Saturday , February 24 2024

Widow to Receive Compensation for Fatal Medication Error

The widow of a man, who died of a muscle failure condition after being prescribed medication for an infected toe which allegedly interacted with his diabetic treatment, is to receive compensation for a fatal medication error.

Margaret Devereux from Greenrath in County Tipperary made a claim for compensation for a fatal medication error after her husband – John Devereux – had died in Cork University Hospital in March 2008 from acute renal failure brought on by rhabdmoloysis – a condition in which the muscles break down.

John had initially attended the South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel in January of that year with an infection in a toe on his right foot. Doctors diagnosed that the infection was due to septic arthritis and prescribed Sodium Fusidate – a medicine often prescribed for bacterial skin infections – before sending him home.

However, John´s infected toe got no better, and he started to develop debilitating pains in his arms and legs. He returned to the hospital on February 15th, when he was admitted and five further courses of Sodium Fusidate were administered – causing his condition to deteriorate further and develop into acute renal failure. John was transferred to Cork University Hospital, where he died on 2nd March.

Margaret Devereux took legal advice after discovering that her husband´s death could have been avoided if a potential conflict between the Sodium Fusidate that was prescribed for him and his existing diabetic medication had been identified before it was administered, and claimed compensation for a fatal medication error against the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The HSE denied any negligence or that it was in breach of its duty of care but, after negotiation, agreed to a compensation settlement of €45,000 which Margaret accepted under legal advice. At the High Court in Dublin, the settlement was approved by Mrs Justice Mary Irvine, who commented that there would have been a “huge hill to climb to establish liability” had the claim gone to court.

Agreement Found in Pre-Birth Injuries Compensation Claim

A Circuit Civil Court judge has approved a settlement in a pre-birth injuries compensation claim after an agreement was negotiated between the two parties involved.

Judge Matthew Deery approved the settlement after hearing how Aoife Sheehan (14) from Rathfarnham in Dublin was delivered prematurely at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin on 15th April 1999 at only thirty-six weeks.

It had been alleged in the claim for pre-birth injuries compensation that Aoife had been born prematurely due to her mother – Martina Sheehan – having been involved in a car crash two days earlier which was responsible for the early onset of her labour.

After her birth, Aoife suffered from respiratory distress syndrome and was transferred to the intensive care unit where a ventilator was used to control her breathing. Even when it was felt safe to remove the ventilator, Aoife remained in the intensive care unit for a further three weeks.

Through her mother, Aoife made a pre-birth injuries compensation claim against the driver of the car Martina Sheehan had been in collision with – Elaine O’Connor, also from Rathfarnham – alleging that had the accident not occurred, Aoife would not have been born prematurely and suffered from respiratory distress.

Insurers for Ms O´Connor denied their policyholder´s liability and claimed that there was no proof that the car accident was the cause of the early onset of labour and that pre-term babies were more pre-disposed to respiratory distress.

They also stated that, as Aoife was not born at the time of the accident, she was ineligible to receive compensation for her pre-birth injuries. However, after protracted negotiations a settlement of the pre-birth injuries compensation claim was agreed that would see Aoife receiving €17,800.

Approving the settlement, Judge Deery said that – given the circumstances and difficulties proving liability – the settlement was a good one.

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.

Woman Awarded Compensation for an Injury on a Supermarket Escalator

A court in America has awarded $9.9 million in compensation for an injury on a supermarket escalator to a woman who developed complex regional pain syndrome after an accident at her local Costco.

Rose Nudelman from New York had finished shopping in the Brooklyn branch of Costco when she manoeuvred her loaded shopping trolley onto the ascending supermarket escalator to return to her car.

The escalator was equipped with a mechanism to prevent the shopping trolley rolling back down the slope so that customers did not have to hold onto it; however, on this occasion the trolley broke free of the mechanism and struck fifty-one year old Rose with force on the wrist.

Despite not having experienced any apparent physical injuries, Rose reported the accident to the supermarket after it happened. Two weeks later, however, she had lost her mobility and could only hobble around her home with the use of a cane.

Doctors diagnosed the neurological condition “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” and, after seeking legal advice, Rose made a claim for compensation for an injury on a supermarket escalator.

Costco denied their liability for Rose´s injuries, and argued that she exaggerated her condition in order to claim injury compensation; however Rose persisted with her claim and, after a court hearing, a jury awarded her $9.9 million in compensation for an injury on a supermarket escalator.

