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Personal Injury News

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

A sales assistant who had her left breast ‘patted’ by her boss in front of a colleague at a staff meeting has been awarded €15,000 to at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). WRC Adjudication Officer Eugene Hanly, at the harassment and discrimination case, awarded that amount due to the firm failing to inform the woman of the outcome of the disciplinary investigation into the manager’s conduct. The manager in question immediately resigned his position after meeting with the firm’s Area Manager and discovering that he was being suspended following the investigation. The incident occurred during a staff meeting to discuss the possible closure of the store. DUring that meeting, on June 18th 2018, the woman’s boss is alleged to have put his hand on her chest, pulled up her top, patted her left breast and said, “we will cover them up for this meeting”. The woman told the WRC that she “immediately felt uncomfortable, intimidated and violated”. She informed the hearing that it had an immediate detrimental effect on her health and she was certified unfit for work on certified sick leave. In addition to this she made a complaint on June 20th 2018 to the ‘Team Voice Representative’. The fashion retailer informed the hearing that the alleged perpetrator was immediately suspended from work. Mr Hanly ruled that the complainant “experienced a behaviour/conduct perpetrated by her immediate manager and witnessed by a colleague that she believed was unwarranted conduct which in her opinion violated her dignity and created an intimidating environment”. The firm admitted vicarious liability in the case. He commented: “I find that sufficient evidence was produced to establish the presumption of discrimination.” The victim had made a number of attempted to ascertain the outcome of the investigation of her complaint from the firm. In one letter from the firm she was advised: “Unfortunately I will not be in a position to discuss the outcome of these investigations with you”. After she more more efforts to discover the outcome of the investigation, the woman advised the firm: “I have heard nothing. This has caused me considerable distress and upset and has required me to seek medical advice”. Mr Hanly ruled that the victim was entitled to find out the outcome of the investigation; was entitled to a decision on whether her complaint was upheld or not and was entitled to know what the outcome was, concerning her alleged harasser. He ruled that the fashion retailer has failed to address these matters and “as a consequence, I uphold her complaint of harassment and discrimination”.  

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

Clr. Terry Shannon, a former Lord Mayor of Cork for Fianna Fáil, has claimed that the unusually high level of personal injury compensation settlements in 2018 and so far in 2019 are coming about due to a lack of investment in roads, streets and footpaths over the last number of years. He stated: “It is a direct result of the decline of the condition of the public realm: potholes, cracked footpaths, and so on. The issue is getting worse and the amount paid each year is getting bigger, because we haven’t been able to fix long-standing issues, because national government hasn’t invested the money.” The local authority bodies for Cork City and Cork County Councils have paid out personal injury compensation settlements in the region of €15m for slips, trips and falls since 2016. This information was discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request. It also revealed that that are a good many slips, trips and falls compensation actions that have not yet been settled by these local authority bodies. WIth the latest estimation, taken on March 31, that €1,144,594 in slips, trips and falls compensation claims has been paid out by Cork City Council so far in 2019 in relation to accidents that happened in public areas, including parks and public areas in council-owned housing estates. Mr Shannon also pointed to the fact that Cork City Council has set aside a budgetary figure of €5m to deal with possible slips, trips and falls compensation settlements that happen during 2019. In addition to this fiscal allocation measure, the Council has also put aside another €200,000 that is earmarked for an “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”. Clr. Shannon, commenting on this revelation, said that this figure as not enough for this purpose and said that is will be “used to patch up areas that have been the result of multiple claims but, ultimately, it won’t go far enough to make a real difference.”      

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

An accident on a water gully near the home of a young boy in Co Donegal has results in the child being awarded €20,000. He has been quite unlucky in tripping and falling near a gully near his home in Co Donegal. The child broke his arm in two places during the incident and had to being treated for  the injuries that he sustained. The boy was just aged five at the time that the accident took place near his home in Dungloe, Co Donegal on July 3rd, 2015. Through his mother and father, the boy took the personal injury compensation legal action against Donegal County Council at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court. Judge James O’Donoghue told the Court that he was of the opinion that Irish Water were the body charged with the responsibility of controlling the integrity of the water service. He stated: “I thought Irish water took over all that?” Barrister Patricia McCallum, after being advised by solicitor Cormac Hartnett, told the court that this area was still under the control of Donegal County Council. At Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court, the boy’s parents were present and advised the Judge that their son, who is now aged nine-years-old, had made a complete recovery from the unfortunate incident. Judge O’Donoghue gave his approval for the €20,000 gully injury compensation offer. The Judge also awarded the costs for the young boy’s legal representatives.

