Wednesday , October 28 2020

Deceased Infant’s Family Awarded €35,000 Compensation

The Coombe Hospital has a history of settling compensation for birth injuries and death compensation over the years.

These include a 2013 settlement after it was ruled that dyskinetic cerebral palsy was caused to a baby being dealt with negligently during delivery, birth injuries compensation of €15m for a Donegal boy who sustained birth injures due to being deprived of oxygen during his birth and €65,000 hospital negligence compensation settlement in November 2009 due to a facial cut at birth  for another infant.

Now the unfortunate death of an infant i 2015 just hours after his birth as a result of medical negligence had lead to a the family being awarded compensation for birth death negligence against the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital at the High Court.

The boys parents, Assumpta Sweeney and Jason Butler, along with his brothers and sisters were awarded €35,000 in the legal action that was heard at the High Court. Sadly, their son Rory Jason Sweeney Butler passed away shortly after his delivery on November 19 2015 at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital. it was claimed by the plaintiff’s that compensation was appropriate due to the negligence that led to the baby’s wrongful death. They told the court that they experienced nervous shock and trauma as a result of their little boy’s death.

Legally representing the family, Richard Kean SC, made it known to the Judge that the parents had to deal with a huge amount of suffering and in the aftermath of the “very tragic” death of their infant son Rory as a result of alleged hospital negligence. An admission of liability was agreed by the defendant in the personal injury compensation claim.

Judge Justice Eager approved the statutory compensation award for medical negligence. The overall amount of compensation will be handed over to the immediate family of the young boy who now reside in Dublin 12.

 

Muffin Fall Leads to Shop Injury Claim

An alleged fall on a muffin in a Londis store which led to a woman becoming an invalid has resulted a personal injury compensation claim being submitted in the High Court.

The woman who was injured in the accident Ms Olivia Harte Lynch advised the Justice Bernard Barton, through her legal representatives, that she “has been rendered an invalid” since the  accident that occurred on August 23, 2012. She informed the court that during the incident in question her legs gave way from under her and she landed on her back on the floor of a Londis store.

She filed the personal injury compensation claim against JNF McGoldrick Ltd trading as McGoldrick’s Londis, Main Street, Dromahair, Co Leitrim due to the injuries she experienced in the accident on August 23, 2012. The court was told that the defence were claiming that there was contributory negligence on Ms Harte Lynch’s behalf. However, Peter Bland SC for the defendant informed the judge that it is accepted that Ms Harte Lynch fell in the Londis store.

The claim that was filed to the High Court stated that the muffin was not cleared from the floor of the shop, meaning that it remained in a position of danger for customers and staff. Additionally it is alleged that no one saw to it that the floor was cleaned and an alleged failure to put in place a warning sign or to section off the area until it was completely safe.

Londis does not accept all of these claims and that Ms Harte Lynch’s fall took place due to any negligence they were responsible for. Legal representative for Londis, Jonathan Kilfeather SC, informed Judge Bernard Barton that there is no question that Ms Harte Lynch slipped and fell but the issue is whether the accident was due to any alleged negligence.

He also informed the judge that there is no suggestion that the fall “was staged “but did refer to medical evidence to be presented by both sides being “diametrically opposed.” He informed the Judge that there is also an issue in relation to the extent of the injuries sustained.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton was informed that the case may take two weeks and may not finish before the end of the court term at the end of July. As he was adjourning the matter, Mr Justice Barton said he preferred to take “so contentious a hearing” in one sitting and he will inform the court how the case should proceed later in the week.

Road Traffic Crash Passenger Compensation Settlement of €26,000 approved for Boy (15)

A 15-year old boy has been awarded €26,000 car crash passenger compensation in relation to the injuries he sustained in a road traffic accident in 2017.

The boy, 15-year-old Abdul-Malik Zubayraev, may have made him more susceptible to the effect of psychological injuries due to his family’s history associated with the Chechnya-Russia conflict had his €26,000 damages settlement approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Abdul-Malik – who was represented in court by Mr David Kearney, has an address at Mayfield Park, Clondalkin, Dublin. Mr Kearney, who appeared with HJ Ward Solicitors for the boy, advised the court Abdul-Malik had been involved in a road traffic accident that occurred during November 2017. He added that Abdul-Malik immediately thought that he friend who was also involved in the crash, has been killed. However it turned out that he had just been knocked unconscious in the collision.

The crash occurred when the family car that he was travelling in was struck by another car during an overtaking manoeuvre. Abdul-Malik has been seating the rear of the family car.  In addition to neck and lower-back injuries, which have now been  resolved, the court was told that the boy had afterwards suffered with persistent post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr Kearney informed presiding Judge John O’Connor that the boy was very susceptible to suffering psychological trauma as, during the Chechen-Russian conflict conflict, the family had experienced much trauma when the boy’s older brother had been abducted for a long period of time.

The boy’s mother Ruana Zubayraev, through Mr Kearney told Judge O’Connor  that they had not been happy with the €26,000 settlement offer as she did not believe it reflected the extent of her son’s injuries. Since the crash occurred Abdul-Malik had undergone surgery in Russia to resolve a knee injury. However which medical experts had been unable to make a connection between this injury and the Dublin car accident. The ruling from experts was that this particular injury was more that likely caused by a twisting motion during sport.

However, according to Mr Kearney, if it had been found that the knee damage was a result of the car accident then the settlement figure would have been much higher.

Addressing the concerns of the boy’s mother, Judge O’Connor said that he understood the issues that she held. However, he added that unless she was able to produce independent evidence of the boy’s knee injury being due to the car accident she was not going to be able to sustain a case in court. Judge O’Connor also said that he would have been happy to reject the €26,000 offer if he considered it was not good enough. Due to this, Mr Kearney informed the court that she, the boy’s mother, was prepared to accept it given the safeguards provided by the court hearing.

 

Tree Stump Accident Leads to School Camp Compensation Award of €55,000 Awarded to Boy who Cut Knee on for Boy

A young boy, who cut his knee when he fell on a tree at a mid-term camp, has had his injury compensation claims settlement for €55,000 approved at the High Court .

The boy, Diarmuid O’Connor, was 10-years-old when he attended the mid-term camp. During a break in class he explored a bushy area when he had the unfortunate accident involving the tree stump.

Presiding Judge Justice Garrett Simons was told that Diarmuid had, in the company of some of his campmates walked off during break during break time. When they entered a part of the camp that was particularly bushy, DIarmuid fell across the tree stump. His friends, who were in his company, went to inform the camp supervisors who attended the scene as quickly as they were able to. The other young boys were taken away from the scene of the accident and emergency services were called to come to the assistance of the young boy.

Diarmuid took the personal injury compensation claims via his mother Jacinta O’Connor against the managers of the camp, Artzone Ltd. This is the company that conducted the art camps during February 19, 2016. The camp was being held at Taney Parish Hall, Dundrum, Dublin.

Now 15 years old, Diarmuid resides at an address in Ashton Avenue, Knocklyon, Dublin,The claim was -awarded

In giving his approval for the school camp compensation settlement, Justice Simons said the Diarmuid has been left with a bad wound. Sadly, the young boy is now extremely self-concsious about wearing shorts, like most boys his age, during the warmer summer months.

Justice Simons said that the felt the child injury compensation settlement agreed was a good one. He said that, if the case had gone to a full trial setting, there may have been multiple issues to address in relation to issues of supervision and how the young boy was allowed to wander away with a group of his friends and no supervisor.

Compensation Settlement Approved in Relation to 2013 Car Accident

A compensation settlement has been approved in relation to a car accident that result in partial incapacitation for a women that was involved.

The 41-year old women, Fianna Fáil TD Niamh Smyth, initiated the road traffic accident compensation claim against the driver of the other car, Max Mulpeter, in relation to the car crash that took place in 2013.  She told the court that she sustained “serious personal injuries” due to the road traffic accident in which her car was written off.

Mr Mulpeter, a 26-year-old construction worker, accepted full responsibility for the car crash that occurred in November 2013 at Carrickboy, Co Longford.

The crash happened as Ms Smyth was driving in her car on the main road. She had the right of way when the Mr Mulpeter’s car crashed into her. She sustained facial scarring and a deep scar on the left hand side of her forehead. Mr Mulpeter had, it was claimed, driven out too far while exiting from a secondary road.

The compensation settlement had been agreed just before the case was due to go to full trial.

The exact amount of compensation agreed in the settlement was not made public initially and Ms Smyth said that stipulation of the settlement that the amount was to be remain undisclosed. Mr Mulpeter release no comment in relation to the case or the agree compensation settlement.

Despite this the Irish Independent carried out an investigation that showed Mr Mulpeter’s insurers, Asgard, sustaind costs in relation to the accident totalling almost €184,000 – a figure which includes third-party property damage and personal injury, Ms Smyth’s legal expenses and the insurance company’s legal and administrative expenses.

