Tuesday , September 17 2019

Medical Council Allows Doctor Who Removed Kidney from Young Boy to Keep Job

A Medical Council fitness-to-practice committee has ruled that a doctor who removed the wrong kidney from a young boy will avoid a charge of professional misconduct after choosing to invoke Section 67 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 which allows doctors to undertake not to repeat errors. The ruling has attracted significant criticism from the media.

The young boy, who was left with a barley functioning kidney, has had to undergo dialysis on a regular basis. He may eventually need a transplant. The botched operation took place at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin in March 2008.

The mistake came despite the boy’s parents’ repeatedly seeking clarification of which kidney was to be removed. It was later revealed that no-one had reviewed the boy’s e-ray before entering the operating theatre.

Faulty Hip Replacement Recall in Ireland Begins

Following the faulty hip replacement recall in Ireland made by DePuy Orthopaedics last month, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has reported that 3,516 patients have been implanted with the recalled DePuy ASR XL Acetabular and DePuy ASR Articular hip replacement systems since the medical devices were introduced into the country in 2003.

According to data from the UK´s National Joint Registry, 13 per cent of these devices have “failed” within the first five years of being implanted due to friction between the ball and cup of the metal on metal hip replacements. The metal debris released due to this friction then weakens the bone and tissues surrounding the implant, causing it to become loose. The metal debris has also been attributed to pain, inflammation and other health issues surrounding the implant.

DePuy Orthopaedics have stated that they will cover the medical costs of the faulty hip replacement recall in Ireland, but no mention as yet been made of compensation to patients for their pain and suffering. Revision surgery – the process to take out the faulty hip replacement and implant a new one – can be more complicated and painful for the patient, due to the damage to the hip bone and surrounding tissues, and patients may have an extended recovery and rehabilitation period.

In order for the HSE to recover costs incurred in the faulty hip replacement recall in Ireland, patients are being asked to sign medical consent forms allowing DePuy Orthopaedics access to their medical records and the return of the faulty hip replacement after surgery. Our advice is DO NOT SIGN THE DEPUY CONSENT FORMS without first seeking professional legal advice. The explanted faulty hip replacement may be required in future litigation if an appropriate offer of  compensation is not forthcoming.

Beauty Salon Waxing Injury Claim Paid

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

Mental Stress Compensation Paid to Siblings of Bus Fatality Girl

Three siblings of a girl, who was killed in a tragic bus accident in Dublin, have settled their claims for mental stress compensation against the bus company for undisclosed sums.

It was alleged that the three siblings of Jennifer Hoban, who died in November 1997 when she was hit by a bus while crossing the Killinarden Way in Tallaght, each suffered a prolonged grief reaction to witnessing the accident.

David Hoban (21), Kenneth Hoban (24) and sister Elaine Hoban (25) all claim to have suffered psychological injury and made a claim for mental stress compensation against Dublin Bus. Their settlements have been paid “without prejudice” – meaning that details of the compensation settlement can only be revealed if all parties agree.

Last Minute Settlement Agreed for Cerebral Palsy Claim

A man, who sustained birth injuries due to the alleged negligence of medical staff at the Erinville Hospital in Cork, agreed to a settlement of his cerebral palsy claim just minutes before the court hearing to determine his case was about to start.

Dermot Moylan (21) of Mallow, County Cork had sued the Erinville Hospital along with the Southern Health Board, Dr David Jenkins and Dr John McKiernan in relation to the circumstances surrounding his birth in 1989. Through his mother, Anna Moylan, it was alleged that Dermot was deprived of oxygen at the time of his birth due to a lack of care by medical staff.

As a result of brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, Dermot suffers from severe cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other health complications, and will required around-the-clock care for the rest of his life. The allegations of negligence were disputed by the defendants, however shortly the case to hear Dermot´s cerebral palsy claim for compensation was about to start, by Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill was informed that a settlement had been agreed upon.

A decision to offer cerebral palsy compensation of 4.25 million Euros had been made by the defendants, and this offer was accepted by Anna Moylan on behalf of her son. The judge, once he had heard all the details the cerebral palsy claim settlement, approved the agreement.

Needle Injury Compensation Awarded for Bus Syringe Jab

A man who was jabbed by a syringe which had been discarded on a Dublin bus has been awarded 25,000 Euros in needle injury compensation after a hearing at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court.

Gareth Quinn of Clondalkin, County Dublin, was taking his seat on the 78A bus at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in February 2005 when he sustained a needle injury to his leg from a syringe which had left by the seat.

When Gareth alerted the bus driver, an ambulance was immediately summoned which took him to hospital and the syringe was analysed for contamination. Although tests on the needle found no traces of hepatitis B or hepatitis C, Gareth underwent a series of blood tests for three years until it could be guaranteed that he was at no risk of infection.

Gareth brought a claim for needle injury compensation against Dublin Bus, claiming that the bus company were negligent in failing to provide safe transportation for its customers.

