The Circuit Civil Court has settled a black eye claim for compensation after hearing the circumstances of how a university student sustained her injury in an acupuncture training course.
Forty-five year old Bernadette Poleon from Dunboyne, County Meath, volunteered in April 2010 to take part in an acupuncture training course that was being held at the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Dublin.
One of the exercises during the training course involved a student inserting a needle below each of Bernadette´s eyes. After the student´s placement of the needles was examined by a course supervisor, the needle below Bernadette´s right eye was repositioned.
Later the same day, the skin around Bernadette´s left eye became swollen and tender and, within two days, significant bruising had developed around the eye. The swelling and tenderness disappeared several days later, but the discolouring around Bernadette´s eye lasted a further seven weeks.
After Bernadette also developed a sinus problem – for which she is still receiving treatment from her GP – she made a black eye claim for compensation against Bellfield Consultants Ltd, who are the owners of the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Bellfield Consultants Ltd contested the black eye claim for compensation and presented a full defence against the claim when court proceedings were issued. However, when the case was about to be heard by Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court, the judge was told that – by consent – the case was now before her for the assessment of compensation only.
After hearing how Bernadette had sustained her injury, and the embarrassment she experienced while the injury was still visible, the judge awarded Bernadette €6,000 in settlement of her black eye claim for compensation and costs.