Saturday , December 15 2018

Family to Receive Compensation for Fatal Birth Medical Negligence

A family from Castlebar in County Mayo is to receive 850,000 Euros in compensation for fatal birth medical negligence following a High Court hearing.

Padraic Flanagan (43) made the claim for fatal birth medical negligence compensation following an inquest into the death of his wife – Evelyn – who died while giving birth to her second child at the Mayo General Hospital in October 2007.

Although an initial post-mortem determined that Evelyn´s death was possibly attributable to an amniotic fluid embolism, the family criticised the findings and claimed that the deterioration in her condition after the birth of her child was due to an avoidable postpartum haemorrhage due to a rupture of Evelyn´s uterus which was not detected or adequately dealt with.

The inquest into Evelyn´s death in 2009 returned a verdict of death by medical adventure, after which Padraic Flanagan made the claim for fatal birth medical negligence compensation against the Health Service Executive and consultant obstetrician, Dr Murtada Mohamed. Both the Mayo General Hospital and Dr Mohamed denied their liability for Evelyn´s death, but her widower persisted with his action.

Shortly before Padraic´s claim was to be heard in court, Mayo General Hospital eventually admitted during pre-trial mediation that Evelyn´s death could have been prevented with greater care. The case continued to the High Court for assessment of damages and, after hearing the circumstances of Evelyn´s death, Mr Justice Michael Peart awarded the family 850,000 Euros in compensation for fatal birth medical negligence against the Health Service Executive. The claim against Dr Mohamed was struck out.

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.

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.

Claim for Symphysiotomy Compensation Upheld in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has upheld a claim for symphysiotomy compensation which resulted in an award of 450,000 Euros in March this year, but reduced the award to 325,000 Euros.

The original claim for symphysiotomy compensation was made by Olivia Kearney (60) from Castlebellingham, County Louth and was heard in the High Court in March in front of Mr Justice Sean Ryan. At the time, Mr Justice Sean Ryan found in Olivia´s favour, and ruled that a symphysiotomy procedure which had been performed in 1969 after the successful delivery of Olivia´s son by Caesarean Section had been unjustified.

The judgement was appealed by Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on the grounds that the symphysiotomy procedure was medically and ethically justified at the time. The hospital claimed that, in 1969, there were many clinicians who shared the same views on symphysiotomy as Dr Gerard Connolly – the obstetrician who had performed the unnecessary symphysiotomy when Olivia was just eighteen years old.

However, the five-judge Supreme Court unanimously upheld Olivia´s claim for symphysiotomy compensation, with Mr Justice John MacMenamin – announcing the Supreme Court´s decision – stating “the procedure was wrong, even by the standards of the time” and that “it was unfathomable by today’s standards and even by those of 1969 had no justification whatever”.

The verdict of the Supreme Court ends a ten-year legal battle for Olivia, who only found out that she had undergone the procedure after listening to a radio program in 2002. Explaining the reason behind the reduction in the award of symphysiotomy compensation, Mr Justice John MacMenamin acknowledged that Olivia had endured very serious injuries, but they had not resulted in a total inability to live independently, to work, or to engage in any form of meaningful social life.

Child Bicycle Injury Claim Settled Prior to High Court Hearing

A boy, who suffered a broken leg and head injuries in a cycling accident with a car, has been awarded 100,000 Euros in settlement of his child bicycle injury claim at Dublin´s High Court.

Bartosz Zakrzewski (11) from Birr in County Offaly was involved in the accident in July 2010 as he cycled along An Coran Street in Birr on his three-wheeled bicycle. His bicycle was hit by a car with such force that he was thrown across the road – suffering head injuries and lacerations to his body while also sustaining a broken leg.

Through his mother – Monika – Bartosz made a child bicycle injury claim against the driver of the car – Caitriona Kelly, also of Birr, County Offaly. Ms Kelly denied that she had been driving negligently or that she was liable for Bartosz´s injuries and, due to the potential amount of damages that could be awarded in a case of this nature, Bartosz´s child bicycle injury claim was scheduled to be heard at the Dublin High Court.

However, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that an agreement had been reached that would see Bartosz receive 100,000 Euros without Ms Kelly having to make an admission of liability. Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard the circumstances of the claim and approved the award – stating as she did that she had sympathy for both the Zakrzewski family and Ms Kelly.

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.