At the Dublin Circuit Civil Court, Judge Joseph Matthews agreed that visual inspection of the bus had been insufficient and awarded Gareth 15,000 Euros for the pain and inconvenience he had already suffered with a further 10,000 Euros for future suffering.

Compensation for Fatal Medical Negligence Awarded to Family

The family of Miriam Jackson, who died in hospital in 2004 after a catalogue of medical errors, have been awarded 564,000 Euros in compensation for fatal medical negligence at Dublin High Court.

Miriam had been admitted to Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan in September 2004 with a small bowel obstruction however, as Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill at the High Court heard, symptoms such as chest tightness, shortness of breath and a temperature of 38.2 degrees were overlooked. Even when an E coli infection was discovered, no treatment was provided until after it had developed into septicaemia, and a medical consultation requested by the surgical registrar failed to take place.

A compensation claim for fatal medical negligence was brought by Miriam´s husband, Derek, who also sued on behalf of his three children. The claim alleged over twenty instances of medical and hospital negligence and, after an internal investigation, Our Lady´s Hospital and the Health Service Executive admitted liability for Miriam´s wrongful death.

As the negligence responsible for Miriam´s death had been acknowledged, the case was before Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill for assessment of damages only. Having considered the case and the psychological damage that Miriam´s husband and three children had endured, he awarded 564,000 Euros in compensation for fatal medical negligence to the family.

Child Injured on Bouncy Castle Claims €1.2m

An award has been made to a young boy in a child injured on bouncy castle claim. Sam Harris , then aged 11, was brain damaged when a boy of 15 kicked him in the head during a somersault. The incident two years ago has left Sam Harris needing constant care.  The resulting child accident injury compensation claim has led to a €1.2 Million compensation payment.

A case was taken by Janet and David Harris against the parents (Catherine and Timothy Perry) who had hired the bouncy castle on the basis of poor supervision, especially allowing older children by younger children.  The judge ruled on the question of liability by stating that “The risks of a damaging collision are manifestly enhanced by mixing children of different sizes.”

The household insurance policy of Catherine and Timothy Perry will pay the compensation award.

The legal action was considered something of a landmark case in the UK because it sets the precedent that the person hiring a bouncy castle is liable for injuries suffered by children using the bouncy castle.

A recent child injured on a bouncy castle claim in Ireland involved a five-year old girl that broke both wrists on an inflatable slide when she collided with a woman sitting at the bottom of the slide.  A leisure centre in was ordered in the High Court to pay 20,000 euro in damages.

Family Agree Compensation for Cosmetic Surgery Fatality

The family of Kay Cregan – a mother of two from County Limerick who died on St Patrick´s Day in 2005 following a facelift procedure in New York – have agreed to a settlement of 3.1 million dollars in compensation for cosmetic surgery fatality with the insurers of  the negligent surgeon, anaesthesiologist and a post-operative care nurse.

Kay (42) had flown to New York and paid plastic surgeon Dr Michael Sachs 32,000 dollars for the facelift procedure as a surprise for her husband, but her good intentions turned into tragedy when, as a result of the surgery, Kay started to bleed into her pharynx. It is believed that, because Kay was lying on her back at the time, the blood went to the back of her pharynx and clotted. When she later went to the bathroom unassisted the clot loosened, travelled down her trachea and prevented her from breathing.

The nurse on duty, Susan Alonzo Francisco, found Kay motionless on the bathroom floor but did not know how to intubate her to enable air into her lungs. Eventually the nurse called the emergency services, but by the time Kay arrived at St. Luke´s Roosevelt Hospital little brain function could be found. Kay remained on a life support machine for two days before it was eventually switched off.

Dr Sachs, Nurse Alonzo Francisco and the anaesthesiologist – Dr. Madhavrao Subbarao – were all named as defendants by Kay´s husband, Liam, in the resultant claim for cosmetic surgery fatality compensation. Dr Sachs for causing the initial bleed due to his negligence, nurse Alonzo Francisco for taking an unjustifiable length of time to call the emergency services and Dr Subbarao for leaving Kay in the care of a nurse who was unable to perform the intubation procedure.

The agreement came five years after the tragedy, and shortly before a jury at the New York Supreme Court were to announce their verdict on how much compensation for cosmetic surgery fatality should be paid to husband Liam and Kay´s two sons.

Compensation for Amputated Leg Approved for Teenager

A young boy, who lost his right leg in an accident on a Waterford farm, has had a 1.28 million Euros settlement of compensation for amputated leg approved at Dublin´s High Court.

TJ Kearns (17) from Viewmount, County Waterford, was just nine years of age when he lost his leg in April 2001 in an accident on his uncle´s farm. As he was riding in a tractor, driven by an adult, TJ got his right leg tangled in the power harrow that was attached and, although emergency services rushed him to hospital, his injuries were so severe that the leg had to be amputated.

Mr Justice John Quirke at Dublin´s High Court heard that TJ spent many months at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghire and, although described as having responded well to the treatment, TJ now relies on an artificial leg to get around. Liability for the injury had been admitted by TJ´s uncles and the amputated leg claim was before him for approval of compensation only.

