201701.27
0

Judge Orders Full Hearing of Claim for a Broken Leg at Play School

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke has said the proposed settlement of a girl´s claim for a broken leg at play school is inadequate.

In April 2015, the plaintiff was just three years of age when she climbed onto an open wardrobe at the Larkin Early Education Centre in Ballybough, Dublin, and fell – landing awkwardly. X-rays revealed that the young girl had fractured the tibia in her right leg, and she had to undergo a manipulation of her bones under anaesthesia.

She was discharged from hospital wearing a long leg cast, and had to wear a walking boot for several weeks afterwards. Despite the accident occurring almost two years ago, the girl continues to feel pain in her leg and, on her behalf, her mother made a claim for a broken leg at play school against the Larkin Early Education Centre.

The claim for a broken leg at play school was assessed by the Injuries Board and, once the assessment was completed, an offer of settlement was made by the school amounting to €31,000. The family´s solicitor advised the girl´s mother not to accept the offer and, as no improved offer was forthcoming, the case went to the Circuit Civil Court for evaluation

The hearing took place earlier this week before Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident and how the settlement of the claim for a broken leg at play school had been determined. He agreed with the family´s solicitor that the offer of settlement was inadequate and ordered that it go to a full trial at the Circuit Civil Court.

According to the recently revised Book of Quantum, the range of compensation settlements for a moderate lower leg fracture in which the bones have been displaced is €40,500 to €70,400. Considering that injuries to the tibia are considered to be more serious than those to the fibula, and that the young girl continues to experience pain in her leg, the final settlement of her claim for broken leg at play school is likely to be at the higher end of the scale.

201612.13
0

Judge Approves Settlement of Claim against B&Q for a Finger Injury

A Circuit Civil Court judge has approved the settlement of a claim against B&Q for a finger injury, made by a Dublin man on behalf of his six-year-old son.

In November 2011, the man´s son was just sixteen months of age when he cut the base of his right hand middle finger on a fire purchased from B&Q. He was taken to the A&E Department of Crumlin Hospital where it was diagnosed that he had completely severed one tendon, and suffered damage to another as well as to an artery and a nerve.

The young boy underwent surgery under a general anaesthetic to repair the damage to his finger and was discharged from hospital wearing a cast. Despite the seriousness of the injury, the boy can now use his right hand fully without difficulty or pain, and the scars from his injury and the subsequent surgery are expected to disappear as he grows older.

Through his father, the boy made a claim against B&Q for a finger injury, and also included Focal Point Fires of London in the claim – alleging that the company was negligent in the manufacture of the wall-mounted fire. B&Q and Focal Point Fires admitted liability for the boy´s injury and made an offer of settlement amounting to €30,000.

The family were advised to accept the offer of settlement; but, as the claim against B&Q for a finger injury had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement first had to be approved by a judge to ensure that it was in the boy´s best interests. The approval hearing took place earlier this week at the Circuit Civil Court before Judge James O´Donohoe.

At the hearing, Judge O´Donohoe was told the circumstances of the accident and the medical attention that the boy subsequently received. He heard that the boy had recovered full functionality of his right hand and that there was a low possibility of a permanent cosmetic injury. After inspecting the boy´s hand Judge O´Donohoe approved the settlement of the claim against B&Q for a finger injury, stating that the settlement was adequate and appropriate.

201610.07
0

Judge Approves Settlement of Child´s Fall from Window Injury Claim

A Circuit Court judge has approved an Injuries Board assessed settlement of a child´s fall from window injury claim in favour of a five-year-old girl.

In August 2012, fifteen-month-old Róisín Byrne fell eleven feet onto an emergency fire escape from a window of her parent´s temporary accommodation in Blackrock, County Dublin. Róisín injured her head, punctured a lung and fractured a rib in the accident. Now five years of age, she still has a visible scar on her forehead.

Róisín´s parents – Ronan Byrne and Chloe Murphy – had previously complained to the caretaker of the property about the large Georgian sash window from which their daughter fell. They claimed that it presented a risk of injury due to opening just twenty-one inches from the floor and had asked for a security mechanism to be fitted so that the window could be locked shut.

