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Public Liability Claims

Public liability claims are most commonly made against individuals or organizations who have failed in their duty of care to maintain a safe environment in a place of public access – causing you to sustain an injury in an accident for which you were not to blame.

Places of public access can include parks, footpaths and publicly-owned premises, or privately-owned premises such as shops, bars and restaurants. In the event of an accident in a publicly-owned location, public liability claims for compensation are made against the local council or other authority responsible for your health and safety.

Public Liability Claims and the Absolute Duty of Care

Most parties against whom you might make public liability claims do not have an “absolute” duty of care. This means that if the hazard responsible for your accident and injury had only just manifested – and the party responsible for your health and safety had not had a “reasonable” period of time to remove or isolate the hazard – then it may not be possible to make a personal injury claim.

An example of this would be if you were dining in a restaurant and you slipped on a drink while walking to the bathroom that had only just been spilled. If the restaurant owners did not have a reasonable amount of time to identify and isolate the hazard between the drink being spilled and your accident, they will not be considered to be in breach of their duty of care.

Public Liability Claims and the Injuries Board

If you have been injured in a public liability accident for which you were not to blame, you should apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim. The Injuries Board is not responsible for establishing negligence in public liability claims, and will write to the “Respondent” to seek their consent before proceeding with their assessment.

If consent is declined – or the Injuries Board assessment contested – you will be issued with an Authorisation to take your claim to court. Few public liability claims are actually heard in court because a negotiated settlements remove the need for litigation. However, even before you apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim, you should seek professional legal advice from a solicitor.

Why You Should Consult a Solicitor

While we strive to ensure all the articles on this site are factually accurate you should never solely rely on the information supplied here. Every public liability case is different and while reading one of our articles can provide you with general information you should always get expert advice and consult a solicitor before taking any action that may have legal consequences.

For this reason we also provide a confidential 24-hour helpline where you can talk to a highly experienced and specialised personal injury solicitor who will answer any questions you may have about your potential public liability claim.

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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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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Nurse Awarded Injury Compensation for Tripping in Tesco

A Dublin nurse has been awarded €48,000 injury compensation for tripping in Tesco after the store was found negligent in its control of customer traffic. In January 2014, Bernadette Higgins (32) was making her way to the wine section of the Tesco Metro store in Terenure, Dublin, when she tripped over a six-pack of beer that had been left on the floor by a customer waiting to use the self-service check-out. The customer helped Bernadette to her feet and apologised, but due to a pain in her knee an ambulance was called and she was taken to St. James´s Hospital. At the hospital an x-ray revealed a fracture of Bernadette´s left knee – a knee she had reconstruction surgery on five months previously. As a result of her accident in Tesco´s, Bernadette had to undergo two further surgeries and is still having physiotherapy treatment. In addition to a visible scar on her knee, Bernadette still experiences pain in her left knee and has had to give up her hobbies of football and running. Bernadette applied for an assessment of injury compensation for tripping in Tesco to the Injuries Board, but Tesco declined their consent for the assessment to be conducted. Bernadette was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court. The hearing of her case took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, who was told that Tesco was denying liability for Bernadette´s accident as the six-pack of beer had only been on the floor for seconds before Bernadette´s accident, and there was nothing they could have done to prevent it. However, the judge ruled that the layout of Tesco Metro in Terenure meant that customers entering the store had to negotiate other customers waiting to pay for their shopping. The judge said that Tesco should provide a defined path for customers at the self-service checkout in order to better control customer traffic. Judge Groarke initially awarded Bernadette €60,000 injury compensation for tripping in Tesco, but after taking into account that she was not properly looking where she was going, he reduced the award to €48,000 to account for her contributory negligence.

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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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High Court Awards Compensation for Being Trapped in a Shopping Centre Elevator

The High Court has awarded a woman who suffered a recurrence of childhood claustrophobia €25,060 compensation for being trapped in a shopping centre elevator. Fifty-four year old Marie Dicker – a department store supervisor from Walkinstown in Dublin – was visiting the Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght on August 31, 2012, when she took the elevator to travel down to the ground floor. Soon after the elevator started to descend, it suddenly stopped. Marie banged on the door and shouted for help after finding the elevator´s alarm button unresponsive. Eventually a security guard heard the noise and was able to release her. Although she had been trapped in the elevator for fewer than five minutes, the upsetting incident resulted in Marie suffering a recurrence of childhood claustrophobia. She was unable to go into rooms without leaving the door open behind her and had to remain close to the exit of any room she entered. Marie sought professional medical help and was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, anxiety and depression. She then spoke with a solicitor and made a claim for compensation for being trapped in a shopping centre elevator against Square Management Ltd and Pickering Lifts Ltd. The two defendants admitted that there had been a breach in their duty of care, but contested how much compensation for being trapped in a shopping centre elevator Marie was claiming. The case consequently went to the High Court for an assessment of damages and was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. At the hearing, Judge Barr was told that Marie has been under the care of a psychologist since the incident and has responded well to cognitive behaviour therapy. However, the defendants claimed that Marie showed no signs of anxiety when she was evaluated by a psychiatrist on their behalf. After being told that Marie´s treatment is expected to last a further twelve to eighteen months, Judge Barr said he was satisfied that the incident had caused a recurrence of Marie´s childhood claustrophobia and he awarded her €25,060 compensation for being trapped in a shopping centre elevator.

