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Child Injury Claims

In Ireland, child injury claims for compensation have to be made by a parent or guardian acting as the child´s “next friend”. There are other procedures which distinguish child injury claims in Ireland from injury claims for adults – one of which being that any settlement of child injury compensation has to be approved by a judge before the settlement of the child injury claim can be paid. Even though you will not need legal representation until the conclusion of child injury claims, it is advisable to speak with a personal injury solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity to receive advice on making child injury claims in Ireland.

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Child´s Claim for Electric Gate Injury Compensation Resolved

A nine-year-old boy´s claim for electric gate injury compensation has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court with the approval of a €19,000 settlement. In May 2010, Joel Gannon was just two-and-a-half years of age when his head got stuck between the railings of an electric gate as it was closing outside of his home in Cabra, Dublin. Joel´s head and shoulders were dragged along the ground as the gate closed, and although his father was able to free him quickly, Joel suffered a fractured left clavicle and abrasions to the left side of his face. On her son´s behalf, Lyndsay Gannon made a claim for electric gate injury compensation against the Tuath Housing Association – the housing association responsible for the family home – and Dublin City Council. In her claim for electric gate injury compensation, Lyndsay alleged that the gate should have been covered with a metallic net to prevent such accidents from happening. Liability was contested by both defendants but an offer of compensation amounting €19,000 was made to the family and they accepted it on the recommendation of their solicitor. However, as the claim for electric gate injury compensation had been made on behalf of a child, the offer had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Joel´s best interests. Consequently an approval hearing was scheduled for the Circuit Civil Court. At the hearing Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of Joel´s accident and that an offer of settlement had been made without an admission of liability. After hearing that Joel had made a full recovery from the accident, Judge Groarke approved the settlement – commenting that Joel was lucky his father was close at hand at the time. The settlement of compensation will now be paid into court funds until Joel reaches the age of maturity. If funds are required for Joel´s education or related medical costs before he turns eighteen years of age, the family can apply to the Circuit Civil Court to access some or all of the settlement.

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Interim Settlement of Compensation for the Misdiagnosis of a Chicken Pox Infection Approved in Court

A €2.5 million interim settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a chicken pox infection has been approved by a judge at the High Court in Dublin. Eoghan Keating was soon to be celebrating his second birthday when, on 24th August 2012, his parents took him to the Accident and Emergency Department of Waterford Regional Hospital suffering from a high fever and having developed a rash on his abdomen. Eoghan was diagnosed as having mumps and discharged. His parents – Larry and Martina – were told to treat him with ibuprofen and Carpol if his symptoms continued but, during the night, Eoghan´s health deteriorated. Larry and Martina called the caredoc GP service when Eoghan became lethargic and developed a swelling on his neck, and were told to return to the hospital. On their return, Eoghan was correctly diagnosed as having a chicken pox infection. He was intubated and ventilated before being transferred to the Children´s Hospital in Dublin. Unfortunately the correct diagnosis had been made too late to prevent the infection causing a brain injury and – now six years of age – Eoghan is tetraplegic and cannot talk. Martina sought legal advice and claimed compensation for the misdiagnosis of a chicken pox infection on her son´s behalf. In the action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) it was alleged that there had been a failure to identify the indications of a serious infection and admit Eoghan when the family first presented at the Waterford Regional Hospital. The HSE admitted liability for Eoghan´s brain injury and an interim settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a chicken pox infection was agreed. As the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the €2.5 million interim settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Eoghan´s best interests. Consequently the sequence of events leading up to Eoghan´s brain injury and the consequences of his injury were related to Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court. At the approval hearing, Richard Dooley – the General Manager of Waterford Regional Hospital – read an apology to the court apologising for the “deficiencies in care provided to Eoghan”. Judge Cross told the Keatings “your suffering cannot be described or defined” before approving the interim settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a chicken pox infection. The judge then adjourned the case for two years in order that an assessment of Eoghan´s future needs can be conducted.

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€100,000 Settlement of Compensation for a Scar due to an Adverse Reaction Approved in Court

The High Court has approved a €100,000 settlement of compensation for a scar due to an adverse reaction in favour of a three-year-old girl. Sophia Ryan was born on the 19th October 2012 at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin seventeen weeks premature. Immediately after her birth, Sophia was transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit, where she was administered medication via a series of catheters. Prior to the insertion of the catheters, Sophia´s skin had been cleaned with chlorhexidine – a different antisepsis lotion from the povidone-iodine usually used on premature babies – as part of the National Children´s Research Centre´s “SKA trial”. Sophia´s mother – Anne – had given permission for the lotion to be used on Sophia after being assured that it would not have any side effects or cause her daughter any discomfort. However, the morning after Sophia´s birth, nurses noticed she was distressed and had redness and ulcerations on her back. The condition was attributed to an adverse reaction to the chlorhexidine. Sophia was administered morphine to provide pain relief and a cream used to prevent bacterial skin infections – Fucidim – was applied to her skin. When a plastics specialist noted that Sophia had suffered a deep dermal skin burn on her back, the Fucidim treatment was discontinued and an alternate cream applied. Sophia´s condition improved, but she has been left with discoloured skin and a scar on her back that was likened by a consultant paediatric dermatologist in May 2014 as being similar to a chemical burn. Through her father – Tom – Sophia claimed compensation for a scar due to an adverse reaction against the National Maternity Hospital; alleging that her mother would never have consented to the application of chlorhexidine had she been aware about the potential side effects. The hospital made an offer of compensation for a scar due to an adverse reaction without an admission of liability, at the approval hearing at the High Court, Mr Justice Richard Humphries was told that Sophie will likely need a skin graft in the future to hide the discolouration and permanent scar. On hearing the details of the hospital´s offer of €100,000, Judge Humphries approved the settlement of compensation for a scar due to an adverse reaction and ordered that the hospital also pay the Ryan´s legal costs.

