Three women whose cases are similar to Vicky Phelan's have died, SCA confirms 4 years ago

Three women whose cases are similar to Vicky Phelan's have died, SCA confirms

SCA Director Ciarán Breen confirmed that nine other cases, similar to Vicky Phelan's, are also currently being managed.

It's been confirmed that three women whose CervicalCheck cases are the subject of legal action similar to Vicky Phelan's court case have died.


The State Claims Agency (SCA) confirmed the news on Tuesday afternoon, as SCA Director Ciarán Breen announced the news at the Oireachtas Finance Committee.

Answering questions from Fine Gael Senator Kieran O'Donnell, SCA Director Ciarán Breen said that Vicky Phelan should never have been before the courts.

"The SCA did everything in our power to stop that," Breen stated.

He also said that he condemned the fact that Limerick-native Phelan was not told of her incorrect smear test and they had sought at all times for a settlement for her.

He said that SCA went on record to ensure there would not be a confidentiality clause.

Breen told the Committee that the SCA is currently managing nine other similar cases. He added that they are aware of one additional case where a formal claim has not yet been made.

He continued by stating that an indemnity has been received from the independent US-based laboratories in three of the nine cases to date, while the SCA has sought “significant indemnities” in the other cases.

Fine Gael Senator Kieran O’Donnell asked Breen if any of the women whose cases are similar to Ms Phelan’s have died as a result of the incorrect smear tests. Breen confirmed that three women have died.

The storm over cervical cancer screening came to light when terminally ill mother-of-two Vicky Phelan was awarded €2.5m in a High Court settlement against a laboratory based in Texas after she was not informed about a misdiagnosed smear test in 2011.

A review which uncovered the false negative result of Phelan’s smear test was undertaken by the CervicalCheck screening programme in 2014. However, this was not communicated to Ms Phelan until 2017.