Insurers Ordered to Pay Damages for Rear-End Accident Claim of Collusion

A judge at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court has ordered insurance company AXA to pay a claimant aggravated damages after the company made allegations of collusion in defence of a claim for rear-end injury compensation.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery imposed the order after the company and their client – Gary Reilly, of Ballyfermot, County Dublin – failed to pursue allegations of collusion against claimant James O’Sullivan, of Clane, County Kildare following a rear-end accident which occurred in Eirhouse in County Dublin in September 2008.

The judge heard how an affidavit had been sworn on behalf of AXA insurance company and Reilly alleging collusion between O´Sullivan and another defendant in the case, but the claim was not pursued in the hearing – prompting Mr Justice Matthew Deery to criticise the manner in which the two defendants had defended the claim.

He ordered the insurance company and Reilly to jointly and severally pay O´Sullivan 3,000 Euros damages for their rear-end accident claim of collusion in addition to the award of 7,750 Euros for whiplash injury which was made against the AXA insurance company.

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.

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.

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.

Fall in Toy Shop Injury Compensation Approved for Five-Year-Old

A child of five, who cut her head in a fall at Hamleys Toy Store in Dublin, has had a negotiated settlement of fall in toy shop injury compensation approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, heard that Brianna Healy from Ballinteer in Dublin was just two years of age when the accident occurred in the store at the Dundrum Shopping Centre in February 2009.

Brianna´s father – Steven, through who the little girl made the claim for fall in toy shop injury compensation – told Mr Justice Matthew Deery that Brianna´s head had split open and she will be left with a permanent scar for the rest of her life.

The judge also heard that a previous offer of 20,000 Euros had been declined by the family on legal advice, but they were happy to accept the revised offer of 27,500 Euros in compensation for fall in toy shop injury. Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement.

Compensation for Overseas Road Traffic Injury Resolved in Court

In a landmark ruling at the High Court, compensation for overseas traffic injury was determined applying judicial discretion rather than the Book of Quantum for the country in which the injury was sustained.

The case in which the judgement regarding compensation for overseas road traffic injury was made concerned Peter Kelly (75) of Ranelagh, Dublin, who in June 2009 was run over by a maintenance van belonging to the municipality of Cannes while on holiday in France. Peter fractured his hip in the overseas road traffic accident and, in 2011, had to undergo a hip replacement operation.

Although the municipality´s insurers – Groupama – accepted liability for Peter´s injuries, the company argued that the compensation for overseas road traffic injury should be resolved according to the French Book of Quantum rather than that of Ireland which awards significantly higher levels of personal injury compensation.

Accepting the argument, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill at the High Court, applied the methodology that would be used in a French court to determine how much compensation for overseas road traffic injury Peter should receive, but added a considerable amount of damages to compensate Peter – who had enjoyed a high level of physical activity prior to his accident – for his loss of amenity.

The judge noted that although any figures quoted in the French Book of Quantum could be considered a viable guide, it did not restrict a judge in determining how much compensation for overseas road traffic accident should be awarded in total. Consequently, and including 24,267 Euros which had already been agreed in special damages, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill awarded Peter 88,167 Euros in compensation for overseas road traffic accident rather than the 62,773 Euros he would have received had his damages been assessed in France.

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.”

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.

Record Settlement for Compensation Claim against Uninsured Parent

A record compensation settlement has been awarded to a ten-year-old boy who had made a compensation claim against uninsured parent after suffering devastating injuries in a car accident for which his mother was to blame.

Cullen Kennedy from Loughrea, County Galway, made the claim through his grandmother against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland following the events of 5th May 2008 when his uninsured mother veered across the road and into the path of an oncoming vehicle due to being distracted by her son on the way to taking him to school.

Both Cullen´s mother and the driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries, but Cullen – who had been strapped into a bolster chair on the back seat – was catapulted into the windscreen and suffered terrible spinal injuries which left him a quadriplegic and requiring a ventilator to breathe.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard at Dublin´s High Court that Cullen´s mother and grandmother have been caring for Cullen since his tragic accident with support from nurses and special needs assistants. Despite his debilitating injuries, Cullen suffered no mental impairment and was described in Court as a “lively and vivacious” child.

Approving the record settlement of 11.5 million Euros, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said although the outcome of the compensation claim against uninsured parent was “excellent” and should meet Cullen´s lifelong care requirements, she was concerned that laws providing for periodic payment orders had not yet been introduced.