Ms Smyth TD released a issued a statement which said: “In my case, liability was accepted by the driver and his insurance company. He was convicted of careless driving.”

In a previous trial Mr Mulpeter was found guilty of  careless driving and fined €250 by the District Court. He now resides and work in Australia.

 

Hotel Skylight Accident Compensation Award of €75k for Boy

A high court settlement of €75,000 has been awarded to a 12-year old boy who, as a toddler, fell through a skylight in a hotel grounds and broke his arm.

At the age of two, Rory Veighey McCabe was playing on a grassy area at the Moyvalley Hotel, Co Kildare. Sadly he fell through an skylight, which was embedded in the ground, and dropped ten feet. This was just one of many skylights in the area that were put in place to provide light to a tunnel used by staff to access the hotel kitchens from the exterior of the hotel. While attending a wedding with his family, Rory was playing on the grass with some other children.

Rory was at the wedding reception at the Moyvalley Hotel with his parents. At the time the wedding speeches were taking place in the main ballroom some of the children used the corridor that led to the grassed area outside. It was at this time that Rory fell down ten feet through the tunnel floor. It was alleged that the accessible lawn area had an unsecured skylight and that this represented a dangerous hazard.

In addition to this it was alleged that there was a failure to warn the public and the parents of the boy that the skylight was not secured and a failure to prevent a hazard from an area that was easy to access to anyone.

Via his mother Nicola Veighey, of Kilcock, Co Kildare, Rory took the hotel accident compensation action against the proprietors of the hotel, Moyvalley Hotel and Leisure Company due to the accident that occurred on June 22,2010. Rory’s legal representative, John Kennedy SC told the court liability was not at issue in the legal action.

 

Mr Kennedy said that the toddler was not knocked out but did experience some suffering as result of the lacerations and the break to his right arm. He also lost three of his baby teeth due to the accident.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, in approving the personal injury compensation settlement,  said the fall was very severe and the young boy was extremely lucky not to have sustained a brain injury. Rory, the judge said, had a particularly bad fall but he has probably forgotten all by now. The Judge referred to the hotel accident compensation settlement as a good one and he wished Rory well.

€41k Awarded to 5-year-Old Boy for Coffee Shop Soup Spilling Accident

A High Court personal injury compensation action has been settled for €41,000 in favour of a five year old boy who, when a baby, pulled a bowl of soup on top of himself in a coffee shop and suffered extensive burns.

The boy in question, Otto Devine, was just six months old when he sustained superficial scald burns to his arms and legs at a coffee shop at the Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin. The boy was with his father and grandfather when the accident occurred on May 10, 2015. His counsel Carl Hanahoe BL informed the presiding judge, Justice Kevin Cross, that soup and sandwiches were taken directly to the table. He said that the soup was allegedly placed in front of the infant who then caught the bowl spilling the liquid over himself.

The young baby was rushed by ambulance to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Here he was found to have partial thickness burns to both of his hands, his left leg and right foot. Additionally there was a redness to the right side of his face right hand and the inside of his left elbow. Overall, three per cent of the boy’s body were found to have been inflicted with burns. Due to this he was referred to the plastic surgery department where his wounds were cleaned and sterile dressings applied.

In total the child was in hospital for eight days and two days following his admission he experienced early toxic shock syndrome and developed a fever. After this fever alleviated he was discharged on May 18, 2015. As a result of the accident, Otto was left with three areas of minor scarring, the court heard.

The young boy’s legal team told the court that that soup should not have been taken to the table, at a temperature which would inflict serious burns, and put down on the table in  front of a young child. The legal action was taken on behalf of Otto by his father, Conor Devine, against the Airfield Estate as a result of the accident. Liability was not agreed in the case but a settlement was gredd and Justice Kevin Cross gave his approval for it and said that he was happy that Otto had made a good recovery from a serious injury.

City Car Park Accodient Results in Young Athlete Being Awarded €44,000

A prominent young athlete, who ended up walking for the agony of walking for weeks on an undetected broken bone in her right foot, has been awarded almost €44,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

15-year-old Sophia Crawford, Judge John O’Connor was informed by legal counsel, fell in Drury Street Car Park in Dublin in 2016. However, an x-ray of her foot following the accident had not revealed any bone injury. Barrister Breffni Gordon Gordon, who appeared with Murphy Coady Solicitors for the girl, advised the court that a subsequent MRI scan was conducted some time later during a family holiday in Bahrain. This scan indicated that Sophia had a fractured fifth metatarsal in her right foot, the long bone on the outside of the foot that links to the little toe.

Sophia, the court was told, was brought by her father Gerard Crawford to Royal Bahrain Hospital, during the holiday in Bahrain. This was due to fact that she was complaining about additional pain and the fracture was identified.

A medical report by Child Consultant Antoinette D’Alton revealed that Sophia, whose parents reside at Balkill Road, Howth, Co Dublin, had experienced significant pain due to the accident which took place when she tripped on an open drain shore at the Drury Street Car Park.

Sophia took the personal injury compensation action against Park Rite, owners and operators of Drury Street Multi-Storey Car Park in Dublin’s city centre, via her mother Amanda Crawford.

The Judge was informed that Sophia was brought to hospital for medical attention after the accident occurred during April 2016. Despite this, the fracture had not been detected at the time. Mr Gordon said Sophia was a well-known junior athlete and had participated in hockey and tennis for her school and was a keen sailor.

The Personal Injuries Board had reviewed the personal injury car park compensation claim at €43,763 and Sophia’a legal team recommended to the court that this be approved. Judge O’Connor approved the settlement with costs.

Depression leading to Garda Leaving Post results in €76,000 Award

A garda who left the force 10 years early because of depression due to finger that was broken by a person being deported, has been awarded approximately €76,000.

The Garda had first taken the work injury compensation against the State for €310,893 due to his loss of earnings. Along with this he submitted a claim filed seeking damages for personal injuries related to the physical damage to his right small finger around 20 years ago.

Judge Twomey said the loss-of-earnings figure had been was submitted due to the incident in which his finger had been broken resulting in the Garda becoming depressed and retiring from the force. In addition to this, the decision was taken to anonymise his compensation application and referred to the garda only as Garda B. This was due to the fact that the case involved very personal details about the garda’s family.

The Judge said that said Garda B had  been given two injections and no other medical treatment for the fracture and completed a total physical recovery. The chief stumbling point in the case remained the extent to which Garda B’s psychiatric injuries could be attributed to the incident when his little finger had been broken.

Judge Twomey said compensation awards must be fair both to a plaintiff and defendant and modest damages should be awarded due to the minor injuries, moderate damages for middling injuries and severe injuries should lead to compensation which os distinguishable from catastrophic injuries.

Using this reasoning, the Judge awarded €42,699 for loss of earnings, €10,000 for physical pain and suffering due to the fractured finger and €10,000 for psychological pain and suffering caused by his depression that was brought on by the incident.

In addition to this, Judge Twomey awarded the garda €8,180 for out-of-pocket medical expenses in relation to both the physical and mental suffering and €5,100 for loss of income due to absence on sick leave because of the fracture alone – a complete sum of €75,981 damages.

Dental Compensation Settlement Agreed due to Unauthorized Procedure Taking Place

 Roisin Mimnagh, a patient who was left scared to smile following an unauthorized dental treatment,  has been awarded an undisclosed dental settlement at the Circuit Civil Court.

Mr David McParland, Mrs Mimnagh’s legal representative, advised the Court that she is usually satisfied with her appearance. In order to have an incisor realigned she made an appointment with Dr Anna O’Donovan, Griffith Avenue, Dublin. He said: “To her horror she (Mr Mimnagh) afterwards found that her tooth had been filed away and replaced with an amalgam or composite that was smaller and shorter and different from her original tooth”.

At first, according to Mr McPartland, Ms Mimnagh initially felt that she was going to have some white filling applied to her tooth to make it look straighter. When she became aware that this is not what had happened she experienced great stress. The tooth had been filed away and an amalgam composite replaced it. Due to this was was very upset with how she looked and afraid to smile. She, the Court was informed, had not given her permission for this course of treatment to be completed.

Some remedial work was completed on the replacement during 2013, not long after the initial treatment. Ms Mimnagh, according to Mr McParland, still uses an appliance on her tooth and a dental expert has told her that she requires more realignment work.

Dr O’Donovan entered a full defence to Ms Mimnagh’s legal action through her legal counsel. An admission was made that that written consent for the specific treatment for her tooth had not been given. The Judge was also told that the case before the court was not one of deciding liability but a matter of assessing damages. However, as the most recent expert medical report was more than three years old Judge Linnane said that she would be unable to assess damages at this time and she asked that all parties conduct talks to try and settle the case.

Following talks shortly afterwards, Mr McParland soon after returned inform the Judge that the case had been settled and could be dismissed. In addition to this there was also an order for Ms Mimnagh’s legal costs to be taxed in default of agreement.