After the hearing Costco´s insurers said that they are likely to appeal the settlement, but Rose´s solicitor said no amount of money would persuade anybody “you or I know” to change places with his client.

Further Delays to DePuy Hip Replacement Court Case

Further delays to the DePuy hip replacement court case in Ohio have been caused by a late substitute of plaintiff and the judge ruling that the worldwide recall of faulty DePuy hip replacement systems cannot be used as evidence in court.

The start of the first Federal DePuy hip replacement court case was delayed last week after U.S. District Judge David A. Katz allowed the parties in McCracken -v- DePuy (Case No 1:11 dp 20485) more time for discovery and to deal with other legal matters.

The DePuy hip replacement court case has now been rescheduled to September 24th and will concern the injury sustained by Ann McCracken (57) from Rochester in New York, who suffered a dislocated hip allegedly due to metal particles from her DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System causing the soft tissues around her hip to decay.

Ann had her DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system implanted in August 2009, but it had to be removed in January 2011 after she had sustained her injury. In October 2011, Ann had to undergo a further operation to insert a device to restrict the movement of her hip, which has reduced her range of mobility and will result in her current hip replacement system wearing out sooner than normal – resulting in more surgery in the future.

Judge Katz has already agreed that the recall of the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Articular Surface Hip Replacement Systems should not be mentioned in court – not only because he wants the DePuy hip replacement court case to be heard on the merits of the individual action, but DePuy´s lawyers argued successfully that any reference to the DePuy recall at trial might deter other companies from voluntarily withdrawing potentially harmful medical devices because of the legal implications.

One of the purposes of Ann´s DePuy hip replacement court case is to establish the relative strengths and weaknesses of the plaintiffs´ claims and DePuy´s defence. If Ann´s case, and others included in the `Bellwether’ trials still to be scheduled, results in a “standard” of compensation settlements, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc are likely to make offers of injury compensation to the 7,800 plaintiffs also attached to this DePuy hip replacement court case through a consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL).

If no compensation standard is set by the juries in each of the trials – or if there is a mixture of positive and negative verdicts returned – all of the outstanding DePuy hip replacement court cases will be returned to the US District Courts in which they were filed – prolonging the length of time it will take for each plaintiff to receive a fair settlement of DePuy injury compensation.

This latter scenario would also have an impact on plaintiffs in Ireland waiting to hear if they will be made an acceptable offer of DePuy injury compensation, or whether they will have to endure their own DePuy hip replacement court case.

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.”

Successful Plaintiff to Pay Proportion of Legal Costs for a Medical Negligence Claim

A High Court judge has ordered a plaintiff to pay a proportion of her legal costs for a medical negligence claim after the claim was resolved successfully.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine took the unusual step of departing from the legal principal of “costs follow the event” in the case of Madeline Wright v. the Health Service Executive, in which the judge determined that no more than 20% of the evidence presented in court related to the claim against the HSE.

The judge noted that several other allegations – particularly those made against Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr. Keith Synott – were unsubstantiated, and although commenting that “she (Madeline) must be deemed to be the overall winner of proceedings in which the defendants denied any liability” the judge also added that the case of medical negligence was proven in only one leg of the claim (of four).

Ms Justice Mary Irvine added “Just because a plaintiff has one good point they should not, to my mind, be permitted to litigate a myriad of others and have the court make an order requiring the successful defendant on such issues to pay for that luxury. There must be some sanction in terms of costs should this occur”.

The judge said the she was tempted to reduce the award of legal costs for a medical negligence claim to 20% to reflect the time that had been wasted in court, and to act as a deterrent to any future plaintiff who may attempt to attach unsubstantiated allegations to a genuine claim. However, she admitted that a reduction of 80% legal costs for a medical negligence claim was too harsh due to the complexity of the claim.

Instead, the judge settled on a reduction of 35% and awarded Madeline 65% of her full legal costs for a medical negligence claim “as this practice (departing from the principal of “costs follow the event”) has not to date been customary in this type of litigation”.

Failure in National Standards Could Lead to Hospital Infection Claims

More patients could be eligible to make hospital infection claims for compensation following health inspections at five Irish hospitals which were found to be in breach of the National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections.