Acknowledging that the government had significant issues to deal with elsewhere, she said “The reality is the courts don’t know when people are going to die,” and expressed concerns that catastrophically injured people could run out of funds to provide for their care if they lived longer than medical experts believed they would.

Car Crash Injuries Compensation Awarded by Court

A volunteer New York firefighter, who sustained terrible injuries when his car was in collision with a Ford works vehicle, has been awarded 1.275 million dollars by a court in Oneida County after his legal team rejected an initial offer of car crash injuries compensation from Ford´s insurers.

The jury at Oneida County Supreme Court heard how Paul Tully from Utica, New York, was driving past the NYE Ford facility in Oneida, New York, when a vehicle driven by Ford employee – Keith Chase – emerged from the manufacturing plant and crashed into him.

Paul sustained terrible injuries to his head and spine in the accident and spent a significant time recovering in hospital. The jury also heard that since the accident in 2009, Paul has been unable to return to work and still requires full-time care to assist with his day-to-day activities.

Liability for the accident was admitted by Keith Chase, who confessed to not looking left along Genesee Street as he pulled away from the Ford facility, and the jury was told that the case was before them for assessment of damages only after Paul´s legal advisors had rejected an offer of car crash injuries compensation amounting to 150,000 dollars.

After due consideration, the jury at Oneida County Supreme Court awarded Paul 1.275 million dollars – comprising of 675,000 dollars for the pain and suffering he experienced at the time of the car crash, 400,000 dollars in relation to medical expenses Paul and his family had already incurred and were likely to incur in the future, and 200,000 for future pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

Symphysiotomy Medical Negligence Compensation Awarded in High Court

A woman who underwent a needless symphysiotomy operation without her knowledge or consent has been awarded 450,000 Euros in symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation in Dublin´s High Court.

Olivia Kearney (60) of Castlebellingham, County Louth, was just eighteen years of age when she gave birth to her son at the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda in 1969. While she was still anaesthetised following the Caesarean Section operation, Dr Gerard Connolly – the consultant obstetrician attending Olivia – performed a symphysiotomy procedure in which the cartilage between Olivia´s left and right pubic bones was cut to widen the pelvis.

Unaware that the procedure had been performed, Olivia suffered with back pain, incontinence and depression without knowing the reason why for more than thirty years. In 2002, Olivia was listening to a radio program in which the presenter was relating the experiences of women who had undergone the symphysiotomy procedure and the symptoms described in the radio program matched those which Olivia had suffered from all her adult life.

After obtaining her medical records and seeking legal advice, Olivia made a claim for symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation but, in 2006, Olivia´s claim was rejected by the High Court on the grounds that   “there would have to be expert evidence available on both sides to debate the appropriateness of the procedure carried out” and, as Dr Connolly had since died, the necessity for the symphysiotomy procedure could not be explained.

Olivia revised her claim for symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation, claiming instead that there was no justification in any circumstances for a symphysiotomy procedure to be carried out immediately after a successful Caesarean Section delivery – meaning that an explanation of whether the procedure was required “at that time and in those circumstances” was no longer relevant. The Supreme Court agreed with her argument and gave Olivia leave to reintroduce her claim.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Sean Ryan heard that representatives of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital could not produce evidence to explain why the unnecessary procedure was performed and, finding favour of Olivia, awarded her 450,000 Euros in symphysiotomy medical negligence compensation – stating that Olivia had suffered a lifetime of “pain, discomfort and embarrassment” due to the unnecessary symphysiotomy procedure.

Massive Rise in Hospital Compensation Settlements in 2010

According to details released by the State Claims Agency, it  has already paid out on fifth more in hospital compensation settlements during  the first eight months of the year compared with the calender year 2009.

The State Claims Agency had already paid hospital compensation settlements of €59.9 million up to August 2010, compared to the 2009 total hospital compensation settlement payments of €48 million.  At the current progression,  the Agency will make compensation settlements of almost €90 million throughout 2010.  This is an increase of almost 50% on the previous year.

Mary Harney, The Minister for Health, has revealed some measures to improve the safety of patients. Chief among these are draft healthcare standards formulated by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa), which has now begun a public consultation phase.

The Health Minster said that about 10% of hospital admissions encountered an ‘adverse event’, and about 1% of the these events would result in injury or death.  Commenting on the adverse events, the Minister Harney stated “Many of them are systemic failings and many of them are avoidable”.

