A High Court Judge has approved the Medical Defence Union’s request to withdraw from a surgical compensation case being made against a surgeon who died earlier this year.
Cosmetic surgeon Mr Samy Malhas was the defendant in two cosmetic surgery compensation claims when he died earlier this year in Germany. His death came shortly after having been declared bankrupt. Following the death of Mr Malhas, the High Court has allowed the Medical Defence Union (MDU) to withdraw the claims made by the two plaintiffs.
One of the claimants, Mary Jo Moloney, alleged that her breast augmentation surgery had left her with hypersensitivity, scarring and a distortion of her breast shape. The other claimant, Deidre Shortt, claimed she was the victim of a negligent rhinoplasty procedure. The two plaintiffs were treated by the name surgeon, but at different clinics in Dublin.
Before his death, the defendant denied both claims. He requested legal representation through the Medical Defence Union (MDU). The MDU had consented, but following Mr Malhas´ death, made an application to the courts to “come off record” and withdraw from the case. The application to withdraw their cases was contested by both Mary Jo Moloney and Deidre Shortt,
Mr Justice George Birmingham heard the case at the High Court. He allowed the application, despite acknowledging that this would place the success of the two cosmetic surgery compensation claims in doubt.
The Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Dublin – at which Mary Jo underwent her breast enlargement procedure in November 2003 – is now in liquidation and has no insurance policy against which to claim. The Cosmedico Clinic in Dublin, where Deidre underwent her rhinoplasty procedure in August 2007, is still in business. However, Deidre´s claim could still face difficulties.
Mr Justice George Birmingham made it a condition of the MDU´s withdrawal from the cosmetic surgery compensation claims that the two plaintiffs were refunded the legal costs they have incurred to date. They now must follow through with alternative legal action if they still want to make a claim for compensation for their allegedly negligent procedures.