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Woman Awarded Compensation for a Slip on a Wet Manhole Cover

A woman who injured her ankle in an accident at Dublin Zoo has been awarded €105,000 compensation for a slip on a wet manhole cover by the High Court. Gwen Kane (43) from Firhouse in Dublin was visiting Dublin Zoo with her family on 12th June 2011 as a treat to celebrate her son´s first birthday. As Gwen passing the sea lion enclosure, she slipped on a wet manhole cover and fell – injuring her right ankle. Gwen was taken to hospital, where she was diagnosed as having dislocated the ankle. The ankle was put into a plaster cast for seven weeks and Gwen had to use crutches for a further nine weeks to help support her injured ankle. Despite regaining her mobility, Gwen continued to experience pain from her accident. She sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a slip on a wet manhole cover – alleging that the Zoological Society of Ireland had been negligent by failing to clear rainwater away from walkways and viewing areas in order to provide a safe environment for the zoo´s visitors. The Zoological Society of Ireland admitted liability for Gwen´s injury, but rejected the Injuries Board assessment of her claim. Gwen was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her case in court, and a hearing for the assessment of damages recently took place at the High Court. At the hearing, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told the circumstances of Gwen´s accident and the consequences to her quality of life. He heard that, as a consequence of her accident, Gwen had to give up her hobbies of Breton folk dancing, cycling and long-distance walking – activities that she participated in for charity. Judge Barr said he was satisfied Gwen had given a fair and accurate account of the consequences of the accident, and awarded her €105,000 compensation for a slip on a wet manhole cover in respect of her pain and suffering, with a further award of €9,988 special damages to account for the financial cost of her injury.

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Pony Ride Injury Compensation Claim Settled during Hearing

A pony ride injury compensation claim, made by a woman left with a permanent scar after her accident, has been settled during a hearing to establish liability. Maria Gray (35) – a dentist from Belfast – was among a group of friends having a hen weekend in Galway when she went on a pony trek at Feeney’s Riding School in Thonabrocky on 15th July 2013. The trek started without incident but, as the party slowly descended a steep incline, the legs of Maria´s pony buckled and Maria fell from the saddle. Maria sustained a deep cut on her chin and a wrist injury. She was taken to hospital, where the cut was cleaned and stitched, but she now has a permanent scar that is visible to her patients. Maria´s wrist injury deteriorated and she had to undergo eight weeks of physiotherapy – during which time she was unable to work because of a splint on her arm. After seeking legal advice, Maria made a pony ride injury compensation claim against the owners of the riding school – Gerard and Siobhan Feeney. In her legal action, Maria alleged that pony was too small for her 5 foot 8½ inches frame and was only suitable for a child under the age of fourteen. She also claimed that the school had not given her adequate instruction on how to ride the pony. The Feeney´s denied that the pony was too small for Maria, and argued that she had been offered a larger pony to ride, but had declined the opportunity. Without the riding school owner´s consent to carry out an assessment, the Injuries Board issued Maria with an authorisation to pursue her pony ride injury compensation claim through the courts. The hearing to determine liability opened before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam at the High Court last week. Maria told the judge it was her belief that the pony had already been out on a trek earlier on that very hot day. Consequently it was hungry and tired, and kept stopping to eat grass. She added that the pony was only suitable for a child under fourteen years of age because of its age. Before the second day of the hearing could get underway, the judge was told that the parties had come to an agreement and the pony ride injury compensation claim could be struck.

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Claim for a Broken Ankle in a Pothole Accident Resolved Out of Court

A woman has resolved her claim for a broken ankle in a pothole accident for an undisclosed amount after the first day of a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court. Pamela Duffy (52) from Shankill in County Dublin broke her ankle due to tripping over a pothole outside of the Tel El Kebir (TEK) United Football Club after celebrating her husband´s fiftieth birthday at the venue on 1st October 2011. Pamela was taken to hospital, and fitted with a below-the-knee plaster cast that remained in place for the next six weeks. She also had to wear a boot brace and use crutches to assist her when she was walking. After seeking legal advice, Pamela made a claim for a broken ankle in a pothole accident against the football club – who contested her claim on the grounds that Pamela had admitted to drinking ten pints of beer prior to her accident and had contributed to her injury due to her own negligence. The club also argued that, as a member of the football club, Pamela was prohibited from making a claim for a broken ankle in a pothole accident as she would effectively be suing herself. Pamela disputed that she was a member – although it later emerged that her husband had once submitted an undated application on Pamela´s behalf. At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Jacqueline Linnane told the parties that there would have to be a preliminary hearing to determine whether Pamela was indeed a member of the football club, and she adjourned the hearing to give the two parties an opportunity to resolve the claim for a broken ankle in a pothole accident by negotiation. When the two parties returned, Judge Linnane was told that Pamela´s claim for a broken ankle in a pothole accident had been resolved for an undisclosed amount and that the case could be struck off.