Inspectors from the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) made unannounced visits to several hospitals throughout Ireland in June and July and the reports of their inspections have just been made public. The reports reveal a catalogue of breaches in the National Standards which would make patients, visitors or staff who contracted an illness eligible to make hospital infection claims.

The five hospitals in which there was a serious lack of hygiene among the medical and nursing staff were:-

Waterford Regional Hospital

Waterford Regional Hospital, in which inspectors discovered eighteen cases of poor hand hygiene among the twenty-three cases they looked at, patients with suspected transmittable diseases being treated in the general area of the Accident & Emergency Department and a general lack of cleanliness in the hospital A&E Department and the equipment that was used in the hospital.

St Michael´s Hospital

At St Michael´s Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, inspectors discovered two unhygienic temperature probes – one was visibly unclean and the second had a sticky residue on its screen – and that mould had been allowed to grow in the hospital´s toilets and showering facilities for patients. The inspectors also reported that hand hygiene practices in general posed a risk of transmitting infections to patients.

Portiuncila Hospital

At Portiuncila Hospital in Galway inspectors found that hospital infection claims could be justified for a number of reasons including problems with the physical environment, waste management and the cleanliness of medical equipment used on patients.

Louth County Hospital

Inspectors visiting Louth County Hospital discovered two cases of patients with known transmissible infections placed in isolation rooms with the doors left open onto the general ward and hand hygiene was again identified as an issue which could result in hospital infection claims, with inspectors recording in their report “The physical environment and equipment were generally unclean . . . and therefore were not effectively managed and maintained to protect patients and reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections.”

Our Lady´s Hospital

The Accident & Emergency Department at Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan was found to be generally unclean – with the patient toilets´ walls being described as “heavily stained” – and a high risk of infection was identified in the hospital´s female medical ward, where access to the storage room which contained syringes and needles was “uncontrolled”.


Rob Landers – clinical director of Waterford Regional Hospital – described the findings in the report as “unacceptable” and said that compulsory hand hygiene training would be introduced for all workers at the hospital. Waterford Regional Hospital has been given six weeks to develop a quality improvement plan and publish it on the hospital website.

RCSI: Negligence Claims against GPs in Ireland Primarily for Missed Diagnoses

A report conducted by the Health Research Board on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has found that most negligence claims against GPs are primarily for missed diagnoses.

The research of negligence claims against GPs was conducted at the Centre for Primary Care Research in Dublin in order to determine which areas of primary care should be concentrated on when compiling future educational strategies and developing risk management systems for all healthcare professionals.

The final report revealed that the most common reasons for negligence claims against GPs were missed diagnoses and medication errors, with the delayed diagnosis of cancer being the most frequent individual condition which gave plaintiffs grounds to claim compensation.

Admitting that negligence claims against GPs are “not a perfect substitute for adverse events” lead researcher Dr Emma Wallace – who is herself a GP – provided a list of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions. For adults these included breast cancer, colon cancer, cancers of the skin, female genital tract and lungs; while children with appendicitis and meningitis were most likely to be misdiagnosed.

Dr Wallace hopes that the findings in the report will improve the primary care received by patients. She acknowledges in her report that the number of negligence claims against GPs is increasing and, as doctors in fear of litigation practice more defensively, many more patients are being referred to consultants – delaying an accurate diagnosis in many cases and enabling a condition to deteriorate unnecessarily.

She also hopes that there will be fewer negligence claims against GPs, as it has been shown that doctors facing litigation experience increased levels of stress, which in turn reduces the level of service they are able to provide.

Emotional Trauma Compensation Offered to Survivors of San Francisco Air Crash

The 288 survivors of Asiana Flight 214, which crashed while landing at San Francisco last month, have each been offered $10,000 emotional trauma compensation by the airline.

The crash on July 6th happened when a Boeing 777 on route from Seoul in South Korea hit a seawall while making its final approach into San Francisco International Airport. Two passengers died in the crash and a third passenger also died when she was tragically run over by a fire truck coming to extinguish the fire which broke out in the plane after the crash.

181 passengers were taken to hospital after the accident – where 49 still remain in serious condition – and despite the US National Transportation Safety Board having yet to conclude their report into how the crash happened, Asiana Airlines have already offered each of the 288 survivors initial emotional trauma compensation of $10,000.

