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Work Injury Claims

In order to make work injury claims for compensation, it has to be established that you sustained a loss or injury due to the negligence of an employer who owed you a duty of care. Certain procedures can be followed which will help support your work injury claims but, in a tough economic climate, some people are apprehensive about making work injury claims for compensation due to potentially harmful consequences to future employment prospects. However, by discussing your claim for work injury compensation with an experienced personal injury solicitor, you can avoid any awkward workplace confrontations and receive helpful and practical advice to maximise the value of your work injury claims.

Toxic Chemical Personal Injury Claims Made Against the Defence Forces

Toxic chemical personal injury claims have been made against the defence forces as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals at one of their airfields. In early 2017, a document in which a worker employed by the Defence Forces claimed to have proof of the “the untimely deaths of at least 20 adults…of which I believe died of illness related to unprotected chemical exposure” was made public. The whistleblower was stationed at the Baldonnel Airfield. The document included evidence that children of the Air Corps workers at the site also died due to their parents toxic chemical injury. The file mentioned specifically the death of a newborn girl due to ventricular septal defect (heart defect), a five year old boy died while having surgery to address a ‘malrotated intestine’ and a girl aged 15 died after contracting Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of cancer. The latter girl’s father is suffering from leukaemia at present. The wives of members of the defence forces have been making claims the effects of chemical exposure for some time. A mechanic, who previously worked with the Air Corps, noticed that a number of these women had experienced more than one miscarriages and in one particular case, a woman had eight consecutive miscarriages. This suspicious trend was brought to the attention of the authorities, and an independent third party, former civil servant Christopher O’Toole, was appointed by the Minister for Defence in 2016, to investigate the allegations Leader of Fianna Fáil Mr Micheál Martin said he believes a Commission of Investigation is now necessary. He stated “The situation is far from satisfactory because with his opening comments the report’s author is essentially saying he cannot fulfill the terms of reference. From the Government’s point of view they established this review, they must have known the terms of reference could not be fulfilled. It’s farcical.” Although the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have advised that procedures into risk assessment need to be reviewed, a whistleblower has said that these steps are “too little, too late”, especially in the case of those who have lost family members or who have developed life-changing illnesses and injuries. Allegations have been made stating that these deaths are due to organizational failure on the part of the Defence Forces which meant that Air Corps personnel were exposed to toxic chemicals. The Defence Forces are now facing Toxic Chemical Personal Injuries compensation actions by some former employees. The Defence Forces have released a statement stating, “Given these matters are subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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Judge Awards Garda €30,000 in Mouth Injury Compensation

A member of an Garda Síochána has been awarded €30,000 compensation for an injury to his mouth that he suffered while attending to a reported incident at a house in Finglas. Sean Kelly (aged 31), received the scar nearly five years ago while on duty, in January 2012. Garda Kelly had been called to a house in Finglas to deal with a man who was threatening self harm. As he had just been released from a psychiatric institution, he was deemed dangerous, and two colleagues accompanied Garda Kelly to the scene. In court, Garda Kelly stated that the man was known to have taken a large quantity of non-prescriptive medication. He had locked himself in his bathroom, and was threatening to jump from the window. Garda Kelly and his colleagues attempted to apprehend the man. While doing so, he was struck on his mouth with a toilet brush holder which lacerated his lip. The laceration serious bleeding and he had to be taken to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown to be treat immediately. Medical staff examined the wound, and found a piece of porcelain was found to be still embedded in his upper lip. X-rays revealed he had not suffered any major fractures. Garda Kelly was given a local anaesthetic injection and received seven stitches, several of them on the inside of his mouth. The injury later became infected,  and was prescribed a course of antibiotics until the infection cleared up. He said he could still feel the inside scar with his tongue.  The scar on the outside of his lip was noticeable at conversational distance and he was still very conscious of it. Barrister Fiona Gallagher, who was representing Garda Kelly, stated that he remains sensitive about a scar on his upper lip and told Mr Justice Bernard Barton he was still conscious of the star-shaped scar. However, Garda Kelly himself joked with the presiding judge that he might have to wear make-up when he gets married next weekend. Counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure, Barrister Derek Ryan told the court that, based no conflicting medical reports, he did not think that Garda Kelly has suffered Post Traumatic Stress to the extent that it warranted an exceptional compensation award. After taking this information into account, the judge awarded Garda Kelly €30,000 for his injury and consequent scar. He was not awarded any compensation for his Post Traumatic Stress claim. The judge closed the case, and wished Garda Kelly well for his imminent wedding.

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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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Unfair Dismissal Claim Heard by Workplace Relations Commission