Having heard TJ´s story, Mr Justice John Quirke said that he had “no hesitation” in approving the 1.28 million Euros settlement of compensation for amputated leg and added that “no money could compensate TJ fully for what he had suffered”.

Cerebral Palsy Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A young boy from Sligo, who suffers from cerebral palsy due to alleged medical negligence around the time of his birth, has had a 4.5 million Euros cerebral palsy injury compensation settlement approved in court.

Evan Doyle was born with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia at Sligo General Hospital in 1996 due, it was alleged, to the mismanagement of his birth. Mr Justice John Quirke at the Dublin High Court heard claims that Evan´s mother, Janice, had been given too high a dose of a labour-inducing drug and then had a monitor detached during her labour.

It was further claimed that a delay before the decision was made to deliver Evan by Caesarean section and then the late arrival of the consultant had caused Evan to be starved of oxygen in the womb – a combination of errors which, it was alleged, resulted in Evan sustaining his cerebral palsy injury.

Sligo General Hospital contested each of the claims made against it – stating that it was standard practice to administer a labour-inducing drug and to remove the monitor in certain circumstances. The hospital also claimed that the consultant had arrived within the normally permitted time limit.

However, the judge heard that Sligo General Hospital and Health Service Executive were prepared to settle Evan´s cerebral palsy injury compensation claim without admission of liability in the amount of 4.5 million Euros. The judge approved the compensation settlement, commenting that the system under which damages are assessed in such cases should be reviewed to ensure that the victim is guaranteed a life time of care.

Compensation for Car Crash Injuries Awarded to Driver

A female driver, who sustained severe back injuries after a car ran a red light and crashed into her, has been awarded 4.35 million Euros compensation for car crash injuries in Dublin´s High Court.

Claire Noone (25) from Enfield, County Meath was made the award after the High Court heard how, in November 2005, she and her boyfriend had been hit by the car as they were driving through Johnstown. Claire´s boyfriend, John Larkin, was killed in the accident and Claire sustained severe back injuries which limit her ability to walk more than short distances.

Claire claimed compensation for car crash injuries and, in the High Court, Mr Justice John Quirke made the award of 4.35 million Euros – critical of the fact that compensation law in Ireland only allowed him to award lump sum payments rather than regular annual payments. The judge described the situation as a lottery, as it is unclear how much the cost of care will be in years to come.

Child´s Claim for Injured Foot Heard in Court

A boy, who sustained a painful injury when a slab of marble fell from a fireplace mantelpiece, has been awarded 9,500 Euros after his claim for injured foot compensation was heard in the Circuit Civil Court.

William Corrigan-Hayden (8) of Tallaght, County Dublin, made the claim for injured foot compensation through his parents against the constructer of the fireplace, Liam Heeney, from Lucan, County Dublin. The court heard that although William´s injury was painful at the time, it had now healed completely.

A settlement of 9,500 Euros for William´s claim for injured foot compensation had been agreed between the parties, and the compensation for injured foot settlement received approval.

Brain Injury Compensation Claim Resolved Against Parents

A young child, who suffered severe brain damage when his mother drove an uninsured car into a wall, has been awarded 2.9 million Euros following a High Court hearing.

Ben McHale, now four years of age, from Clonmel, County Tipperary, was just an infant when the accident occurred in April 2006. Ben´s mother, Disislave McHale, was driving an uninsured vehicle owned by his father, Marcus McHale, when she suffered a blackout at the wheel and drove into a wall. Ben, who was seated in the rear seat at the time, suffered severe brain damage and was blinded as a result of the accident.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice John Quirke heard that Ben had made a brain injury compensation claim against his parents and the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland through his uncle, William McHale, acting as his “next friend”. As liability was not contested, a settlement of brain injury compensation had been agreed where Ben was to become a ward of court and compensation in the amount of 2.9 million Euros was to be paid into court for his upkeep and to pay for stem cell surgery in Dusseldorf to improve his brain development.

Ben´s legal counsel informed Mr Justice John Quirke that Ben´s life expectancy was likely to be limited to 21 years and the judge approved the settlement – at the same time extending his sympathy to the family for the unfortunate circumstances.

Compensation for Swimming Pool Injury Approved in Court

A school girl, who cut her foot on a broken plastic drain in the showers of a public swimming pool, has had the settlement of her swimming pool foot injury claim approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Hollie McNevin from Walkinstown Park, Dublin, was just nine years of age when the accident happened in the showers of the Templeogue College Pool, Templeville Road, Dublin. Hollie slipped in the showers, cutting her foot on the drain and had to have eight stitches in the wound.

Hollie´s parents made a swimming pool foot injury claim for compensation on Hollie´s behalf and in the Circuit Civil Court Judge Joseph Matthews heard that, due to her injury, Hollie now had a scar on her foot which was likely to be permanent.

