Saturday , December 15 2018
Home / Fatal Injury Claims

Fatal Injury Claims

Fatal injury claims for compensation are made in the most distressing of circumstances and almost always concern a number of claimants from the same family sharing their grief. Fatal injury claims have to demonstrate that a loved one has died due to the negligence of a third party and, as emotions can run high during negotiations over fatal injury claims, it is often in your best interests – emotionally and financially – to have an experienced personal injury solicitor make claims for fatal injury compensation on your behalf. If you are in the sad position where you have lost a loved one due to somebody else´s lack of care, you are advised to discuss the circumstances surrounding their fatal injury with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.

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.

Read More »

Judge Approves Settlement of a Claim for a Fatal Injury Caused by a Drunk Driver

A judge has approved the settlement of a claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver relating to an accident that happened almost ten years ago.   In December 2006, thirty-one year old Martin McDonagh was fatally injured in a single-car accident on the Kilgarvan-Killarney road. Martin was the front seat passenger in a car driven by his brother – Thomas – that, at the time, was being pursued by the Garda at a distance after it had been reported that the car was being dangerously driven. Thomas McDonagh was arrested and, after it was found he had been driving with excess alcohol in his system, without a license or insurance, charged with dangerous driving causing death. He was given a three-year prison sentence by the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee in 2008 after the court heard that Martin was the third member of the family to be fatally injured in a car crash. Martin left a widow – Anne Marie – and five children. On behalf of one of the children – Melissa – Anne Marie made a claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – an organization that pays injury compensation to the victims of accidents and their families when a negligent driver is uninsured or untraceable. Liability for the accident was not in doubt due to the custodial sentence delivered by Tralee Circuit Criminal Court, and an offer of settlement was made amounting to €15,000. As the claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver had been made on behalf of a child, the offer had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be concluded. The approval hearing was held at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident. Melissa´s counsel also told Judge Groarke that, if the claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver went to a full hearing, the settlement of the claim might be reduced because Martin had got into his brother´s car knowing he was drunk and had failed to wear his seat belt. Judge Groarke approved the €15,000 settlement of the claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver and closed the hearing by expressing the court´s deep sympathy to Anne Marie and her family.

Read More »

Daughter Successfully Claims Compensation for Mesothelioma Cancer from Father´s Former Employers

The daughter of an engineer, who was exposed to asbestos when working on ships, has successfully claimed compensation for mesothelioma cancer from her father´s former employers. Peter McCormack died at the age of 73 in December 2013, eighteen months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer – a cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs and is caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust and fibres. Before he died, Peter – from Whickham in Tyne and Wear – had sought legal advice to see if he was entitled to claim compensation for mesothelioma against his former employers, on the grounds that they failed to protect him from exposure to asbestos. From 1957 to 1962, Peter had served as an apprentice for EON UK before becoming a mechanical fitter. During his time with the company, he worked alongside laggers who mixed and applied asbestos lagging to new pipes and fittings. From 1965 to 1997, Peter was again exposed to asbestos when employed at OSG Ship Management (formerly W A Souter Ltd) as an engineer. His duties at OSG included repairing pipes that had been lagged with asbestos onboard the company´s ships. It was also alleged that there a prevalence of surface asbestos dust on some of the ships managed by OSG, and when the dust was disturbed it was released into the air and inhaled by employees of the ship management company. After Peter passed away, the claim for compensation for mesothelioma cancer was pursued by his daughter Elke (41) on behalf of herself and her sister, Natalie. Elke worked with the solicitors originally engaged by her father until liability was acknowledged and the claim for compensation was settled. Elke and Natalie will now share in a six-figure settlement of Peter´s claim for mesothelioma cancer compensation, and Elke commented “Hopefully, this settlement will highlight to employers the need to protect people from exposure to asbestos, so other families do not have to watch their loved ones deteriorate so quickly.”

Read More »

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”.

