Injury Compensation News
Thursday, 29 July, 2010
A High Court settlement of €40,000 was approved by Mr Justice Michael Peart as compensation for the distressed family of Ms Louise Butler, aged 21, of Cappa Lodge, Sixmilebridge, County Clare. Louse Bulter died at Limerick Regional Hospital on November 16, 2006.
The settlement and apology followed a hospital negligence claim, which the HSE had initially denied. The claim was brought against the Health Service Executive (HSE) by Ms Butler’s brother James Butler, on behalf of his family, who insisted that Ms Butler would have lived if she had received proper medical care at Limerick Regional Hospital,
Between October 6-12, 2006, Ms Butler sought help at the hospital for an unbearable headache. Her family and doctor strongly urged the hospital to provide her with a CT cat scan prior to her leaving the hospital. Ms Butler was discharged on October 12 without having received a CT cat scan. The hospital eventually did provide a CT cat scan for Ms Butler on October 13 that showed massive bleeding in her brain. The family claimed that this came too later because Ms Butler collapsed and died before receiving the results.
Medical experts testified that if the scan would have shown the need for immediate treatment if it had been provided earlier.
The HSE apologised to the Butler family and admitted medical failures and deficiencies had contributed to Louise Butler’s tragic death.
Posted in Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Incidents, Medical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Monday, 26 July, 2010
An article by Patricia McDonagh in today’s Irish Independent shows that the general public has clearly completely lost faith in the Injuries Board Ireland.
There were 7,099 personal injury cases filed in the High Court and 6,999 cases filed in the Circuit Court in 2009. This compares to 746 cases filed in the High Court in 2005, the year after the Injuries Board Ireland was set up. So while the Injuries Board process was initially effective in persuading people to forgo their right to litigation and legal council, people soon realised that they would get higher compensation by hiring a solicitor and at least threatening to go to court (very few cases actually arrive in court). The trend toward avoiding settling cases through the Injuries Board process and going to court is accelerating. It is believed that up to 90% of all claimants now use a solicitor.
According to McDonagh “New figures show people are going to court because they can receive higher compensation awards and get their legal costs if they are successful.”
The Irish Independent quotes senior counsel David Nolan’s explanation of why so many people are not accepting the compensation amounts recommended by the Injuries Board: ”People realise that the value of their case is better being determined by a court rather than a civil service quagmire like InjuriesBoard.ie.”
It is unfair to call the injuries Board a ‘quagmire’ because in fact, it has actually speeded up the personal injury claims process in Ireland by stopping insurance companies from dragging out the process over as many years as possible.
Posted in Compensation Claims, InjuriesBoard.ie, Personal Injury Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 15 July, 2010
Mr Justice Vivian Lavan has approved in the High Court a €4.7 million plus costs settlement for Colm Daly of Glasheen, County Cork for an alleged medical negligence incident at the Bon Secours Hospital, Cork, that left him severely brain-damaged.
Colm Daly had a difficult birth on June 12, 2000 when the midwives were forced to clamp his umbilical cord after it ruptured and then wait for the obstetrician to arrive. Colm’s health seriously deteriorated about a month after his birth and it was eventually found that a small blood vessel in his brain had burst, started bleeding, and did not clot properly. Colm was given a vitamin K injection to help the blood clot, which happened within eight hours.
The hospital was sued for negligence for allegedly not giving a vitamin K injection at birth, although the medical records say Colm did actually receive the injection.
It was stated that Colm was “catastrophically injured” that left him with lifelong intellectual and behaviour problems with uncontrollable epilepsy with hourly seizures that drugs could not control. The problem was brought under control within 18 months by placing Colm on a strict diet.
The dedication and special care given by Glasheen Boy’s National School staff and principal Michael Daly and his staff was praised by the family in a statement.
Although the case has been settled, the Bon Secours Hospital, Cork, has not admitted liability for the alleged medical negligence. The family was told that the problems during the birth of Colm were “just one of those events”.
Posted in Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 15 July, 2010
The High Court has approved an interim settlement of €1.65 million for Charlotte Barry of Sandymount, Dublin, against the National Maternity Hospital.
It was claimed in court that the hospital failed to properly manage the labour, delivery and birth of Charlotte, who suffered hypoxic-ischaemic insult resulting in cerebral palsy. The young child now requires constant care.
The case was taken by Charlotte’s mother, Aisling Campbell, as her ‘next friend’. The hospital admitted full liability.
Although the compensation payments system is under review, there is not yet any legislation in Ireland that allows for staged payments. The case has therefore been adjourned for two years on the understanding that the €1.65 million interim payment will be made immediately.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Incidents, Medical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Monday, 12 July, 2010
Sean Geraghty of Oldcastle, County Meath, has settled his High Court case for his arm that was severed during a collision with a truck.
It was claimed in court that Gereghty’s arm was severed by a lorry driven by Edward Gavin on the Ballyjamesduff to Oldcastle Road in County Meath. Geraghty’s right arm was severed five inches below the elbow while adjusting his wing mirror. The incident happened on the night of July 15, 2003. The passenger in Geraghty’s car called for an ambulance and the gardai and Geraghty was taken to hospital and sedated. The severed part of the arm was never recovered and it was speculated in court that foxes or rats may have taken it.