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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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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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Judge Approves Compensation for Injury in a Pub Accident

A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for an injury in a pub accident which left an eighty-year-old man brain damaged and needing permanent care. In April 2011, Frank McHugh from Rathgar in Dublin had been celebrating Easter with his family at the Stags Head pub in Dublin when he left the group to visit the toilets shortly after the dinner had finished. As Frank started to descend the stairs that led from the pub area to the toilets, he tumbled and fell – sustaining a brain damage which left him in a coma and several fractures of the skull. Due to his head injuries, Frank has no recollection of the fall and will need permanent care for the remainder of his life. Frank claimed compensation for an injury in a pub accident through his son against Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd – the licensees of the Stags Head – claiming that there was a failure in the duty of care to provide a safe means of access to the toilets and that no warning signs were present advising patrons of the dangers of using the stairs. Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd contested the claim for pub accident injury compensation – saying that Frank had descended the stairs in an unsafe manner and that he had fallen as a result of his own negligence. The company presented CCTV footage in its defence which showed Frank taking the first step of the stairs and then falling down them. Despite Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd denying their liability for Frank´s injuries, at the High Court in Dublin Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that the company had made an offer of compensation for an injury in a pub accident amounting to €250,000. The judge heard that the value of the settlement was a fraction of what a full compensation settlement amount to, but that it had been recommended by Frank´s solicitors that the family accept it. After hearing the circumstances of Frank´s injuries, and of the care that had been provided for him subsequently by his family, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement – stating she agreed that €250,000 would not go far in covering the costs of Frank´s care, but Frank´s injury claim for compensation for an injury in a pub accident was lacking in evidence and would likely be unsuccessful if it went to a full trial.

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Allergic Reaction Compensation Claim Against Hairdresser Resolved Prior to Court Hearing

A woman has resolved her allergic reaction compensation claim against her hairdresser in an undisclosed out-of-court settlement just before a hearing was due to get underway. Grainne Moynihan (33) made the allergic reaction compensation claim against her hairdresser – Coiffeur Salons Ltd in William Street South, Dublin (trading as Dylan Bradshaw) – following a colouring treatment she underwent at the salon on 11th November 2010. Grainne from Castleknock Park in Dublin alleged in her allergic reaction compensation claim that, following her visit to the salon, a rash developed on her scalp, ears and neck which she attributed to an allergic reaction from the treatment she had received Grainne visited her doctor, who prescribed her antihistamine medication and a course of oral steroids, and then sought legal advice about making a compensation claim against her hairdresser. Coiffeur Salons Ltd contested liability for Grainne´s claim, and the Injuries Board issued her with an Authorisation to pursue her claim in court. Coiffeur Salons Ltd continue to argue that treatment Grainne received had not been negligent and the company entered a full defence against the claim prior to the case being scheduled to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court before Judge Matthew Deery. However, before the hearing into Grainne´s claim commenced, Judge Deery was informed the compensation claim against the hairdresser could be struck off as an undisclosed settlement had been reached prior to the court hearing.

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Black Eye Claim for Compensation Settled in Court

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

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Postman Successfully Claims Compensation for being Attacked by a Dog

A County Westmeath postman has successfully claimed injury compensation for being attacked by a dog while trying to deliver post to a house in Kilbeggan. Sixty-three year old Joseph Dunne from Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, was attempting to deliver post to house in Kilbeggan when, on 8th October 2008, a husky-type dog escaped from the garden of the house through a hole in the hedge and attacked him. Joseph was knocked to the pavement by the dog, who continued to claw and bite him while the terrified postman was lying on the floor. Fortunately a passer-by was able to stop the attack by hitting the dog across the back with a stick and Joseph was rushed to hospital. At the hospital, Joseph was treated for lacerations to the right side of his face and received twenty-two stitches. He also have to receive treatment for nerve damage just below his forehead and, once the stitches from his cuts were removed, he had to undergo plastic surgery to hide the worst of his scars. Joseph returned to his postal duties soon after the attack, but made a claim for injury compensation for being attacked by the dog against the animal´s owners – Olive Dalton and Martin Maher of Dublin Road, Kilbeggan. The couple denied their liability for Joseph´s injuries, despite having had the dog put down following the attack, and the case was heard at the High Court in Dublin. At the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty heard Ms Dalton and Mr Maher denying that they had been negligent in failing to enclose their garden securely and allowing the dog to escape; however the judge found in Joseph´s favour and, awarding him €55,000 injury compensation for being attacked by a dog, commended Joseph for returning to work so quickly after his frightening incident.