The judge also heard that liability had been accepted and an offer of 25,000 Euros in swimming pool foot injury compensation had been made to Hollie – which the family was prepared to accept. The judge subsequently approved the compensation settlement.

Settlement for Shoulder Injury at Birth Claim Approved in Court

A girl, who has limited function in her right arm and shoulder due to an injury at birth, is to receive 500,000 Euros compensation after a settlement for her shoulder injury at birth claim was approved at Dublin´s High Court.

Emma Dempsey (11) from Dublin made the shoulder injury at birth claim through her mother, Carol, against the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin, and consultant obstetrician Dr Peter Lenehan who practices at the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin.

It was alleged in the claim for malpractice that Emma sustained an avoidable shoulder injury at the time of her birth due to a lack of skill by Dr Lenehan and the medical team at the National Maternity Hospital – a charge which both defendants denied.

However, the High Court in Dublin heard that an offer of compensation of 500,000 Euros had been made to Emma without admission of liability in respect of her should injury at birth claim and, after hearing evidence relating to the case, the compensation settlement was approved.

HSE Issue Apology and Settle Claim for Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

The Health Service Executive has issued an apology to the family of John McNeive and settled a claim for delayed cancer diagnosis compensation following his death from neck cancer in August 2005.

John (59) from Ballindine, County Mayo, had started to experience headaches in 2003 and was referred to University College Hospital in Galway for tests. He was examined by a neurologist and, when a swelling later developed on his face, was sent for a CT scan at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

Despite the scan showing a malignant tumour, neither a biopsy nor a follow-up appointment were organised, and it was not until April 2005 that John was diagnosed with neck cancer. John died in a County Mayo hospice just four months later.

John´s family made a claim for delayed cancer diagnosis compensation against the Health Service Executive, claiming personal injury compensation for the mental stress that the delayed cancer diagnosis had caused.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice John Quirke heard that the family and Health Service Executive had reached an agreement on a delayed cancer diagnosis settlement of 102,000 Euros – one which he approved while offering his sympathy to John´s widow Eileen and other members of the McNeive family who were in attendance.

Personal Injury Claims in Ireland on the Increase

Figures released by the Injuries Board have revealed that the number of personal injury claims in Ireland increased by 5 per cent from 2008 to 2009. However, of 25,919 new claims received by the Injuries Board, only 8,645 settled for the amount assessed.

The disparity between the two figures was explained by more personal injury claims in Ireland being settled by negotiation before an assessment is complete, an increase in the number of claims that are going directly to court and claims in which the Injury Board´s assessment is rejected for being too low.

The majority of personal injury claims in Ireland made to the Injuries Board were for traffic accident compensation, with remainder mostly comprising of claims for injuries sustained at work and those involving public liability compensation.

The total value of assessments for personal injury claims in Ireland that were accepted by the claimants amounted to just over 118 million Euros, with the average value of an assessment being 23,166 Euros – a decrease of 5 per cent from 2008.

Child Shoulder Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A boy who sustained a shoulder injury at birth and who now has one arm shorter than the other as a result has had a child shoulder injury compensation settlement of 300,000 Euros approved in the High Court.

Daniel James O’Connell (now 14) of Portlaoise, County Laois, brought the medical malpractice claim against the Midland Health Board (now the Health Service Executive) and consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist John Conway through his mother – Valerie O´Connell – claiming that his condition was due to medical negligence during his birth in March 1995.

The court heard that the Health Service had offered an amount of 300,000 Euros in child shoulder injury compensation which the family were prepared to accept under advice. The compensation offer was approved and it was noted that the payment of child should injury compensation was being made without admission of liability.

Designer Awarded Compensation for Whiplash Symptoms

An interior designer, who was hit on the head by a falling display frying pan, has been awarded 12,240 Euros in compensation for whiplash symptoms by a judge at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard how Francesca De Cataldo (33) from Dublin had been ascending the stairs at the Avoca Restaurant in June 2005, when a metal frying pan which had become dislodged from its display shelf fell and hit her on the head.

Although she sustained no physical injury, Francesca described to the court how she had suffered stiffness in her neck and shoulders after the accident and had developed light-headedness, feelings of nausea and sleeplessness – similar to whiplash symptoms.

The Avoca Restaurant denied the claims, stating that the only witness to her accident – a store security man – could not confirm what exactly had caused Francesca to fall on the stairs. However Mr Justice Matthew Deery said that he was satisfied that Francesca´s story was credible and awarded her 12,240 Euros in compensation for whiplash symptoms against the store.

Holiday Compensation for Psychological Injury Approved

Two children, who suffered an emotional trauma while on a family vacation in Lanzarote, are each to receive 6,500 Euros holiday compensation for psychological injury from the travel company through whom the family booked their holiday.

The unnamed children were sleeping in their Los Orquideas apartment in Puerto del Carmen when intruders broke in at 3.00am. One of the intruders went into the children´s bedroom brandishing a long screwdriver and terrified the two children – who were aged eight and five at the time of the break-in in May 2002.