Edward Gavin denied all knowlege of the incident; which is entirely possible given the circumstances of the accident. However, blood was found on the truck at the likely point of impact:
Geraghty has not been able to resume his former job as a driver or resume sports such as swimming and pitch and putt golf.
Geraghty sued for negligence and breach of duty of care following the alleged incident.
The case was settled out of court.
Posted in Car Accidents, Road Traffic Accidents - No Comments »
Saturday, 10 July, 2010
A survey by Red C on behalf of the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) has found that over 40 percent of Irish people feel that healthcare services they or their families have received are below the expected standards. The survey statistics were obtained using a representative sample of over 1,000 adults.
But only one third of the people that were dissatified with the healthcare they received actually made a complaint about the below-standard level of care. One of the primary reasons was that 52 percent felt too intimidated to make a complaint. Over 80 percent of survey respondents said it was difficult to know where to make a complaint. The actual number of complaints received in 2009 by the Health Services Executive (HSE) was 7,984 which is an increase of 63 percent on 2008.
Hiqa is preparing draft national standards for better and safer healthcare that will eventually apply across the entire health sector. The Hiqa survey found that 99 percent of people wanted to be informed when there was a problem with their treatment so it seems likely that Hiqa will propose better disclosure procedures in the new national standards. It remains to be seen if the HSE, which has a reputation for secrecy, will accept a more open approarch to patient disclosure when it comes to medical negligence.
Posted in Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Infections, Hospital MRSA, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Incidents, Medical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 8 July, 2010
Mr Justice Matthew Deery of the Circuit Civil Court has approved a €10,000 settlement for a seven-year-old girl for a small scar from an injury sustained at a shopping centre when she was three years old.
Jasmine D’Arcy Sweeney of Athy, County Kildare, was accidently hit on her right eyebrow by a store detective’s walkie-talkie in the Liffey Valley shopping centre on December 7th, 2006. The accident occurred because the security guard was allegedly not paying attention and knocked over then then three-year-old child.
The child was left with a faint 1cm scar and a slight hair loss on her eyebrow, none of which are noticable under normal circumstances. The minor scar was also unlikely to be noticeable in adulthood.
Because Jasmine D’Arcy Sweeney is a minor, the child injury claim was taken by her mother acting as “next friend” against Chubb Ireland Limited of Stillorgan Industrial Park, County Dublin.
Posted in Children's Injury Claims, Shopping Center Accident Claims - No Comments »
Tuesday, 6 July, 2010
Investigative journalists at the Irish Independent have revealed there has been at least 19 wrong body part errrors by surgeons in Health Service Executive (HSE) hospitals between 2005 and 2010. Wrong body part surgical errors, sometimes called wrong-site surgeries, occur when a surgeon operates on the wrong part of a patient. The surgical errors in the HSE hospitals included operations on the wrong eye, ovary, kidney, leg, hand, and finger.
The HSE has already paid six hospital negligence claims as a result of the wrong body part operations, including a case where a surgeon in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin removed the wrong kidney of a boy in March 2008, leaving him requiring dialysis until he gets a kidney transplant.
Ireland has operated a centralised database since 2000 to which all adverse clinical incidents must be reported. The data on wrong body part errors came from this database. The system means that while patients may not be fully informed and aware that they suffered some sort of clinical incident while receiving treatment in an Irish hospital, the error will be reported and logged in the centralised database.
Posted in Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Incidents, Medical Negligence Claims, Surgical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Sunday, 4 July, 2010
Professor John Crown, a consultant oncologist, writing recently in The Irish Independent, said that the HSE and Department of Health and Children together “comprise one of the least ethical organisations that I have ever dealt with”. Professor Crown goes on to describe the HSE as “secretive, self-serving, dishonest, incompetent and unintelligent.” He concludes, with an interesting historical comparison, that the “corruption and incompetence” of the HSE is effectively a form of Stalinism.
These comments are interesting from the point of view of anyone trying to make a medical negligence claim or hospital negligence claim related to one of the HSE’s services. The management problems that increase the likelihood of negligence are compounded by the way the HSE deals with its own negligence. It’s really no surprise that the Injuries Board Ireland refuses to deal with cases against the HSE.
Posted in Contributory Negligence, Falls in Hospitals, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Infections, Hospital MRSA, Hospital Negligence Claims, Incorrect Medication Claims, Irish Patients Association, Medical Incidents, Medical Negligence Claims, Professional Negligence - No Comments »
Sunday, 4 July, 2010
Caroloine Grainger of Portmarnock, County Dublin, has been awarded €25,000 damages against a burglar who terrorised her while robbing her possessions in her bedroom in March 2004.
Ms Grainger said that she thought she was going to be killed when two men pulled her blankets over her head. Simon O’Connor of Donnycarney, Dublin, later pleaded guilty to burglary in the Circuit Criminal Court and was jailed for five years.
Ms Grainger testified that she still suffered nightmares and flashback and now slept behind locked doors. Medical evidence was given that Ms Grainger had suffered mild to severe post-traumatic stress syndrome. The case was heard by Mr Justice Matthew Deery and the compensation award was made for emotional stress, assault, and trespass.
Posted in Compensation Claims, Criminal Injury Compensation - No Comments »