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10 Percent Rise in Assessments by the Injuries Board

A report published by the Injuries Board has revealed a 10 percent rise in assessments by the Injuries Board in the six months to June 2013. During the first half of the year, 16,162 applications for assessments by the Injuries Board were received by the government body – up from 14,685 during the corresponding period in 2012. Plaintiffs accepted 5,286 assessments of compensation made by the Injuries Board – an increase from the 5,180 accepted assessments in the first half of 2012. However, these figures also revealed a lower percentage of Injuries Board assessments being accepted (32.7 percent, down from 32.7 percent) – indicating that more plaintiffs are pursuing a negotiated settlement or court action, rather than relying on the Injuries Board to resolve their injury compensation claims. The highest proportion of assessments by the Injuries Board was in respect of car accident compensation (75.5 percent), with the remainder divided between employer liability (compensation for accidents at work – 8.1 percent) and public liability (compensation for accidents in shops, on the street or in other places of public access – 16.4 percent). The total value of awards made by the Injuries Board and the average value of each award also increased, however Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board – was keen to point out that this was primarily due to a small number of exceptional assessments by the Injuries Board which had been made during the first half of 2012. Ms Byron was also keen to express that the increase in assessments by the Injuries Board was no excuse for insurance companies to raise insurance premiums. She explained that a reduction in the processing fee charged to insurers representing negligent parties more than covered the increase in how much compensation was assessed by the Injuries Board. Readers should note that despite the high number of Injuries Board assessments being rejected, plaintiffs should still apply to the Injuries Board (with the help of a solicitor if your claim is not straightforward) for an assessment of personal injury compensation. Should a negotiated settlement with the negligent party not be possible, you will need an Authorisation from the Injuries Board to pursue your personal injury compensation claim through the courts.

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Woman Awarded Compensation for an Injury on a Supermarket Escalator

A court in America has awarded $9.9 million in compensation for an injury on a supermarket escalator to a woman who developed complex regional pain syndrome after an accident at her local Costco. Rose Nudelman from New York had finished shopping in the Brooklyn branch of Costco when she manoeuvred her loaded shopping trolley onto the ascending supermarket escalator to return to her car. The escalator was equipped with a mechanism to prevent the shopping trolley rolling back down the slope so that customers did not have to hold onto it; however, on this occasion the trolley broke free of the mechanism and struck fifty-one year old Rose with force on the wrist. Despite not having experienced any apparent physical injuries, Rose reported the accident to the supermarket after it happened. Two weeks later, however, she had lost her mobility and could only hobble around her home with the use of a cane. Doctors diagnosed the neurological condition “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” and, after seeking legal advice, Rose made a claim for compensation for an injury on a supermarket escalator. Costco denied their liability for Rose´s injuries, and argued that she exaggerated her condition in order to claim injury compensation; however Rose persisted with her claim and, after a court hearing, a jury awarded her $9.9 million in compensation for an injury on a supermarket escalator. After the hearing Costco´s insurers said that they are likely to appeal the settlement, but Rose´s solicitor said no amount of money would persuade anybody “you or I know” to change places with his client.

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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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Travelator Compensation for Fall on Moving Walkway

A female who caught the heel of her shoe in a hole on a travelator in a Dublin shopping centre has been awarded €13.150 in travelator compensation for a fall on a moving walkway after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court. Nuala Holloway Casey (60) from Blackrock in Dublin claimed for shopping centre compensation against Secret Retail Holdings (trading as Superquinn Shopping Centre) and Kine (Ireland) Limited, travelator and escalator fitters, of Ballymount, County Dublin, after being inflicted with an ankle injury at the Superquinn Shopping Centre in December 2007. Judge Barry Hickson in the Circuit Civil Court was informed that in December 2007, Nuala hit the ground badly after she caught her high heel shoe in a hole at the top to a descending moving walkway – damaging her left ankle. The court was told that she still felt pain in the ankle and had no choice but to give up playing tennis because of the injury. As liability in the case had already been accepted by the by the joint defendants the only argument remaining was the final amount of compensation to be awarded for a fall on a moving walkway. This was in dispute as Ms Holloway Casey had failed to seek medical treatment for 10 days after the incident occurred and exacerbated her injury by a separate fall in 2009. After reviewing the medical testimony in support of the compensation claim, Judge Hickson awarded the former Miss Ireland €12,000 supermarket travelator compensation for the fall on the moving walkway plus a separate €1,250 to make up for the costs she had incurred which were directly attributable to her accident.