The Workplace Relations Commission has awarded a man €15,000  in compensation for his unfair dismissal from the Boyne Valley Group. A supervisor at the Boyne Valley Group´s distribution centre was dismissed for allegations of gross misconduct in May 2015. The man, originally from Drogheda in County Louth, was dismissed due to allegedly making personal remarks to a female colleague about her appearance, her future family plans and her financial affairs. It was further claimed that the supervisor had slapped the woman´s hand when she had asked to see a mobile phone he was holding at the time, and had made comments to her implying some of the workforce had been employed on the basis of sexual favours rather than merit. The woman´s complaint was supported by several colleagues, her mother and boyfriend. The Boyne Valley Group accused the man of singling out the woman and harassing them with unwanted attention. This resulted in him publicly to humiliating her on several occasions. An investigation was launched into the allegations, which led to no concrete evidence of a physical assault on the woman. However, the former supervisor was dismissed on the grounds of breaching the company´s policies on bullying and harassment. The man sought legal counsel and appealed the decision. He made a claim for compensation for unfair dismissal against his former employers. His case was heard recently by the Workplace Relations Commission and, under cross-examination, the man admitted making comments that could be considered insulting. He stated that he had realised his error and that he had tried to offer an apology.  However, the woman had refused it. The Chair of the Commission heard the details of the case against the former supervisor, afterwards commenting the processes the company had adopted during its investigation into the allegations and conducting the disciplinary procedures and been fair. The Chair also accepted it was not the Commission´s role to impose its own decision when the decision to dismiss was “within the band of reasonableness”. However, the Chair disagreed that the man´s dismissal was within the band of reasonableness, and said it was a disproportionate response to the situation. The Commission awarded the former supervisor €15,000 compensation for unfair dismissal, adding that, although the comments were unwelcome to the employee in question, the matter should have been dealt with in a more “constructive manner”, and should not have lead to the supervisor’s dismissal.

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Claiming Compensation for a Loss of Hearing at Work

Ensure you receive legal advice about claiming compensation for a loss of hearing at work to ensure the consequences of your injury are taken into account. Claiming compensation for a loss of hearing at work follows a straightforward procedure. Once you have been diagnosed with a noise induced hearing loss or a loss of hearing due to a sudden loud noise in the workplace, you apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim. Provided your employer does not withhold his or her consent for the Injuries Board to assess your claim, the Injuries Board will calculate how much compensation for a loss of hearing at work you are entitled to and, provided your employer´s insurers agree with the assessment, your claim is settled. However, the primary basis of the Injury Board´s assessment will be your doctor´s diagnosis. This only states the extent of the injury you have sustained, and not the consequences for your day-to-day living and any psychological injuries you have also sustained. Therefore, if you are unable to watch TV, drive or socialise with friends because of your loss of hearing, these are significant factors that should be accounted for in your application for assessment. The same applies if you have suffered a loss of confidence due to being unable to hear clearly. To ensure these factors are taken into account when the Injury Board conducts its assessment is to communicate them clearly on the application form – and the best way to achieve that is with the help of a solicitor who has experience of submitting applications for assessment to the Injuries Board. A solicitor will also be able to check the Injuries Board´s assessment to see if the proposed settlement is appropriate for the injury you have suffered and negotiate with your employer´s insurance company if you are approached with an unsolicited offer of compensation for a loss of hearing at work. Therefore, it is in your best interests to discuss your specific situation with a solicitor before submitting your application for assessment to the Injuries Board, or have somebody call on your behalf if your loss of hearing is total.

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Family Awarded Compensation for a Fatal Accident at Work

A family has been awarded almost €810,000 compensation for a fatal accident at work following an admission of liability by Cork County Council. On 23rd November 2012, Michael O´Donovan (44) from Aghabullogue in County Cork was fatally injured while helping to clear pine trees at the Carr’s Hill pumping station at Arderrig. Michael – who was an employee of Cork County Council – had been standing behind the digger being used to fell a fifty-foot-high Scots pine. But, as the tree fell, it landed on a telephone cable. The pole supporting the cable snapped and hit Michael on the head as it fell. An ambulance was summoned and Michael was resuscitated. However, the head injuries he sustained were fatal, and he died later that day in hospital. An inquest into the fatal accident returned a verdict of accidental death, but the jury was critical of the “careless and reckless” manner in which the task had been performed and made recommendations about how tree felling operations should be conducted in the future. The recommendations have since been adopted. Cork County Council was subsequently prosecuted for three health and safety failings, and fined €48,000 by Cork Criminal Court in February 2016. Following the conviction, Michael´s wife – Yvonne – and her three children claimed compensation for a fatal accident at work. Incredibly, Cork County Council denied liability for Michael´s death and contested their claim on the grounds he had contributed to the tragedy by his own lack of care. The civil hearing to resolve the claim took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Robert Eagar. The first day of the hearing, the court heard about the circumstances of the accident and, on day two, was told that Cork County Council was prepared to admit liability and the hearing could proceed for the assessment of damages only. After hearing actuarial evidence on behalf of the family, Judge Eagar awarded the family almost €810,000 compensation for a fatal accident at work.

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Creche Employee Injury Claim Settled during Liability Hearing

A childcare worker´s creche employee injury claim has been settled for an undisclosed sum during a hearing to determine liability at the Circuit Civil Court. In January 2015, Natasha Carberry (26) was working at the Precious Minds creche in Lucan, Dublin, when she was asked by a senior member of staff to help her change nappies in the babies room. Natasha was already looking after a group of one and two year old children, but she complied with the request, taking the children who were not sleeping with her. The senior member of staff left the babies room shortly after to attend to other matters, and Natasha was left alone with nine children. While she was helping one of the children, she tripped on a plastic plate that had been left on the floor and fell – twisting awkwardly as she landed and damaging soft tissues in her back and leg. Despite seeking prompt medical attention from her GP, Natasha still suffers from back pain as a result of her accident and may have to look for another career. She applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her creche employee injury claim, but Precious Minds withheld their consent for the assessment to proceed and Natasha was issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court. The hearing to determine liability was held recently before Judge Brian O´Callaghan at the Circuit Civil Court. At the hearing, a forensic engineer gave evidence that Natasha had been placed in an unduly stressful situation and that the creche had failed to have regard for her safety on the day of the accident due to the high child/adult ratio that existed once the senior member of staff left the room. Precious Minds contested the creche employee injury claim on the grounds that one of Natasha´s duties was to keep the floor clear of hazards to protect the children from coming to harm. The creche claimed that, as Natasha had failed to notice and remove the plastic plate over which she had tripped, she was the author of her own misfortune. However, following a brief adjournment, Judge O´Callaghan was informed that Natasha´s creche employee injury claim had been settled by mutual consent for an undisclosed sum and without an admission of liability. The judge complimented the two parties on reaching an agreement and awarded Natasha her legal costs before striking the claim.

