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Compensation Sought by Family of Heart Attack Victim Who Died Due to Ambulance Delay

The family of a 74-year-old man, who passed away following a heart attack when the ambulance he was being rushed to hospital in collided with a toll plaza barrier on the M3 motorway. have taken a wrongful death compensation case to the High Court.

Presiding Judge Justice Paul Coffey was informed that the crash results in “inexcusable” delay in bringing the man in question, father-of-six James Walsh, to hospital for urgent medical attention.

Following the ambulance crash at the toll plaza Mr Walsh became breathless and panicky after the toll plaza crash. This led to his health, the chest pains that he was suffering from becoming much worse.

Representing the dead man’s family in court, Dr John O’Mahony SC who was appearing with Harold Brooks BL, Informed the judge that the ambulance moved into the wrong lane at the M3 Blackbull Toll Plaza and collided with the toll barrier. Due to this the ambulance then had to back out of that lane and send for another ambulance to take Mr Walsh to hospital.

This, counsel said, resulted in an “unnecessary and inordinate delay” as the medical team had to wait for a second ambulance to arrive and meant that the vital medical attention required for Mr Walsh was not administered quickly enough.

Mr Walsh’s wife was travelling with him in the ambulance when his medical condition was described as dire and critical.

Counsel said in Court: “The big mistake was that the first ambulance did not continue to hospital after the crash. If it had, Mr Walsh would have arrived at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, in a timely manner and life-saving measures would have been carried out.”

Josephine Walsh (73) from Culmullen, Drumree, Co Meath, sued the HSE and the National Ambulance Service over the death of her husband. Liability was admitted in the compensation legal action and the terms of the settlement are to remain private.

It was accepted by the defendants that the ambulance crashing into the Toll Plaza at Dunboyne, Co Meath, on September 29, 2017, and the resulting delay to Mr Walsh’s medical attention being administered at the Mater Hospital, on the balance of probabilities, resulted in his eventual death.

An ambulance crash compensation was approved by Justice Coffey in relation to the legal action taken by the man’s widow.


A letter from the National Ambulance Service was read out in court and expressed sincere apologies to Mrs Walsh and her family for the events that resulted in her husband’s death.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey, as he was giving his approval for the compensation settlement, added his sympathies to Mrs Walsh and her family.




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