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Hotel Finger Injury Compensation Awarded to Child in Donegal

€45,000 hotel accident injury compensation has been awarded at the Letterkenny Circuit Court to a four-year-old child following an accident at a a hotel in Bundoran, Co Donegal. The child injury accident occurred at the Allingham Arms Hotel in July 2016 when the child was just two years old. Letterkenny Circuit Court was  informed that the child got his hand stuck in a doorway and the top 4mm of his finger was severed off. The child, whose name must be kept anonymous, was rushed to Sligo Regional Hospital before being then taken to a hospital in the North for additional treatment on his injured finger. The child had a plastic surgery operation so that there would be no long lasting cosmetic damage on the injured finger. Letterkenny Circuit court was told that the injured finger will have no lingering implications for the child’s movement or ability to complete basic tasks. In addition to this it will not prevent him from undertaking gainful employment when he becomes an adult. The child, the court was told, is left right handed and, fortunately, the severed finger is on the left hand. The child had suffered some psychological trauma due to the accident at the Allingham Arms, Judge John Aylmer at Letterkenny Circuit Court was informed. For some time following the hotel accident the child experienced interrupted sleep. However, the judge was told there there have no lasting psychological issues noticed in the child, nor have there been any signs a self conscious nature or confidence issues in relation to the severed finger on his left hand At Letterkenny Circuit Court Judge Aylmer gave his approval to the €45,000 severed finger hotel accident compensation award in relation to the accident that occurred at the Allingham Arms in Bundoran and the injuries the child suffered.

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

The Galway City Tribune has recently published a report on the city council’s expenditure on compensation claims made against them. The reporters revealed that the city has paid over €4 million in personal injury claim compensation since the beginning of 2015. This is a significant sum for a city council to be spending on personal injury claims. This figure includes insurance covers public areas, as well as paying the excess on all claims that are made against them. The figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the newspaper. The breakdown shows that the cost of public liability insurance for Galway City Council was  €3.4 million over the same time period. The yearly figures were also included, which gives the expenditure as follows; €1.5 million in 2014, €1.4 million in 2015 and just less than €500,000 in 2016. Galway City Council also had to pay for the excess on personal injury claims in addition to the public liability insurance. The yearly figures for this excess were also given; they amounted to €142,000 in 2016; €242,000 in 2015; and €205,000 in 2014. Alongside the figures themselves, the reasons for the claims made against Galway City Council were also given. The newspaper reported that the largest proportion of the personal injury compensation claims are for injuries suffered in falls on the streets of the city. The number of cobbled streets in central Galway were deemed responsible for large quantity of claims of this type. Galway City Council announced in August 2017 that the paving and cobbles on the Shop Street thoroughfare are to be replaced with smooth pavement to reduce the number of people falling over and hurting themselves in this area. Galway City Council Representative said, at the time, that plans were in place to solve the uneven paving on the street which has been the subject of many compensation claims. In March 2017, a similar report was compiled about compensation claims made against Dublin’s local authorities. The report highlighted the fact that more than €63 million was paid out in personal injury compensation by Dublin’s four local authorities in just five years. Dublin City Council paid out the most – totaling €41,322,784.12 to 3,853 claimants from 2012 until 2016. At the time of the report a South Dublin County Council  spokeswoman said: “The majority of cases in relation to public liability cases are trips, slips and falls on footpaths/roads, or in public parks. A small number of claims are in regard to damage to property, i.e. car tyres.”

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

The State Claims Agency has recently released a report on employee sexual harassment in the healthcare system following public pressure from several bodies to do so. RTE, the state broadcaster, recently aired a damning report which revealed sexual harassment legal actions was taken by five members of staff employed in the State healthcare system over the last number of years. These staff members stated in their claim that they had been assaulted by users of the healthcare service. The complaints were made to the State Claims Agency. The Agency has not released specific details about where the alleged abuse took place in any individual cases. However, the report was able to announce that the claims are in connection with incidents that happened between 2012 and 2016. The five claims make up almost 50% all sexual harassment claims currently being handled by the State Claims Agency for the State. Fianna Fail and the Oireachtas Justice Committee publicly called for the State Claims Agency to release the report, breaking down of all sexual harassment claims made against individual public sector bodies available for scrutiny. The State Claims Agency had initially declined to release any information on such claims. Further requests for the information came following the initial refusal by the State Claims Agency to release such a breakdown, by employer and sector, of all the sexual harassment claims which it handles on the State’s behalf. Additionally, in November 2017 The Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee made contact with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan requesting him to support a call for the data to be released. As a result of this persistent pressure, the State Claims Agency made a limited amount of information on the number of such claims available. The SCA did not say where the incidents that claims arose from happened. In an official statement released the State Claims Agency confirmed that it has managed 11 claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, which it said were “referable to three State Authorities, inclusive of all Delegated Healthcare Agencies, in the years 2012 to 2016”. It also confirmed that in six of the 11 cases they’ve handled the alleged assailant and assailed person are both staff members. In the remaining five incidents they said the individual believed responsible for the assault was a service user in the healthcare area and the victim of the assault was a member of staff. The State Claims Agency (SCA) said that “The claims that the SCA handle, of this nature, are claims which are wholly or mainly ones seeking compensation for injury (mental or physical). We also need further information on the manner in which the SCA deals with such claims, how many of the cases end up in court, full details of all the costs incurred and whether the State seeks to recoup any of these costs from the alleged assailant.”

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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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