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Judge Awards Compensation for an Injury Working in Dunnes Stores

A judge has awarded a woman €15,000 compensation for an injury working in Dunnes Stores after a damages assessment hearing at the Circuit Civil Court. In March 2012, Jessica Kelty (23) was working in Dunnes Stores in Tallaght, Dublin, when she was asked to go to the stockroom to bring a trolley of bread. As Jessica starting pushing the two-metre high trolley out of the stockroom, the tray on the top shelf of the trolley fell and struck her on the head. Jessica – who also lives in Tallaght – was given first aid by a colleague and then attended the A&E department at Tallaght Hospital, where she was detained overnight for observation. Despite being diagnosed with no permanent injury, she has since suffered headaches and neck pain. Jessica claimed compensation for an injury working in Dunnes Stores, and although the company admitted liability the amount of compensation being claimed was contested. No agreement could be found by negotiation, and the case went to the Circuit Civil Court for the assessment of damages. At the hearing, Judge Terence O´Sullivan heard the circumstances of Jessica´s accident and was told that she had been knocked to the ground and felt dizzy afterwards. Solicitors representing Dunnes Stores argued that there had been no significant injury and attributed her neck pain to the work Jessica now does as a hairdresser. Judge O´Sullivan noted that Jessica had not attended her doctor for three years after the accident or gone for any physiotherapy, and commented that she had done a poor job of looking after herself. Jessica´s solicitor told the judge that she had self-medicated with painkillers bought from her local pharmacy. Saying that the court drew the conclusion she “wasn´t that badly hurt”, Judge O´Sullivan awarded Jessica €15,000 compensation for an injury working in Dunnes Stores, and gave the store leave to appeal the award of compensation provided that a payment of €10,000 was paid immediately to Jessica.

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

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

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Roofer´s Fall from Height Injury Compensation Approved at High Court Hearing

The High Court has approved the settlement of a roofer´s fall from height injury compensation in favour of a man who suffered life-changing brain damage due to the accident. On 18th July 2012, Paul O’Brien (50) from Glenealy in County Wicklow was working on the roof of a house in Bray on the first day of a roofing contract – his first paid employment since the construction industry went into decline in 2008. When it started to rain, Paul went to descend from the roof of the house using a ladder that had been propped up against the property to provide access to the roof. As he attempted to get onto the ladder, it slipped on the timber decking it had been placed upon, and Paul crashed to the ground. Paul suffered a significant head trauma in the accident which manifested into permanent brain damage, and Paul now has limited short-term memory which will prevent him from ever working again. Through his wife – Sandra – Paul made a compensation claim for a roofer´s fall from height against his employer – Sean Lyons of Clondalkin, Dublin – claiming that Lyons failed to provide a safe environment in which to work or suitable scaffolding to enable him to conduct his work safely. It was also alleged that the ladder that had been provided was unfit for the purpose of safely descending from the roof, that it had not been fastened to the property, and that the combination of an unsuitable ladder and the wet timber decking on which it had been placed resulted in a hazardous means of exit from the roof. At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Sandra O´Brien had taken a two-year sabbatical from her job to care for her husband; and that a settlement of roofer´s fall from height injury compensation had been agreed out-of-court amounting to €1.5 million. Judge Irvine approved Paul´s settlement, stating that it was a good one when taking into consideration that Paul´s contributory negligence may have been a factor had the case gone to court. She then closed the hearing, saying that she sympathised with the position of the O’Brien family.

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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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Workplace Slip and Fall Injury Compensation Cost more than €22 Million in 2012

The Chief Executive of the HSA has issued a warning to employers after it was revealed that workplace slip and fall injury compensation cost industry more than €22 million in 2012. The warning to employers “to take some time this week to consider the safety systems they have in place and make sure not to leave anything to chance” came in a statement made by Martin O´Halloran – Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority – after it was revealed that a third of all accepted Injury Board assessments relating to accidents at work were attributable to workplace slip and fall injury compensation. Mr O´Halloran was commenting on figures released by the Injuries Board to coincide with European Week for Safety and Health at Work which showed that 807 assessments of injury compensation for accidents at work were accepted in 2012 amounting to more than €22 million (1), and he referred to a health and safety study which indicated that employees take less care at work because of the employer´s responsibility to prevent accidents It was also revealed that a quarter of all workplaces inspected by the Health and Safety Authority last year had not conducted a risk assessment to identify the dangers of slips and falls in the workplace, and that two of the highest accepted assessments of work place slip and fall injury compensation concerned avoidable fatal accidents. Other statistics released by the Injuries Board to coincide with the European Week for Safety and Health at Work included: · The average assessment of injury compensation for an accident at work was €27,286. · Men are twice as likely to sustain a workplace injury as women. · Almost one-in-three assessments were for workers in the 25 to 34 age group · One-in-five of the accepted assessments of workplace slip and fall injury compensation were for injuries which resulted in the plaintiff taking at least one month to recover. Mr O’Halloran concluded by saying “Effective management of workplace safety and health not only protects workers from injury and ill-health, but also has the potential to save businesses thousands of Euros. Proper management of workplace safety and health contributes to long-term commercial success and profitability”. (1) In 2012, less than one-third of the applications for assessment submitted to the Injuries Board were resolved through the Injuries Board process – indicating that the number of workplace slip and fall injury compensation claims last year could have been as high as 2,500.