Death at Work Compensation Award for Family of Man Killed in Wood Cutting Accident

A six-figure death at work compensation award has been made in favour of the family of a man who was killed in Donegal as he was cutting down trees for the construction of a wind farm prior to Christmas in 2015.

Jonathan Gormley (29) died when he was working as as a chainsaw operator. The father of two small children was clearing trees at the construction site for the Meenadreen Wind Farm in the Barnesmore area of Donegal at the time.

The official inquest into Mr Gormley’s death revealed he was found crouched down with a pine tree was lying on his left shoulder. A co-worker, Joe Devaney, informed the inquest that he had last previously spoke with Jonathan around 11.30am or 12pm on December 21, the day that the accident took place.

Mr Devaney said that it had been a very windy day and he tried to contact Mr Gormley using his mobile phone four times between 2.17pm and 2.36pm with no answer. As a result he became worried and went to search for Mr Gormley. He flocated Mr Gormley slouched on his knees, wearing his helmet, and a tree lying on his shoulder.

He (Devaney) could find no pulse that he could find and, after being unable to take off the tree he was permitted to cut it. They were unable to revive Mr Gormley at the scene and he was pronounced dead.

At the inquest medical evidence ruled that Mr Gormley’s death was caused by traumatic or mechanical asphyxia secondary to compression of the chest due to a tree falling on him.

Mr Gormley’s girlfriend, Mairead Coughlin, and his parents took the death at work compensation action against Viridian Energy Ltd operating as Energia, owners of the wind farm, and Softwood Ireland Ltd due to the death of Mr Gormley in the accident that took place on December 21, 2015.

It was alleged there was a failure to have any or any appropriate employee to co-ordinate chainsaw work and to see to it that no chainsaw worker was authorized to be carried out by an individual on their own. It was further alleged that Mr Gormley had been been allowed to clear remove a stand of trees manually using a chainsaw in circumstances where he must be supplied with the necessary mechanical plant and equipment.

Along with this additional claims said there was a failure to ensure that all chainsaw and tree-felling work was immediately ended once there were gale force gusts of up to 44 knots. Due to this Mr Gormley had been allowed to carry on working on a day which was dangerous for work on a stand of allegedly unstable, windblown and dangerous trees.

All of the allegations submitted as part of the claim were refuted by the defendants.

After settlement talks between all parties were conducted, Michael Cush SC told the High Court the six-figure sum was a “global settlement figure”. Justice Garrett Simons gave his approval for the death at work compensation settlement and said that it was a satisfactory award.

Child Accident Compensation of €35k Awarded following Trampoline Fall

A school girl who fractured her ankle, during a school trip, while jumping off a trampoline has settled her child accident compensation action for €35,000 at the High Court.

13-year-old Shauna O’Gorman, through her legal counsel, told the court that she believed there had been a failure to manage the activity on the trampoline correctly, a failure to see to it that the matting was properly in place and that the activity area was not kept clear of all obstructions.

The management of Irish Gymnastics Ltd refuted these  allegations and claimed that there was negligence on the part of the young girl in relation to the accident. They alleged that the girl landed on a crash mat in an awkward way and had also failed to tell them that she had previously broken her left foot.

The defence team also made the allegation that Shauna had not followed the specific and repeated instructions given to her in relation to the correct style to land on the mats.

Shauna was attending a gymnastic event as part of a school tour and children were jumping on the trampoline in turn. Ms O’Gorman, who had jumped on the trampoline once prior to the accident, was just finishing her second go when the accident took place.

Sara Moorehead SC, legal counsel for Shauna, informed Justice Kevin Cross that the children were jumping on the matting on the floor. Another witness added that she was of the opinion that the mats on the floor were not close enough together to prevent accidents occurring.

In the High Court, Justice Cross was told that an MRI last year showed that the child’s ankle was now completely healed. However, following the accident Shauna had a plaster on her ankle and was could  not go on the first week of a family in Turkey that year. However she was able to link up with her family for the second week.

Shauna, initiated  the fractured ankle compensation claim through her father Joseph O’Gorman, against Irish Gymnastics Ltd which operates as Excel Gymnastics, Celbridge Industrial Estate, Celbridge, Co Kildare due to the accident that took place on June 12, 2015.

In giving his approval for the child injury compensation settlement,  Justice Cross said it was a good settlement as it was possible that Ms O’Gorman would not succeed if the case was allowed to continue.

Sales Assistant Awarded €15,000 Discrimination Compensation after being ‘Patted’ on Breast by her Boss

A sales assistant who had her left breast ‘patted’ by her boss in front of a colleague at a staff meeting has been awarded €15,000 to at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

WRC Adjudication Officer Eugene Hanly, at the harassment and discrimination case, awarded that amount due to the firm failing to inform the woman of the outcome of the disciplinary investigation into the manager’s conduct.

The manager in question immediately resigned his position after meeting with the firm’s Area Manager and discovering that he was being suspended following the investigation.

The incident occurred during a staff meeting to discuss the possible closure of the store. DUring that meeting, on June 18th 2018, the woman’s boss is alleged to have put his hand on her chest, pulled up her top, patted her left breast and said, “we will cover them up for this meeting”.

The woman told the WRC that she “immediately felt uncomfortable, intimidated and violated”. She informed the hearing that it had an immediate detrimental effect on her health and she was certified unfit for work on certified sick leave. In addition to this she made a complaint on June 20th 2018 to the ‘Team Voice Representative’. The fashion retailer informed the hearing that the alleged perpetrator was immediately suspended from work.

Mr Hanly ruled that the complainant “experienced a behaviour/conduct perpetrated by her immediate manager and witnessed by a colleague that she believed was unwarranted conduct which in her opinion violated her dignity and created an intimidating environment”. The firm admitted vicarious liability in the case.

He commented: “I find that sufficient evidence was produced to establish the presumption of discrimination.”

The victim had made a number of attempted to ascertain the outcome of the investigation of her complaint from the firm. In one letter from the firm she was advised: “Unfortunately I will not be in a position to discuss the outcome of these investigations with you”.

After she more more efforts to discover the outcome of the investigation, the woman advised the firm: “I have heard nothing. This has caused me considerable distress and upset and has required me to seek medical advice”.

Mr Hanly ruled that the victim was entitled to find out the outcome of the investigation; was entitled to a decision on whether her complaint was upheld or not and was entitled to know what the outcome was, concerning her alleged harasser. He ruled that the fashion retailer has failed to address these matters and “as a consequence, I uphold her complaint of harassment and discrimination”.

 

Former Lord Mayor Claims Lack of Investment Led to Massive Personal Injury Settlements in Cork

Clr. Terry Shannon, a former Lord Mayor of Cork for Fianna Fáil, has claimed that the unusually high level of personal injury compensation settlements in 2018 and so far in 2019 are coming about due to a lack of investment in roads, streets and footpaths over the last number of years.

He stated: “It is a direct result of the decline of the condition of the public realm: potholes, cracked footpaths, and so on. The issue is getting worse and the amount paid each year is getting bigger, because we haven’t been able to fix long-standing issues, because national government hasn’t invested the money.”

The local authority bodies for Cork City and Cork County Councils have paid out personal injury compensation settlements in the region of €15m for slips, trips and falls since 2016. This information was discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request. It also revealed that that are a good many slips, trips and falls compensation actions that have not yet been settled by these local authority bodies.

WIth the latest estimation, taken on March 31, that €1,144,594 in slips, trips and falls compensation claims has been paid out by Cork City Council so far in 2019 in relation to accidents that happened in public areas, including parks and public areas in council-owned housing estates.

Mr Shannon also pointed to the fact that Cork City Council has set aside a budgetary figure of €5m to deal with possible slips, trips and falls compensation settlements that happen during 2019.

In addition to this fiscal allocation measure, the Council has also put aside another €200,000 that is earmarked for an “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”.

Clr. Shannon, commenting on this revelation, said that this figure as not enough for this purpose and said that is will be “used to patch up areas that have been the result of multiple claims but, ultimately, it won’t go far enough to make a real difference.”

 

 

 

€35k Ankle Break Injury Compensation for Girl Who Broke Ankle at Rented Family Home

€35,000 ankle break injury compensation has been awarded a 17-year-old Maria Collins who fractured her ankle when she fell over a pothole in the backyard of her family’s rented accomodation.

The personal injury compensation award was made against the landlord owners of the property, namely Dublin City Council. The girl’s mother, Caroline Collins, spoke in court to say that previous complaints had been registered with Dublin City Council before the accident in relation to the danger of the potholes in question.

The Court was told that Maria had been taken to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she for treatment following the accident. She was tended to by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Conor Hurson. X-rays showed that that a fracture of the right ankle bone had taken place and  Maria was placed in a temporary backslab immobilising cast. A later appointment was arranged for her with the fracture clinic at the hospital.

Soon after this Maria had her cast change from a temporary immobilising backslab to a full fibreglass case which remained in place for a period of five weeks. Maria was prescribed with a course of paracetamol to deal with the ongoing pain that she was suffering from.