The request was never attended to and, on Róisín´s behalf, Chloe applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of the child´s fall from window injury claim. The owner of the accommodation – Enda Woods – gave his consent for process to continue, and the Injuries Board assessed the injuries to Róisín as having a value of €46,000.

Both parties accepted the Injuries Board´s assessment but, as the child´s fall from window injury claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the proposed settlement first had to be approved by a judge. As the value of the assessment was in excess of €15,000, the approval hearing was held at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

At the approval hearing, the circumstances of Róisín´s accident were related the judge, who was also informed about the scar on her forehead. Judge Groarke approved the settlement of the child´s fall from window claim, which will now be paid into court funds until Róisín is eighteen years of age.

201608.01
0

Settlement of Claim for a Scar from an Accident in a Creche Approved

A boy, who cut his eye in a fall in 2007, has had the settlement of his claim for a scar from an accident in a creche approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

In July 2007, three-year-old Calum Lawless was playing at the Happy Days Creche in Clonee, Dublin, when he tripped on an uneven floor surface and landed on his face. Bleeding heavily from a cut close to his right eye, Calum was taken to the VH1 Swiftcare Clinic at Dublin City University, where he was treated for a three-centimetre laceration with glue and steri-strips.

Calum´s eye remained closed for a week after his accident, and the area around his eye remained bruised for almost a month. Now twelve years of age, Calum has a permanent visible scar by his eye that – due to its location – cannot be resolved by plastic surgery.

Calum´s mother – Lorraine Lawless from Dunshaughlin in County Meath – made a claim for a scar for an accident in a creche on her son´s behalf against the owners of the Happy Days facility. In her legal action, Lorraine alleged that the creche had failed in its duty of care to provide Calum with a safe environment in which to play.

Liability for Calum´s injury was admitted, and an offer was made to settle the claim for a scar from an accident in a creche for €45,000. As the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Calum´s best interests.

The case went to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where Judge James O´Donohoe was told the circumstances of Calum´s accident and its consequences. After hearing that the family were happy to accept the creche´s offer of €45,000 compensation, Judge O´Donohoe approved the settlement of the claim.

201607.04
1

Judge Approves Caravan Holiday Injury Compensation Settlement

A judge at the High Court has approved a €106,000 settlement of caravan holiday injury compensation for a girl who allegedly cut her leg on a protruding nail.

In August 2009, Shauna Burke was just ten years of age when she was playing with friends near her family´s mobile home at Slattery´s Caravan Park in Lahinch, County Clare. While she was running around near the mobile home, Shauna cut her leg on a nail that was allegedly protruding from a metal box attached to a pole.

Shauna suffered a deep laceration above her knee and, despite receiving medical treatment for her injury, now has a permanent 6cm visible scar. Through her father – John Burke of Corbally in County Limerick – Shauna made a caravan holiday injury compensation claim against Austin Francis Slattery – the owner of the holiday venue.

In the legal action, it was claimed that the nail represented a hazard that Slattery knew about or should have known about as it was located in an area frequented by holidaymakers. Slattery denied liability for Shauna´s injury, but an offer of €106,000 caravan holiday injury compensation was made to account for Shauna´s pain and suffering and the cost of future medical care.

As the caravan holiday injury compensation claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the offer of compensation had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was appropriate for Shauna´s injury. At the approval hearing, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told how Shauna´s accident was claimed to have happened and of its consequences.

After inspecting the scar on Shauna´s leg, Judge Barr said that the offer of caravan holiday injury compensation was a good one and he was happy to approve it. As Shauna is now seventeen years of age – but not yet a legal adult – the settlement of compensation will be paid into court funds, where it will be held in an interest yielding account until Shauna is eighteen.

201605.03
0

Final Delayed Delivery Compensation Settlement Approved in Court

A final delayed delivery compensation settlement has been approved in the High Court in favour of a sixteen-year-old girl who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Mary Malee was born at the Mayo General Hospital on 11th October 1999 after becoming distressed in the womb. Due to there being no consultant available to assist with the birth, Mary´s delivery was avoidably delayed by eighty minutes. By the time she was delivered by emergency Caesarean section, Mary had sustained brain damage due to a lack of oxygen and she now suffers from cerebral palsy.