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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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Claim for Injury from Chair at Work Resolved in Court

A woman from Canberra in Australia, who made a compensation claim for an injury from a chair at work, has had her claim resolved in court for more than AU$1 million. Terry Anne Downie was a team leader for the Australian Capital Territory Community Information and Referral Service when, in June 2002, she bought furniture for her office from Fyshwick – an ex-government furniture outlet store – including the chair which she was going to use at work. In October 2002, Terry Anne was using the telephone while sitting on the chair, when two of the plastic supports at the base of the chair snapped and she fell to the floor. A co-worker aid that she heard a loud crack and, when she turned around to see what had happened, witnessed Terry Anne struggling on the floor unable to get up. Terry Anne was taken to hospital, where it was found that a disc swollen by the accident at work was in contact with a nerve root in her spine. Doctors were unable to repair the damage and Terry Anne – now 51 years old – consequently suffers from ongoing pain and has developed a mental illness, sexual dysfunction and a permanent tingling sensation under the skin of her legs. Terry Anne was paid Au$190,000 in worker´s compensation in 2005 after making a claim for an injury from a chair at work against her employer, but she also made a private claim for accident injury compensation against the company that imported the chair from China – Jantom – claiming that the product was faulty when it was delivered in kit form to Fyshwick. The Community Information and Referral Service also made a claim against Jantom to recover the compensation for an injury from a chair at work they had already paid to Terry Anne and, at the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court, Judge Master David Harper ruled in favour of Terry Anne and her former employers after hearing expert testimony that the plastic moulding on the base of the chair had failed and caused two of the five supporting spokes to break. The judge awarded Terry Anne Au$933,030 compensation in settlement of her claim for an injury from a chair at work, plus a further Au$112,000 to cover past, present and future medical expenses. Announcing the verdict, Master David Harper said “Terry Anne has many years ahead of pain and depression. Her life is very different to the life she could have expected if it had not been for her injury. Her enjoyment of life, and the kind of life she is able to lead, have been altered immeasurably.”

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Binman to Receive Compensation for Being Burned by Hot Oil at Work

A binman is to receive compensation for being burned by hot oil at work after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court. Kamil Kozlowski (30) from Part West Point in Dublin feared that he would go blind after a hydraulic cable on the back of the garbage truck he was emptying bins into burst, and sprayed him in the face with hot oil. The accident – which occurred in Sandyford Road in Dublin in July 2011 – was quickly attended by an ambulance crew, who applied first aid at the scene of the accident and then took Kamil to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin. At the hospital, Kamil had his eyes rinsed and was prescribed eye drops; however, Kamil continued to experience pain in his left eye and it was a month before his vision returned to normal. Kamil sought legal advice, and made a claim for compensation for being burned by hot oil at work against his employers; claiming that they had breached their duty of care by failing to maintain the garbage truck to an acceptable standard. His employers – Panda Waste Services Ltd of Navan, County Meath – admitted their liability for Kamil´s injury, but the company´s insurers could not reach a satisfactory settlement of the claim with Kamil´s legal advisers. Consequently, the claim for being burned by hot oil at work was presented to Judge Alison Lindsay at the Circuit Civil Court, who – after hearing the circumstances of Kamil´s accident and injury – awarded him €15,565 compensation.

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Hotel Employee Door Injury Claim Settled in Court

A cleaning worker at the Rivercourt Hotel in Kilkenny, who lost part of her small finger when it was cut by a door slamming shut on it, has settled her hotel employee door injury claim in the High Court. Aneta Antoszcsyk (35) made her hotel employee door injury claim for compensation after losing the tip of her little finger on her left hand in a freak occurence. While Aneta was taking away a wooden door stop, which was keeping a door open, the door slammed shut with such force that it severed the top of her finger. Sadly it was not possible to reattach the removed tip of the finger and Aneta – who was seven months pregnant at the time of the incident in April 2011 – will be left with a permanent disfigurement. Having spoken to a solicitor regarding the incident, Aneta made a claim for hotel employee door injury against Gatehalf Limited (trading as Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel) alleging that, as her employers, the company had neglected to provide her with a safe workplace environment or safe system of work and had exposed her to the possibility of injury. It was claimed in the hotel worker finger injury claim that Aneta had never been guided or trained properly on the safe removal of door stops and that – as she was seven months pregnant – she should have had the assistance of a colleague for the task in question. The Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel did not accept liability for Aneta’s injury – alleging that she had contributed in whole or in part to her injury by putting her hand in an unsafe location while removing the door-stopper and displayed a lack of regard for her own safety on this occasion based on her previous experience of carrying out the same task. However, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith Ó Neill ruled in Aneta´s favour – stating that she had “sustained a most unfortunate injury” due to the negligence of her employers – and awarded her €50,000 in settlement in her hotel employee door injury claim.