Read More »

Coroner says Hospital Death was due to Lack of Risk Assessment

A broken-hearted family are to make a claim for compensation after a Coroner found their daughter´s tragic hospital death was due to the lack of a risk assessment. The report followed the death of Amy Hauserman, who died at the age of 26 while taking a bath in Melbourne´s Frankston Hospital in March 2008. Amy had voluntarily been admitted to the hospital after doctors feared she was showing signs of schizophrenia which had previously resulted in Amy experiencing anorexia. Two days after she had entered the psychiatric department of the hospital, Amy was allowed to take a bath, during which time – according to the Coroner´s report – she either lapsed into an unconscious state or slipped as she tried to get out of the bath. Amy was found face-down in the bath having died from “a hypoxic brain injury in a setting of immersion” which could have been avoided had a nurse been present in the bathroom. Coroner Peter White said at the hearing into Amy´s death that “I find that the absence of supervision was a primary feature leading to her death, in that it caused or contributed to an inability to successfully intervene and to give effect to her rescue.” He also highlighted that no risk evaluation have been undertaken and that Amy was allowed an unsupervised bath without the advice of her consultant being sought. One of the nurses who worked on the ward at the time gave evidence that she was unaware there was a protocol for patients taking baths, but she was contradicted by the Head of Nursing who said that all ward patients should only be allowed to take a bath after a risk assessment had been conducted and that observations should be done through direct visual and oral contact. Immediately after the hearing had concluded, Amy´s father announced that the family would be making a compensation claim for a hospital death due to the lack of a risk assessment, and a date in May 2014 has been assigned for the compensation hearing.

Read More »

Family´s Claim for Fatal Exposure to Asbestos Settled in Court Hearing

The family of a man who died from mesothelioma cancer after working in his local shipyards for 37 years have won their claim for fatal exposure to asbestos in a court in Virginia. The widow of John Bristow and his two sons brought the claim for fatal exposure to asbestos against John Crane Inc. of Morton Grove, Illinois, after John died from mesothelioma cancer in 2011 aged 68. John had worked nearly all his life in the shipyards of Newport News – his home town and a major shipbuilding centre – with his greatest exposure to asbestos estimated as being during the 1960s and 1970s when he worked for John Crane Inc, manufacturing gaskets which were widely used in steam and exhaust systems, and which contained asbestos. John´s widow, Anne, and his two sons alleged in their mesothelioma injury compensation claim that John Crane Inc were fully aware of the risks posed by working with asbestos, but chose not to inform their employees or provide them with any form of personal protective equipment. The defendant´s legal representatives denied the claims, saying that any one of a number of companies on the Newport News shipyards could have been releasing the asbestos fibres into the air which were inhaled by John and his colleagues. However, after a three week trial and two day period of deliberation, a jury found in favour of John´s family and their claim for fatal exposure to asbestos. The seven-member jury awarded the family a total of 7.19 million dollars in consideration of the pain and suffering John and Anne had experienced during his final days, to compensate the two sons for the loss of a father and to account for the medical and funeral expenses incurred by the family.

Read More »

Railway Death Claim settled in excess of €27m

The family of Zoila Tellez, who was killed in a tragic railway accident, have had a negotiated settlement in excess of €27.5m for railway death claim for compensation approved by an Illinois County District Court judge. Zoila (44) of Chicago, Illinois, was travelling in a vehicle with her husband Jose and pregnant daughter Adriana in June 2009, when the family pulled up to red lights at a level crossing just outside of the city. The train that was scheduled to pass was a Canadian National Railways goods vehicle, which consisted of 114 freight wagons – 76 of which were tankers filled with liquid ethanol. Due to torrential rain, a nearby retention pond had overflowed, washing away some of the ballast beneath the track and, as the Illinois Court heard, leaving the rails “hanging in the air”. The oncoming train, ignorant of the hazard ahead, derailed shortly before the level crossing at which the Tellez family had pulled up, causing several of the ethanol tankers to explode and setting the Tellez car alight. Jose and Adriana Tellez managed to escape from the accident with severe burns – Adriana miscarrying her baby soon after – while Zoila Tellez was unable to get out of the vehicle and burned to death. In two separate legal actions following the tragedy, it was revealed that the County Sheriff´s Office had previously alerted the Canadian National Railways communication centre in Montreal about the potential hazard, but the employee who received the warning had not been trained about how to respond to the alert, and the message was never transmitted to the train driver. Lawyers for the family also found that a weather alert had been sent to the company´s Edmonton office two hours before the tragedy, but the employee there had not read the full message as so many alerts were being delivered that evening. Canadian National Railways admitted that had the messages been dealt with in a prompt and efficient regard, an engineer would have inspected the track before allowing the train to proceed and would have therefore prevented the accident. Acknowledging that the death of Zoila Tellez and the injuries to her husband and daughter were due to neglect, insurers negotiated an award which sees Jose Tellez receive €17.2, while Adriana had a separate settlement of €10.5m approved by the judge.