However, as with the recent DePuy recall, it should also be noted out that though the rate of adverse events in HSE run hospitals is relatively high, the HSE is not always to blame.

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.

School Sports Injury Compensation Awarded to Brain Damaged Student

A boy, who suffered a traumatic brain injury due to playing high school football, has been awarded 4.4 million dollars in school sports injury compensation in an out-of-court negotiated settlement.

Scott Eveland (22) from San Marcos, California, collapsed on the side of the pitch after playing the first half of a high school American football game for the Mission Hills High School Grizzlies in September 2007.

He was rushed to hospital where doctors identified extensive internal bleeding around Scott´s brain and were only able to save his life by removing part of his skull. As a result of his injuries, Scott is unable to stand or walk and can only communicate through a specially designed keyboard.

After taking legal advice from a personal injury attorney, Scott´s mother – Diane – made a claim for school sports injury compensation against the San Marcos Unified School District, alleging that the football team´s head coach had ignored signs that Scott was in distress prior to the game and refused Scott´s requests to sit out.

Diane´s allegations were supported by a former teammate of Scott, who testified in a deposition that Scott had complained to the team´s athletic trainer about having headaches a week before the incident and had missed several practice sessions. The teammate also confirmed that Scott had asked to sit the game out a few minutes before the first quarter started, but his request was denied.

The out of court school sports injury compensation settlement of 4.4 million dollars was made without admission of liability, and a joint statement  was issued in which both sides agreed “the settlement did not suggest that the staff of the Mission Hills High School intentionally contributed to the unfortunate and tragic accident that occurred during a high school football game”.

Compensation Claims in Ireland Increase for Fifth Year Running

The latest annual report by the Injuries Board has revealed that the number of compensation claims in Ireland has increased for the fifth year running.  

In 2011, the Injuries Board received 27,669 applications for assessment compared to 26,964 in 2010 – an increase of 3 per cent in line with the trend seen in recent years. Of those applications, 9,834 (35 per cent) received assessments, with the remainder of the compensation claims in Ireland being resolved by negotiation or declined for assessment.

The total Compensation amounts in Ireland also appear to be increasing – with the total value of claims assessed by the Injuries Board rising to almost 210 million Euros.

In 2011, compensation claims in Ireland for injury at work fell to just 8.4 per cent of the applications for assessment made to the Injuries Board, while public liability compensation claims in Ireland remained steady at 15.1 per cent and claims for injuries sustained in road traffic accidents increased to 76.5 per cent. The Injuries Board does not assess compensation claims for medical negligence or those in which liability is disputed.

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.”

DePuy Pinnacle Injury Claims made following BBC Investigation

An investigation carried out by the BBC´s Newsnight programme and the British Medical Journal has made DePuy Pinnacle injury claims similar to those which led to the DePuy ASR hip replacement recall of August 2010.  

The investigation alleges that high levels of cobalt and chromium are entering the blood streams of patients who have had the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement implanted, causing the hip replacements to fail as bone decay, tissue necrosis and inflammation make the metal-on-metal hip implant system unstable. The blood contamination, or “system toxicity”, is caused by debris produced by the friction within the ball and cup of the implant forming a mass around the hip implant or dispersing into the blood.

Injuries that patients implanted with the Pinnacle hip replacement system have encountered include:-

Inflammations, pains and rashes around the hip area
Grinding, clicking or popping sounds coming from implant
Pains in the thigh or groin – especially when bearing heavy loads
Pains in the hip area when rising from a seated position
The development of cysts anywhere around the body

The DePuy Pinnacle injury claims made by the BBC and British Medical Journal are supported by evidence collected from UK hospitals and clinics in America, which shown chromium levels in the blood of up to 50 times the normal amount – a particular concern for women of child-bearing age who have received metal-on-metal hip implants, as high levels of metal ions had been found in umbilical cords and the placental blood of women who have given birth.

The investigation did not stop with DePuy Pinnacle injury claims. All metal-on-metal hip replacement systems were identified as being potentially harmful, and the BBC/British Medical Journal report particularly condemned the UK medical regulator – The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – for allowing faulty hip replacements into the market without any form of clinical trials.

It was alleged that data had been available since 2005 which should have alerted the MHRA to the potential dangers of metal-on-metal hip replacements, and that the MHRA had failed in its duty of care to 60,000 recipients of metal-on-metal hip implants as the agency responsible for ensuring that medical devices work and are acceptably safe.