The intruders escaped with 1,600 Euros in cash, 12,000 Euros worth of jewellery, passports and a credit card. The parents of the children claimed injury compensation from Budget Travel on the basis that the company had failed to provide them with secure accommodation and, in a separate hearing at the Killarney Circuit Court obtained holiday compensation for psychological injury of 28,400 for their own loss of property and emotional trauma.

The compensation settlement for the two children was delayed to assess the extent of the psychological injury, but now their own settlements have been approved by a judge.

Toxic Lead Paint Poisoning Case leads to €2m award

A Baltimore City brother and sister have recently been awarded €2m in a toxic lead poisoning case for their exposure in a West Baltimore house that was sold to the family as safe from lead paint by a nonprofit organisation called City Homes.

The charity pointed out that the home cleared city lead inspections before and after the siblings had lived there and also that the charity had been responsive to all of the claimant’s concerns.

However, experts testified that the house was not completely “lead safe” and that both siblings have below average IQs as a result of lead paint poisoning. The jury heard evidence that there had been efforts to minimise the possibility of lead paint exposure, that there was paint chipping and flaking on surfaces, that rats had chewed at the walls and had brought lead dust through the house.

Lead paint was outlawed in 1978 in the United States by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Lead paint poisoning can cause severe and permanent brain damage and developmental issues in children, nervous system injury seizures or convulsions, growth or mental retardation, and comas. In extreme cases, it can lead to death.

Hospital Negligent in Failure to Diagnose Meningitis

Mark Thomas has just been awarded €3.9million in compensation for a hospital being negligent in failure to diagnose meningitis, compounded by the fact that the victim was turned away from Walsall Manor Accident and Emergency Department and his parents were admonished at the time for ‘misusing the emergency services’.  It took a second opinion five days after the initial hospital visit to determine that Mark Thomas had contracted meningitis.

In this tragic case, Mark Thomas has been left with brain damage and no short term memory and will never be able to work or live without the help of a carer.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Some of the usual symptoms include headaches, neck stiffness, fever, confusion, vomiting, and light or noise intolerance. Meningitis is  life-threatening and has a high mortality rate if left untreated and delayed treatment can result in brain damage.  Wide-spectrum antibiotics are therefore normally prescribed immediately, even before confirmatory tests.

Wives Share Laparotomy Compensation after Husband´s Death

Two wives are to share 400,000 Euros laparotomy compensation following an out-of-court settlement between their legal representatives, insurers of St. James´s Hospital in Dublin and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Arjuna Rawlings (39) from Dublin brought the laparotomy compensation claim against the hospital and HSE following her husband´s wrongful death after a routine surgical procedure to gain access into the abdominal cavity. David Rawlings (40) died the day after the procedure had taken place due to complications with the surgery and vain attempts to resuscitate him.

St James´s Hospital and the HSE did not contest the claim for laparotomy compensation and it was due to go before Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns at the High Court for assessment of damages. However, shortly before the trial was due to commence, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told that an agreement had been reached and the case could be struck off.

In the settlement of Arjuna´s claim, she is to receive 250,000 Euros, while David´s previous wife – Fiona Rawlings, with whom David had a daughter – is to receive 150,000 Euros. This was agreed as David, who worked as an engineer, had been financially supporting Fiona and their daughter while being married to Arjuna.

Car Crash Passenger Compensation Awarded to ex-Singer

A promising young singer, whose career was terminated due to a horrific car crash, is to receive 3 million pounds in car crash passenger compensation after a settlement was agreed between his solicitors and insurers for the driver of the car in which he was travelling.

Owen Griffin (26) from Waterford was the back seat passenger in a car travelling from Glasgow to Stranraer, when the driver was in a head-on collision with a motorcyclist. Both the motorcyclist and the driver´s five-year-old son were killed in the accident, while Owen suffered severe physical injuries and brain damage which left him in a coma for weeks.

Owen still has no recollection of the accident and, in 2007, had to move into an assisted living scheme to receive the round-the-clock care and attention he needs. He was forced to abandon his career with the boy band Idolize as he can no longer sing due to the effects on his voice of a tracheotomy performed after the accident.

Owen brought a car crash passenger compensation claim against the driver of the car but, because he was the injured passenger in an accident where the driver was from Northern Ireland, the case was due to be heard at the High Court in Belfast. However, shortly before the trial was due to commence, Mr Justice McLaughlin was told that the two sides had agreed a settlement figure and the case was to be struck.

Compensation for Swimming Pool Injury Awarded to Quadriplegic

A man, who sustained catastrophic spinal cord injuries after mistakenly diving into three and a half feet of water at a friend´s swimming pool, has been awarded over 4 million dollars in compensation for swimming pool injury by a jury in Cook County, Illinois.

Don Duffy, an Irish immigrant, had never swum in an American pool before, and assumed that he was diving into the “deep” end. Unfortunately the pool at his friend´s home was shallow at both ends and deep in the middle, and Don – who was aged 22 at the time of his accident in July 2001 – suffered a spinal cord injury on impact with the floor of the pool which rendered him an incomplete quadriplegic.