The offer of emotional trauma compensation is non-conditional and will be paid irrespective of whether a passenger suffered a physical injury or not in the crash or not. In accordance with the Montreal Convention, passengers accepting the initial compensation offer will still be eligible for further payments for both their physical injuries and psychological injuries from the airline

However, how much compensation for an air crash each passenger receives will be subject to their nationality, where they were travelling from and whether their flight was one-way or the second leg of a return trip, as higher levels of air crash compensation apply to US citizens who bring legal action in the United States than European or Asian citizens who may have been travelling on vacation.

It may also be the case that Asiana Airline´s offer of compensation for an emotional trauma is premature, as the psychological injuries sustained by each of the passengers may not be known for many months.

Coroner says Hospital Death was due to Lack of Risk Assessment

A broken-hearted family are to make a claim for compensation after a Coroner found their daughter´s tragic hospital death was due to the lack of a risk assessment.

The report followed the death of Amy Hauserman, who died at the age of 26 while taking a bath in Melbourne´s Frankston Hospital in March 2008. Amy had voluntarily been admitted to the hospital after doctors feared she was showing signs of schizophrenia which had previously resulted in Amy experiencing anorexia.

Two days after she had entered the psychiatric department of the hospital, Amy was allowed to take a bath, during which time – according to the Coroner´s report – she either lapsed into an unconscious state or slipped as she tried to get out of the bath. Amy was found face-down in the bath having died from “a hypoxic brain injury in a setting of immersion” which could have been avoided had a nurse been present in the bathroom.

Coroner Peter White said at the hearing into Amy´s death that “I find that the absence of supervision was a primary feature leading to her death, in that it caused or contributed to an inability to successfully intervene and to give effect to her rescue.” He also highlighted that no risk evaluation have been undertaken and that Amy was allowed an unsupervised bath without the advice of her consultant being sought.

One of the nurses who worked on the ward at the time gave evidence that she was unaware there was a protocol for patients taking baths, but she was contradicted by the Head of Nursing who said that all ward patients should only be allowed to take a bath after a risk assessment had been conducted and that observations should be done through direct visual and oral contact.

Immediately after the hearing had concluded, Amy´s father announced that the family would be making a compensation claim for a hospital death due to the lack of a risk assessment, and a date in May 2014 has been assigned for the compensation hearing.

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.

Family Receive Compensation for Negligent Medical Treatment

The family of a woman, who died after an alleged failure to diagnose a perforated bowel, has settled its claim for wrongful death against the HSE and are to receive €50,000 in compensation for negligent medical treatment.

The family of Eileen Maloney from Pullathomas in County Mayo made their claim for negligent medical treatment compensation after the sixty-nine year old mother of thirteen died at the Mayo General Hospital in February 2009.

Eileen, who was suffering from cancer, was admitted to the hospital on February 1st 2009 complaining of severe abdominal pain. An x-ray was taken after her admission which – the family claim – showed an obstruction in Eileen´s bowel; but, as it was the weekend, no doctor was available to diagnose her condition.

A CT scan taken on the 6th of February confirmed the presence of a tumour, but neither the scan nor the original x-ray was reviewed to check for a perforated bowel. Had Eileen´s condition been diagnosed at the time, she would have undergone immediate emergency surgery rather than having to wait until February 12th for an operation.

Eileen died on February 17th – five days after her surgery – and it was alleged by her family in their claim for negligent medical treatment compensation that they were told by a member of the medical team Eileen would have survived the operation, despite her cancer, and lived for a further six months at least had her medical treatment been of an acceptable standard.

The family´s claim for Eileen´s wrongful death and their unnecessary mental anguish was initially denied by the HSE. However, Mr Justice Michael Peart at the High Court in Dublin was told that a settlement had been agreed between the two parties without admission of liability that would see the family receive €50,000 in compensation for negligent medical treatment.

Mr Justice Michael Peart approved the settlement of compensation for negligent medical treatment, stating that it had been a “very, very tragic case” and extending his sympathies to the family.

The HSE denied being responsible for Eileen´s wrongful death but, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard that the family had agreed a settlement of their negligent hospital treatment claim amounting to €50,000 without an admission of liability from the HSE.

The judge approved the settlement of the claim, stating that Eileen´s death had been “very, very tragic” and he extended his sympathies to her family.

€3m Awarded to Galway Car Crash Victim

An award of €3m has been approved for Rhona Murphy of Newcastle, County Galway, for brain damage follow a car crash on February 7, 1999.