Maria’s legal counsel Esther Earley, informed the Circuit Civil Court that the fall took place just over 18 months previously when Maria was 14-year-old. Ms Earley, told the court that the girl’s ankle twisted in a hole in the tarmacadam surface in the back yard of the local authority home.

Ms Earley commented: “She (Maria) suffered a non-­displaced intra-articular fracture which has a higher risk of developing post-traumatic osteoarthritis.”

According to Ms Earley, Dublin City Council was not only the only local body responsible for the area. However, in this case, as landlords for the property they had an inspection and maintenance duty in relation to it.

Judge Groarke gave his approval for ankle break compensation settlement offer of €35,000 once he had been told that the girl is unlikely to suffer post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Personal Injury Compensation Award of €20,000 for Boy (5) Following Gully Fall

An accident on a water gully near the home of a young boy in Co Donegal has results in the child being awarded €20,000. He has been quite unlucky in tripping and falling near a gully near his home in Co Donegal.

The child broke his arm in two places during the incident and had to being treated for  the injuries that he sustained. The boy was just aged five at the time that the accident took place near his home in Dungloe, Co Donegal on July 3rd, 2015.

Through his mother and father, the boy took the personal injury compensation legal action against Donegal County Council at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court.

Judge James O’Donoghue told the Court that he was of the opinion that Irish Water were the body charged with the responsibility of controlling the integrity of the water service. He stated: “I thought Irish water took over all that?” Barrister Patricia McCallum, after being advised by solicitor Cormac Hartnett, told the court that this area was still under the control of Donegal County Council.

At Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court, the boy’s parents were present and advised the Judge that their son, who is now aged nine-years-old, had made a complete recovery from the unfortunate incident. Judge O’Donoghue gave his approval for the €20,000 gully injury compensation offer. The Judge also awarded the costs for the young boy’s legal representatives.

Accident at School Compensation of €55,000 Awarded to 9-Year-Old Girl

Accident at school injury compensation of €55,000 has been awarded to a young girl whose finger was caught in a school door and, as a result, she will no longer be able to grow her nail long.

Legal representatives for the the nine-year-old girl, Fiona Crawford, advised Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court that the girl caught her finger in the door when she was using it when it closed back on her finger. She was brought to Letterkenny University Hospital and then to Galway. In Galway she had a surgical procedure which was conducted by surgeon Michael O’Sullivan.

Ms Crawford told Judge John Aylmer that, as a direct result of the school door injury, the child was very susceptible to the cold weather and would was extremely self conscious about anyone coming into contact with the injured finger as it caused a great deal of pain if they did. After being lost in the accident the girl was told that and it cannot be replaced.

The presiding Judge was told by Ms Crawford told that the young girl was in severe pain following the accident and could no longer permit her nails grow long due to the injury. She also has a visible scar on the top of her finger and her handwriting had also been impacted by the injuries she sustained in the accident.

The girl was initially offered school injury compensation of €35,000 in the aftermath of the primary school accident that happened in April 2017. Ms Crawford said this first offer of €35,000 was much too low when the full extent of the injuries the life long effects that they will have were considered.

Judge Aylmer said that he agreed with this opinion and remarked that an improved primary school injury compensation offer should be made to the girl.

Both legal teams returned after some deliberation the Judge was told that a higher compensation settlement offer of €55,000 has been agreed between the parties. The Judge granted his approval for the improved offer.

€27,500 Dog Bite Compensation Awarded to 11-year-old Boy

A €27,500 dog attack compensation settlement has been approved for a schoolboy (11) who was bitten by a neighbour’s greyhound and left with a serious laceration on his leg.

Milan Nasyron, aged 9 at the time, was attacked when he was putting his bicycle in a communal basement car park at a residential development at Clarehall, Malahide Road, Dublin whee he lived on May 25 2017.

His legal representative, Barrister Kevin D’Arcy advised the court that dog owner and defendant Ms Fiona Coggins, had permitted the greyhound to walk about without an appropriate required muzzle, despite the dog being involved in a number of previous attacks.

Judge Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was advised that Ms Coggins did not have adequate control of her dog when Milan arrived home. The boy attempted to put his bicycle in a parking slot at the car park when the dog had gone for him. The attack had come from the direction of Ms Coggins’ car parking place. The dog attack punctured the rear of Milan’s left thigh and he had been thrown forward in the attack adding further injuries and scarring his right knee. The boy got away from the dog by running to the nearby elevator.

Due to his injuries, Milan was taken to the Temple Street Hospital’s emergency department where his cuts were cleaned and dressed. He was also given antibiotics and it was noted that he had half inch scar on his right knee and a small puncture scar on the back of his left thigh.

The court was told, Milan had shown a fear of dogs and developed anxiety since the attack. He had submitted took the dog bite compensation action against his neighbour Fiona Coggins through his mother Evita Hoverun,

Presiding Judge Groarke said he felt that the €27,500 settlement offer for the boy was appropriate and he gave it an approval with an order for costs.

Hotel Finger Injury Compensation Awarded to Child in Donegal

€45,000 hotel accident injury compensation has been awarded at the Letterkenny Circuit Court to a four-year-old child following an accident at a a hotel in Bundoran, Co Donegal.

The child injury accident occurred at the Allingham Arms Hotel in July 2016 when the child was just two years old. Letterkenny Circuit Court was  informed that the child got his hand stuck in a doorway and the top 4mm of his finger was severed off. The child, whose name must be kept anonymous, was rushed to Sligo Regional Hospital before being then taken to a hospital in the North for additional treatment on his injured finger. The child had a plastic surgery operation so that there would be no long lasting cosmetic damage on the injured finger. Letterkenny Circuit court was told that the injured finger will have no lingering implications for the child’s movement or ability to complete basic tasks. In addition to this it will not prevent him from undertaking gainful employment when he becomes an adult. The child, the court was told, is left right handed and, fortunately, the severed finger is on the left hand.

The child had suffered some psychological trauma due to the accident at the Allingham Arms, Judge John Aylmer at Letterkenny Circuit Court was informed. For some time following the hotel accident the child experienced interrupted sleep. However, the judge was told there there have no lasting psychological issues noticed in the child, nor have there been any signs a self conscious nature or confidence issues in relation to the severed finger on his left hand

At Letterkenny Circuit Court Judge Aylmer gave his approval to the €45,000 severed finger hotel accident compensation award in relation to the accident that occurred at the Allingham Arms in Bundoran and the injuries the child suffered.

Toxic Chemical Personal Injury Claims Made Against the Defence Forces

Toxic chemical personal injury claims have been made against the defence forces as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals at one of their airfields.

In early 2017, a document in which a worker employed by the Defence Forces claimed to have proof of the “the untimely deaths of at least 20 adults…of which I believe died of illness related to unprotected chemical exposure” was made public. The whistleblower was stationed at the Baldonnel Airfield.

The document included evidence that children of the Air Corps workers at the site also died due to their parents toxic chemical injury. The file mentioned specifically the death of a newborn girl due to ventricular septal defect (heart defect), a five year old boy died while having surgery to address a ‘malrotated intestine’ and a girl aged 15 died after contracting Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of cancer. The latter girl’s father is suffering from leukaemia at present.

The wives of members of the defence forces have been making claims the effects of chemical exposure for some time. A mechanic, who previously worked with the Air Corps, noticed that a number of these women had experienced more than one miscarriages and in one particular case, a woman had eight consecutive miscarriages.

This suspicious trend was brought to the attention of the authorities, and an independent third party, former civil servant Christopher O’Toole, was appointed by the Minister for Defence in 2016, to investigate the allegations

Leader of Fianna Fáil Mr Micheál Martin said he believes a Commission of Investigation is now necessary. He stated “The situation is far from satisfactory because with his opening comments the report’s author is essentially saying he cannot fulfill the terms of reference. From the Government’s point of view they established this review, they must have known the terms of reference could not be fulfilled. It’s farcical.”

Although the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have advised that procedures into risk assessment need to be reviewed, a whistleblower has said that these steps are “too little, too late”, especially in the case of those who have lost family members or who have developed life-changing illnesses and injuries.

Allegations have been made stating that these deaths are due to organizational failure on the part of the Defence Forces which meant that Air Corps personnel were exposed to toxic chemicals. The Defence Forces are now facing Toxic Chemical Personal Injuries compensation actions by some former employees. The Defence Forces have released a statement stating, “Given these matters are subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Judge Awards Garda €30,000 in Mouth Injury Compensation

A member of an Garda Síochána has been awarded €30,000 compensation for an injury to his mouth that he suffered while attending to a reported incident at a house in Finglas.

Sean Kelly (aged 31), received the scar nearly five years ago while on duty, in January 2012. Garda Kelly had been called to a house in Finglas to deal with a man who was threatening self harm. As he had just been released from a psychiatric institution, he was deemed dangerous, and two colleagues accompanied Garda Kelly to the scene.