After seeking legal advice, Don made a swimming injury compensation claim against the pool liner maker Latham Plastic and pool installer Black Oak Pool and Supply. During the trial, the defendants alleged that Don had been drinking prior to the accident and should have assumed the risk of injury when diving into a pool without knowing how deep it was.

After considering the legal arguments, the jury ruled in favour of the pool liner company but against Black Oak Pool and Supply. They decided that Don should be 50 per cent accountable for his injuries and therefore reduced a compensation for swimming pool injury settlement of over 8 million dollars to 4,051,200 dollars – the highest ever pool-related compensation settlement in Illinois.

Foot Burn at Work Injury Claims sees employer found liable

A welder called Ignacio Llamas was recently awarded €6.4 million as compensation for a foot burn at work injury claim when he suffered severe burning when a molten piece of metal broke loose and slid down his foot.

The metal burned through a protective Tyvek suit, slid down Llamas jeans and into his rubber boot, and burned the top of his foot. Llamas was working in a confined area and it took some time to remove his boot and take the molten metal off his foot.

Llamas was not wearing leather boots, which are normally worn by welders. Welders’ trousers usually fit over the upper part of the boots to prevent anything falling into them. Llamas was wearing rubber boots that fit over the jean with a gap for falling debris. This meant that his employers were negligent.

The incident happened in February 2007 and the legal relationships were complicated by various subcontracting agreements. The jury assessed liability between different parties – the  contractor Altair Strickland at 19 percent; Certified Safety Specialists at 50 percent; Llamas’ actual employer, Turnaround Welding Services at 30 percent; and finally Llamas at 1 percent,.  The jury effectively found that Llamas was not responsible for his  injury.

The employer Turnaround Welding was insured by a Worker’s Compensation program and Altair Strickland settled before trial for substantially less.

The injury was compounded when a Certified Safety Specialist employee instructed Llamas to attend a doctor who did not correctly treat the wound after an emergency doctor said he suffered third-degree burns. The resulting infection worsened the injury.

Widow and Children Awarded Compensation for Nervous Shock

A widow and her two daughters have been awarded 250,000 Euros in compensation for nervous shock following the death of her husband in a tragic motorbike accident in Ireland.

James Walsh from Clonmel, County Tipperary, lost control of his motorbike after taking evasive action to avoid a motorist emerging from a side road. James crashed and died from his injuries at the scene.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard that Catherine Walsh – wife of the deceased motorcyclist – arrived at the scene of her husband´s accident with her two daughters shortly after it occurred.

Both Catherine and the two girls – who were aged fourteen and eight at the time – witnessed the events following the accident and suffered severe emotional trauma due to the distressing circumstances.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard that an offer of compensation for nervous shock had be made to James´ dependants of 250,000 Euros and, due to the ages of the girls, the case was before him for approval.

Widow to Receive Compensation for Operation Errors

The widow of a man who died following kidney surgery at Bon Secours Hospital in Cork is to receive 250,000 Euros compensation for operation errors following an investigation into his death in November 2004.

Patrick Hayes, formally of Middleton, County Cork, was a man of general good health prior to his admission into hospital to have a kidney removed. However during the operation a slight ooze of liquid from the spleen was detected and surgical gauze was applied. Patrick was taken to the intensive care unit at the hospital following the operation, but suffered a substantial haemorrhage and died during attempts to resuscitate him.

A post-mortem into Patrick´s death established that there had been a blood clot surrounding his spleen and more than two litres of blood had collected in the peritoneal cavity.

Patrick´s wife, Nora, made a personal injury claim against the hospital, alleging that nursing staff were aware that Patrick was in a serious condition but failed to respond. The claim was denied by Bon Secours Hospital, but in an out-of-court settlement they agree to a payment of compensation for operation errors without admission of liability.

Lifting at Work Injury Claim Settled for Hospital Porter

A hospital porter, who claimed that he required surgery on his shoulder due to an injury sustained when he lifted a dead man from a hospital bed, has settled his lifting at work injury claim against the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght.

Austin Dowling (59) from Tallaght, County Dublin, alleged in an injury compensation claim that he suffered pain and loss of movement in his right shoulder following the accident in January 2005.

The injury occurred, Austin claimed, as there was no proper equipment provided at the hospital for mortuary porters to slide a body onto a concealment trolley, and he had received no formal training on the use of the type of containment trolley that was being used.

Austin also claimed that there was no safe system for his type of work implemented at the hospital and that the trolley he had been provided with was unsafe.

The lifting at work injury claim was settled for an undisclosed sum without the need for the case to go to court and without an admission of liability from the hospital.

Compensation for Holiday Death Paid by Turkish Authorities

The family of a woman, who was tragically killed when a bus she was travelling on was blown up in the holiday resort of Kusadasi in Turkey, are to receive more than 1 million pounds in compensation for holiday death from the Turkish government.