The High Court heard that Ms Murphy suffered profound head injuries and was lucky to have survived the accident. Rhona Murphy was a 20-year-old student at the time of the accident, hoping to pursue a career as a teacher.

The car crash happened on the Galway to Headford Road in County Galway. Ms Murphy was the passenger in a car and sued the driver for negligence. It was claimed in court that the driver was driving at an excessive speed which, overtook on the inside lane when it was unsafe and dangerous to do so and was thereby driving in a reckless, dangerous or careless manner.

While approving the settlement, Ms Justice Mary Irvine noted that there was a question of contributory negligence because Ms Murphy may not have been wearing a seatbelt and was aware that the driver of the car had consumed alcohol.

Savita´s Husband makes Hospital Negligence Claim against University Hospital Galway

The husband of Savita Halappanavar, who died last year after being denied an abortion, has made a hospital negligence claim for compensation against University Hospital Galway and the HSE.

Savita Halappanavar died at the University Hospital Galway one week after attending the hospital´s A&E department complaining of an acute back pain. She was found to be in the process of miscarrying her 17 week foetus and was admitted under the care of consultant doctor Dr Katherine Astbury.

The following morning Savita´s waters broke and, because of the severe pain she was in, requested a termination. Savita was told by Dr Astbury to “await events” and it was explained to her that an abortion was not an option in Ireland while there was still a foetal heartbeat.

Savita´s condition deteriorated, and Dr Astbury eventually consulted with a senior colleague about performing a termination. However, a scan revealed that Savita´s baby had already died. Savita was moved into theatre, where she spontaneously delivered her deceased baby and was later moved into intensive care after it was found she was suffering from septic shock.

The following morning it was discovered that Savita had developed severe septicaemia due to E.coli ESBL. Savita became critically ill as her organs ceased to function and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on Sunday October 28th.

The inquest into Savita´s death delivered a verdict of “medical misadventure” and an investigation by the Health Service Executive (HSE) also failed to officially identify who was to blame for the lack of care Savita received, or acknowledge liability for her avoidable death.

Savita´s family declared the inquest and the HSE investigation a “whitewash” and, in order to get answers to the questions the family feel were overlooked, Praveen Halappanavar has made a hospital negligence claim for compensation against the University Hospital Galway and the HSE – alleging that the hospital failed to treat, failed to follow up blood tests, and failed to diagnose.

The University Hospital Galway and the HSE declined to comment on whether they will offer a defence against the hospital negligence claim or acknowledge liability before a court hearing is announced.

Compensation for Childrens Ill Health Approved for Twins

Twin sisters, who developed breathing problems after faulty renovations had been made to the family home, are to each receive €5,000 compensation for childrens ill health after a settlement was approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Eleven-year-olds Abby and Chloe Croke both developed respiratory difficulties following the incorrect installation of a shower drain in the bathroom of the family home in Raheny, County Dublin. Investigations into the source of the Chloe´s asthma and the issues which had affected the rest of the family took three years before it was discovered that the fumes from the shower drain were the cause of the problem.

After remedial work was carried out on the bathroom, and the health of the family improved, a claim for childrens ill health compensation was made by the girls´ mother – Ita Croke – against the company that carried out the renovations to the bathroom – Alpha Engineering Heat Providers of Finglas, Dublin – claiming that the company´s negligence had resulted in an injury to her children.

The company denied that they had negligently installed the shower drain, but agreed to a settlement of compensation for childrens ill health amounting to €5,000 for each child. As with all claims for children´s injury compensation, the settlement has to be approved by a judge before the claim is resolved and, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke rubber-stamped the compensation settlements.

Judge Approves Settlements of Compensation for Injuries in Childcare Facilities

Two settlements of compensation for injuries in childcare facilities have been approved in the High Court following separate claims brought by the parents of children injured in two separate accidents.

The first claim for children´s injury compensation was made against Sandy Childcare of Dunshaughlin, County Meath, by the father of Ella Rogerson, who was hit in the face by a jet of water from a hose in June 2010, and suffered a serious injury to her eye.

Ella´s father claimed that the staff at Sandy Childcare had been negligent and in breach of their duty of care by allowing the accident to happen – a claim which the childcare facility denied.