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Elevator Accident Compensation Claim Resolved in Court

A woman, who sustained debilitating physical and psychological injuries after a lift she was travelling in fell twenty-three floors, has been awarded over 13 million dollars after her elevator accident compensation claim was heard by a court in Florida. Janice Beasley (41) from Jacksonville, Florida, was descending alone in the elevator at her workplace in May 1999 when it fell from the twenty-third floor to the eighth. While Janice remained trapped and injured in the elevator, an engineer was called. However, rather than free Janice from the elevator, the engineer attempted to get it to move – causing it to fall to the basement of the building. Janice suffered a series of terrible injuries in the elevator accident – ranging from partial paralysis of her left leg to complex regional pain disorder. She was also diagnosed with chronic depression, Conversion Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Confined to a wheelchair and unable to work, Janice made a claim for elevator accident compensation against both the owners of the building and the elevator maintenance company. The elevator maintenance company denied liability for Janice´s injuries and delayed the trial for almost ten years while the company argued one complex legal point after another. Eventually the case went to trial in Duval County Courthouse and, after two weeks of presentations, the jury found in Janice´s favour and awarded her 13,188,000 dollars in respect of her elevator accident compensation claim.

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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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Compensation for Slip in Argos Store Awarded in Court

A customer, who slipped on a discarded baby wipe in Argos and damaged his shoulder when he fell, has been awarded 17,500 Euros in injury compensation for a slip in Argos at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin. Declan Conroy from Dublin had been shopping at the Henry Street branch of Argos in May 2008 when his accident happened. While queuing at the counter to order a lawnmower for his mother, he slipped on a baby wipe which had been discarded on the floor and fell – injuring his shoulder on the floor. After receiving medical attention, Declan made a claim for compensation for a slip in Argos against the store – claiming that their system of monitoring the store for potential hazards was inadequate and he had sustained an injury as a result. Argos denied liability for Declan´s injury; claiming that CCTV footage revealed the presence of the baby wipe just six minutes before Declan´s accident and arguing that staff could not possibly be required to constantly monitor the floor for hazards in a historically low-risk store. However, Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court heard a forensic engineer – appearing on Declan´s behalf – testify that, because of the extra footfall in the queuing area, a greater level of vigilance should be applied. It was also revealed in court that five minutes before the baby wipe first appeared on camera, CCTV footage showed a woman manoeuvring a baby buggy through the area. Judge Jacqueline Linnane determined that, on the balance of probabilities, it was the woman with the baby buggy who had dropped the baby wipe and, as more than ten minutes would have passed between the hazard being present and Declan sustaining his shoulder injury, she was finding Argos liable. She awarded Declan 17,500 Euros compensation for a slip in Argos injury plus costs.

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Luas Accident Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A man, who was hit by a Luas tram as he was crossing the Naas dual carriageway to catch a taxi, has had a negotiated settlement of Luas accident injury compensation approved in the High Court. Derek Cross (52) from Clondalkin in Dublin was crossing the road to the taxi stop by the Red Cow Hotel when the accident happened on 15 September 2007. Having enjoyed an evening drinking with friends at the Bluebell United Football Club, Derek was hit by the Luas tram travelling from Kylemore to the Red Cow stop despite the driver applying the emergency brakes. Derek sustained several broken ribs and a traumatic brain injury in the accident which have prevented him from working for the past five years and has forced him to use crutches if he travels any distance. After seeking legal advice, Derek made a claim for Luas accident injury compensation on the grounds that he was lawfully crossing the road and that the operators of the Luas tram service, the Railway Procurement Agency and Veolia Transport (formerly Connex Transport) had failed to provide proper signage and safe passage when crossing over tram lines. The defendants disputed the claim, alleging that Derek was intoxicated at the time and had contributed to the cause of his injuries by his own lack of care. However, as Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard at the High Court, an offer of settlement amounting to 650,000 Euros had be made to Derek for his Luas accident injury claim, and the case was before her for approval of the settlement only. Stating that the out-of-court agreement was a good one in light of the circumstances, and that Derek´s Luas accident injury compensation claim was not guaranteed to succeed if it was presented at court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement.

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Compensation for Nightclub Injury Awarded by Court

A man who was shot in an unprovoked attack in a Washington DC club has been awarded 673,000 dollars in compensation for a nightclub injury by a court in the United States. Singer Jamel Williams (26) of Baltimore, Maryland, was shot at the Island Café Restaurant nightclub in March 2008 by an unknown attacker after finishing a performance at the popular venue. While standing with friends at the bar, an unidentified man approached Jamel and fired one shot at him. The shot passed through Jamel´s outstretched hand and lodged in his head. Judge Craig Iscoe at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia heard that doctor´s were unable to remove the bullet due to its location and the risk to life that such an operation would present. He was also told that despite the nightclub having been warned of the risk of violence due to multiple violent crimes having been committed in the neighbourhood, no additional security had been hired to protect guests and performers at the club from risk of injury. The judge agreed with Jamel´s legal representatives that the Island Café Restaurant had been negligent in allowing an armed man entry to the club and approach Jamel and awarded the singer 650,000 dollars compensation for nightclub injury for the pain and suffering he had experienced at the time of the shooting, plus special damages amounting to 23,172 dollars in respect of Jamel´s medical expenses.

