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Settlement for daughter of man over multiple systemic failures in his care at a Cork nursing home.

Posted in News on Thursday, March 21st, 2024


We had the privilege of acting for the daughter of the Deceased in this sad case.  Our client was her late father’s primary carer until his admission to the Bon Secours Care Village nursing home, Cork in March 2020.

Following his death in October 2020, our client took up her late father’s records from the nursing home.  The records revealed during his short stay there from March 2020 to October 2020, he suffered 10 falls some of which were unwitnessed falls.  Her late father required to be hospitalised in respect of two of those falls.

The Deceased suffered his 10th fall in October 2020 at the nursing home.  Approx. 8 hours after the fall occurred, he was admitted to CUH owing to his serious injuries.  Sadly the Deceased’s condition deteriorated over the following days, losing consciousness and he subsequently died.  A post mortem was conducted on the body of the Deceased.  The primary cause of death was recorded as: “traumatic brain injury with brain swelling and cerebral contusions with diffuse axonal injury due to a fall.”

Our client issued High Court fatal claim proceedings against the nursing home arising from the circumstances surrounding her late father’s death.  An expert report obtained for the case, on behalf of our client, confirmed there were multiple systemic failures in his care.  The nursing home delivered a defence to the proceedings denying liability.

However, the matter was ultimately compromised (without an admission of liability) and it came before Dublin High Court on the 20.3.24 for the settlement to be ruled.  An expression of regret was read out in open court to our client by a representative of the nursing home.

Comments of the Plaintiff Regina Nolan:

“Noel O Sullivan, my father was a kind caring man with a wonderful social conscience.

He deserved better.  In my honest opinion, the Bon Secours Care Village failed my father with basic medical observation and safety standards which resulted in his traumatic and preventable death.

The Bon Secours Care Village has conveyed regret but I am unaware as to whether they have provided a pathway for verifiable change.  In my father’s name, and in the name of anyone needing nursing home care, I hope this case serves as a turning point that nursing home care must have thorough and regular independent evaluations with stringent consequences if appropriate.

 I believe the regulation of nursing homes requires review based on my personal experience. I was very disappointed and felt let down by the response I received from HIQA (the regulator of nursing homes) when I sought their input on my late father’s situation in October 2020 – a day after his last fall. I was informed by HIQA that they could not investigate individual cases.   I subsequently discovered that before my father died, HIQA passed BSCV as fully compliant in almost all the areas it was inspected for.  At the time of the HIQA May 2020 inspection of the nursing home , my father had suffered four falls and all but one had gone unwitnessed.  The findings in the HIQA May 2020 report of this nursing home contradict the facts and evidence heard at my late father’s inquest.”

Marian Fogarty, solicitor stated:

“In my opinion, the manner in which HIQA conducts its inspections on nursing homes leaves open the potential to miss serious safety issues. Not all nursing homes are inspected each year and not all aspects of the regulations are inspected at an inspection of a nursing home.  In this case, HIQA’s May 2020 inspection report on this nursing home found that there ‘were effective management systems in this centre, ensuring good quality care was delivered to the residents.’  The same HIQA Inspection Report also found that there was evidence that staff received training appropriate to their roles which enabled staff to provide evidence-based care to residents.  These findings contradict the facts of this case and the evidence heard before the Coroner’s Court into the death of Noel O’Sullivan in terms of the evidence based care he received at the nursing home. 

 I do not know why HIQA informed Regina Nolan when she contacted them that they don’t investigate individual complaints.  Under section 9 of the Health Act 2007 HIQA can undertake such an investigation if they believe there is a serious risk to the health and welfare of a nursing home resident.” 

See media coverage of this story below:

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 4275673 or  if you would like more information.

In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.  Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.

Related Solicitors

Ernest J. Cantillon

Managing Partner

Marian Fogarty


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