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Interim Settlement of Compensation for Birth Injuries due to Medical Negligence Approved in Court

An interim settlement of compensation for birth injuries due to medical negligence at the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital has been approved in court. On 19 August 2013, Catriona Enright was admitted to the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital in Limerick, thirty-seven weeks into her pregnancy with son Charlie. After tests were conducted, the decision was made to induce labour and Catriona was administered Syntocinon. Despite hyper-stimulation being a known side effect of Syntocinon, Catriona´s condition was not adequately monitored. A subsequent misinterpretation of the CTG tracing and a belated recognition of foetal distress led to Charlie being born “flat” the following day, unable to breathe independently. Charlie was transferred to Cork University Hospital, where he was diagnosed as having suffered an intra-cranial haemorrhage and treated with therapeutic hypothermia (“head cooling”). However, due to the brain damage Charlie suffered prior to his birth, he is severely and permanently disabled. On her son´s behalf, Catriona claimed compensation for birth injuries due to medical negligence against the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE). Liability was admitted for Charlie´s birth injuries and an interim settlement of €1.75 million agreed while a report is prepared into Charlie´s future needs. As the claim for compensation for birth injuries due to medical negligence was made on behalf of a child, the interim settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Charlie´s best interests. Consequently, at the High Court, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told the circumstances leading up to Charlie´s birth. Judge Barr approved the interim settlement, saying it was a very good one that should take care of the boy´s needs for the next two years. After two years, the family will have to return to court for the approval of a subsequent interim settlement of compensation for birth injuries due to medical negligence or the approval of a lump sum payment, assuming that no system of periodic payments is introduced in the meantime.

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Permanent Scar Compensation Claim Resolved at High Court

A permanent scar compensation claim has been resolved at the High Court with the approval of a €106,000 settlement in favour of a seventeen-year-old girl. In August 2009, Shauna Burke from Corbally in County Limerick was on holiday with her family at Slattery´s Caravan Park in Lahinch, County Clare, when she lacerated her leg on a nail that was allegedly protruding from a box attached to a pole. Shauna – who was ten years old at the time – received medical treatment for her injury, but – now seventeen years of age – has a permanent visible scar above her knee. On Shauna´s behalf, John Burke – her father – made a permanent scar compensation claim against the owner of the caravan park – Austin Francis Slattery. Slattery denied that he was liable for Shauna´s injury and the resulting scar, but agreed to a €106,000 settlement of the permanent scar compensation claim – made up of €90,000 for Shauna´s pain and suffering and €16,000 for her future medical care. As the permanent scar compensation claim had been made on behalf of a child, the offer of settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Shauna´s best interests. Consequently at the High Court, Mr Justice Anthony Barr heard allegations that the nail on which Shauna cut her leg was a hazard that should have been removed due to it being located in an area often frequented by guests at the caravan park. After inspecting the scar, Judge Barr said that the proposed settlement of the permanent scar compensation claim was a good one and that he was happy to approve it. Because Shauna is still a legal minor, the judge ordered that the settlement should be paid into court funds, where it will remain in an interest yielding account until Shauna´s eighteenth birthday.

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Claim for Brain Damage due to Negligent Surgery Heard in Court

The details of a claim for brain damage due to negligence surgery have been heard in the High Court prior to the approval of an interim settlement. Jude Miley was born on 16th July 2011. In January 2012 Jude was diagnosed with a condition affecting the contour of his diaphragm and he underwent surgery at Our Lady´s Hospital for Sick Children to assist his breathing. Unfortunately, a suture used in the operation was left untied and, due to its proximity to Jude´s heart, damaged the organ every time Jude took a breath. Two days after the operation, Jude went into cardiac arrest – suffering brain damage when his brain was starved of oxygen. On his son´s behalf, Greville Miley – from Dundrum in Dublin – made a claim for brain damage due to negligent surgery against the hospital; alleging that the suture had been placed without the surgeon having sight of the heart and other vital organs. Our Lady´s Hospital for Sick Children only admitted liability for Jude´s injury last year – originally contesting the claim for brain damage due to negligent surgery on the grounds that the risk of cardiac arrest was a known risk of the surgery, and nothing could be done about it. As Mr Justice Anthony Barr heard at the High Court earlier this week, Jude´s parents were also excluded from the hospital´s internal investigation after being asked to be kept informed of any developments. Both Greville and Anne Louise subsequently had to give up their jobs to care for their son. However, once the hospital had admitted liability, an interim settlement of the claim for brain damage due to negligent heart surgery amounting to €1.8 million was agreed. This interim settlement will allow the family to buy a suitable home to raise Jude and compensate Greville and Anne Louise for their loss of income. Judge Barr approved the interim settlement of compensation and adjourned the case for an assessment of Jude´s future needs to be made.

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Claim for the Late Diagnosis of Hydrocephalus Settled in Court

A child´s claim for the late diagnosis of hydrocephalus, which allegedly resulted in him suffering from autism, has been settled at the High Court. Joe Keegan-Grant was born at the Mount Carmel Hospital in Dublin by emergency C-Section on 17th January 2008 after a scan had revealed an arachnoid cyst near the base of his brain and doctors wanted to avoid any pressure being applied to the cyst during Joe´s delivery. Discharged in good health, Joe was regularly assessed by public health nurses and paediatrician Dr Vladka Vilimkova; but according to Joe´s mother – Patricia – neither plotted Joe´s head circumference on a chart or exchanged the measurements they had taken. Due to the failure to exchange information, it was not realised that Joe´s head circumference was expanding faster than a normal child´s. It was only when the family moved to Creggs in County Roscommon that Patricia´s new GP expressed concerns about the size of Joe´s head. Patricia requested a referral to the Crumlin Hospital for a scan and, in October 2008, Joe was diagnosed with hydrocephalus – a condition that is a known possible consequence of an arachnoid cyst. The condition was attributed to Joe´s developmental delay, behavioural problems and autism. Through his mother, Joe made a claim for the late diagnosis of hydrocephalus, alleging that – as it was a known possible consequence of an arachnoid cyst – both the public health nurses and Dr Vilimkova should have been on the lookout for the condition. Medical negligence was denied by the Health Service Executive (HSE), but as Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told at the High Court, a €1.9 million offer of settlement had been made to the family without an admission of liability. Judge Cross heard that, despite his autism, Joe was doing well at school. However, he would not be able to care for himself when he grew older, live an independent life or earn a living. Joe´s father told the judge: “we just want to ensure that we can look after him and offer him the best care and therapy and interventions that can bring him along.” It was also explained to the court that although Joe´s legal team had evidence to support the claim for the late diagnosis of hydrocephalus, the HSE had experts that would dispute the link between undiagnosed hydrocephalus, developmental delay and autism. With there being an issue of doubt over causation, Joe´s barrister had recommended that the family accept the offer of compensation. The judge said it would be prudent for him to approve the settlement of Joe´s claim for the late diagnosis of hydrocephalus; noting that there was a risk that, should the case go to a full hearing, the HSE could win its argument. Judge Cross approved the €1.9 million compensation settlement and wished Joe and his parents all the best for the future.