Helyn Bennett (21) from Spennymoor, County Durham, was visiting the resort in July 2005 with members of her family when the shocking tragedy happened. Helyn and four other tourists died in the bomb blast in which Helyn´s fiancée and four other relatives were seriously injured.

According to personal injury law in the UK, compensation for victims for terror attacks is only paid when the injuries have been sustained within the United Kingdom and not overseas. However, after seeking legal advice, Helyn´s mother approached the Turkish authorities and now their government has agreed to pay compensation for holiday death and for the injuries sustained by other members of Helyn´s party.

Solicitors representing the families of the victims have estimated that the total compensation package will exceed 1.1 million pounds.

Girl to get Electric Shock Compensation after Holiday Accident

A teenage girl, who received a powerful electric shock from a poolside shower while she was on holiday in Kenya, is to receive 27,100 pounds in electric shock compensation from the travel firm through which the holiday was booked.

Alexandra Miles (15) from Maidstone in Kent was on holiday with family at the Kilifi Bay Resort in April 2005, when she put her hand on the switch to turn the shower on and received a 240 volt electric shock which left her temporarily paralysed.

Investigations into how Alexandra temporarily lost all feeling in her left arm and right leg revealed that power cables ran underneath the metal shower tray, and that Alexandra completed the circuit when she turned the switch while standing in the tray.

Alexandra´s mother sought personal injury compensation on behalf of her daughter from First Choice Holidays – the company through which the family had booked their holidays – and, in an out-of-court settlement, First Choice Holidays agreed to pay 27,100 pounds in electric shock compensation to Alexandra.

Widower to Receive Caesarean Error Compensation after Death of Wife

The family of a woman, who died during the birth of her son due to a sequence of medical errors, is to receive 410,000 pounds in Caesarean error compensation following a hearing at the High Court in London.

Joanne Lockham (45) of Wendover, Buckinghamshire, was preparing to give birth to her first child at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in October 2007 when the baby´s heart rate dropped and an emergency Caesarean operation was scheduled to enable the child´s swift delivery.

However, while Joanne was under general anaesthetic, her oxygen supply was not put into her windpipe and she suffered a cardiac arrest. Joanne was deprived of oxygen for half an hour and her heart stopped shortly after her baby was born. She died two days later, having never seen her son, Finn. Finn is now care for by her widower, Peter.

At London’s High Court, Mr Justice Burnett heard that serious failings by the hospital had been identified during the inquest into Joanne´s death. In addition to depriving Joanne of oxygen, medical staff had administered a second dose of drugs to paralyse her limbs when she started to stir and the repeated attempts to insert an oxygen tube when the error was noticed wasted valuable time which contributed towards her death.

Mr Justice Burnett also heard that Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust acknowledged their errors and liability for personal injury compensation, and a settlement of Caesarean error compensation for 410,000 pounds had been agreed. Mr Justice Burnett approved the settlement, stating that the claim had arisen in “especially tragic circumstances”.

Insurance Company Compensation Tactics Condemned by Law Society

The Law Society of Northern Ireland has produced a report on “Third Party Capture” which condemns insurance company compensation tactics and calls for greater protection for victims of personal injury.

The report, which focuses on approaches made to a potential claimant by insurances companies after one of their clients has been responsible for causing a personal injury, identifies specific issues which the public should be aware of:-

  • Discouraging potential claimants from seeking a medical opinion
  • Discouraging potential claimants from seeking professional legal advice
  • Providing incorrect personal injury information to injured parties in respect of their legal rights
  • Pressurising potential claimants to make decisions about accepting an offer of compensation before they know the full consequences of their injuries

One positive result from insurance company compensation tactics is that many more claims are being resolved quicker, as the insurance companies have acknowledged their clients´ negligence and are more open to negotiating a settlement.

Nonetheless, the report warns against victims settling a personal injury compensation claim without first getting a medical opinion, and recommends that claimants should also seek professional legal advice from a qualified personal injury solicitor.


Family Awarded Extreme Sports Injury Compensation after Daughter´s Death

A New Zealand water sports company has been ordered to pay the family of a British girl who drowned during one of the company´s river excursions 80,000 NZ dollars in extreme sports injury compensation after they were found to have breached health and safety regulations.

Emily Jordan (21) of Trimpley in Worcestershire died in a tragic accident while river boarding on the Kawarau River near Queenstown in April 2008. The board to which she was attached became trapped beneath a rock while Emily was riding through the rapids and she drowned before help could reach her.

Judges at Queenstown District Court set the extreme sports injury compensation after hearing that Emily and her boyfriend, Jonny Armour, had not been warned about the risks of being trapped under rocks and that no rope had been provided to assist water boarders who got into difficulty.

A sports injury compensation claim was made against the company organising the event – Black Sheep Adventures – after they admitted failing to ensure the safety of their customers. The company was also fined 66,000 NZ dollars and told to get their safety plan up to industry standards.