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Electric Shock Accident at Work Compensation Claim Resolved Out of Court

A Dublin Airport baggage handler, who experienced two subsequent electric shocks when trying to connect a power cable line to a Boeing 737, has resolved his electric shock accident at work compensation claim out of court. Patrick Kemmy (39) from Blanchardstown in Dublin filed the compensation claim after experiencing a work injury while trying to link the electric cable to the jet in April 2009. At first Patrick felt it was caused by something that he had not done properly which led to the first electric shock, but on a second effort he received an even greater electrical shock. The work accident at Dublin Airport left Mr Kemmy suffering from a tingling sensation in his right arm – which still causes pain intermittently almost four years after the initial event – chest pains, headaches, shortness of breath and neck pains. Due to the injuries he suffered in the accident, Patrick has been unable to work nine or ten times. In his legal action, he claimed that his employers Servisair and the Dublin Airport Authority had directed him to use an electrical power cable which had not been sufficiently protected against the water which, as there was rain at the time, led to the electric shocks. Liability for Patrick´s injuries was denied by Servisair and the Dublin Airport Authority but, shortly before the compensation claim for an electric accident at work was to be heard at the High Court, officials were told that the claim had been settleed out of court. How much electric shock accident at work compensation Patrick received was not revealed.

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Waiter Makes Back Injury Claim against Slieve Russell Hotel

A former employee of the Quinn family-owned Slieve Russell Hotel , who was allegedly injured while stacking trays onto a trolley, has made a waiter back injury claim for compensation against the hotel and its parent company. Mr Justice Sean Ryan at the High Court heard how Robert Miloch, from Ballyconnell, County Cavan, had been squatting down to place trays onto a trolley when he heard a click in his back and started to feel a pain running from his back to his leg. After being told to go home and see his doctor, Mr Miloch was diagnosed with a lumbar back injury which prevents him from sitting for long periods of time, maintaining certain positions and picking up his nine-month-old baby. The court was also told that an MRI scan taken of Mr Miloch´s back revealed two discs putting pressure on a nerve and, as a result, he was advised not to return to work by his doctor. Mr Miloch has been unable to work since the injury was sustained in April 2010. After seeking legal advice, Mr Miloch made a waiter back injury claim against the Slieve Russell Hotel and Quinn Hotels Limited, alleging that he had sustained his injury due to the hotel´s negligence. Both defendants deny their liability for Mr Miloch´s injury and it was claimed in court that the claimant´s back injury could have been exacerbated by a rear-end collision he experienced in October 2010. It was also claimed that Mr Miloch´s doctor had described the fact that his patient could move in one position but not another as “paradoxical”. The case is ongoing.

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Compensation for Injury due to Unsafe Lorry Awarded to Bin Man

A waste disposal lorry driver, whose spine was crushed following a crash due to the front wheel of his vehicle collapsing, has been awarded 11.4 million dollars in compensation for injury due unsafe lorry at the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California. Raymond Mariolle (46) from Brentwood, California, had driven waste disposal lorries for Waste Management Co. for more than twenty years prior to his accident in 2007. On the day in question, the court heard that Raymond was driving his lorry near the Livermore airport when the front right hub of the vehicle broke – causing the front right wheel of the lorry to detach and sending the 55,000 pound vehicle crashing to the ground. As a result of the accident Raymond sustained a compression injury to his spine for which he has already undergone three operations and has more scheduled for the future. Raymond has to take strong painkillers to cope with the pain of his injuries and has unsuccessfully attempted to return to work in a non-driving capacity. After seeking legal advice, Raymond made a claim for compensation for injury due to unsafe lorry against the manufacturer of the vehicle – Volvo Trucks – the hub maker – Consolidated Metro – and the company that had modified the vehicle – Wittke Manufacturing – claiming that all three companies had known since 2004 that the aluminium hubs used in the vehicle´s modification were inadequate for the weight placed on them. The three defendants claimed that the hub had only broken due to the excessive amount of rubbish collected by the waste company and that Raymond had a pre-existing back condition which was only exacerbated by the accident. However, Raymond´s solicitor was able to produce evidence that engineers at Consolidated Metro had acknowledged the existing hubs were not sufficiently strong for the loads put on them and that alternatives should be used in the future. The jury at the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California found in Raymond´s favour, and awarded him 7.5 million dollars in general damages for the pain and suffering he had experienced with a further award of 2.4 million dollars in special damages for lost wages and medical costs. The jury also awarded Raymond´s wife – Regina – 1.5 million dollars for loss of marital and family relations. Liability was divided between all three defendants with Consolidated Metro being assigned 52 percent of the blame and 30 percent on Volvo Trucks.

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Compensation for Workplace Injuries in Ireland Decline in 2011

The value of compensation for workplace injuries in Ireland declined in 2011 according to statistics released last week by the Injuries Board to coincide with “World Day for Health and Safety at Work”. The figures showed a drop in compensation for workplace injuries in Ireland assessed by the Injuries Board from 25.1 million Euros in 2010 to 22.5 million Euros in 2011. Injuries sustained due to slips, trips and falls in the workplace, manual handling and defective equipment – particularly in the manufacturing industries – continued to account for the majority of workplace injuries in Ireland. However, Patricia Byron – chief executive of InjuriesBoard.ie – was quick to point out that the decline in compensation in workplace injuries in Ireland only mirrored the decline in the Irish workforce. “While our figures point to a downward trend in the number of claims for workplace accidents,” she said “the main driver for this is a contracting workforce rather than any notable advances in workplace health and safety programmes.” Ms Byron continued “We are continually surprised by the volume of such foreseeable and preventable claims. We understand that businesses today are under constant pressure to drive efficiencies, often operating with scarce resources, but cutting corners on employee safety is a cut too far. We are continually surprised by the volume of such foreseeable and preventable claims.”