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Compensation for the Delayed Delivery of a Child Approved

An interim settlement of compensation for the delayed delivery of a child, who consequently sustained brain damage, has been approved in the High Court. Mohammad Daud Assad (now aged eleven years) was born at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin on February 20th 2004 by emergency Caesarean Section after becoming distressed in his mother´s womb. Mohammad was born in a poor condition and needed resuscitating after the delivery. Due to being deprived of oxygen immediately before his birth, Mohammad suffered severe brain damage. He now suffers from cerebral palsy and has both mental and physical disabilities. Unable to speak, Mohammad will need full-time care and support for the rest of his life. Through his mother – Alia Muryem Assad of Ballyfermot in Dublin – Mohammed claimed compensation for the late delivery of a child against the Rotunda Hospital. It was alleged that his mother arrived at the hospital at 9:00am on the morning of his birth – ten days overdue – but that he not delivered until 10:30pm. In excessively delaying Mohammad´s birth, it was claimed, there was a failure to properly assess his mother and consider a failing of the placental function – particularly after a reduction of the foetal heart rate was recorded several hours before his birth. At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that Mohammad attends mainstream school and enjoys music. He was also told that the Rotunda Hospital had only acknowledged liability for Mohammad´s birth injuries within the last two weeks, and that an interim settlement of €3 million compensation for the delayed delivery of a child had been agreed. The judge approved the interim settlement of compensation for the delayed delivery of a child and commented that the way in which the family had rallied round to help Mohammad´s parents “restored one´s faith in humanity”. The case was then adjourned until 2022, when Mohammad´s future needs will be assessed and a full settlement of his claim resolved.

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Judge Approves Settlement of 22 Claims for Abuse at a Creche

A High Court judge has approved the settlement of twenty-two claims for abuse at a crèche relating to alleged assaults at the Links Abington Crèche in Dublin. The Links Abington Crèche in Malahide, Dublin, was the subject of an RTÉ documentary in March 2013. The documentary – “Breach of Trust” – saw pre-school children being physically and verbally abused by staff at the childcare facility. Following broadcast of the documentary, the parents of twenty-two of the children made claims for abuse at a crèche against Links crèche Southside Ltd, Links crèche Montessori Ltd, and the owners of the crèche – Padraig and Deidre Kelly. The defendants entered a full defence against the claims for abuse at a crèche but, at the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that offers of settlement had been made to the parents of the children without an admission of liability. The settlements were divided into three categories for children who had been physically or verbally abused during the broadcast of the documentary, for children who had been sitting alongside those who had been abused, and for children who were present at the time of the alleged abuse, but not shown in the broadcast. The judge was told details of some of the treatment that the children received. One boy with mobility issues had been grabbed roughly and placed forcibly onto a mat when he tried to crawl away during “circle time”. Other cases involved children who were shouted at during mealtimes, and one involving a child who had a hand slapped and was sworn at for handling food. It was alleged in the claims for abuse at a crèche that many of the children exhibited a high level of stress around nappy changing time and had developed “behavioural difficulties” that had stopped once the children were removed from the crèche. However, none of the children appear to have suffered any long-term consequences of the alleged mistreatment. After hearing that a separate claim made by the parents for nervous shock had been settled out-of-court, Judge Cross approved the settlements of the claims for abuse at a crèche, which ranged from €40,000 to €75,000 depending on the category of alleged abuse each child had suffered.

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Varadkar Disputes IDA Dental Healthcare Claims

Health Minister Leo Varadkar has disputed dental healthcare claims made by the IDA that thousands of avoidable tooth extractions are conducted each year. The dental healthcare claims were made at a seminar for Health Service dentists recently held in Carlow, where the president of the Irish Dental Association (IDA) – Anne Twomey – suggested that cuts in dental funding were responsible for 95 percent of more than ten thousand tooth extractions conducted on children under anaesthetic each year. In her speech to the delegates, Ms Twomey explained that children under the age of fifteen were needlessly undergoing multiple extractions under anaesthetic in hospitals each year due to a reduction in the schools screening service and a lack of education. Some children, she claimed, were not receiving any form of dental treatment until the age of twelve. The reduction in the schools screening service, Ms Twomey claimed, had led to many children suffering chronic oral infections – particularly in areas of Galway, Offaly, Kerry and some parts of Cork. Ms Twomey also presented anecdotal evidence that children were being admitted to hospital for antibiotic treatment to treat the infections while they waited for appropriate dental care. The IDA says that it warning were given to the government five years ago about the impact of cuts to dental services in Ireland, and the Association claims that the cost of the unnecessary extractions would ultimately be much more than had been saved. The figure of ten thousand avoidable extractions was called a “national disgrace” However Health Minister Leo Varadkar has disputed the accuracy of the dental healthcare claims. Speaking to reporters, Mr Varadkar said: “The number of publicly-employed dentists has gone down from about 312 to 300 in the last couple of years, so there hasn´t been a significant reduction in the number of publicly-employed dentists”. Mr Varadkar also denied that avoidable hospital extractions for children were running at five times the rate of the UK. He commented that the figures he had seen suggested that the figure of 3,600 dental extractions on children under the age of fifteen under anaesthetic were more accurate, and added “I think we need to know all the facts before jumping to conclusions”.