NOTE: If you, or anybody you know, have been the recipient of a metal-on-metal hip replacement system, the advice currently being issued by the Irish Medicines Board is to have an annual blood test and x-ray and, if high levels of chromium or cobalt are present in the blood, to have an MRI scan. Patients who wish to know more about DePuy Pinnacle injury claims for compensation should speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.

Interim Compensation Payments made in Car Crash Claim

The High Court in Birmingham, West Midlands, has heard how interim compensation payments have been paid to the family of a car crash victim to provide medical care while a final settlement for their car crash claim was being negotiated.

Judge Martin McKenna was approving a compensation settlement for Cerys Edwards (6) from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, who suffered catastrophic brain damage when her family´s car was on a head-on collision with a driver travelling at 70mph on a road with a 30mph speed limit. Cerys, who was just eleven months old when the accident occurred in November 2006, cannot now breathe without a ventilator, has undergone a dozen operations and requires around-the-clock care.

The negligent driver was jailed in 2008 for causing the accident, at which point negotiations started between the Edwards´ legal representatives and the negligent driver´s insurers to finalise a suitable and appropriate car crash claim settlement that would provide care for Cerys for the rest of her life. While negotiations were ongoing, the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group paid over 4 million pounds in interim compensation payments to help support the Edwards family and little Cerys.

The judge heard that a final settlement in respect of the Edwards´ car crash claim had been agreed, with the family receiving a lump sum payment of almost 5 million pounds (less the amount received in interim compensation payments) with annual payments of 4450,000 pounds providing care for Cerys as long as she lives. Approving the settlement, Judge Martin McKenna said that it was “one of the saddest cases he had ever come across”.

Helicopter Injury Claim Results in Substantial Award of Compensation

A man in Hong Kong, who suffered substantial head injuries when his friend lost control of a model helicopter, has been awarded HK 8.8 million dollars (850,000 Euros) following a helicopter injury claim for compensation.

The High Court in Hong Kong heard that Law Kwok-Wah (48) had been watching his friend, Chan Man-Kin, fly the 6 kilogram helicopter at speeds of up to 90Km/hour at the Hong Kong Science Park in January 2008, when Chan lost control of the toy and it fell to the ground.

One of the 1.5 metre helicopter blades struck Law on the head and sliced away part of his skull. Law was immediately taken to hospital and underwent emergency brain surgery to save his life. Although Law made a significant recovery, he is now semi-paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

Law made a personal injury claim against his friend, claiming that it was necessary as his family could not live solely on his wife´s income and, in the High Court of Hong Kong, three judges found in Law´s favour after Chan admitted being distracted while in charge of a model helicopter.

The judges awarded Law HK 8.8 million dollars in respect of his helicopter injury claim to account for the pain and suffering he had experienced, his loss of amenity and both present and future lost income.

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.

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.

Pedestrian Hit by Lorry has Brain Damage Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A woman who was walking home from the shops when she was struck by a lorry trying to avoid impact with cars that had already crashed on a busy dual carriageway has had her brain damage injury compensation settlement approved at London´s High Court.

 Devbai Patel (60) from Neasden, London, was returning home from a visit to the shops when the accident occurred in January 2008. The lorry mounted the pavement alongside the North Circular Road and hit Devbai before crashing into a wall. The driver of the lorry was killed instantly, and Devbai was air-lifted to hospital with multiple fractures and a traumatic brain injury.

Devbai underwent emergency surgery and remained in intensive care for two weeks. She had to undergo months of rehabilitation before being discharged from hospital, and is now cared for at home by her husband and children.

After seeking legal advice, Devbai´s family made a pedestrian accident claim for brain damage injury compensation and, at London´s High Court, Mrs Justice Cox heard that an agreement had been reached between the family and the insurance company of the driver responsible for causing the multiple vehicle accident.

The settlement of brain damage injury compensation will see Devbai receiving an immediate lump sum payment of 750,000 pounds, with annual index-linked and tax-free payments of 25,000 being made to the family to provide her with the ongoing care she needs. Mrs Justice Cox approved the settlement and wished the family well for the future.

Settlement of Delayed Treatment Compensation Approved in Court

The family of a man who died in hospital of septic shock, due to the failure of the hospital to act in a reasonable time frame, has had their settlement of delayed treatment compensation approved in the High Court.

Barry Murphy (38) from Carrigaline, County Cork, was admitted to the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital in Cork complaining of abdominal pains on the morning of April 24th 2008. Barry was known to suffer from Crohn´s Disease, but was generally in good health and held a full-time job as a financial controller.