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Compensation for Pub Door Arm Injury Awarded in Court

A man who suffered nerve damage when a door fell from its hinges and onto his arm has been awarded 35,000 Euros in compensation for pub door arm injury in Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court. The court heard how Radoslaw Wojtkow (31) of Dundrum, Dublin, had been exiting The Living Room pub on Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin on May 27th 2009 when an emergency door which had been opened to allow customers to come in and out of the pub fell from its hinges and struck him on the arm. A medical examination the following day showed no signs of a fracture but, as the pain in his arm continued, Radoslaw underwent a scan which revealed radian nerve damage. Radoslaw brought a claim for compensation for pub door arm injury against Murraywalsh Ltd trading as The Living Room but, as Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court heard, the pub owners had declined to enter a defence to Radoslaw´s claim. Mr Justice Matthew Deery was also told that a judgement against the pub owners had already been made and that the case was before him for assessment of damages. After considering the medical reports of Radoslaw´s condition, the judge awarded him 35,000 Euros in compensation for pub door arm injury.

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Compensation for Coffee Machine Burns to follow Tassimo Recall

The recall of the Tassimo coffee making machine in North America is anticipated to lead to a significant rise in compensation for coffee machine burns claims. The recall was initiated by the manufacturer – BSH Home Appliances Corporation of Irvine, California – after the American Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated more than 160 claims of coffee machine burns that had been reported to them. It was discovered that the Tassimo coffee machine had a design fault which led to a risk of the T-discs – the small plastic coffee containers which were placed into the machines – showering bystanders with scalding water and hot coffee granules when they exploded. Among the worst claims for injuries were thirty-seven confirmed cases where the victim had suffered second-degree burns from the Tassimo coffee making machine, including a two-year-old girl from Canada who required hospitalisation after receiving severe burns to her face and neck. Despite claims for coffee machine burn compensation being a product liability issue, applications for assessment to the Injuries Board in this instance are likely to be declined, as the liability is held by an overseas company. Therefore those wishing to claim compensation for coffee machine burns should speak with a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.

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Watermelon Salmonella Compensation Likely for Victims of Food Poisoning

Claims for watermelon salmonella compensation are likely following reports of the Newport Salmonella strain being found in pre-packed watermelons believed to have been imported from Brazil. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland are investigating four potential cases of watermelon salmonella food poisoning after the UK´s Health Protection Agency announced that at least one person had died after contracting food poisoning from an infected melon, while other cases of watermelon salmonella sickness had been reported throughout the UK and in Germany. It is believed that the salmonella bacteria could have been introduced into the watermelons during the preparation process if the fruit was washed in dirty water or a contaminated knife used to cut them. Typical symptoms of watermelon salmonella food poisoning include vomiting, fatigue, fever and diarrhoea, and people suffering these symptoms are advised to seek medical treatment immediately. Liability for watermelon salmonella compensation claims is likely lie with shops, kiosks and cafes who sell pre-packed watermelon slices, as many of the major supermarket chains have already announced that their stocks have been checked for contamination and been passed as fit for human consumption. Once victims of watermelon salmonella food poisoning have been treated for their illnesses, it is advisable to speak with a compensation solicitor to determine that they have a claim for watermelon salmonella compensation.

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Settlement for Trip injury girl

A teenage girl, who tripped on a faultily repaired step outside her home, has accepted an offer of a settlement for trip injury from Dublin City Council amounting to 32,300 Euros. Sarah O’Mahony (18) was just nine years old when the accident happened in October 2002 outside of her residence in Dublin. Walking up the concrete steps near to her home, Sarah tripped on a poorly repaired stair and fell – hitting her central incisors on a higher step and forcing the teeth back into her gum. At the Dublin Circuit Civil Court, Circuit Court President Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard that Sarah’s original claim for trip injury compensation had been adjourned in 2006 because of a need to obtain further dental reports; however now the Injuries Board Ireland had assessed her claim at 32,300 Euros and Dublin City Council was in agreement with the figure. Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard from Sarah’s legal representative that she was also prepared to accept the assessment of trip injury compensation, and the judge agreed that it was in her best interests to accept the offer.

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Settlement reached in Injury Claim for Slipping on Wet Floor in Shopping Centre

A woman, who sustained shoulder and hip injuries when slipping on the access bridge to a shopping centre, has secured an award in an injury claim for slipping on a wet floor in a shopping centre against the owners of the site. Gweneth Bowler was visiting the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester with her daughter when the incident happened in January 2011. The 64-year old grandmother was crossing a covered walkway which connects the shopping centre car park with the stores, when she slipped on a wet floor and fractured her rights shoulder and hip in the fall. While recovering from her injuries, Gweneth wrote to the City Council about the hazard, prompting the council to initiate a health and safety inspection. The inspection showed several areas where the owners of the shopping centre – Hammerson PLC – were failing in their health and safety obligations including a lack of cleaning to prevent the floor surface of the walkway from becoming slippery in bad weather. After seeking legal advice, Gweneth filed a claim for slips, trips and falls compensationagainst Hammerson PLC and, with negligence by the owners already established, the claim was quickly resolved for an undisclosed sum.