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Judge Approves Revised Settlement of Sports Injury Compensation Claim

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has approved the settlement of a teenager´s sports injury compensation claim after a previous offer was rejected. In June 2012, Rhian Holohan from Kentstown in County Meath was just fifteen years of age when she was playing in a game of soccer between Kentstown Rovers FC and Ayrfield United in the Dublin Women´s Soccer League. Rhian was playing in goal and, as she dived to make a save, she cut her knee on a piece of broken glass that was on the surface of the pitch. The game was stopped so that Rhian could receive first aid treatment and she was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. At the hospital Rhian´s lacerated knee was cleaned and sutured under anaesthetic. Because of the depth of the cut, Rhian experienced months of pain and swelling and had to use crutches for support. She was unable to play football again for several months and now has a visible 1.5 cm circular scar on her knee. Rhian made a sports injury compensation claim against Dublin City Council, the Trustees of Dublin Women´s Soccer League and the Trustees of Ayrfield United FC through her mother, Anita. Liability for Rhian´s cut knee injury was accepted by the three defendants. A settlement of €22,000 was negotiated, but because the sports injury compensation claim was made on behalf of a minor, the settlement first had to be approved by the court. Consequently Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told how Rhian suffered her sports injury and its consequences. Judge Groarke considered the original offer of settlement inappropriate to the level of injury that Rhian had sustained, and he asked the parties to reconsider the offer. Following further negotiations, the offer of settlement was increased to €30,000. Judge Groarke approved the revised settlement and closed the case.

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Dublin Employees Making Increased Number of Claims for Needlestick Injuries

The number of compensation claims for needlestick injuries made by employees of Dublin City Council has increased over the past three years. The year-on-year increases in compensation claims for needlestick injuries was revealed by Fianna Fáil Councillor Jim O’Callaghan, who has analysed personal injury claims made by Dublin City Council employees over the past three years. According to Councillor O´Callaghan, it is of particular concern that employees´ claims for needlestick injuries have increased in each of the past three years, and he called on Dublin City Council to “review its measures and introduce safer systems of work for its employees immediately”. Councillor O´Callaghan also raised the question of whether cutbacks in the council´s finances had resulted in a reduction of appropriate training and the provision of personal protection equipment for council employees. A spokesperson for Dublin City Council later told the press that this was not the case. The data relating to compensation claims for needlestick injuries was included in figures that revealed Dublin City Council paid out more than €8 million in the settlement of personal injury claims during 2014. Although the majority of the €8 million paid in settlement of personal injury claims was paid to members of the public who most commonly suffered broken limbs, and shoulder and back injuries, due to slips, trips and falls on council-maintained property, €617,000 was paid to council employees. Claims for Needlestick Injuries Made by the Public There was no information in Councillor O´Callaghan´s revelations relating to claims for needlestick injuries made by the public against Dublin City Council, but – historically – these have not proved to be successful. In 2013, simultaneous claims for needlestick injuries against Dublin Council were made by the mothers of two toddlers who had been playing with syringes discarded in Killinarden Park. Neither child had suffered an injury after piercing their hands with the syringes, and the claims were dismissed. The judge presiding over both claims for needlestick injuries – Mr Justice Matthew Deery – commented that Dublin City Council was making reasonable efforts to prevent the risk of needlestick injuries to park users, and the claim that the local authority had acted “with reckless disregard of the children” could not be substantiated.

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Compensation for Being Injured on the Luas Approved in Court

A Circuit Court judge has approved a €25,000 settlement of a girl´s claim for compensation for being injured on the Luas. On 14th February 2008, six-year-old Aoife Heron boarded a Luas ahead of her mother at Connelly Street. Aoife´s mother – Elaine – was pushing a buggy containing Aoife´s younger sister, but failed to get inside the train before the doors closed – trapping the buggy between them. The automatic doors opened again, allowing Elaine to retrieve the buggy; but, as Aoife attempted to join her mother and sister on the platform, the automatic doors closed once again – trapping Aoife´s head between them. Aoife suffered a head injury, which was treated at Connelly Street by an ambulance crew. She was later examined by the family GP, who diagnosed soft tissue damage to Aoife´s head and a small amount of bruising. As a result of the accident, Aoife has a scar on her head and has developed a phobia about travelling on the Luas. The family´s GP has said that Aoife may need psychotherapy in the future to overcome her fear. On her daughter´s behalf, Elain Heron from Raheny in Dublin claimed compensation for being injured on the Luas against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd – the operators of the Luas – for negligence and breach of duty. The transport company initially denied liability and prepared a full defence against the claim. However, after a period of negotiation, the two parties agreed to a settlement of €25,000 in compensation for being injured on the Luas. At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard about Aoife´s accident and the injuries she had sustained. He approved the settlement of compensation for being injured on the Luas, which will be held in court funds until Aoife (who is now thirteen years old) reaches the age of eighteen.

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Settlement of Compensation for being Bitten by a Dog Approved in Court

A €150,000 settlement of compensation for being bitten by a dog has been approved in the High Court in favour of a twelve-year-old girl. Lauren Kelly from Abbeylara in County Longford was playing “hunting the wren” with family and friends on St Stephens Day in 2011, when she was attacked by a Rottweiler that had escaped its home by jumping over a wall and was roaming the streets. Lauren suffered twenty-six puncture wounds to her upper right arm and injuries to her neck and right shoulder as she was “tossed around like a rag doll”. Lauren escaped further injury when her mother and friends intervened, and she was taken to hospital. At the hospital, Lauren was treated for her injuries and subsequently had to undergo skin graft operations which left her with twenty visible scars on her arm. She still has to wear a protective medical sleeve when swimming to prevent infections from developing. Through her parents – Michael and Marcella Kelly – Lauren claimed compensation for being bitten bya dog against the Rottweiler´s owner – William Crawford also of Abbeylara, County Longford – alleging that Crawford had been negligent by having inadequate measures to stop the dog from escaping. The compensation claim was initially disputed, but a settlement of compensation for being bitten by a dog was eventually agreed amounting to €150,000. However, before the claim could be finalised, the settlement of compensation had to be approved by a judge due to Lauren´s age. Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of the attack and the injuries that Lauren had sustained. The judge approved the €150,000 settlement of compensation for being bitten by a dog, which will be held by the court in an interest-bearing account until Lauren reaches the age of eighteen.