In court, Garda Kelly stated that the man was known to have taken a large quantity of non-prescriptive medication. He had locked himself in his bathroom, and was threatening to jump from the window. Garda Kelly and his colleagues attempted to apprehend the man. While doing so, he was struck on his mouth with a toilet brush holder which lacerated his lip.

The laceration serious bleeding and he had to be taken to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown to be treat immediately. Medical staff examined the wound, and found a piece of porcelain was found to be still embedded in his upper lip. X-rays revealed he had not suffered any major fractures.

Garda Kelly was given a local anaesthetic injection and received seven stitches, several of them on the inside of his mouth. The injury later became infected,  and was prescribed a course of antibiotics until the infection cleared up. He said he could still feel the inside scar with his tongue.  The scar on the outside of his lip was noticeable at conversational distance and he was still very conscious of it.

Barrister Fiona Gallagher, who was representing Garda Kelly, stated that he remains sensitive about a scar on his upper lip and told Mr Justice Bernard Barton he was still conscious of the star-shaped scar. However, Garda Kelly himself joked with the presiding judge that he might have to wear make-up when he gets married next weekend.

Counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure, Barrister Derek Ryan told the court that, based no conflicting medical reports, he did not think that Garda Kelly has suffered Post Traumatic Stress to the extent that it warranted an exceptional compensation award.

After taking this information into account, the judge awarded Garda Kelly €30,000 for his injury and consequent scar. He was not awarded any compensation for his Post Traumatic Stress claim. The judge closed the case, and wished Garda Kelly well for his imminent wedding.

Newspaper Publishes Report on Personal Injury Compensation Claims Made Against Galway City Council

The Galway City Tribune has recently published a report on the city council’s expenditure on compensation claims made against them. The reporters revealed that the city has paid over €4 million in personal injury claim compensation since the beginning of 2015.

This is a significant sum for a city council to be spending on personal injury claims. This figure includes insurance covers public areas, as well as paying the excess on all claims that are made against them.

The figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the newspaper. The breakdown shows that the cost of public liability insurance for Galway City Council was  €3.4 million over the same time period. The yearly figures were also included, which gives the expenditure as follows; €1.5 million in 2014, €1.4 million in 2015 and just less than €500,000 in 2016.

Galway City Council also had to pay for the excess on personal injury claims in addition to the public liability insurance. The yearly figures for this excess were also given; they amounted to €142,000 in 2016; €242,000 in 2015; and €205,000 in 2014.

Alongside the figures themselves, the reasons for the claims made against Galway City Council were also given. The newspaper reported that the largest proportion of the personal injury compensation claims are for injuries suffered in falls on the streets of the city. The number of cobbled streets in central Galway were deemed responsible for large quantity of claims of this type.

Galway City Council announced in August 2017 that the paving and cobbles on the Shop Street thoroughfare are to be replaced with smooth pavement to reduce the number of people falling over and hurting themselves in this area.

Galway City Council Representative said, at the time, that plans were in place to solve the uneven paving on the street which has been the subject of many compensation claims.

In March 2017, a similar report was compiled about compensation claims made against Dublin’s local authorities. The report highlighted the fact that more than €63 million was paid out in personal injury compensation by Dublin’s four local authorities in just five years.

Dublin City Council paid out the most – totaling €41,322,784.12 to 3,853 claimants from 2012 until 2016. At the time of the report a South Dublin County Council  spokeswoman said: “The majority of cases in relation to public liability cases are trips, slips and falls on footpaths/roads, or in public parks. A small number of claims are in regard to damage to property, i.e. car tyres.”

Fraudulent Whiplash Claims Blamed for Hike in Car Insurance Costs

In January 2017, the Personal Injuries Commission with the aim of examining personal injuries claims in Ireland. The commission’s investigations focussed on the proliferation of soft tissue and whiplash claims, as these types of claims appeared to be inexplicably on the rise in Ireland.

It has been widely noted that car insurance costs has increased by 70% for the average car owner in the three-year period between 2013 and 2016. It is unlikely that the number of injuries or accidents has increased so sharply as to directly correlate with this figure. As a result, experts believe that exaggerated or fraudulent claims are responsible for this sharp increase.

However, the Personal Injuries Commission believe that setting up an independent medical panel to investigate each cases of whiplash would interfere with a claimant’s rights. It is their recommendation that a different course of action be taken to sort the fraudulent claims from the veritable ones.

The Personal Injuries Commission has called for the establishment of a uniform approach for medical staff dealing with whiplash injuries. At present, there is no specific accreditation required or benchmark standard for a doctor wanting to complete a medico-legal report on a personal injury claim in Ireland. To combat this lack of standards, the Personal Injuries Commission states that doctors should adopt a standardised approach to diagnosing, treating and reporting on soft tissue injuries.

As most of these soft tissue injuries are whiplash related, it should give a more accurate figure for the true rate of whiplash injuries in Ireland. If the current figures are to be believed, based off claims made against car insurance companies, then Ireland is experiencing a much higher rate of whiplash than other European countries.

In particular it recommended that the Quebec Task Force Whiplash Associated Disorder grading scale should be implemented by medical professionals reporting on relevant injuries. This scale is based on the severity of symptoms and associated physical indicators. It states “Training and accreditation in soft tissue reporting is agreed as being the best practice requirement for those wishing to complete relevant reports”.

It is believed that a self-testing element by the injured party should also be adapted to assess compensation and damages.

The commission, chaired by Judge Nicholas Kearns, also called on insurance companies to publish details on the incidence of whiplash injuries. This could be an integral part of the National Claims Information Database currently being developed by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Justice Kearns stated that such dissemination of information on whiplash injuries would improve the personal injuries compensation environment in Ireland by encouraging ‘an objective standard’ for reviewing whiplash injuries. He added that, going forward, reports will look at comparative systems and bench marking compensation award levels globally.

He stated: “Preliminary findings suggest that the frequency of soft-tissue injury claims in Ireland would appear to be significantly higher than a lot of other European countries. It remains to be determined whether this could be a contributing factor in terms of claims frequency or exaggeration.”

State Claims Agency Releases Report on Sexual Assault Statistics Following Public Pressure

The State Claims Agency has recently released a report on employee sexual harassment in the healthcare system following public pressure from several bodies to do so.

RTE, the state broadcaster, recently aired a damning report which revealed sexual harassment legal actions was taken by five members of staff employed in the State healthcare system over the last number of years. These staff members stated in their claim that they had been assaulted by users of the healthcare service. The complaints were made to the State Claims Agency.

The Agency has not released specific details about where the alleged abuse took place in any individual cases. However, the report was able to announce that the claims are in connection with incidents that happened between 2012 and 2016. The five claims make up almost 50% all sexual harassment claims currently being handled by the State Claims Agency for the State.

Fianna Fail and the Oireachtas Justice Committee publicly called for the State Claims Agency to release the report, breaking down of all sexual harassment claims made against individual public sector bodies available for scrutiny. The State Claims Agency had initially declined to release any information on such claims. Further requests for the information came following the initial refusal by the State Claims Agency to release such a breakdown, by employer and sector, of all the sexual harassment claims which it handles on the State’s behalf.

Additionally, in November 2017 The Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee made contact with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan requesting him to support a call for the data to be released. As a result of this persistent pressure, the State Claims Agency made a limited amount of information on the number of such claims available. The SCA did not say where the incidents that claims arose from happened.

In an official statement released the State Claims Agency confirmed that it has managed 11 claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, which it said were “referable to three State Authorities, inclusive of all Delegated Healthcare Agencies, in the years 2012 to 2016”.

It also confirmed that in six of the 11 cases they’ve handled the alleged assailant and assailed person are both staff members. In the remaining five incidents they said the individual believed responsible for the assault was a service user in the healthcare area and the victim of the assault was a member of staff.

The State Claims Agency (SCA) said that “The claims that the SCA handle, of this nature, are claims which are wholly or mainly ones seeking compensation for injury (mental or physical). We also need further information on the manner in which the SCA deals with such claims, how many of the cases end up in court, full details of all the costs incurred and whether the State seeks to recoup any of these costs from the alleged assailant.”

Boy Left With Permanent Scars Receives Compensation for Dog Bite

A boy, who was left with permanent scars on his face and severe dental damage, has received a settlement of compensation from the owners of the dog which inflicted the injuries.

Following being attacked and bitten in the face by a neighbour’s dog 15-year-old schoolboy, Adam Russell was today awarded €32,000 compensation for personal injuries.

Adam Russell (12 years of age at the time of the attack) was playing while visiting the home Erica Deacon and Eoin Gibson in the Ballinclea Heights estate in Killiney on 28 September 2013. While he was playing, Deacon and Gibson’s German Pointer dog suddenly attacked him. The dog knocked him to the ground, and bit him on the face.

Adam was rushed him to the Swiftcare Clinic, Dundrum, Dublin. Medical staff at the facility treated the lacerations to his face. The injury inflicted to his nose was sutured and the wound just below his lower lip had been closed with surgical glue. The injury suffered to his tooth was diagnosed, but was treated at a later date by dentists at Dalkey Dental Clinic.