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Injury Claim for Being Kicked by Cow

A cattle drover is to receive damages in his injury claim for being kicked by a cow from his employer after the Supreme Court ruled that the employer had placed the injured employee at risk. Mr. Patrick Lynch (53), had been one of a team of three cattle drovers who were employed by Co-operative Mart in October 2003 to herd cattle from a pen in the mart yard to a dividing pen prior to their entering the sales ring. However, on the day that Mr. Lynch sustained his injuries, his two companions had absented themselves temporarily, and it was claimed in court that Mr. Lynch had to perform the two absent drovers’ tasks, as well as his own, which required him to enter the individual pens while they were occupied by animals. When Mr. Lynch was moving through the animal pen to open a gate, the court heard how a Limousin bullock delivered a direct kick to Mr. Lynch’s groin, causing significant trauma to the scrotum and giving rise to a haemorrhage which caused damage to his right testis. Mr. Lynch was subsequently taken to hospital for medical treatment. The court ruled that, although a safe procedure of work was in place when all three drovers were present, there was no system of supervision by the employer. As the improper absence of the other two drovers exposed Mr. Lynch to danger, Co-operative Mart was liable for his injuries. The action has now been referred to the High Court for the assessment of damages.

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Former Miner to Receive Compensation for Mesothelioma Claim

A former miner, who was exposed to asbestos while working in Nottinghamshire collieries, is to receive 73,890 pounds (87,000 Euros) after his compensation for mesothelioma claim was resolved in London´s High Court. The personal injury settlement was made to Dennis Ball (92) from Beeston in Nottingham, after the court heard that the Department of Energy and Climate Change – the government department now responsible for managing the affairs of the National Coal Board – had admitted liability for Dennis´ illness and the asbestos related compensation claim was being presented for the assessment of damages. Mrs Justice Swift heard that Dennis had been a fiercely independent man prior to having been found struggling for air on the floor of his flat by his step-son in March 2010. Dennis had been moved into a care home, where he had been diagnosed as suffering from mesothelioma cancer, but such was his desire to live independently, Dennis was still paying the rent of his Beeston home. The judge also heard that Dennis´ illness had been contracted during an eighteen year period between 1967 and 1985 when he worked at the Sutton Colliery and the Moorgreen Colliery with no warning of the risks of working in an environment that contained asbestos, and without personal protective equipment to prevent exposure to the deadly fibres. Mrs Justice Swift awarded Dennis 73,890 pounds in respect of his compensation for mesothelioma claim; commenting that “Mr Ball’s age means that he does not have the distress of knowing that many years, even decades, of his life have been denied him. Importantly, however, the onset of illness forced him to leave his home and thus to lose his independence.”

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

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

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Nurse Receives Six-Figure Settlement for Nursing Home Injury Compensation

A nurse, who sustained back and nerve injuries after being left alone to care for fifty residents of an Australian nursing home, has been awarded AU 500,000 dollars in nursing home injury compensation by the Supreme Court in Victoria. Margaret Pozzobon (58) from Nanawading in Melbourne sustained the injuries in February 2006 when she was the only member of staff rostered to work a night shift at the Wantirna Aged Care Facility. Among those left in her care was a resident diagnosed with bipolar disorder who would strip his bed, lie on the floor and have to be picked up and returned to his bed six times a night. The resident, although classified as needing high grade care had been placed in a low grade care facility due to a lack of beds and, while in the course of lifting him back into bed, Margaret sustained a serious injury to her cervical spine which required surgery, nerve blocks and ongoing spinal injections. Due to her injury, Margaret was unable to continue working at the nursing home and has been unable to find work since because of her disability. After seeking legal advice, Margaret made a spinal injury compensation claim against the nursing home, alleging that her injury could have been prevented had the resident suffering from bipolar disorder been managed in the appropriate facility. The nursing home contested her claim but, after an eight day trial at the Supreme Court in Victoria, a jury found in Margaret´s favour and awarded her AU 500,000 dollars in nursing home injury compensation.

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RTE Employee Wins Claim for Elbow Injury Compensation

A props assistant at RTE´s Donnybrook Studios has won a claim for elbow injury compensation after a YouTube video clip was used in evidence at the Circuit Civil Court. Arthur McMullan (59) from Goatstown in Dublin worked at the RTE Studios as a props assistant when his accident occurred in February 2010. A stage curtain had got caught on a mirror ball and, while Arthur was attempting to unsnag the curtain, he tripped over a studio floor light, injuring his elbow in the process. The video clip which was shown to Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court showed Saturday Night Show host, Brendan O´Connor holding back the same curtain during a musical performance on the show and advising the producers that “I did warn you about this curtain”. Arthur´s personal injury claim was also supported by a work colleague who testified that the curtains had been an ongoing hazard for a number of years. After hearing from Arthur´s legal counsel that Arthur still experienced pain from the injury two years after the event Judge Jacqueline Linnane awarded Arthur 18,500 Euros in respect of his claim for elbow injury compensation against his employers, RTE.