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Boy Overcome by Slurry Pit Fumes Dies in Hospital

A young boy who was overcome by slurry pit fumes on a farm in County Antrim has died in hospital after emergency services failed to revive him. Robert Christie (8) from Donloy in County Antrim is believed to have been overcome by slurry pit fumes as he helped his father mix slurry on a neighbour´s farm. Both he and his father – Bertie Christie – were found on Saturday afternoon by a postman delivering mail to the address, and an ambulance was called immediately. Robert was airlifted to Belfast´s Royal Victoria Hospital but doctors were unable to save his life, while Bertie Christie was taken by ambulance to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, where his condition remains in critical condition. On request of the family, the police have not released details of how Robert was exposed to the deadly slurry pit fumes, but an explanation of how such deadly accident can occur was offered by the Deputy President of the Ulster Farmers Union, Barclay Bell. Mr Bell explained that slurry pits at this time of the year often contain the waste materials of animals that have been kept indoors over the winter. The slurry is used as a fertiliser on farms, but before being able to use it, it has to be agitated so that it can be spread. However, while the slurry has been resting since the winter a lethal combination of gasses develops – most noticeably hydrogen sulphide – and during the agitation process, the fumes of these lethal gases are released. It is difficult to know when the lethal fumes have dispersed because they have no smell and, as the gasses which produce the fumes are heavier than air, they tend to stay low to the ground – potentially explaining how Robert suffered a fatal injury when being overcome by the slurry pit fumes and his father did not. Northern Ireland´s Health and Safety Executive are already investigating the accident and the organization´s Chief Executive -Keith Morrison – said: “Incidents like this show starkly the dangers which our farming communities face and my heart goes out to those affected by this tragic accident”.

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High Court Approves Compensation for Critical Injuries due to Bus Accident

A €9 million settlement of compensation for critical injuries due to a bus accident has been approved in the High Court in favour of a Spanish student. On February 4th 2009, twelve-year-old Carlos Tesch was walking along Herbert Road in Bray, County Wicklow, with some fellow Spanish students when a number of youths, who had previously been verbally abusive to them, started to approach the group. Carlos tried to avoid the older boys by running out into the street; but, as he did so, he was struck by a bus coming up the street from behind him. Carlos suffered catastrophic head injuries in the accident – fracturing the base of his skull, and leaving him unable to talk or walk more than a few steps without help. Carlos´ father – Hans Tesch – gave up his managerial position to care for his son, and has twice taken him to China for stem cell treatment. Despite his severe disabilities, Carlos still manages to attend the Institute of Further Education in his home town of Bray, County Wicklow, during school hours. Through his father Carlos claimed compensation for critical injuries due to a bus accident against the operators of the Bray service – Dublin Bus. Dublin Bus denied their liability for Carlos´ catastrophic injuries, arguing that it was unreasonable for the driver of the bus to predict when a child would run out into the road. Last year the claim proceeded to the High Court, where Dublin Bus was found to be 70 percent liable for Carlos´ injuries after it was admitted that the bus driver had been distracted by a passenger just before Carlos ran out from the pavement. Dublin Bus appealed the High Court decision, but the verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court and the claim returned to the High Court for the assessment of damages. This week at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that a €9 million settlement of compensation for critical injuries due to a bus accident had been agreed and, after being told the circumstances of Carlos´ terrible accident – and the care his father had provided in the five years since – Judge Irvine said that her experience of cases such as this made her aware of the sacrifices that parents make when their children are badly injured. The judge then closed the hearing after approving the settlement.

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Circuit Court Judge Approves Settlement of Cut Finger Injury Compensation

A Circuit Court judge has approved a settlement of cut finger injury compensation for nine-year-old girl who sustained her injury in the café of Debenhams in Henry Street. In March 2011, Naoise Walsh from Bluebell in Dublin was just six years of age when she tried to retrieve a drink carton from a fridge located in Debenhams´ café in Henry Street. As Naoise removed the drink carton from the fridge, she caught her finger on the metal shelf in the fridge and it started to bleed profusely. Naoise was taken to the Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin by ambulance; where the laceration to her finger was dressed. She returned to the Temple Street Hospital the following day where an examination of her injured finger was conducted under a general anaesthetic to check for tendon damage. No permanent injury was found, Naoise´s injury was stitched, and she was discharged from hospital the same evening. Naoise´s mother took legal advice and, on behalf of her daughter, made a cut finger injury compensation claim on behalf of her daughter. The Debenhams Store in Henry Street admitted that it was liable for Naoise´s injury and a settlement of €10,000 compensation for a cut finger injury was negotiated. As Naoise was just six years of age when the accident happened, the settlement of cut finger injury compensation had to be approved by a judge before the case can be resolved and, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of Naoise´s injury before approving the settlement of her claim.

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Agreement Found in Pre-Birth Injuries Compensation Claim

A Circuit Civil Court judge has approved a settlement in a pre-birth injuries compensation claim after an agreement was negotiated between the two parties involved. Judge Matthew Deery approved the settlement after hearing how Aoife Sheehan (14) from Rathfarnham in Dublin was delivered prematurely at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin on 15th April 1999 at only thirty-six weeks. It had been alleged in the claim for pre-birth injuries compensation that Aoife had been born prematurely due to her mother – Martina Sheehan – having been involved in a car crash two days earlier which was responsible for the early onset of her labour. After her birth, Aoife suffered from respiratory distress syndrome and was transferred to the intensive care unit where a ventilator was used to control her breathing. Even when it was felt safe to remove the ventilator, Aoife remained in the intensive care unit for a further three weeks. Through her mother, Aoife made a pre-birth injuries compensation claim against the driver of the car Martina Sheehan had been in collision with – Elaine O’Connor, also from Rathfarnham – alleging that had the accident not occurred, Aoife would not have been born prematurely and suffered from respiratory distress. Insurers for Ms O´Connor denied their policyholder´s liability and claimed that there was no proof that the car accident was the cause of the early onset of labour and that pre-term babies were more pre-disposed to respiratory distress. They also stated that, as Aoife was not born at the time of the accident, she was ineligible to receive compensation for her pre-birth injuries. However, after protracted negotiations a settlement of the pre-birth injuries compensation claim was agreed that would see Aoife receiving €17,800. Approving the settlement, Judge Deery said that – given the circumstances and difficulties proving liability – the settlement was a good one.