Through his father, Adam made a claim for dog injury compensation against the owners of the dog. Counsel for Adam Russell, Brian Sugrue, advised Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke that Adam Russell, who was 12 at the time of the attack, was bitten on his face by the dog while playing with it, and that the dog’s owners should have been more attentive of the situation that Adam was in.

“Adam suffered three specific face wounds,” Sugrue stated.  “He sustained a significant laceration to the bridge of his nose, a puncture wound to his lower lip and a chip fracture to one of his upper teeth.”

Mr Sugrue said Adam Russell’s injured tooth would possibly need a crown in the future but part of the €32,000 dog attack compensation settlement offer took future dental work into account.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon Patricia Eadie was brought in to consult on the case and advise the court on the extent of Adam’s injuries. She had examined Adam’s scars late in 2016 and said that revision surgery may be necessary. The scarring he suffered on his nose is permanent.

Judge Groarke was advised that Mr Sugrue was recommending acceptance of the €32,000 compensation offer.  He commented this was within the ball park of compensation for such injuries, though was not to be considered generous.  The compensation offer was approved. As Adam is currently a minor, it will be invested in court funds until Adam becomes 18 years of age in 2019.

Child Emotional Injury due to Car Accident Compensation Approved in Court

Two sisters, were not physically injured in a rear-end car accident, have had their emotional injury compensation settlement approved at the Circuit Court.

On 11th February 2016, the two sisters – aged six years and four years at the time of the accident – were travelling in the back seat of the family car being driven by their parents. Suddenly, it was rear-ended on the Newcastle Road in Lucan, Dublin. The  other driver admitted liability for causing the accident.

The day after the accident, the two girls were brought to their family’s GP to be examined. Neither girl was diagnosed with physical injuries from the incident. However, within a few days of the accident occurring, the elder sister complained of having a persistent headache. Both sisters started showing symptoms of panic when large vehicles passed the car, fearful that a repeat incident would occur.

Concerned, their parents brought them to seek medical advice. A further review of their condition resulted in both girls being diagnosed with “a mild effect on the mental health”. The elder sister was particularly affected by the accident, experiencing worry, and panic around large vehicles. She also hyperventilated while travelling in the family car, especially close to where the accident had occurred.

Through their mother, they made an emotional injury compensation claim against the driver of the negligent vehicle. On the advice of the family’s solicitor, they accepted an offer of settlement amounting to €33,000. As the claim had been made on behalf of plaintiffs unable to represent themselves, the emotional injury compensation settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure that it was in their best interests.

The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The court was told the circumstances of the accident, the nature of the girls´ injuries and the fact that they had only missed one day from school as a result of the accident in order to be examined by the family GP.

The judge also heard the girls´ mother was satisfied with the amount offered. Te judge was told that the emotional injury compensation settlement was to be divided equally between the sisters. Approving the settlement, Judge Groarke ordered that it be paid into court funds until the girls reach they reached eighteen years of age.

Boy Receives Compensation for Fall in Tayto Park Playground

A thirteen year old boy has received €25,000 in compensation for injuries his suffered following a fall from a playground tower at Tayto Park in March 2012.

Conor Bolger, now thirteen years of age, of Briarfield Road, Kilbarrack, was visiting Tayto Park in March 2012. While playing at the playground, he fell from the playground tower, breaking his elbow. Conor was rushed to hospital, and underwent a surgical procedure to place pins in his lower arm after he fractured his elbow.

Through his father, Conor filed the legal compensation claim against Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd, Co Meath trading as Tayto Park, due the injuries he was inflicted with in the incident and the subsequent surgery and physiotherapy which he had to endure.

It was argued by Mr Bolger’s legal representation that tower he was climbing was overcrowded at this time. This created an unsafe environment, and contributed to the fall. In addition to this, it was claimed, the ground surrounding the tower did not have a sufficient amount of protective wood mulch. They claimed that regular inspections and safety checks were not being carried out in the area. The legal team felt that, had these measures been in place, the plaintiff’s injuries may not have been as severe.

Counsel for Tayto Park (Ashbourne Visitor Centre) David McGrath SC denied these allegation. He stated the boy was climbing the Tayto Park tower when he “just fell” and this was not due to any issue with the tower itself. Mr McGrath advised the High Court Justice Kevin Cross that that boy’s family were happy to agree to a settlement of €25,000 for Tayto Park fall compensation.

High Court Justice Cross approved the settlement, stating that Conor’s scarred elbow was not “too upsetting”. He also commented that Conor was known to enjoy playing basketball at the time of the incident and would have had difficulty doing this due to dexterity issues from the injuries.

Unfair Dismissal Claim Heard by Workplace Relations Commission

The Workplace Relations Commission has awarded a man €15,000  in compensation for his unfair dismissal from the Boyne Valley Group.

A supervisor at the Boyne Valley Group´s distribution centre was dismissed for allegations of gross misconduct in May 2015. The man, originally from Drogheda in County Louth, was dismissed due to allegedly making personal remarks to a female colleague about her appearance, her future family plans and her financial affairs.

It was further claimed that the supervisor had slapped the woman´s hand when she had asked to see a mobile phone he was holding at the time, and had made comments to her implying some of the workforce had been employed on the basis of sexual favours rather than merit. The woman´s complaint was supported by several colleagues, her mother and boyfriend.

The Boyne Valley Group accused the man of singling out the woman and harassing them with unwanted attention. This resulted in him publicly to humiliating her on several occasions. An investigation was launched into the allegations, which led to no concrete evidence of a physical assault on the woman. However, the former supervisor was dismissed on the grounds of breaching the company´s policies on bullying and harassment.

The man sought legal counsel and appealed the decision. He made a claim for compensation for unfair dismissal against his former employers. His case was heard recently by the Workplace Relations Commission and, under cross-examination, the man admitted making comments that could be considered insulting. He stated that he had realised his error and that he had tried to offer an apology.  However, the woman had refused it.

The Chair of the Commission heard the details of the case against the former supervisor, afterwards commenting the processes the company had adopted during its investigation into the allegations and conducting the disciplinary procedures and been fair. The Chair also accepted it was not the Commission´s role to impose its own decision when the decision to dismiss was “within the band of reasonableness”.

However, the Chair disagreed that the man´s dismissal was within the band of reasonableness, and said it was a disproportionate response to the situation. The Commission awarded the former supervisor €15,000 compensation for unfair dismissal, adding that, although the comments were unwelcome to the employee in question, the matter should have been dealt with in a more “constructive manner”, and should not have lead to the supervisor’s dismissal.

Woman Awarded Compensation for a Hospital Fall

A woman, who fractured her spine in an avoidable accident, has been awarded €58,500 compensation for a hospital fall by a judge at the Circuit Civil Court.

Seventy-nine year old Margaret Fitzpatrick attended the Mater Hospital in April 2015 to undergo a gastroscopy procedure as a day patient. Following the conclusion of the procedure, Margaret was given a cup of tea and left alone to recover from being sedated. However, while still under the effects of the anaesthetic, she attempted to get out of bed and fell – sustaining a fractured spine.

Margaret – from Finglas in Dublin – remained at the hospital for nearly a month before being transferred to Clontarf Orthopaedic Hospital for further treatment. She was allowed home after three months, but is now heavily reliant on her family for day-to-day living, needs the support of a Zimmer frame to move around, and has to wear a lumbar brace at all times.

After seeking legal advice, Margaret claimed compensation for a hospital fall against the Mater Hospital. In her claim it was alleged that, due to a previous history of falling, she should have been closely monitored during her recovery. It was also alleged the hospital had been negligent in its duty of care by failing to adhere to its falls prevention policy.

The claim for compensation for a hospital fall went to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Judge James O´Donohoe. Judge Donohoe heard evidence from an expert witness who testified there was no indication the falls prevention policy had been applied in Margaret´s case. The judge also heard evidence from the recovery unit´s head of nursing who explained how Margaret´s accident had happened.

Commenting “what speaks volumes to this court is that the ward nurse who attended the plaintiff was not called to give evidence,” Judge O´Donohoe found in Margaret´s favour and awarded her €58,500 compensation for a hospital fall – giving the Mater Hospital leave to appeal the award provided they paid Margaret €30,000 of the award immediately.

Judge Upholds Settlement of Car Crash Compensation Claims

A judge has upheld the settlement of seven car crash compensation claims and dismissed allegations by a car hire company that the crash was fabricated.

In June 2011, three passengers in a hired Ford Fiesta and four occupants of a Peugeot 406 were injured when the two cars were involved in a car crash on a roundabout in Lifford, County Donegal. The injured parties made car crash compensation claims against the driver of the Ford Fiesta and the car hire company from which the car had been rented – Ryans Investments NI Ltd, trading as Hertz Rent-a-Car

In 2015, the injured parties were awarded compensation of between €5,050 and €9,550 in settlement of their car crash compensation claims in Buncrana Circuit Court. However, the car hire company appealed the award – alleging the car crash had been fabricated and the injured parties had exaggerated their injuries. The appeal hearing was heard at the High Court in July before Mr Justice Charles Meenan.