Read More »

Pool Death Claim results in €15.8m award

The family of a woman who sustained horrific injuries and subsequently died after an inflatable pool slide “bottomed out” has been awarded €15.8m in a pool death claim by a judge in Salem, Massachusetts. Robin Aleo (29) from Boston, Massachusetts, was enjoying a day by her relative’s swimming pool in July 2006 when she attempted to go down the slide into the pool where her husband and daughter were playing. As she came to the bottom of the inflatable slide, it “bottomed out”, causing her to hit her head on the pool decking. Robin was rushed to hospital with a fractured neck and was put on life support in a quadriplegic condition. When she showed no signs of recovery, the life support system was turned off and Robin passed away a short time after of her injuries. Claiming that the slide had been faulty and failed to comply with federal standards for inflatable toys, Robin’s husband took the retailer of the slide – “Toys R Us” – to court in a product liability compensation claim. In the Salem Superior Court, the jury concurred with argument and found Toys R Us professionally negligent in importing the inflatable slide from China and selling it – both online and in their retail outlets. After a short deliberation, the judge awarded compensatory and punitive damages totalling €15.8m to the family, saying “Although nothing can bring Robin back, this award will help provide some security for the husband and daughter who lost her.”

Read More »

€1.3m in Wrongful Death by Shooting Case

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has ordered three defendants in a civil action for a wrongful death by shooting case to pay a total of €1.3m to the parents of a 21-year-old man who was shot and killed outside a San Francisco nightclub. Justin Mendoza of Daly City, California, had just departed a hip-hop event at Club Cocomo in San Francisco on March 21st 2005, when he was hit by a bullet that had been fired in a fight between two groups of youths who had attended the nightclub. The youth died instantly in the arms of a friend and, following a police investigation, the assailant was charged and convicted of murder. Justin´s parents, Eduardo and Denise Mendoza, took a civil action against the club, the company the club hired to do security and the owner of the building, on the basis that the club and its security force failed to supervise the crowds or halt the violence that ensued. They alleged in their action that Justin’s death could have been avoided with proper management of the situation, and they claimed that the three parties were responsible for the physical pain suffered by their son and the emotional trauma they have suffered, and will continue to experience, due to their son’s wrongful death. Finding the three parties negligent in the wrongful death by shooting case of Justin Mendoza, the judge awarded his parents 1.75 million dollars, with the contribution from each defendant divided at 58 per cent (the club), 28 per cent (the security firm) and 14 per cent (the owner of the premises).

Read More »

Widow and Children Awarded Compensation for Nervous Shock

A widow and her two daughters have been awarded 250,000 Euros in compensation for nervous shock following the death of her husband in a tragic motorbike accident in Ireland. James Walsh from Clonmel, County Tipperary, lost control of his motorbike after taking evasive action to avoid a motorist emerging from a side road. James crashed and died from his injuries at the scene. At the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard that Catherine Walsh – wife of the deceased motorcyclist – arrived at the scene of her husband´s accident with her two daughters shortly after it occurred. Both Catherine and the two girls – who were aged fourteen and eight at the time – witnessed the events following the accident and suffered severe emotional trauma due to the distressing circumstances. Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard that an offer of compensation for nervous shock had be made to James´ dependants of 250,000 Euros and, due to the ages of the girls, the case was before him for approval.