After a medical examination, Barry was diagnosed with a perforated bowel but due to “an unjustifiable delay” was not operated on until much later in the evening. By this time, Barry´s condition had deteriorated due to septic shock and he was pronounced dead at 11.15pm the same evening.

Barry´s distraught widow, Mary, made a claim for wrongful death compensation due to the delay in treatment, but for three years the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital denied liability – stating that that they had made no error in Barry´s treatment. During this period Mary sustained severe emotional damage and was diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Mary persisted with her claims that the hospital failed to properly care for her husband, failed to operate on him on time and allowed him to die, and eventually the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital acknowledged that “the level of care provided fell short of an acceptable standard” and made an offer of 500,000 Euros in delayed treatment compensation.

Approving the settlement in Dublin´s High Court, Mr Justice John Quirke expressed his sympathy to Mary and her two daughters, commenting that Barry´s death had been “unthinkable” and was “a tragic loss”, adding that he wished he could do more to help the family.

Compensation for Cerebral Palsy Injury Claim Approved in Court

A woman, who was starved of oxygen due to a surgical error during a routine operation when she was an infant, has had her compensation for cerebral palsy injury claim approved in court.

Stacey Jayne Smith (24) was just a baby when she was admitted to Nottingham City Hospital in 1988 with feeding problems and a high temperature. Doctors suspected that Stacey Jayne was suffering from gall stones and scheduled surgery to remove her gall bladder.

However, during the operation, Stacey Jayne went into cardiac arrest after her bowel was accidently punctured and, due to her heart stopping temporarily, Stacey Jayne suffered brain damage and was left with cerebral palsy.

Mr Justice Tugendhat at the High Court in London heard that Stacey Jayne grew up with learning difficulties and unable to walk any distance – all the while her parents unaware that they were entitled to make a cerebral palsy injury claim for compensation.

 In 2008, Stacey Jayne´s parents made enquiries about making a cerebral palsy injury claim for compensation on their daughter´s behalf, and an investigation was launched by the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

After agreeing 70 per cent liability for Stacey Jayne´s injuries, an undisclosed settlement was agreed between Stacey Jayne´s parents and the Health Authority which was approved by Mr Justice Tugendhat in the High Court.

The judge added” I do express my sympathy to Stacey’s family and wish them all the best for the future. Stacey has been very fortunate in the support her family has given her, so lovingly, for so long.”

Compensation for Accident with Untraced Driver Awarded in Court

A woman whose arm was broken when a hit and run driver reversed over her and then fled the scene of the accident has been awarded 79,000 Euros in compensation for accident with untraced driver at Dublin´s High Court.

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill heard how Siofra O´Loughlin (24) from Rolestown in Dublin had been with friends at Dollymount beach in July 2006, when she slipped and fell face forwards while playing with a ball. According to Siofra´s testimony and that of her friends, as Siofra lay on the floor, a car reversed over her – fracturing her upper arm bone and causing significant abrasions to her back.

According to her testimony, the driver of the car stopped a short distance away, looked back at the scene and returned to his car before driving away. The driver was never traced, and Siofra made a personal injury claim for compensation for accident with untraced driver against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland – the organisation established to deal with compensation claims when a liable driver cannot be traced or is uninsured.

The claim for compensation claim for accident with untraced driver had come to the High Court as the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland disputed the events of the accident – claiming that Siofra had given a different version of the accident to the Garda officer who first arrived at the scene. However Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill dismissed their allegations in making his award of 79,000 Euros, stating that he believed Siofra´s account of how her injuries were sustained.

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.

Finnish Government Pays Compensation for Adverse Reaction to Flu Jab

The Finnish Government has started paying compensation for adverse reactions to the recipients of the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix who subsequently developed the sleeping disorder narcolepsy.

The decision to compensate the families of children who contracted the condition was made after the National Institute for Health and Welfare produced a report in February 2011 concluding that an association existed between the vaccine against H1N1 swine flu and the diagnosis of narcolepsy in at least 50 children within an eight month period.

To date, 92 people have made medical negligence claims for compensation from the 30 million Euro pool established by Finnish Medical Insurance but, as narcolepsy can be a lifelong condition which is passed on genetically to future generations, Kari Valimaki – the Finnish Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health – has stated that the fund to provide compensation for adverse reactions is unlikely to be insufficient, and that the State will have to step in when the pool is exhausted.