However, Mr Justice Michael Peart at the High Court in Dublin heard that an agreement of compensation for injuries in childcare facilities had been reached and, after hearing the circumstances of Ella´s accident, the judge approved the settlement amounting to €122,000.

The second of the settlements of compensation for injuries in childcare facilities concerned three-year-old Lauren Torpey, who had tripped and suffered a deep cut to her face when she had fallen against a sharp-edged skirting board in June 2011 at the Giraffe Childcare facility in Harcourt Road, Dublin.

Lauren made a claim for children´s injury compensation through her mother Tara Lillywhite of Rathgar, County Dublin, and liability for Lauren´s injury was admitted in this case. Mr Justice Michael Peart, who was again sitting, approved the settlement of €51,500 compensation for injuries in childcare facilities.

Claim for Cerebral Palsy Compensation Adjourned for Two Years after Interim Settlement Approved

A claim for cerebral palsy compensation has been adjourned for two years after an interim settlement of compensation for a thirteen-year-old boy was approved in the High Court.

Ryan Brennan from Cahir, County Tipperary sustained irreversible brain damage during his birth at St. Joseph´s Hospital in Clonmel in January 2000; an injury which his parents – Lorraine and Raymond Brennan – believe was due to a failure to act by the hospital´s consultant obstetrician – Dr Brendan Powell.

The Brennans alleged in their claim for cerebral injury compensation that abnormalities had been discovered in Ryan´s heart rate tracing hours before he was delivered, but no action had been taken by the doctor or staff at the hospital. Ryan had to be resuscitated after he was born and throughout the following day suffered seizures.

Dr Powell and the Health Service Executive (HSE) – acting on behalf of St. Joseph´s Hospital – denied responsibility for Ryan´s injuries and the Brennans claim for cerebral injury compensation on the grounds of negligence, breach of duty and breach of contract

However, Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court in Dublin was told that an interim compensation settlement of 1.7million €uros had been agreed with the HSE without admission of liability to provide for Ryan´s immediate care and that the claim against Dr Powell could be struck out.

After approving the interim compensation settlement, Ms Justice Mary Irvine adjourned the case for two years to allow reports on Ryan´s future requirements to be conducted and to allow time for the possible introduction of a periodic payment system to replace the current lump sum system of paying compensation for catastrophic injuries.

Birth Injuries Obstretic Negligence Claim Resolved in Court

The family of a young female who suffered brain damage injuries at her birth due to hospital errors have had their birth injuries obstretic negligence claim resolved at the High Court in Dublin.

Alex Butler, now eight years old, from County Waterford, was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital in April 2005; however, due to the hospital not having an adequate number of properly skilled competent medical staff to deal with the Alex’s birth, and to ensure that an adequate and competent obstetrician was on duty available, Alex’s delivery was delayed by twelve minutes – during which time she suffered brain trauma which led to permanent tetraplegic injury.

In a claim take, on her behalf, through her mother Sonya, Alex alleged that her consultant obstetrician had been allowed to take leave at the same time as Waterford Regional Hospital’s two other obstetricians and that the hospital had temporarily employed a locum obstetrician without ensuring that he was competent. ALong with this it was claimed that Sonya´s pre-operative assessment was insufficient and there was a failure to recognise the necessity for a Caesarean section.

The High Court was advised that the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted liability for Alex´s brain injuries, and the claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff made against the consultant obstetrician – John Bermingham – and locum obstetrician – Mahmud Khbuli – were thrown out of court. A representative from Waterford read out an apology for the mismanagement of Alex’s birth and accepted that the mistakes should never have happened.

The Court also heard that an interim compensation settlement of Alex´s claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff amounting to €1.4 million had been agreed upon between the HSE and Alex´s parents. The birth injuries obstretic negligence claim settlement is to be reviewed again in two years when an assessment of Alex´s care needs for the future has been made, and by which time it is hoped that the option of a structured settlement is available.

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.

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.

Travelator Compensation for Fall on Moving Walkway

A female who caught the heel of her shoe in a hole on a travelator in a Dublin shopping centre has been awarded €13.150 in travelator compensation for a fall on a moving walkway after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Nuala Holloway Casey (60) from Blackrock in Dublin claimed for shopping centre compensation against Secret Retail Holdings (trading as Superquinn Shopping Centre) and Kine (Ireland) Limited, travelator and escalator fitters, of Ballymount, County Dublin, after being inflicted with an ankle injury at the Superquinn Shopping Centre in December 2007.