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Wrongful Death at Work Claim results in €550k award

The family of a man, who was tragically crushed to death between two diggers in a workplace accident, is to receive 550,000 Euros compensation from the man´s former employers following a wrongful death at work claim. Ronan Conway (27) died after leaving the cab of his vehicle to look at something in the ground in front of where he was working. Sadly he had failed to lock the safety lever on the digger before leaving the vehicle and was crushed between his digger and another working on the site. Following an investigation into the fatal accident of November 2008, Ronan’s fiancée of eight years Anne Marie Morgan (30) of Kilcullen, County Wicklow, claimed wrongful death at work compensation from Ronan’s former employers – OB Hire and Sales Limited – alleging that they were responsible for Ronan’s fatal accident due to permitting him to work in a yard which had “little or no lighting”. OB Hire and Sales Limited denied the allegations – claiming that Ronan had not followed the training he had been given in the operation of the digger and that it was his own negligence which led to his fatal accident. However, at Dublin High Court, Mr Justice John Quirke heard that the company had made an offer to settle the claim for wrongful death at work compensation which the family were willing to accept. The final amount of compensation had been reduced to account for Ronan’s contributory negligence and was to be divided between the claimant, Ronan’s parents and siblings, and the children both Ronan and Ms Morgan had from their previous relationships.

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Work Back Injury Claim results in €45k award

A former Ryanair baggage handler has been awarded €45,000 compensation in a work back injury claim.  Damian Warcaba of Malahide, County Dublin, was injured in an accident at Dublin Airport on July 17th, 2007, while moving aircraft stairs unassisted.  Mr Warcaba was taken to to Beaumont Hospital and was out of work for two months. The standard operating procedure needs two people to manoeuvre aircraft stairs manually for about three metres to rest against an aircraft. Ryanair contested the case, saying that it provided standard training to employees and regretted that the standard operating procedures where not adhered to at the time. Ryanair pointed out that Mr Warcarba had breached the standard operating procedures and was in this case solely responsible for his work back injury. Mr Justice Peter Charleton ruled in the High Court that Ryanair did not provide sufficient workers to ensure that the correct operating procedures were followed.

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Leg Amputation Litigation results in almost €200k award

A pensioner, who broke his leg in three places when falling into a hole at his local park, has been awarded 160,000 pounds in settlement in his leg amputation litigation against his local council after the injuries resulted in the amputation of his leg. Edward Tuffrey (67), a former window cleaner from Barnes, Middlesex, was walking his dog in the Suffolk Road Recreational Ground in May 2006 when his foot plunged into a ten-inch hole in the ground. Despite the insertion of a metal plate and nine screws, the leg did not heal and after the metal plate snapped in 2008, an infection developed in the leg which resulted in its amputation. Edward made a personal injury claim against Richmond Council on the basis that he and other local residents had complained to the council about the state of the recreational ground for several years without anything being done. Richmond Council were found negligent and to blame for Edward´s injuries by the Mayor and City of London Court in October 2010 but given leave to appeal. Shortly before the appeal case was due to be heard in December 2011, the council and Edward´s legal representatives arrived at a negotiated settlement which will see the council pay Edward €194,000 pounds for his injuries.

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Brain Damage Work Injury Claim leads to £11.6m for man

A dock worker, who sustained a brain injury when hit by a defective mooring cable, has won his brain damage at work injury claim. Cody Karl of League City, Texas, was employed at the Magellan Terminal located on the Houston Ship Channel when, on 1st June 2008, he formed part of a team assigned to dock a 600 foot tanker. Cody was on board a docking skiff when one of the cables used to moor the ship parted and hit him on the head. Despite wearing a hard hat, Cody was diagnosed with brain injuries which resulted in cognitive dysfunction and a loss of physical strength along the left side of his body. After seeking legal counsel, Cody made an injuries at work claim against the Magellan Terminal, claiming that the mooring cable was in an unsafe condition for the tension it had to withstand. Cody’s employers argued the claim, stating that Cody himself should have seen that the cable had deteriorated and was not safe to use, but at the 125th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas, Judge Christine Butts found in favour of the claimant and awarded him €11.6m.

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Toe Injury at Work Claims: Man awarded €16k

A postal worker, who damaged the big toe on his right foot when a delivery of floorboards fell onto it, has won his claim for injuries at work at the Circuit Court in Dublin. Edward Pyne (61) of Balbriggan, County Dublin, brought his claim against An Post after the accident in November 2006 left him in need of several operations for an ingrown toenail which had resulted from the injury. He also claimed that he had suffered from several infections which had developed in the damaged toe. Circuit Court president, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard how An Post should have provided steel toe-capped boots as part of a postal worker´s uniform, but Edward had long worn out the pair that had been most recently given to him three years previously. As a result the shoes he was wearing on the day of the accident offered insufficient protection against such an accident happening. An Post refused to deny liability for Edward’s claim, but Mr Matthew Deery heard evidence that many of Edward’s colleagues at the Balbriggan Post Office also failed to wear the obligatory steel toe-capped footwear, and had An Post provided better supervision of their staff, the accident could have been avoided. Upholding Edward’s claim for injuries at work, Mr Justice Matthew Deery said that he was satisfied that An Post had failed to provide adequate protective footwear for their staff, and awarded Edward 16,000 Euros in personal injury compensation.