Mary´s mother – Maura Malee from Swinford, County Mayo – claimed a delayed delivery compensation settlement from the Health Service Executive, alleging that there had been a failure by the Mayo General Hospital to ensure that a paediatrician was present after a deceleration of the foetal heart rate had been identified, and that the hospital´s negligence had led to the failure to deliver Mary in a timely manner.

In March 2014, an interim delayed delivery compensation settlement of €1.5 million was approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who then adjourned the case for two years to allow for the introduction of a structured settlement system. As no system for the phased payment of compensation to catastrophically injured claimants has yet been introduced, Mary and her family returned to the High Court to hear the approval of a final delayed delivery compensation settlement.

At the hearing a statement was read to Mary by representatives of the Mayo General Hospital, who apologised for “the many challenges that you have faced as a result of the treatment provided to your mother Maura at the time of your birth” and who told Mr Justice Peter Kelley that a final delayed delivery compensation settlement of €5.56 million had been agreed with the family.

After hearing from Mary that “the stress of ongoing engagement with the HSE and the courts is not what I want”, the judge approved the final delayed delivery compensation settlement. Judge Kelly also described Mary as “heroic” for the challenges she has overcome so far in her life and commended her for her ambition to become an advocate for people with disabilities.

201602.24
0

Judge Approves €17,500 Settlement of Clothing Injury Claim

A judge has approved the €17,500 settlement of a clothing injury claim made against designer label company Ralph Lauren in favour of a five-year-old girl.

Shortly after her birth in April 2010, Amelia Duhy was bought a Ralph Lauren dress and pants combination as a gift from the Brown Thomas store in Dublin. When she was aged ten weeks, Amelia´s parents – Robert and Julie Duhy from Drogheda in County Louth – took their daughter on holiday and dressed her in the designer label combination.

One evening, as Amelia was being prepared for bed, Julie noticed red welds on her daughter´s outer thighs. On the family´s return home, Julie took Amelia to her GP, who dismissed an allergic reaction and referred Amelia to a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon. The plastic surgeon identified the welds as “secondary to a tight constriction band”.

Once the cause of the marks had been identified, the dress and pants combination was examined by an expert in the technology of elastic fabrics. He determined that the elastic used in the garment was twice as powerful as would be recommended for an adult. Julie subsequently sought legal advice and made a clothing injury claim against Ralph Lauren Ireland Limited.

The designer label company entered a full defence against the clothing injury claim; but, as Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told at the Circuit Civil Court, also offered a settlement of €17,500. The judge also heard that, for two and a half years, Julie had to massage Bio oil into her daughter´s thighs until the marks eventually disappeared.

After hearing that the Ralph Lauren New York brand had been stitched into the Chinese-manufactured dress and pants combination, but that the elastic had never broken Amelia´s skin – and the wounds had never wept – Judge Groarke approved the settlement of the clothing injury claim and closed the hearing.

201601.13
0

Compensation for Emotional Shock during a Mock Armed Robbery Approved by Judge

Two settlements of compensation for emotional shock during a mock armed robbery have been approved by a judge at the Circuit Civil Court.

Eight-year-old Casie and eleven-year-old Abbie Kennedy were shopping with their mother in the Dundrum Shopping Centre in March 2013, when they heard a man swearing at the staff in the H&M shop – ordering them to open the till and get on the ground.

Trapped in the shop´s changing room, and unaware that they were witnessing part of a training exercise, Claudia and her terrified daughters stayed in the changing room until the shouting stopped. Only then did Claudia look outside the door of the changing room; but, unable to see anything, she kept the girls in the changing room until she could hear voices in the shop.

Claudia escorted the sisters into the store and asked the manager what had happened. Angry that nobody had thought to check for the presence of customers in the changing room before staging the mock armed robbery, Claudia rang the H&M head office in England to complain.

