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Professional Negligence Claims

Professional negligence claims for compensation are often assumed to be claims for professional negligence made against the medical profession. Although professional negligence claims against medical practitioners would come under the category of compensation for professional negligence, claims can also be made against other professionals such as investment advisors, architects and solicitors, when advice they have provided proves to be inaccurate and you sustain a loss or injury as a result. Claims for professional negligence compensation are resolved by an expert in that field testifying that another professional acting in those circumstances and at that time would have advised an alternative course of action which, on the balance of probabilities, would have avoided the injury or loss from occurring. To find out more about professional negligence claims, you spoke speak directly with an experienced personal injury solicitor.

HSE Investigates Claims of Negligent Care at Home for Intellectually Disabled

The HSE is two launch two investigations into claims of negligent care at a home for intellectually disabled residents following revelations made in the RTÉ documentary Primetime. The RTÉ documentary focused on negligent care at a home for the intellectually disabled in Swinford, County Mayo – Áras Attracta. “Inside Bungalow Three” contained video footage of residents being physically and emotionally abused that had been secretly recorded by a member of RTÉ´s investigative team posing as a work experience student. Among the most disturbing examples of negligent care shown in the documentary were scenes of the residents being kicked and slapped, denied access to the bathroom and being sat upon. The abuse of defenceless residents prompted Taoiseach Enda Kenny to described the negligent care at the home for the intellectually disabled as “sickening”. Prior to the broadcast of the program, RTÉ contacted the Health Service Executive (HSE), who have now launched two investigations –  Christy Lynch, chief executive of the KARE organisation for people with disabilities in County Kildare will chair an investigation into the allegations specifically made in “Inside Bungalow Three”, while Dr Kevin McCoy, a consultant and former member of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, has been appointed by the HSE to lead a review of services at Áras Attracta generally. The director general of the HSE, Tony O’Brien, said in a statement that the examples shown of negligent care at the home for the intellectually disabled “falls well below the standards that we expect in the health services”. Several members of staff have subsequently been suspended, and the Gardaí and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) are also conducting investigations into the alleged abuse at Áras Attracta. Tony O´Brien also apologised to the residents of Áras Attracta and their families for the negligent care that had taken place. He said that the HSE did not wish to “pre-empt the findings of an independent investigation” but that it has taken several immediate actions to “guarantee that a safe and caring environment exists for the residents of Bungalow Three”.

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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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Pensioner Awarded Psychological Injury Compensation for Poor Workmanship

A pensioner from Dublin has been awarded psychological injury compensation for poor workmanship after builders made a catalogue of errors during renovations to her utility room. Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court heard how Kathleen O’Leary (84), from Walkinstown in Dublin had contracted Cranlowe Ltd – building company with an address in Terenure, Dublin – to replace a utility room in her home to bring it up to date and provide additional security. However, shortly after Kathleen had paid the company 23,000 Euros for the work, the utility room flooded causing the electricity to short circuit due to the power supply not being earthed. Further investigations revealed that defective underground piping allowed waste water to leak directly into the soil below her home, no ventilation had been accounted for under the floor of the utility room and none of the walls had been insulated. A further seventeen examples of professional negligence were presented at the hearing, and the court heard that when Kathleen confronted Cranlowe Ltd with a list of the errors, the owner of the company had been abusive to her and made no attempt to remedy the problems. Judgement against the builders was awarded last year when no defence was offered, and Mr Justice Matthew Deery was told that the case was before him for assessment of damages. He awarded Kathleen 14,192 Euros in respect of what it would cost to correct the faults left behind by Cranlowe Ltd, with a further 3,500 Euros in psychological injury compensation for poor workmanship to account for the emotional stress she had experienced due to Cranlowe Ltd´s lack of care.

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Trauma Compensation for Ship Sinking Offered to Costa Concordia Cruise Victims

Costa Crociere SpA – the Italian arm of Carnival Cruises, and the company responsible for the stricken Costa Concordia cruise liner – has made an offer of trauma compensation for ship sinking to all the passengers of the Costa Concordia who were rescued from the ship without suffering physical injury. The 11,000 Euros offer of trauma compensation for ship sinking follows negotiation between the company and Italian consumer groups estimated to represent more than 3,000 passengers rescued from the ship after it hit a reef and capsized off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13 2012. The basic settlement compensates passengers for any psychological damage they have sustained and for the loss of personal effects. In addition, passengers will have the cost of their cruise refunded and any costs that were incurred in transportation home. Passengers who accept the trauma compensation for ship sinking offer will have to agree to drop all future legal claims against Costa Cruises and their associated companies and, in return, will receive their compensation within seven days. Children rescued uninjured from the Costa Concordia are also eligible for the compensation offer. Although passengers who sustained a physical injury will be dealt with individually, one consumer group is already suggesting that passengers decline the offer of trauma compensation for ship sinking. Their recommendations are to obtain a medical opinion to determine whether passengers have actually sustained a psychological trauma and, if so, seek professional legal advice from a compensation solicitor.