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Compensation for Childrens Ill Health Approved for Twins

Twin sisters, who developed breathing problems after faulty renovations had been made to the family home, are to each receive €5,000 compensation for childrens ill health after a settlement was approved at the Circuit Civil Court. Eleven-year-olds Abby and Chloe Croke both developed respiratory difficulties following the incorrect installation of a shower drain in the bathroom of the family home in Raheny, County Dublin. Investigations into the source of the Chloe´s asthma and the issues which had affected the rest of the family took three years before it was discovered that the fumes from the shower drain were the cause of the problem. After remedial work was carried out on the bathroom, and the health of the family improved, a claim for childrens ill health compensation was made by the girls´ mother – Ita Croke – against the company that carried out the renovations to the bathroom – Alpha Engineering Heat Providers of Finglas, Dublin – claiming that the company´s negligence had resulted in an injury to her children. The company denied that they had negligently installed the shower drain, but agreed to a settlement of compensation for childrens ill health amounting to €5,000 for each child. As with all claims for children´s injury compensation, the settlement has to be approved by a judge before the claim is resolved and, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke rubber-stamped the compensation settlements.

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Judge Approves Settlements of Compensation for Injuries in Childcare Facilities

Two settlements of compensation for injuries in childcare facilities have been approved in the High Court following separate claims brought by the parents of children injured in two separate accidents. The first claim for children´s injury compensation was made against Sandy Childcare of Dunshaughlin, County Meath, by the father of Ella Rogerson, who was hit in the face by a jet of water from a hose in June 2010, and suffered a serious injury to her eye. Ella´s father claimed that the staff at Sandy Childcare had been negligent and in breach of their duty of care by allowing the accident to happen – a claim which the childcare facility denied. However, Mr Justice Michael Peart at the High Court in Dublin heard that an agreement of compensation for injuries in childcare facilities had been reached and, after hearing the circumstances of Ella´s accident, the judge approved the settlement amounting to €122,000. The second of the settlements of compensation for injuries in childcare facilities concerned three-year-old Lauren Torpey, who had tripped and suffered a deep cut to her face when she had fallen against a sharp-edged skirting board in June 2011 at the Giraffe Childcare facility in Harcourt Road, Dublin. Lauren made a claim for children´s injury compensation through her mother Tara Lillywhite of Rathgar, County Dublin, and liability for Lauren´s injury was admitted in this case. Mr Justice Michael Peart, who was again sitting, approved the settlement of €51,500 compensation for injuries in childcare facilities.

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Claim for Cerebral Palsy Compensation Adjourned for Two Years after Interim Settlement Approved

A claim for cerebral palsy compensation has been adjourned for two years after an interim settlement of compensation for a thirteen-year-old boy was approved in the High Court. Ryan Brennan from Cahir, County Tipperary sustained irreversible brain damage during his birth at St. Joseph´s Hospital in Clonmel in January 2000; an injury which his parents – Lorraine and Raymond Brennan – believe was due to a failure to act by the hospital´s consultant obstetrician – Dr Brendan Powell. The Brennans alleged in their claim for cerebral injury compensation that abnormalities had been discovered in Ryan´s heart rate tracing hours before he was delivered, but no action had been taken by the doctor or staff at the hospital. Ryan had to be resuscitated after he was born and throughout the following day suffered seizures. Dr Powell and the Health Service Executive (HSE) – acting on behalf of St. Joseph´s Hospital – denied responsibility for Ryan´s injuries and the Brennans claim for cerebral injury compensation on the grounds of negligence, breach of duty and breach of contract However, Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court in Dublin was told that an interim compensation settlement of 1.7million €uros had been agreed with the HSE without admission of liability to provide for Ryan´s immediate care and that the claim against Dr Powell could be struck out. After approving the interim compensation settlement, Ms Justice Mary Irvine adjourned the case for two years to allow reports on Ryan´s future requirements to be conducted and to allow time for the possible introduction of a periodic payment system to replace the current lump sum system of paying compensation for catastrophic injuries.

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Out of Court Settlement in Claim for Child Sport Injuries Compensation

A claim for child sports injuries compensation, which was made on behalf of a twelve-year-old boy who suffered brain damage after being hit by baseball, has been resolved out of court for 14.5 million dollars. Steven Domalewski (now 18) from Wayne in New Jersey was playing in a Police Athletic League baseball game in 2006, when a ball he pitched was returned to him at speed by the opposing team´s batter and caught him in the chest. The impact of the ball, and the time between heartbeats when the ball hit him, caused Steven to go into cardiac arrest and by the time emergency services resuscitated him, Steven´s brain had been without oxygen for 15-20 minutes. The consequence of the freak accident was that Steven was severely brain damaged and, after seeking legal advice, Steven´s family made a claim for child sport injuries compensation – alleging that the metal baseball bat which had been used in the game was dangerous as it could hit a ball faster than wooden bats, and suing Little League Baseball who sanctioned the use of the bat, Hillerich and Bradsby – the manufacturers of the “Louisville Slugger” – and the national retailer of the metal baseball bat, The Sports Authority. All three parties denied liability for Steven´s injuries but after solicitors representing the Domalewski family had argued that Little League Baseball had limited the performance of metal bats to that of wooden bats in 2008, and that there had been an 80 percent reduction in injuries to pitchers as a result, the out of court settlement of Steven´s claim for child sport injuries compensation was agreed.

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Child Bicycle Injury Claim Settled Prior to High Court Hearing

A boy, who suffered a broken leg and head injuries in a cycling accident with a car, has been awarded 100,000 Euros in settlement of his child bicycle injury claim at Dublin´s High Court. Bartosz Zakrzewski (11) from Birr in County Offaly was involved in the accident in July 2010 as he cycled along An Coran Street in Birr on his three-wheeled bicycle. His bicycle was hit by a car with such force that he was thrown across the road – suffering head injuries and lacerations to his body while also sustaining a broken leg. Through his mother – Monika – Bartosz made a child bicycle injury claim against the driver of the car – Caitriona Kelly, also of Birr, County Offaly. Ms Kelly denied that she had been driving negligently or that she was liable for Bartosz´s injuries and, due to the potential amount of damages that could be awarded in a case of this nature, Bartosz´s child bicycle injury claim was scheduled to be heard at the Dublin High Court. However, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that an agreement had been reached that would see Bartosz receive 100,000 Euros without Ms Kelly having to make an admission of liability. Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard the circumstances of the claim and approved the award – stating as she did that she had sympathy for both the Zakrzewski family and Ms Kelly.