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€4m Injury Claim for Injury Sustained Diving into Public Swimming Pool

A man who was born with cerebral palsy is to receive a €4m compensation package in and injury claim for an injury sustained adter diving into a public swimming pool. Reece Hodder (28) from Scarborough, Western Australia, was deaf, blind and mute from birth and had a concept of danger equivalent to that of a twelve-year-old. In January 2006, he was visiting the South Hedland Aquatic centre in Perth, Western Australia when he dived from a block positioned at the shallow end of the pool into 1.1 metres of water. The collision with the floor of the pool left Reece completely paralysed, and whereas before the accident he was living an independent life, his quadriplegic condition now means that he requires full-time care. Reece´s mother, Elaine, sued the Town of Port Hedland – the owners of the pool – and the YMCA who managed it, claiming that both parties were negligent in contributing to Reece´s accident. In March this year, the Port Hedland District Court heard that the Town of Port Headland council had been warned three times prior to the accident about the dangers of having permanent diving blocks at the shallow side of the pool and had been criticised for displaying inadequate warning signs. Finding the council 90% negligent, Judge Patrick O´Neal stated that “On the evidence at trial, there were organisations, public and private, offering money for improvements to the South Hedland Aquatic Centre. Despite all of this, for reasons that were never explained, (the council) repeatedly delayed about making the changes until it was literally too late.” The judge struck out the action against the YMCA – although there had been no lifeguards on duty at the time of the accident – and announced last week that compensation for the serious personal injury claim had been agreed by the two parties at €4m. The settlement is still subject to the approval of the District Court as Reece is disabled.

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Compensation from City Council for Footpath Fall

Nathan Clarke, has been awarded compensation from City Council for footpath fall of €40,000 from Dublin City Council over alleged failure to clean broken glass from a public foot path outside his home. The accident occurred in 2001 when Nathan Clarke was seven years of age and resulted in extensive injuries to his left hand that required surgery in hospital. In the the compensation case was taken by Nathan’s father Joseph Clarke, who acted as next friend in the High Court case. It was alleged in court that City Council had failed to carry out its statutory duty to keep the foot path clear and that the council was guilty of nuisance by allowing broken glass to accumulate on the pavement in an area used by children to play.

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Needle Injury Compensation Awarded for Bus Syringe Jab

A man who was jabbed by a syringe which had been discarded on a Dublin bus has been awarded 25,000 Euros in needle injury compensation after a hearing at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court. Gareth Quinn of Clondalkin, County Dublin, was taking his seat on the 78A bus at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in February 2005 when he sustained a needle injury to his leg from a syringe which had left by the seat. When Gareth alerted the bus driver, an ambulance was immediately summoned which took him to hospital and the syringe was analysed for contamination. Although tests on the needle found no traces of hepatitis B or hepatitis C, Gareth underwent a series of blood tests for three years until it could be guaranteed that he was at no risk of infection. Gareth brought a claim for needle injury compensation against Dublin Bus, claiming that the bus company were negligent in failing to provide safe transportation for its customers. At the Dublin Circuit Civil Court, Judge Joseph Matthews agreed that visual inspection of the bus had been insufficient and awarded Gareth 15,000 Euros for the pain and inconvenience he had already suffered with a further 10,000 Euros for future suffering.

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Child´s Claim for Injured Foot Heard in Court

A boy, who sustained a painful injury when a slab of marble fell from a fireplace mantelpiece, has been awarded 9,500 Euros after his claim for injured foot compensation was heard in the Circuit Civil Court. William Corrigan-Hayden (8) of Tallaght, County Dublin, made the claim for injured foot compensation through his parents against the constructer of the fireplace, Liam Heeney, from Lucan, County Dublin. The court heard that although William´s injury was painful at the time, it had now healed completely. A settlement of 9,500 Euros for William´s claim for injured foot compensation had been agreed between the parties, and the compensation for injured foot settlement received approval.

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Compensation for Swimming Pool Injury Approved in Court

A school girl, who cut her foot on a broken plastic drain in the showers of a public swimming pool, has had the settlement of her swimming pool foot injury claim approved in the Circuit Civil Court. Hollie McNevin from Walkinstown Park, Dublin, was just nine years of age when the accident happened in the showers of the Templeogue College Pool, Templeville Road, Dublin. Hollie slipped in the showers, cutting her foot on the drain and had to have eight stitches in the wound. Hollie´s parents made a swimming pool foot injury claim for compensation on Hollie´s behalf and in the Circuit Civil Court Judge Joseph Matthews heard that, due to her injury, Hollie now had a scar on her foot which was likely to be permanent. The judge also heard that liability had been accepted and an offer of 25,000 Euros in swimming pool foot injury compensation had been made to Hollie – which the family was prepared to accept. The judge subsequently approved the compensation settlement.