Compensation for Holiday Food Poisoning Paid to Honeymooner

A man, who contracted the potentially life-threatening dysentery illness after eating at an all-inclusive resort on his honeymoon in 2004, has received compensation for holiday food poisoning from the travel company through which he booked the trip.

Julian Hurley (50) from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was staying on the Venezuelan island of Margarita when he ate food described as being of poor standard and contracted the illness. Due to a lack of medical facilities on the island, it was not until Julian returned home that he was treated for his condition.

Julian was immediately admitted to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where he was treated for five days with antibiotics and he still suffers from the effects of his illness five years after his honeymoon. In his claim for public liability compensation against First Choice Holidays Julian provided medical evidence to show that he has irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress and chronic fatigue syndrome which are all attributable to being ill while on holiday.

First Choice Holidays investigated the claim and, after negotiation with Julian´s legal representatives, settled out of court with compensation for holiday food poisoning of 286,500 pounds.

Court Settles Compensation for Accident with Uninsured Driver

A court in Scotland has had to determine the settlement of compensation for accident with uninsured driver, after the representatives of a man who sustained brain injuries in a tragic accident could not reach an agreement with the Motor Insurers´ Bureau.

Lord Woolman, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, heard how Sean Milligan (44) spent 28 weeks in a brain injury rehabilitation unit after being involved in a van accident in May 2004. The driver of the stolen van which hit Sean´s Nissan Micra head-on had been banned from driving and was under the influence of alcohol when the accident happened.

Despite his extended rehabilitation, Sean still suffers from bouts of anger and depression, and finds it difficult to concentrate, balance and walk. As the driver responsible for Sean´s injuries – Mark Lynch – was uninsured, a claim for compensation for accident with uninsured driver was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau.

However, no agreement could be reached on how much compensation for accident with uninsured driver Sean should receive, and the case was before Lord Woolman for assessment of damages only. Announcing a decision to award 3.3 million pounds, Lord Woolman stated that the crash had devastating consequences for Sean which were “demonstrated by the fact that he requires round-the-clock care, seven days a week”.

Trip in Pub Compensation Awarded to Well Heeled Smoker

A woman, who fell in the smoking area of her local pub due to the heel of her stiletto shoe snagging on a damaged floor, has settled her trip in pub compensation claim with the bar´s insurers for 18,000 pounds.

Selena Gilder (40) from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, had just finished a cigarette in the smoking area of the town´s Albion Pub in April 2007, and was returning to her seat in the main area of the pub, when the heel of her shoe got caught in broken concrete. She tripped and then fell, smashing her knee, breaking her leg and sustaining severe scar injuries.

Selena had to undergo three operations to repair the damaged knee and missed eight months from work due to her injuries. During this time she suffered financial hardship as well as the pain from her broken leg.

After seeking advice from a personal injury solicitor, Selena made a tripped in pub compensation claim, stating that she fell due to the state of the floor which she may have been able to avoid had the lighting not been so poor.

The pub´s insurers agreed to settle the claim for 18,000 pounds once they had seen Selena´s medical records.

Fatal Bike Accident Compensation Awarded to Teacher´s Family

The family of a science teacher, who was killed in a collision with a car while cycling home from the school in which he worked, has been awarded 580,000 pounds in fatal bike accident compensation.

David Kerslake (44) from Bolton, Greater Manchester, was cycling along Compton Way in Bolton in October 2004 when the driver of a car travelling in the opposite direction suffered a hypoglycaemic attack and lost control of his vehicle. David was killed instantly, leaving a wife and young daughter.

David´s wife, Jacqueline, made a claim for fatal bike accident compensation against the negligent driver, whose car insurance company were quick to acknowledge liability. However, it was not until almost five years after David´s death that the amount of bike accident compensation to be paid was finally agreed upon.

As a tribute to David, the Sharples School at which he worked gained special science status two years after his death.

Pensioner Gets Compensation for Bad Bank Advice

A 91-year-old pensioner, who was wrongly advised about how to securely invest his life savings, has won almost 200,000 pounds in compensation for bad bank advice against his local branch of Barclays Bank.

Isaac Price (91) from Llandrindod Wells, Powys, was looking for an investment which would boost his savings without putting his savings at risk to enable him to pay for his care home fees. Having banked with Barclays for over seventy years, Isaac saw one of the bank´s financial advisors who recommended moving the money into a fund primarily composed of shares.

Unfortunately the value of the shares – and the fund into which Isaac had invested his life savings – fell considerably, and Isaac saw 75,000 pounds wiped off the value of his investment. Concerned about the loss of his savings, Isaac complained to the bank, who rejected his initial claim of professional negligence – stating that they were satisfied the investment was wholly suitable at the time.

However, under pressure from Isaac´s Member of Parliament, Roger Williams, Barclays Bank were forced into a U-turn and reconsidered the case. Admitting that there were “occasional errors”, Barclays Bank refunded Isaac with the funds he had invested into the failed investment scheme and paid him the interest he would have received in a standard savings account as compensation for bad bank advice.