At the appeal hearing, the court was told that the driver of the hired Ford Fiesta had been overheard calling the driver of the Peugeot 406 when he had returned the vehicle to Hertz´s office in Derry. The call apparently had been made to get the details of the Peugeot 406, but the friendly nature of the negligent driver´s salutation aroused the suspicions of the car hire company.

The court heard the injured parties and the negligent driver were known to each other through their association with the Joseph Plunkett and Charlie D’Arcy Societies, and it was this association that strengthened the car hire company´s suspicions of a set up. The injured parties acknowledged they knew each other, but called the allegations of fraudulently making car crash compensation claims outrageous.

Judge Meenan closed the appeal hearing by saying he would reserve judgement until October, but earlier than expected he announced his verdict this week – finding in favour of the injured parties and upholding the settlements of their car crash compensation claims. The judge said there was insufficient evidence to prove the accident had been set up or that the injured parties had exaggerated the extent of their injuries.

Claiming Compensation for a Loss of Hearing at Work

Ensure you receive legal advice about claiming compensation for a loss of hearing at work to ensure the consequences of your injury are taken into account.

Claiming compensation for a loss of hearing at work follows a straightforward procedure. Once you have been diagnosed with a noise induced hearing loss or a loss of hearing due to a sudden loud noise in the workplace, you apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim.

Provided your employer does not withhold his or her consent for the Injuries Board to assess your claim, the Injuries Board will calculate how much compensation for a loss of hearing at work you are entitled to and, provided your employer´s insurers agree with the assessment, your claim is settled.

However, the primary basis of the Injury Board´s assessment will be your doctor´s diagnosis. This only states the extent of the injury you have sustained, and not the consequences for your day-to-day living and any psychological injuries you have also sustained.

Therefore, if you are unable to watch TV, drive or socialise with friends because of your loss of hearing, these are significant factors that should be accounted for in your application for assessment. The same applies if you have suffered a loss of confidence due to being unable to hear clearly.

To ensure these factors are taken into account when the Injury Board conducts its assessment is to communicate them clearly on the application form – and the best way to achieve that is with the help of a solicitor who has experience of submitting applications for assessment to the Injuries Board.

A solicitor will also be able to check the Injuries Board´s assessment to see if the proposed settlement is appropriate for the injury you have suffered and negotiate with your employer´s insurance company if you are approached with an unsolicited offer of compensation for a loss of hearing at work.

Therefore, it is in your best interests to discuss your specific situation with a solicitor before submitting your application for assessment to the Injuries Board, or have somebody call on your behalf if your loss of hearing is total.

Eligibility to Claim for an Injury from a Lip Filler Procedure

Your eligibility to claim for an injury from a lip filler procedure can vary according to the information you were given – and you gave – prior to the procedure.

Other than a little bleeding, swelling or numbness immediately after a lip filler procedure, serious injuries from this type of cosmetic surgery are rare in Ireland. Occasionally infections develop, but these can be quickly treated with no long lasting effects.

If you were to be one of the rare cases in Ireland in which a serious adverse event has occurred, you may be eligible to claim for an injury from a lip filler procedure. However, your eligibility to make a claim could depend on what you were told prior to the procedure – and what information you imparted.

In Ireland, if you are over eighteen years of age, you are required to sign a consent form before you undergo any type of cosmetic surgery. When you sign the consent form, you are acknowledging there are risks involved in the surgery and you accept those risks.

If the injury you sustained was one of the risks you had been advised of – or you suffered an allergic reaction due to failing to disclose information about yourself – it is unlikely a claim for an injury from a lip filler procedure will be successful.

If you sustained an injury you were not advised was a “habitual risk”, you will likely be eligible for compensation subject to your solicitor being able to demonstrate that “in the circumstances and at the time” the action or lack of action responsible for the injury was avoidable and due to a lack of care.

In order to support your claim for an injury from a lip filler procedure, your solicitor will engage the services of a medical expert. The expert will not only support the claim, but also help your solicitor determine the level of compensation you are entitled to.

Compensation settlements for injuries caused during lip filler procedures can differ considerably. Contributing factors include the nature of the injury, whether it can be reversed, your age, your sex, and the impact the injury has had on your quality of life.

These consequence can vary considerably and, as you cannot apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim, it is always in your best interests to discuss your injury with a solicitor – firstly to establish that you are eligible to claim for an injury from a lip filler procedure, and secondly to ensure your claim is settled for a fair amount.

Judge Awards Compensation for a Botched Laparoscopy

A High Court judge has awarded a woman who lost eight pints of blood during a hospital procedure more than €855,000 compensation for a botched laparoscopy.

On June 4th, 2002, the fifty-year-old plaintiff from Portlaoise in County Laoise attended the Midland Regional Hospital for a routine laparoscopy to help determine why she was unable to get pregnant. In order to perform a telescopic examination, a trocar was inserted into her abdomen. Unfortunately, the surgical instrument tore an artery and punctured a vein as it was being inserted, causing the woman to lose eight pints of blood.

The woman was rushed into intensive care, where she was put on a ventilator and spent two days on life support. She remained in hospital for six days and – due to the medical negligence of her consultant obstetrician Dr John Corristine – continues to experience pain in her abdomen. Following her recovery from her experience, the woman sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a botched laparoscopy.

In her claim it was alleged there had been a failure to take adequate precautions for her safety and that there had been a failure to check that the equipment used during the procedure was in a good and proper working order. The HSE acknowledged liability for the botched procedure, her initial pain and suffering and the scars that remain from her treatment, but contested the ongoing abdomen pain was a consequence of the negligent laparoscopy.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard medical evidence that the botched laparoscopy was not only responsible for the plaintiff´s ongoing pain and suffering, but that her condition may deteriorate in the future as a direct result. The judge said the woman´s quality of life had been significantly impaired as a result of what had happened, and although the consequences of the medical negligence were not catastrophic, they were “very serious”. The judge awarded the woman €855,793 compensation for a botched laparoscopy.

Defective Car Injury Claims Settled in Court

Two defective car injury claims have been settled in the Circuit Civil Court after the car bought by one of the plaintiffs was found to be unfit for purpose.

In November 2013, the two plaintiffs and three other family members were travelling from Dublin to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition. On their journey along the M1 at a speed of around 80kmph, the sun roof of the car they were travelling in blew off. Alarmed at the sudden noise, the driver of the car – one of the plaintiffs – hit the brakes hard and pulled over onto the hard shoulder.

The braking action caused the driver, her 72-year-old mother, and the three other family members to suffer whiplash style injuries due to the sudden deceleration of the vehicle. The driver´s mother – the second plaintiff at yesterday´s hearing – suffered a compression fracture in one of the vertebrae of her lower back. Two children also travelling in the car were unharmed.

After receiving treatment for their injuries, the mother and daughter both made defective car injury claims via the Injuries Board against the dealership from whom the car had been purchased just four months earlier. They alleged in their legal action the car had not been fit for purpose, of merchantable quality nor free from defects at the time it had been purchased.

The car dealership denied liability for the plaintiffs´ injuries and withheld its consent for the Injuries Board to assess the defective car injury claims. The Injuries Board issued the plaintiffs with an Authorisation to pursue their defective car injury claims in court. The case was heard yesterday by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told an independent motor assessor had found corrosion around the remaining frame of the sun roof that would have been present on the vehicle at the time it was sold.  The corrosion, the assessor testified, led to the sun roof blowing off and was a situation that could have been avoided if there had been an adequate pre-sale inspection by the dealership.

Following the assessor´s testimony, a representative of the dealership acknowledged the company was at fault – leaving Judge Groarke to rule on how much each of the defective car injury claims should be settled for. As the driver plaintiff had recovered from her injuries quickly, she was awarded €12,500 compensation. Her mother was awarded €25,000. The defective car injury claims of the three other passengers will be heard at a later date.

Settlement of a Cyclist Brain Injury Claim Approved

The settlement of a cyclist brain injury claim has been approved at the High Court after a consideration was made for the cyclist´s contributory negligence.

On 2nd August 2013, the thirty-three year old cyclist was cycling through Dublin when he was hit by a van at the junction of the Ongar Distributor Road and Shelerin Road in Blanchardstown. According to an eye-witness, the cyclist was thrown three metres into the air by the force of the impact. Forensic analysis later determined the van was travelling at 57kmph at the time.

The cyclist – who had not been wearing a cycling helmet – suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. He was taken to the Beaumont Hospital, where he underwent a decompressive craniotomy and – after coming out of intensive care – transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre. Such was the severity of his injury, he suffered amnesia for four months.

