a further scan on Monday and her husband said he was very scared about the outcome of this scan.

He said he could not understand why no one would put up their hands, admit mistakes were made and fix them.

Mr Justice Cross said the case had been brought to trial with great speed and skill and he thanked the legal teams on all sides for their work.

He said he was pleased a settlement had been agreed. He told the woman and her husband they had shown great courage and wished them well into the future.