Judge Barry Hickson in the Circuit Civil Court was informed that in December 2007, Nuala hit the ground badly after she caught her high heel shoe in a hole at the top to a descending moving walkway – damaging her left ankle. The court was told that she still felt pain in the ankle and had no choice but to give up playing tennis because of the injury.

As liability in the case had already been accepted by the by the joint defendants the only argument remaining was the final amount of compensation to be awarded for a fall on a moving walkway. This was in dispute as Ms Holloway Casey had failed to seek medical treatment for 10 days after the incident occurred and exacerbated her injury by a separate fall in 2009.

After reviewing the medical testimony in support of the compensation claim, Judge Hickson awarded the former Miss Ireland €12,000 supermarket travelator compensation for the fall on the moving walkway plus a separate €1,250 to make up for the costs she had incurred which were directly attributable to her accident.

Boxer´s Taxi Accident Whiplash Claim Resolved in High Court

A champion boxer has been awarded 26,000 Euros in settlement of his taxi accident whiplash claim following a hearing in the High Court.

David Maguire (35) from Clondalkin in Dublin sustained his injuries when a taxi he was travelling in was rear-ended by an unidentified vehicle in at the junction of Ballyfermot Road and O’Hogan Road, Dublin, on March 26, 2010.

In his action against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), Maguire claimed that as a result of the impact he suffered injuries to his lower back and neck however, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said there was “no merit” to his claim that he suffered injuries to his neck.

Highlighting the fact that there was no reference made to Maguire sustaining any neck injury in a report prepared by his GP following the accident, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns also pointed out that in the months after the accident Maguire went on to win the Leinster heavy weight boxing championship and competed in the All Ireland championships.

However, the judge conceded that Maguire was entitled to taxi accident whiplash compensation for the injuries he had sustained to his lower back and acknowledged that Maguire had fought through the pain at the Leinster boxing championships in his attempt to become a professional boxer.

Hearing that liability for the taxi accident whiplash claim was not being contested by the MIBI, and that the case was before him for assessment of damages only, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns awarded Maguire 26,000 Euros in compensation for whiplash from a taxi accident plus the costs of bringing his action – adding that he wished him well in his bid to become a professional boxer.

Compensation for Late Diagnosis of Brain Tumour Approved in High Court

A young student, who was left severely disabled after an alleged delay in diagnosing a tumour, has had a settlement of compensation for the late diagnosis of a brain tumour approved at the High Court.

Seamus Walshe Jnr (27) of Taylor´s Hill, Galway, was a third-level construction studies student when – in 2006 – he started experiencing problems with his eyes when gazing upwards. His symptoms deteriorated to include nausea and vomiting and, when Seamus attended the Galway University Hospital, he was told after a neurological examination that there was no problem.

Seamus´ symptoms continued and, as the tumour in his brain grew and spread into surrounding tissues, he experienced increasing levels of pain and discomfort. After a subsequent scan at Galway University Hospital revealed the tumour, Seamus was referred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where he underwent surgery in May 2007.

However, complications during surgery resulted in haemorrhaging around the brain tumour and Seamus was in intensive care for nine weeks after his operation. Eventually he was transferred back to Galway University Hospital in November 2007 and then to the National Rehabilitation Centre in September 2008 – by which time Seamus was confined to wheelchair, had severe spasticity of the limbs and severe disorder of eye movements.

Through his father – Seamus Walshe Snr – Seamus made a claim against the Health Service Executive and the Beaumont Hospital for compensation for the late diagnosis of a brain tumour, alleging that had scans been ordered when he first attended the Galway University Hospital, he would have been referred to the Beaumont Hospital much sooner.

It was also claimed that the Beaumont Hospital had elected to perform surgery rather than treat the tumour with radiotherapy and chemotherapy although the latter treatment had long-term survival rates of up to 90 percent.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court was told that a settlement of compensation for the late diagnosis of a brain tumour amounting to 2.5 million Euros had been agreed without admission of liability to cover Seamus´ care for the next three years. Thereafter periodic payments would provide for Seamus´ care should legislation be introduced in time.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement but stated there was no guarantee that periodic payments legislation will be introduced within three years as there has been a “deathly silence” from the Government on the matter.

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.

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 – 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.