Unhappy with a curt apology and the offer of a €30 voucher, Claudia claimed compensation for emotional shock during a mock armed robbery on behalf of her daughters. In her legal action against H&M Hennes &Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd, Claudia alleged that Casie and Abbie had feared for their lives and the life of their mother during the incident.

H&M Hennes &Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd made offers of compensation for emotional shock during a mock armed robbery to Casie (€8,000) and Abbie (€10,000). At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Rory MacCabe heard the family was willing to accept the offers and, after hearing that Casie and Abbie continued to suffer nightmares as a result of their experience, the judge approved the settlements.

201601.02
0

Mother Files Claim for a Child being Scalded on an Aer Lingus Flight

A woman from New York has filed a claim for a child being scalded on an Aer Lingus flight after her son was burned by hot liquid being spilled on him.

The claim for a child being scalded on an Aer Lingus flight does not contain much in the way of detail about how the accident happened, only that the unnamed boy flying from Dublin to JFK International Airport in New York was “injured as a result of scalding hot liquid” on June 30th, 2014.

The boy´s mother alleges that her son´s injuries occurred as a result of negligence by a member of the flight crew – a claim that Aer Lingus denies – and that, as a result of the accident, the boy “was deprived of his enjoyment of life, pursuits and interests and in the future will be deprived on the same”.

Under the Montreal Convention, Aer Lingus is liable to pay compensation for any avoidable injuries that occur during a flight irrespective of how the injury occurred. Negotiations to resolve the claim for a child being scalded on an Aer Lingus flight are scheduled to take place at the end of the month. It is understood that the airline has requested a copy of the boy´s medical records to assess the level of compensation he may be entitled to.

Mediation Continuing in Second Aer Lingus Scalding Injury Claim

The claim for a child being scalded on an Aer Lingus flight is the second claim of this nature that the airline has received recently in the US. Last August, a similar claim was filed in Jacksonville, Florida, on behalf of a ten-year-old girl allegedly scalded by hot tea during a flight from Dublin to Orlando.

The parents of the injured ten-year-old are claiming $75,000 compensation for the burns sustained by their daughter, when hot tea spilled onto her from a cup on which the lid had not been properly attached. The girl – who prior to her accident was a “successful amateur competitive surfer” – suffered burns to her lower torso and thighs and may need plastic surgery in the future.

Although Aer Lingus is again liable for compensation under the Montreal Convention, the airline is disputing the amount of compensation being claimed. Mediation is continuing in this Aer Lingus scalding injury claim in the hope that a suitable compromise can be agreed without the need for court action.

Aer Lingus Flight Injury Compensation Awarded in Ireland

The claims against Aer Lingus in the US for a child being scalded on a flight are not the first that the airline has had to contend with. In June 2011, five-year-old Sophie Gorman from Knocklyon in Dublin was scalded on an Aer Lingus flight from London when a stewardess attempted to place a cup of tea on the table in front of Sophie´s mother, and spilled some of the hot tea on Sophie´s leg.

On her daughter´s behalf, Sophie´s mother made a claim for a child being scalded on an Aer Lingus flight due to the ongoing treatment Sophie had to receive after returning to Dublin and the small pigment irregularity Sophie now has on her leg. In July 2012, a €7,000 offer of settlement from Aer Lingus was approved in the Dublin Circuit Civil Court by Mr Justice Matthew Deery.

201512.18
1

Emotional Trauma Compensation awarded to Fourteen-Year-Old Boy

A judge has awarded a fourteen-year-old boy €51,244 emotional trauma compensation after hearing how a fire in the family´s home had traumatised him.

On June 26th, 2010, the home of the Monds family from Kinnegad in County Westmeath was devastated after a Hotpoint dishwasher caught on fire late in the evening. The family´s four children were safely evacuated from the burning house by their parents, but the property was not habitable again until spring the following year.

One of the four children – Aaron – was only nine-years-old at the time. Aaron had already been diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability and he was severely traumatised by the fire. He developed an irrational fear of fire and, for years after the event, had symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder that included checking and re-checking electrical appliances were switched off and unplugged.