The driver of the van – who was uninsured and unlicensed to drive – was jailed for 3½ years in November 2015 for dangerous driving, causing serious harm, and failing to stop after a traffic accident. Following the conviction, the wife of the injured cyclist made a cyclist brain injury claim against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Liability for the man´s injuries was not contested.

After reports had been compiled to assess the man´s future needs, a settlement of the cyclist brain injury claim amounting to €3 million was agreed. Although not required to wear a cycling helmet by law, the settlement included a consideration of the cyclist´s own contributory negligence. As the man was unable to represent himself, the settlement then went to the High Court for approval.

At the approval hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of the accident, the consequences to the cyclist´s quality of life and the conviction of the negligent driver. Judge Cross approved the settlement of the cyclist brain injury claim, commenting it had been a dreadful incident. The judge closed the hearing by wishing the cyclist and his family well for the future.

Approval of Eyebrow Scar Injury Compensation Put on Hold

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has put the approval of an eyebrow scar injury compensation settlement on hold until further medical reports are received.

The proposed settlement of eyebrow scar injury compensation was intended to compensate a four-year-old girl for an injury she suffered while travelling with her mother on a Dublin bus in 2015. Although strapped into her buggy, the girl – who was aged twenty-two months at the time – had hit her head on an upright support when the bus driver braked sharply to avoid a collision with an unmarked garda car.

The girl´s mother had taken her to Temple Street Children´s Hospital, where a cut on the young girl´s eyebrow was cleaned and sealed with seristrips. The girl subsequently developed a fear of being put into her buggy and was also seen by her GP in relation to a soft tissue injury. Although a barely visible scar remains, it is possible the girl´s eyebrow will not develop normally.

Through her mother, the girl made an eyebrow scar injury compensation claim against Dublin Bus and the Garda Commissioner. Liability for the girl´s injury was admitted, and an offer of eyebrow scar injury compensation amounting to €10,000 was forthcoming. However, as the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the offer of compensation had to be approved by a judge before the settlement could be made final.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the circumstances of the accident and the injury that the young girl had suffered. On inspection of the eyebrow, Judge Groarke said he could still see a visible scar and it was difficult to tell if the girl had made a complete recovery. He added he was reluctant to approve the proposed settlement until a medical report was prepared on how the injury may interfere with the growth of eyebrow hair in the girl´s later life. He subsequently adjourned the approval hearing for six weeks.

Judge Approves Interim Cerebral Palsy Settlement for Six-Year-Old Boy

A judge has approved an interim cerebral palsy settlement for a six-year-old boy and complimented the Health Service Executive for its cooperation.

The six-year-old boy from Ballaghaderreen in County Roscommon was born at Sligo General Hospital in May 2010 after his birth had been avoidably delayed. According to the details of the case told to the High Court, a CTG trace at 5:30pm on the evening of the boy´s birth indicated that he was suffering foetal distress and should be delivered at the first possible opportunity.

However, rather than perform an emergency C-Section procedure within an appropriate period of time, the boy´s delivery took place more than two hours later. Due to the avoidable delay, the boy was starved of oxygen in the womb and was born with cerebral palsy. He now has a weakness on the right side of his body, although this does not appear to have prevented him from becoming a sociable child.

On the boy´s behalf, his mother made a claim for cerebral palsy compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE was quick to acknowledge liability and, as talks began with the boy´s parents to agree a cerebral palsy settlement, senior HSE personnel apologised for the mistake that had led to their son´s birth injuries and explained how it had happened.

The boy´s parents and the HSE agreed to an interim cerebral palsy settlement of €740,000 which will cover the family´s costs for the next five years – the extended period of time being due to the family having moved to Canada. As the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the interim cerebral palsy settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in the boy´s best interests.

At the approval hearing – and after hearing details of the case – Mr Justice Kevin Cross complimented the HSE for its attitude, and said that an apology and an explanation was “absolutely something to be encouraged”. Approving the interim cerebral palsy settlement, Judge Cross said he was delighted with the progress the little boy had made, and he wished him well for the future.

Family Awarded Compensation for a Fatal Accident at Work

A family has been awarded almost €810,000 compensation for a fatal accident at work following an admission of liability by Cork County Council.

On 23rd November 2012, Michael O´Donovan (44) from Aghabullogue in County Cork was fatally injured while helping to clear pine trees at the Carr’s Hill pumping station at Arderrig. Michael – who was an employee of Cork County Council – had been standing behind the digger being used to fell a fifty-foot-high Scots pine. But, as the tree fell, it landed on a telephone cable. The pole supporting the cable snapped and hit Michael on the head as it fell.

An ambulance was summoned and Michael was resuscitated. However, the head injuries he sustained were fatal, and he died later that day in hospital. An inquest into the fatal accident returned a verdict of accidental death, but the jury was critical of the “careless and reckless” manner in which the task had been performed and made recommendations about how tree felling operations should be conducted in the future. The recommendations have since been adopted.

Cork County Council was subsequently prosecuted for three health and safety failings, and fined €48,000 by Cork Criminal Court in February 2016. Following the conviction, Michael´s wife – Yvonne – and her three children claimed compensation for a fatal accident at work. Incredibly, Cork County Council denied liability for Michael´s death and contested their claim on the grounds he had contributed to the tragedy by his own lack of care.

The civil hearing to resolve the claim took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Robert Eagar. The first day of the hearing, the court heard about the circumstances of the accident and, on day two, was told that Cork County Council was prepared to admit liability and the hearing could proceed for the assessment of damages only. After hearing actuarial evidence on behalf of the family, Judge Eagar awarded the family almost €810,000 compensation for a fatal accident at work.

Creche Employee Injury Claim Settled during Liability Hearing

A childcare worker´s creche employee injury claim has been settled for an undisclosed sum during a hearing to determine liability at the Circuit Civil Court.

In January 2015, Natasha Carberry (26) was working at the Precious Minds creche in Lucan, Dublin, when she was asked by a senior member of staff to help her change nappies in the babies room. Natasha was already looking after a group of one and two year old children, but she complied with the request, taking the children who were not sleeping with her.

The senior member of staff left the babies room shortly after to attend to other matters, and Natasha was left alone with nine children. While she was helping one of the children, she tripped on a plastic plate that had been left on the floor and fell – twisting awkwardly as she landed and damaging soft tissues in her back and leg.

Despite seeking prompt medical attention from her GP, Natasha still suffers from back pain as a result of her accident and may have to look for another career. She applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her creche employee injury claim, but Precious Minds withheld their consent for the assessment to proceed and Natasha was issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court.

The hearing to determine liability was held recently before Judge Brian O´Callaghan at the Circuit Civil Court. At the hearing, a forensic engineer gave evidence that Natasha had been placed in an unduly stressful situation and that the creche had failed to have regard for her safety on the day of the accident due to the high child/adult ratio that existed once the senior member of staff left the room.

Precious Minds contested the creche employee injury claim on the grounds that one of Natasha´s duties was to keep the floor clear of hazards to protect the children from coming to harm. The creche claimed that, as Natasha had failed to notice and remove the plastic plate over which she had tripped, she was the author of her own misfortune.

However, following a brief adjournment, Judge O´Callaghan was informed that Natasha´s creche employee injury claim had been settled by mutual consent for an undisclosed sum and without an admission of liability. The judge complimented the two parties on reaching an agreement and awarded Natasha her legal costs before striking the claim.

Nurse Awarded Injury Compensation for Tripping in Tesco

A Dublin nurse has been awarded €48,000 injury compensation for tripping in Tesco after the store was found negligent in its control of customer traffic.

In January 2014, Bernadette Higgins (32) was making her way to the wine section of the Tesco Metro store in Terenure, Dublin, when she tripped over a six-pack of beer that had been left on the floor by a customer waiting to use the self-service check-out.

The customer helped Bernadette to her feet and apologised, but due to a pain in her knee an ambulance was called and she was taken to St. James´s Hospital. At the hospital an x-ray revealed a fracture of Bernadette´s left knee – a knee she had reconstruction surgery on five months previously.

As a result of her accident in Tesco´s, Bernadette had to undergo two further surgeries and is still having physiotherapy treatment. In addition to a visible scar on her knee, Bernadette still experiences pain in her left knee and has had to give up her hobbies of football and running.

Bernadette applied for an assessment of injury compensation for tripping in Tesco to the Injuries Board, but Tesco declined their consent for the assessment to be conducted. Bernadette was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court.

The hearing of her case took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, who was told that Tesco was denying liability for Bernadette´s accident as the six-pack of beer had only been on the floor for seconds before Bernadette´s accident, and there was nothing they could have done to prevent it.

However, the judge ruled that the layout of Tesco Metro in Terenure meant that customers entering the store had to negotiate other customers waiting to pay for their shopping. The judge said that Tesco should provide a defined path for customers at the self-service checkout in order to better control customer traffic.

Judge Groarke initially awarded Bernadette €60,000 injury compensation for tripping in Tesco, but after taking into account that she was not properly looking where she was going, he reduced the award to €48,000 to account for her contributory negligence.