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Personal Injury Claims in Ireland on the Increase

Figures released by the Injuries Board have revealed that the number of personal injury claims in Ireland increased by 5 per cent from 2008 to 2009. However, of 25,919 new claims received by the Injuries Board, only 8,645 settled for the amount assessed. The disparity between the two figures was explained by more personal injury claims in Ireland being settled by negotiation before an assessment is complete, an increase in the number of claims that are going directly to court and claims in which the Injury Board´s assessment is rejected for being too low. The majority of personal injury claims in Ireland made to the Injuries Board were for traffic accident compensation, with remainder mostly comprising of claims for injuries sustained at work and those involving public liability compensation. The total value of assessments for personal injury claims in Ireland that were accepted by the claimants amounted to just over 118 million Euros, with the average value of an assessment being 23,166 Euros – a decrease of 5 per cent from 2008.

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Designer Awarded Compensation for Whiplash Symptoms

An interior designer, who was hit on the head by a falling display frying pan, has been awarded 12,240 Euros in compensation for whiplash symptoms by a judge at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court. Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard how Francesca De Cataldo (33) from Dublin had been ascending the stairs at the Avoca Restaurant in June 2005, when a metal frying pan which had become dislodged from its display shelf fell and hit her on the head. Although she sustained no physical injury, Francesca described to the court how she had suffered stiffness in her neck and shoulders after the accident and had developed light-headedness, feelings of nausea and sleeplessness – similar to whiplash symptoms. The Avoca Restaurant denied the claims, stating that the only witness to her accident – a store security man – could not confirm what exactly had caused Francesca to fall on the stairs. However Mr Justice Matthew Deery said that he was satisfied that Francesca´s story was credible and awarded her 12,240 Euros in compensation for whiplash symptoms against the store.

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Compensation for Swimming Pool Injury Awarded to Quadriplegic

A man, who sustained catastrophic spinal cord injuries after mistakenly diving into three and a half feet of water at a friend´s swimming pool, has been awarded over 4 million dollars in compensation for swimming pool injury by a jury in Cook County, Illinois. Don Duffy, an Irish immigrant, had never swum in an American pool before, and assumed that he was diving into the “deep” end. Unfortunately the pool at his friend´s home was shallow at both ends and deep in the middle, and Don – who was aged 22 at the time of his accident in July 2001 – suffered a spinal cord injury on impact with the floor of the pool which rendered him an incomplete quadriplegic. After seeking legal advice, Don made a swimming injury compensation claim against the pool liner maker Latham Plastic and pool installer Black Oak Pool and Supply. During the trial, the defendants alleged that Don had been drinking prior to the accident and should have assumed the risk of injury when diving into a pool without knowing how deep it was. After considering the legal arguments, the jury ruled in favour of the pool liner company but against Black Oak Pool and Supply. They decided that Don should be 50 per cent accountable for his injuries and therefore reduced a compensation for swimming pool injury settlement of over 8 million dollars to 4,051,200 dollars – the highest ever pool-related compensation settlement in Illinois.

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Compensation for Holiday Food Poisoning Paid to Honeymooner

A man, who contracted the potentially life-threatening dysentery illness after eating at an all-inclusive resort on his honeymoon in 2004, has received compensation for holiday food poisoning from the travel company through which he booked the trip. Julian Hurley (50) from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was staying on the Venezuelan island of Margarita when he ate food described as being of poor standard and contracted the illness. Due to a lack of medical facilities on the island, it was not until Julian returned home that he was treated for his condition. Julian was immediately admitted to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where he was treated for five days with antibiotics and he still suffers from the effects of his illness five years after his honeymoon. In his claim for public liability compensation against First Choice Holidays Julian provided medical evidence to show that he has irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress and chronic fatigue syndrome which are all attributable to being ill while on holiday. First Choice Holidays investigated the claim and, after negotiation with Julian´s legal representatives, settled out of court with compensation for holiday food poisoning of 286,500 pounds.

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Trip in Pub Compensation Awarded to Well Heeled Smoker

A woman, who fell in the smoking area of her local pub due to the heel of her stiletto shoe snagging on a damaged floor, has settled her trip in pub compensation claim with the bar´s insurers for 18,000 pounds. Selena Gilder (40) from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, had just finished a cigarette in the smoking area of the town´s Albion Pub in April 2007, and was returning to her seat in the main area of the pub, when the heel of her shoe got caught in broken concrete. She tripped and then fell, smashing her knee, breaking her leg and sustaining severe scar injuries. Selena had to undergo three operations to repair the damaged knee and missed eight months from work due to her injuries. During this time she suffered financial hardship as well as the pain from her broken leg. After seeking advice from a personal injury solicitor, Selena made a tripped in pub compensation claim, stating that she fell due to the state of the floor which she may have been able to avoid had the lighting not been so poor. The pub´s insurers agreed to settle the claim for 18,000 pounds once they had seen Selena´s medical records.

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