Through his father – Henry Monds – Aaron made a claim for emotional trauma compensation against Indesit UK Ltd, the manufacturer of the Hotpoint dishwasher. As an investigation had attributed the fire to a fault in the electrical appliance, liability was admitted, and the claim for emotional trauma compensation went to the High Court for the assessment of damages.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Bernard Barton heard that Aaron had suffered night terrors about fire and burning for many years after the devastation of the family home. The judge also heard that Aaron´s condition was improving after years of therapy, however he still had anxiety attacks about the possibility of another fire during the night.

Judge Barton accepted the medical evidence that Aaron was suffering residual symptoms of a post- traumatic stress disorder consequent upon the fire in the family home. He awarded Aaron €51,244 emotional trauma compensation and ordered that the settlement will be paid into court funds until Aaron reaches the age of eighteen.

201512.03
2

Judge Adjourns Approval Hearing due to Too Low Offer of Compensation

A judge has adjourned a second approval hearing on the grounds that the injury settlement he had been asked to approve was a too low offer of compensation.

In November 2012, Harry Ryan (12) from Swords in County Dublin had been playing on a local green, when he slipped and badly cut his lower right leg on a piece of broken glass. Harry was taken to the local VHI Swift Care Clinic, where he had eight stitches under a local anaesthetic, and steri-strips applied to help his cut heal.

Through his mother – Ita – Harry made an injury compensation claim against Fingal County Council and a settlement of injury compensation was agreed amounting to €3,000 without an admission of liability. As the claim was made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to be approved before the claim could be closed.

However, at the Circuit Civil Court last week, Judge James O´Donohoe refused to approve the settlement as he considered it too low an offer of compensation in relation to Harry´s injury. He adjourned the case for a week so that the two parties could reconsider the settlement, and a second approval hearing was scheduled for yesterday.

At the second approval hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that the offer of compensation had been increased to €3,500. Harry´s barrister told Judge Groarke that he was conscious of the recent dismissal of a similar claim in the High Court and that Fingal County Council had prepared a full defence if the claim went to a full hearing.

Having inspected the scar on Harry´s leg, Judge Groarke said that the value of the proposed settlement was still a too low offer of compensation. The judge said that an appropriate settlement should amount to €30,000 and he adjourned the case for another week so that Harry´s solicitor could assess the risk of taking the claim to a full court hearing.

Judges refusing to approve settlements when a too low offer of compensation has been made is happening more frequently. Insurance companies often encourage plaintiffs to accept inappropriate offers for their own financial gain. If you have received an offer of settlement, which you believe may be a too low offer of compensation, you should seek professional legal advice.

201511.24
2

Claim against Mother for Injuries in a Car Crash Resolved at Court

A teenage girl´s claim against her mother for injuries in a car crash has been resolved at court with the approval of a €1.3 million compensation settlement.

On 26th November 2005, Beth Cullen (then just six years of age) was badly injured in a car crash on the dangerous “Nine Bends” stretch of the N11 near Ballinameesda. As a consequence of the car crash, Beth – from Kilmacanogue in County Wicklow – lost the use of her left eye, became deaf in her left ear and also lost her sense of smell.

On his daughter´s behalf, William Cullen made a compensation claim against her mother – Caroline Barrett – who had been driving the family car when the car crash happened and who was considered responsible for causing the accident.

In the claim against the mother for injuries in a car crash it was alleged that Barrett had failed to steer, stop, swerve or manage the car prior to the accident. It was also alleged that, through her actions, Barrett failed to have any or any adequate regard for the safety of her daughter.

Liability was conceded by Barrett´s insurance company, and a €1.3 million settlement of the claim against the mother for injuries in a car crash was negotiated. As the legal action had been taken on behalf of a minor, the negotiated settlement had to be approved at the High Court to ensure it was in Beth´s best interests.

The approval hearing took place at the beginning of last week before Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross heard about the circumstances of the accident and the injuries that Beth had sustained. After being told that Beth was doing well at school despite her reduced senses of sight and hearing, Judge Cross approved the settlement and wished Beth well for the future.

201511.04
0

Judge Approves Settlement of Compensation for a Broken Wrist on Holiday

A Circuit Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a broken wrist on holiday in favour of a young girl who was hurt in an accident in Spain.