Read More »

Compensation for Holiday Death Paid by Turkish Authorities

The family of a woman, who was tragically killed when a bus she was travelling on was blown up in the holiday resort of Kusadasi in Turkey, are to receive more than 1 million pounds in compensation for holiday death from the Turkish government. Helyn Bennett (21) from Spennymoor, County Durham, was visiting the resort in July 2005 with members of her family when the shocking tragedy happened. Helyn and four other tourists died in the bomb blast in which Helyn´s fiancée and four other relatives were seriously injured. According to personal injury law in the UK, compensation for victims for terror attacks is only paid when the injuries have been sustained within the United Kingdom and not overseas. However, after seeking legal advice, Helyn´s mother approached the Turkish authorities and now their government has agreed to pay compensation for holiday death and for the injuries sustained by other members of Helyn´s party. Solicitors representing the families of the victims have estimated that the total compensation package will exceed 1.1 million pounds.

Read More »

Family Awarded Extreme Sports Injury Compensation after Daughter´s Death

A New Zealand water sports company has been ordered to pay the family of a British girl who drowned during one of the company´s river excursions 80,000 NZ dollars in extreme sports injury compensation after they were found to have breached health and safety regulations. Emily Jordan (21) of Trimpley in Worcestershire died in a tragic accident while river boarding on the Kawarau River near Queenstown in April 2008. The board to which she was attached became trapped beneath a rock while Emily was riding through the rapids and she drowned before help could reach her. Judges at Queenstown District Court set the extreme sports injury compensation after hearing that Emily and her boyfriend, Jonny Armour, had not been warned about the risks of being trapped under rocks and that no rope had been provided to assist water boarders who got into difficulty. A sports injury compensation claim was made against the company organising the event – Black Sheep Adventures – after they admitted failing to ensure the safety of their customers. The company was also fined 66,000 NZ dollars and told to get their safety plan up to industry standards.

Read More »

Fatal Bike Accident Compensation Awarded to Teacher´s Family

The family of a science teacher, who was killed in a collision with a car while cycling home from the school in which he worked, has been awarded 580,000 pounds in fatal bike accident compensation. David Kerslake (44) from Bolton, Greater Manchester, was cycling along Compton Way in Bolton in October 2004 when the driver of a car travelling in the opposite direction suffered a hypoglycaemic attack and lost control of his vehicle. David was killed instantly, leaving a wife and young daughter. David´s wife, Jacqueline, made a claim for fatal bike accident compensation against the negligent driver, whose car insurance company were quick to acknowledge liability. However, it was not until almost five years after David´s death that the amount of bike accident compensation to be paid was finally agreed upon. As a tribute to David, the Sharples School at which he worked gained special science status two years after his death.

Read More »

Wrongful Death Accident Compensation for Landslide Families

The Chinese government has announced that families of the thirty-five victims known to have perished in the Jiwei Mountain landslide are each to receive 200,000 Yuan (29,200 US dollars) in wrongful death accident compensation. The decision to pay wrongful death accident compensation was made following an investigation into the tragedy in Hongbao, Western China, in which the privately owned mining company, Sanlian, was found to have ignored government warnings of “possible geological dangers”. Claims that Sanlian had continued a program of excessive drilling and mining were confirmed when it was discovered that the company failed to adhere to the terms of their operating licence. Officials announcing the news of the wrongful death compensation settlements stated that the amounts represented the standard compensation payments for fatalities from negligent accidents and took into consideration that the government had already offered the villagers of Hongbao 5,000 Yuan to move in 2003 because of the known unstable terrain. It was also revealed that one of the mine´s owners – Su Xianyun – had been taken into police custody. This followed a similar tragedy in 1994 in which seventy-nine people were killed. At the time of the previous landslide the cause of the accident was attributed to the geology of the area and no wrongful death accident compensation awards were made. However government officials have now said that the investigation into the disaster may be re-opened to determine whether excessive mining was also responsible.

Read More »