Tuesday, 10 December, 2013
The Circuit Civil Court has awarded €6,000 to a university student from University College Dublin after hearing their claim for black eye injury compensation.
Bernadette Poleon from Dunboyne in County Meath volunteered to participate in a clinical acupuncture training course in April 2010 that was being run by the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Dublin.
One of the exercises during the training course involved a medicine student inserting needles below each of Bernadette´s eyes. After the student´s placement of the needles was examined by a course supervisor, the needle below Bernadette´s right eye was repositioned – but the needle below the left eye remained where it was.
Later the same day, the skin surrounding Bernadette´s left eye became swollen and puffy and, within a few days, significant black and yellow bruising had developed around the eye. The swelling and puffiness disappeared several days later, but the black and yellow bruising around Bernadette´s eye lasted a further seven weeks.
Bernadette also developed a sinus problem after attending the acupuncture training course – for which she is still receiving medical treatment from her GP – and, after seeking legal advice, she made a claim for black eye injury compensation against the owners of the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine – Bellfield Consultants Ltd.
Bellfield Consultants Ltd contested the claim for black eye injury compensation and prepared a full defence against the claim when court proceedings were issued. However, before the case was scheduled to be heard by Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court, the judge was informed that – by consent – the case was now before her for the assessment of black eye injury compensation only.
After hearing the circumstances of how Bernadette sustained her injury, and the embarrassment she had experienced while the eye injury was still visible, the judge awarded Bernadette €6,000 in settlement of her claim for black eye injury for compensation.