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Work Ankle Injury Claim

A New York City sanitation engineer, who made a work ankle injury claim when a colleague ran over his leg in a forklift truck, has accepted €4m in compensation in an out-of-court settlement. Andrew Anderson (37) from New York City, was helping the colleague install a snow plough to the forklift truck when the accident happened in early 2008. His co-worker accidently ran over Andrew’s ankle, causing a severe ankle fracture which required two surgeries to correct. Andrew also developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy during post-operative complications and sustained foot drop – for which he now needs the use of a foot brace. Since his accident, Andrew has not been able to work and been forced to take early retirement from the City of New York. After taking legal counsel, Andrew sued the City of New York for his injuries. Liability was undisputed and the case was heard in the New York Supreme Court for assessment of damages. However, just before the jury were about to begin their deliberations, lawyers on the two sides reached a negotiated settlement of €4m to compensate Andrew for personal injury, lost earnings and loss of consortium.

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Man who Lost Leg in Workplace Accident awarded €1.2m

A man, who lost his leg in a workplace accident when it became trapped in a grain bin, has been awarded €1.2 million in a product liability compensation claim against the designer of the grain bin – Ken Babcock Sales Inc. – and his employer – the Fredonia Cooperative Association. Sam Rollings (23), was sweeping out corn in the grain bin in January 2007, when he slipped and his right foot became entangled in the drag chain of the grain bin conveyor system. His leg was pulled into the machine and Sam suffered such severe injuries to his right foot and lower leg that surgeons could not rescue it. In a legal action against the designer of the grain bin and his employer, it was claimed that there were no protective barriers or guard rails in the grain bin, and that no instructions or warnings were ever issued to employees working in the grain bin about the hazards which were present. Claiming personal injury due to product liability, the case was tried before a District Court Judge. After seven hours of deliberation, the jury agreed with Sam that both Ken Babcock Sales and the Fredonia Cooperative Association were jointly responsible for his injuries, and awarded a total of €1.2 million to cover a loss of salary, past medical expenses and future medical care.

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Facial Scarring at Work Injury Claim results in award of £67,000

A truck driver, who was struck by a steel wedge, has been awarded £67,000  by the High Court in a facial scarring at work injury claim. Mr Justice John MacMenamin heard how Keith Dowling (38) was almost decapitated as a wedge of steel, being used to secure the ballast weight on his trailer, shot from its mounting causing permanent damage to Mr. Dowling’s face. The wedge, which measured 14 inches by 6 inches, was being hammered in place by a colleague when the accident happened.

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Whiplash Injury Litigation settled for £13,300 award

A man, who claimed that injuries from a head-on car crash affected his weight loss program, has been awarded almost £13,300 compensation in a whiplash injury litigation case. The judge was told how Declan O’Hora (45) had suffered injuries to his neck and shoulders following a road traffic accident in October 2008. These injuries, it was claimed, prevented Mr. O’Hora from continuing with swimming exercises designed to help with a weight loss problem, and had also been responsible for the development of sleep apnoea – a condition where the sufferer experiences abnormal pauses in breathing while sleeping, leading to daytime sleepiness and fatigue. As liability had been conceded by the negligent driver – Brian Duggan of Knocklyon, County Dublin – the only issue still to be determined was the amount of personal injury compensation to be awarded. This was set by Mr Justice Matthew Deery at just under £13,300.

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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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Foot Burn at Work Injury Claims sees employer found liable

A welder called Ignacio Llamas was recently awarded €6.4 million as compensation for a foot burn at work injury claim when he suffered severe burning when a molten piece of metal broke loose and slid down his foot. The metal burned through a protective Tyvek suit, slid down Llamas jeans and into his rubber boot, and burned the top of his foot. Llamas was working in a confined area and it took some time to remove his boot and take the molten metal off his foot. Llamas was not wearing leather boots, which are normally worn by welders. Welders’ trousers usually fit over the upper part of the boots to prevent anything falling into them. Llamas was wearing rubber boots that fit over the jean with a gap for falling debris. This meant that his employers were negligent. The incident happened in February 2007 and the legal relationships were complicated by various subcontracting agreements. The jury assessed liability between different parties – the  contractor Altair Strickland at 19 percent; Certified Safety Specialists at 50 percent; Llamas’ actual employer, Turnaround Welding Services at 30 percent; and finally Llamas at 1 percent,.  The jury effectively found that Llamas was not responsible for his  injury. The employer Turnaround Welding was insured by a Worker’s Compensation program and Altair Strickland settled before trial for substantially less. The injury was compounded when a Certified Safety Specialist employee instructed Llamas to attend a doctor who did not correctly treat the wound after an emergency doctor said he suffered third-degree burns. The resulting infection worsened the injury.

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Lifting at Work Injury Claim Settled for Hospital Porter

A hospital porter, who claimed that he required surgery on his shoulder due to an injury sustained when he lifted a dead man from a hospital bed, has settled his lifting at work injury claim against the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght. Austin Dowling (59) from Tallaght, County Dublin, alleged in an injury compensation claim that he suffered pain and loss of movement in his right shoulder following the accident in January 2005. The injury occurred, Austin claimed, as there was no proper equipment provided at the hospital for mortuary porters to slide a body onto a concealment trolley, and he had received no formal training on the use of the type of containment trolley that was being used. Austin also claimed that there was no safe system for his type of work implemented at the hospital and that the trolley he had been provided with was unsafe. The lifting at work injury claim was settled for an undisclosed sum without the need for the case to go to court and without an admission of liability from the hospital.

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