Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Martin Kenny TD, has called on the government to introduce the Multi-Party Actions Bill 2017 without further delay.
His comments come as two laboratories involved in the Cervical Check scandal today admitted their liability in relation to the case of the late Irene Teap.
Teachta Kenny said:
“I want to extend my sympathy to the family and friends of Stephen and his late wife, Irene. They lost a mother, wife, and friend in July 2017. As with many of the other cases which have arisen from the Cervical Check scandal, a woman who, as Mr Teap himself put it, ‘did everything right’, but was failed by a system which should have protected her.
“It is absolutely despicable and deplorable that families and some terminally ill women, are still being forced through an adversarial, elongated, and costly High Court battle just to discover the truth of what has happened.
“These cases must be heard individually at High Court level, which takes a serious emotional toll on those involved. We also have the added barrier of fees and the fear that a case may be lost – that fear alone has acted as a barrier for many who wish to have their cases heard simply to get to the truth of what happened to them at the hands of these labs and the screening service.
“The introduction of class-party or multi-party legal actions may have spared many of these women and their families the trauma and heartache of going through the courts against corporations who went to great lengths to avoid admitting their wrongdoing.
“The admission of liability by Clinical Pathology Laboratories Incorporated and Medlab Pathology Limited has come as a vindication for the Teap family, and for every woman who has been forced to fight for the truth for so long,
“Today’s news also underpins the importance of enshrining mandatory open disclosure as part of the Patient Safety Bill. It is vital that patients have this right included in legislation.”