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Fall in Toy Shop Injury Compensation Approved for Five-Year-Old

A child of five, who cut her head in a fall at Hamleys Toy Store in Dublin, has had a negotiated settlement of fall in toy shop injury compensation approved in the Circuit Civil Court. Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, heard that Brianna Healy from Ballinteer in Dublin was just two years of age when the accident occurred in the store at the Dundrum Shopping Centre in February 2009. Brianna´s father – Steven, through who the little girl made the claim for fall in toy shop injury compensation – told Mr Justice Matthew Deery that Brianna´s head had split open and she will be left with a permanent scar for the rest of her life. The judge also heard that a previous offer of 20,000 Euros had been declined by the family on legal advice, but they were happy to accept the revised offer of 27,500 Euros in compensation for fall in toy shop injury. Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement.

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Record Settlement for Compensation Claim against Uninsured Parent

A record compensation settlement has been awarded to a ten-year-old boy who had made a compensation claim against uninsured parent after suffering devastating injuries in a car accident for which his mother was to blame. Cullen Kennedy from Loughrea, County Galway, made the claim through his grandmother against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland following the events of 5th May 2008 when his uninsured mother veered across the road and into the path of an oncoming vehicle due to being distracted by her son on the way to taking him to school. Both Cullen´s mother and the driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries, but Cullen – who had been strapped into a bolster chair on the back seat – was catapulted into the windscreen and suffered terrible spinal injuries which left him a quadriplegic and requiring a ventilator to breathe. Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard at Dublin´s High Court that Cullen´s mother and grandmother have been caring for Cullen since his tragic accident with support from nurses and special needs assistants. Despite his debilitating injuries, Cullen suffered no mental impairment and was described in Court as a “lively and vivacious” child. Approving the record settlement of 11.5 million Euros, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said although the outcome of the compensation claim against uninsured parent was “excellent” and should meet Cullen´s lifelong care requirements, she was concerned that laws providing for periodic payment orders had not yet been introduced. Acknowledging that the government had significant issues to deal with elsewhere, she said “The reality is the courts don’t know when people are going to die,” and expressed concerns that catastrophically injured people could run out of funds to provide for their care if they lived longer than medical experts believed they would.

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Interim Compensation Payments made in Car Crash Claim

The High Court in Birmingham, West Midlands, has heard how interim compensation payments have been paid to the family of a car crash victim to provide medical care while a final settlement for their car crash claim was being negotiated. Judge Martin McKenna was approving a compensation settlement for Cerys Edwards (6) from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, who suffered catastrophic brain damage when her family´s car was on a head-on collision with a driver travelling at 70mph on a road with a 30mph speed limit. Cerys, who was just eleven months old when the accident occurred in November 2006, cannot now breathe without a ventilator, has undergone a dozen operations and requires around-the-clock care. The negligent driver was jailed in 2008 for causing the accident, at which point negotiations started between the Edwards´ legal representatives and the negligent driver´s insurers to finalise a suitable and appropriate car crash claim settlement that would provide care for Cerys for the rest of her life. While negotiations were ongoing, the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group paid over 4 million pounds in interim compensation payments to help support the Edwards family and little Cerys. The judge heard that a final settlement in respect of the Edwards´ car crash claim had been agreed, with the family receiving a lump sum payment of almost 5 million pounds (less the amount received in interim compensation payments) with annual payments of 4450,000 pounds providing care for Cerys as long as she lives. Approving the settlement, Judge Martin McKenna said that it was “one of the saddest cases he had ever come across”.

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Child Scarring Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A twelve year old girl, who tripped and fell into a hole dug by a construction company, has had a child scarring injury compensation settlement of 20,000 Euros approved in Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court. Kodie Geoghegan Dowdall was just seven years of age when, on the way to visit her aunt in Ballymun, Dublin in December 2006, she tripped and fell into a hole dug by SIAC Construction of Clondalkin, Dublin. Her accident left her with a scar injury which has since failed to heal. Making a pedestrian accident claim through her mother, Kodie claimed that her accident and injury was attributable to the negligence of SIAC construction – a claim which the company denied. However, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard at the Circuit Civil Court that SIAC Construction were willing to offer 20,000 Euros on child scarring injury compensation without admission of liability. After hearing evidence that 20,000 Euros was sufficient to treat the scar with excision and resuturing when Kodie reaches the age of eighteen, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement of child scarring injury compensation.

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Child Injury Compensation Settlement Approved for Boy Who Cut Himself on Nail in Supermarket Car Park

A 16-year-old boy who injured himself while climbing over a fence in a supermarket car park has had a child accident claim for compensation approved by the Circuit Civil Court. The settlement, €38,000, was awarded to Michael Hogan of Firhouse, Co Dublin, who was just 11-years-old at the time of the accident. Hogan sustained a V-shaped gash on his left thigh after being injured by a nail protruding from the fence. The owners of the car park, which is located at the Firhouse Shopping Centre, Colverton Limited, admitted liability. The settlement was approved by Mr Justice Matthew Deery and placed in court funds until Hogan reaches 18 years of age.