The official reaction in Ireland – where 779 adverse reactions to Pandemrix were reported to the Irish Medicines Board between January 2010 and December 2011 – has been to wait until more research is concluded on the connection between the drug Pandemrix and narcolepsy. Health Minister, Dr James Reilly, responding to a question in the Dáil from Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, stated that “no link has been established yet between the swine flu vaccine and narcolepsy, but the Government will endeavour to ensure all families [of children diagnosed with narcolepsy] get the medical and social supports they need”.

More than 250,000 children in Ireland received the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine before it was withdrawn from use on advice from the European Medicine Agency (EMA). The EMA´s own study of adverse reactions to Pandemrix in 2011 concluded that a child who had been vaccinated with Pandemrix had a six-to-thirteen fold increased risk of narcolepsy compared with children who did not receive the vaccine.

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.

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.

Child Scarring Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A twelve year old girl, who tripped and fell into a hole dug by a construction company, has had a child scarring injury compensation settlement of 20,000 Euros approved in Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court.

Kodie Geoghegan Dowdall was just seven years of age when, on the way to visit her aunt in Ballymun, Dublin in December 2006, she tripped and fell into a hole dug by SIAC Construction of Clondalkin, Dublin. Her accident left her with a scar injury which has since failed to heal.

Making a pedestrian accident claim through her mother, Kodie claimed that her accident and injury was attributable to the negligence of SIAC construction – a claim which the company denied. However, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard at the Circuit Civil Court that SIAC Construction were willing to offer 20,000 Euros on child scarring injury compensation without admission of liability.

After hearing evidence that 20,000 Euros was sufficient to treat the scar with excision and resuturing when Kodie reaches the age of eighteen, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement of child scarring injury compensation.

Pensioner Awarded Psychological Injury Compensation for Poor Workmanship

A pensioner from Dublin has been awarded psychological injury compensation for poor workmanship after builders made a catalogue of errors during renovations to her utility room.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court heard how Kathleen O’Leary (84), from Walkinstown in Dublin had contracted Cranlowe Ltd – building company with an address in Terenure, Dublin – to replace a utility room in her home to bring it up to date and provide additional security. However, shortly after Kathleen had paid the company 23,000 Euros for the work, the utility room flooded causing the electricity to short circuit due to the power supply not being earthed.

Further investigations revealed that defective underground piping allowed waste water to leak directly into the soil below her home, no ventilation had been accounted for under the floor of the utility room and none of the walls had been insulated. A further seventeen examples of professional negligence were presented at the hearing, and the court heard that when Kathleen confronted Cranlowe Ltd with a list of the errors, the owner of the company had been abusive to her and made no attempt to remedy the problems.

Judgement against the builders was awarded last year when no defence was offered, and Mr Justice Matthew Deery was told that the case was before him for assessment of damages. He awarded Kathleen 14,192 Euros in respect of what it would cost to correct the faults left behind by Cranlowe Ltd, with a further 3,500 Euros in psychological injury compensation for poor workmanship to account for the emotional stress she had experienced due to Cranlowe Ltd´s lack of care.

Trauma Compensation for Ship Sinking Offered to Costa Concordia Cruise Victims

Costa Crociere SpA – the Italian arm of Carnival Cruises, and the company responsible for the stricken Costa Concordia cruise liner – has made an offer of trauma compensation for ship sinking to all the passengers of the Costa Concordia who were rescued from the ship without suffering physical injury.

The 11,000 Euros offer of trauma compensation for ship sinking follows negotiation between the company and Italian consumer groups estimated to represent more than 3,000 passengers rescued from the ship after it hit a reef and capsized off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13 2012.

The basic settlement compensates passengers for any psychological damage they have sustained and for the loss of personal effects. In addition, passengers will have the cost of their cruise refunded and any costs that were incurred in transportation home.

Passengers who accept the trauma compensation for ship sinking offer will have to agree to drop all future legal claims against Costa Cruises and their associated companies and, in return, will receive their compensation within seven days. Children rescued uninjured from the Costa Concordia are also eligible for the compensation offer.

Although passengers who sustained a physical injury will be dealt with individually, one consumer group is already suggesting that passengers decline the offer of trauma compensation for ship sinking. Their recommendations are to obtain a medical opinion to determine whether passengers have actually sustained a psychological trauma and, if so, seek professional legal advice from a compensation solicitor.

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.

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.