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Child Meningitis Compensation Claim settled at £142,000

The mother of a two year old girl, who died after contracting meningitis, has been awarded more than £142,000 in a child meningitis compensation claim after the hospital in which the little girl died admitted errors in the way they handled her condition. Natalie Courtney (28) took her daughter, Aisling, to hospital on February 19 2006, after (she) Aisling had started suffering from hallucinations and a sore neck. The examining doctor diagnosed her as having a 24-hour viral gastric bug and being dehydrated. Natalie requested that Aisling be kept in for overnight observation and stayed with her daughter throughout. After the original examination, a rash developed on Aisling’s back and, early in the morning of February 19, Aisling was placed on a drip. She then developed purple spots on her skin, and Natalie was informed that Aisling was being treated for meningitis. Aisling’s condition became much worse and she was moved into the hospital’s intensive care unit. But, at 10.25am, Aisling had a heart attack and died. The shock was completely overwhelming for Natalie who, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neil heard at the High Court, became socially withdrawn and developed feelings of guilt due to her failure to intervene in her daughter’s treatment and demand more appropriate action. After seeking legal counsel, Natalie sued the hospital for nervous shock arising from Aisling’s death, claiming that she had suffered depressive injuries as a result of the manner in which she had witnessed her child’s death. The hospital conceded the liability late last year – extending and aggravating Natalie’s feelings – and Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neil accounted for this lack of admission in awarding Natalie £142,000 plus an amount to cover the costs associated with legal representation at the inquest into Aisling’s death.

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Cancer Misdiagnosis Settlement leads to compensation settlement

Camilla Freehill was finally able to resolve her High Court action of alleged medical negligence against the Health Service with an undisclosed cancer misdiagnosis settlement for the health service’s failure to diagnose and treat her breast cancer. The judge heard from the claimant’s counsel, shortly before High Court proceedings were about to commence, that an agreement had been reached with no admission of liability by the health service, but which includes an undertaking to pay for future reconstructive surgery on a private basis. Ms Freehill, aged 65, was initially referred to hospital in 1993 for mammography and on many occasions thereafter. She claims that the hospital wrongly assumed in 2002 that an abnormality in a mammogram related to scar from previous surgery when, she claims, it had in fact failed to ask if she had previously undergone surgery. Additional mammograms in 2004 and 2005 reported an area of “architectural distortion”, which in both cases were categorised as benign. It was not until 2007 that a biopsy was performed on the area and established cancer diagnosed in her left breast and lymph nodes. Three weeks later, Ms Freehill had to undergo a mastectomy and, in her claim, alleged that subsequent chemotherapy and radiotherapy created other medical problems including infections and allergic reactions. Ms Freehill also alleged that the radical surgery would have been unnecessary had the hospital correctly recognised and acted upon the findings of the earlier mammograms. Despite the final settlement being decided upon with no admission of liability by the health service, they admitted a failure to properly diagnose and treat Ms Freehill during a period from 2000 to 2007, but denied any negligence in her treatment prior to 2000 and responsibility for the deterioration of her condition due to the misdiagnosis.

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Beauty Salon Waxing Injury Claim Paid

A beauty salon waxing injury claim has been settlement has been paid by the So Belle beauty salon in the Ashleigh Centre, Castleknock, County Dublin to Suzanne Kelly of Clonsilla, County Dublin. The waxing injury claim of €38,000 was made  over severe rash burns to her armpits and groin following an unsuccessful waxing.  The victim suffered a painful rash and swelling in the affected areas.  Although the beauty salon entered a full defence in the Circuit Civil Court, it made an undisclosed settlement.

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Pensioner Gets Compensation for Bad Bank Advice

A 91-year-old pensioner, who was wrongly advised about how to securely invest his life savings, has won almost 200,000 pounds in compensation for bad bank advice against his local branch of Barclays Bank. Isaac Price (91) from Llandrindod Wells, Powys, was looking for an investment which would boost his savings without putting his savings at risk to enable him to pay for his care home fees. Having banked with Barclays for over seventy years, Isaac saw one of the bank´s financial advisors who recommended moving the money into a fund primarily composed of shares. Unfortunately the value of the shares – and the fund into which Isaac had invested his life savings – fell considerably, and Isaac saw 75,000 pounds wiped off the value of his investment. Concerned about the loss of his savings, Isaac complained to the bank, who rejected his initial claim of professional negligence – stating that they were satisfied the investment was wholly suitable at the time. However, under pressure from Isaac´s Member of Parliament, Roger Williams, Barclays Bank were forced into a U-turn and reconsidered the case. Admitting that there were “occasional errors”, Barclays Bank refunded Isaac with the funds he had invested into the failed investment scheme and paid him the interest he would have received in a standard savings account as compensation for bad bank advice.

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