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Child Severed Fingertip Claim decided at court

A three year old child had a severed fingertip claim for compensation settled for the sum of £16,700 at the Circuit Civil Court. The girl lost the tip of her fingertip in a nursery pushchair accident. Roisin Longo was two years of age when her fingertip was sliced off in the hinge of her MacLaren Techno XT while she was attending Mellow Spring Childcare Development Centre.. Staff at the crèche found the fingertip and packed it ice so that her mother, Ms Elaine Deans, could take Roisin to hospital and attempt to have the amputated fingertip sewn back on. However, as Circuit Court President Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard, the best efforts of surgeons could not prevent the tissue dying and the fingertip eventually falling off. After seeking legal advice, Ms Deans found out that the pushchair model had been recalled in the United States, and repair kits had been issued to customers due to acknowledged problems with the hinge mechanism. Even though the pushchair was manufactured in England, and conformed to UK and EU safety standards, Ms Deans filed a claim for product liability compensation against MacLaren Europe Limited, of Northampton, England. Without accepting liability, MacLaren Europe Limited had made a settlement offer of 20,000 Euros – a settlement offer which Roisin’s mother accepted and which Mr Justice Matthew Deery had pleasure in approving.

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Children’s Bicycle Accident Claims settled at High Court

In a settlement, high among children’s bicycle accident claims, a six year old boy, who was accidentally knocked from his bike by a neighbour, has had a compensation award of £73,000 approved in the High Court. Cian Ryan was riding his bike along the road outside the home of his neighbour – Ms Kishwar Shafqat – in April 2009. Ms Shafqat accidentally knocked Cian off his bicycle while reversing her car out of her drive, causing him to sustain terrible injuries to his leg. In a case brought through Cian’s father, Eric, it was alleged that Ms Shafqat was negligent in how she had failed to keep a proper lookout as she was manoeuvring. There was no denial of liability and the case had been brought before Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns for assessment of damages. Before approving the compensation payment, the judge heard that Cian currently walks with a limp due to the accident and had suffered recurring nightmares about the event. Discovering that Cian was a Manchester United fan, the judge made it an additional condition of the settlement that £836 was set aside so that Cian and his family could visit Old Trafford to watch his favourite team in action.

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Dog Bite Personal Injury Claims results in £4,600 award

A young girl, who was bitten by a dog during a family holiday, has had a compensation settlement of £4,600 approved in the Circuit Court by Mr. Justice Matthew Deery. The court heard how Ciara Hill (12), was a guest at a hotelin July 2007, when she was attacked and bitten by a dog owned by the hotel. In the action against FTP Hotel Limited, Ciara was represented by her mother, who explained how her daughter – who was just eight years old at the time – was traumatised, shocked and upset by the incident. Approving the compensation settlement, Mr. Justice Matthew Deery said that Ciara´s physical injuries had not been significant and that they had healed quickly. All settlements involving children under the age of 18 years have to be approved in court before payment can be paid, even when a settlement agreement has been previously reached by the claimant and the defendant. The type of court which hears the case will depend on the value of the compensation.

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Child Brain Damage from Injury Claim is set at £1.6m

A seven year old girl, brain damaged at birth due to a delayed delivery, has had an initial child brain damage from injury claim settled for a sum of £1.6m in the High Court by Mr Justice John Quirke. Brid Courtney is unable to speak, is confined to a wheelchair and only able to communicate by using facial expressions. She took the action against the Health Service through her mother, Mrs Deirdre Courtney. It was claimed that at the time of Brid’s birth in February 2003, nursing staff at hospital failed to act when there was a sudden and dramatic change in her foetal heart rate pattern. When labour was induced and the baby delivered following almost an hour’s delay, Brid was unable to breath and an emergency team of doctors had to resuscitate her. She was subsequently diagnosed as suffering from cerebral palsy. The court was advised that despite being completely dependent on her parents, Brid was a “joyous, happy child” and was intellectually sound with a normal IQ of 106. Even though her profound physical disabilities will stop her from enjoying a normal childhood and shorten her expected lifespan, the court was told that Brid “communicates in a humorous way with everybody around her”. The settlement was reached without admission of liability by the Health Service, and was made under the new “periodic payments system” which means that the case will return to the High Court in November 2012 to determine how much Brid’s family should receive to fund her future care. Again, she will be represented by her mother and, as is the case with all child injury claims, have to have any compensation settlement approved by court. As he was officially approving the compensation settlement, Mr Justice John Quirke praised Mr and Mrs Courtney for the years of care they had given their daughter. He told the court: “It’s very inspiring to the rest of us to see what you’ve done. It really is remarkable.”

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Child Injured on Bouncy Castle Claims €1.2m

An award has been made to a young boy in a child injured on bouncy castle claim. Sam Harris , then aged 11, was brain damaged when a boy of 15 kicked him in the head during a somersault. The incident two years ago has left Sam Harris needing constant care.  The resulting child accident injury compensation claim has led to a €1.2 Million compensation payment. A case was taken by Janet and David Harris against the parents (Catherine and Timothy Perry) who had hired the bouncy castle on the basis of poor supervision, especially allowing older children by younger children.  The judge ruled on the question of liability by stating that “The risks of a damaging collision are manifestly enhanced by mixing children of different sizes.” The household insurance policy of Catherine and Timothy Perry will pay the compensation award. The legal action was considered something of a landmark case in the UK because it sets the precedent that the person hiring a bouncy castle is liable for injuries suffered by children using the bouncy castle. A recent child injured on a bouncy castle claim in Ireland involved a five-year old girl that broke both wrists on an inflatable slide when she collided with a woman sitting at the bottom of the slide.  A leisure centre in was ordered in the High Court to pay 20,000 euro in damages.

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Compensation for Amputated Leg Approved for Teenager

A young boy, who lost his right leg in an accident on a Waterford farm, has had a 1.28 million Euros settlement of compensation for amputated leg approved at Dublin´s High Court. TJ Kearns (17) from Viewmount, County Waterford, was just nine years of age when he lost his leg in April 2001 in an accident on his uncle´s farm. As he was riding in a tractor, driven by an adult, TJ got his right leg tangled in the power harrow that was attached and, although emergency services rushed him to hospital, his injuries were so severe that the leg had to be amputated. Mr Justice John Quirke at Dublin´s High Court heard that TJ spent many months at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghire and, although described as having responded well to the treatment, TJ now relies on an artificial leg to get around. Liability for the injury had been admitted by TJ´s uncles and the amputated leg claim was before him for approval of compensation only. Having heard TJ´s story, Mr Justice John Quirke said that he had “no hesitation” in approving the 1.28 million Euros settlement of compensation for amputated leg and added that “no money could compensate TJ fully for what he had suffered”.

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