In June 2014, the Budhe family from Clondalkin in Dublin were enjoying a holiday on the Costa del Sol in Spain. While the family were sitting beside the pool, six-year-old Sophia went to get a drink from the poolside drinks dispenser.

As she had seen other children use a chair to reach the drinks dispenser, Sophia also climbed onto the chair. However, the chair was wet from previous use, and Sophia slipped and fell – landing on her outstretched left wrist.

Sophia´s wrist began to swell the following day, and she was taken to the Accident and Emergency department of a local hospital in Benalmadena, where an X-ray was taken and a soft cast was applied to her wrist.

On the family´s return to Dublin, Sophia attended the Tallaght Hospital where a further X-ray was taken. The soft cast was subsequently replaced with an above-the-elbow plaster back slab, which Sophia was required to wear for several weeks.

Through her father Amar, Sophia claimed compensation for a broken wrist on holiday against the travel agent through which the holiday was booked – Linevana Ltd, of Lower Liffey St, Dublin – and also the tour operator – TUI UK & Ireland.

In the claim it was alleged that both Linevana and TUI UK & Ireland were negligent for not supplying a suitable and safe means for children to reach the drinks dispenser. Both defendants admitted their liability for Sophia´s injuries and a €14,000 settlement of compensation for a broken wrist on holiday was agreed.

Because the claim for compensation for a broken wrist on holiday had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Sophia´s best interests. Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of Sophia´s accident and the settlement that had been agreed.

Judge Groarke approved the settlement after hearing that Sophia had made a full recovery. The funds will now be paid into court, where they will be managed in an interest-yielding account until Sophia becomes a legal adult at age eighteen.

201511.02
0

Court Approves Settlement of Compensation for a Finger Injury in a Door Accident

The Circuit Civil Court has approved a €40,000 settlement of compensation for a finger injury in a door accident in favour of a nine-year-old girl.

In November 2012, Julia Roman severed her fingertip and lost a nail when her finger caught between the doors of the Doc Morris Pharmacy in Lucan, County Dublin. Julia – who was just six years old at the time – was taken by her father to the Emergency Department of Our Lady´s Children´s Hospital in Crumlin, where doctors were able to reattach the fingertip while Julia was under a general anaesthetic.

Julia had to attend the hospital on several occasions so that doctors could check on how her injury was healing and to have her dressings changed. Now nine years of age, Julia has a small scar on the bulb of her finger and has had to give up playing the piano because of recurring pain in her finger.

On Julia’s behalf, her mother – Elena Roman – claimed compensation for a finger injury in a door accident against the owners of the Doc Morris Pharmacy – Unicare Pharmacy Ltd – and the company that installed the doors at the pharmacy – Lovco Cleaning and Building Services of Tallaght in Dublin.

Liability for Julia’s injury was conceded and an offer of compensation for a finger injury in a door accident was made to the family amounting to €40,000. The family agreed to the proposed settlement, but before the claim could be resolved, the settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure that it was in Julia’s best interests.

Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the consequences of Julia’s unfortunate accident three years ago and the consequences it had made to her quality of life. The judge approved the settlement of compensation for a finger injury in a door accident and closed the case.

201510.14
0

Settlement of Electrocution Accident Compensation Approved in Court

A settlement of electrocution accident compensation has been approved in the High Court in favour of a boy who was severely burned while playing.

On July 3rd 2008, Kurt O´Callaghan from Wexford was playing in woodland near his home and making a camp with his friends, when he decided to put a “Keep Out” sign on an electricity pole. As Kurt nailed his sign into the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) pole, the nail went into an electricity cable and the force of the subsequent electric shock knocked him off the wall he had used to gain access to the pole.

A passing motorist rushed Kurt – who was just ten years old at the time – to a local hospital, from where he was transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin. Kurt spent the next three months undergoing multiple operations to treat burnt areas on his head, neck, shoulders, chest, and hands. Kurt may need further surgery or skin grafts in the future.

Through his mother – Denise – Kurt made a claim for electrocution accident compensation against the ESB, alleging that he had been exposed to a danger of electrocution which the ESB knew existed or should have known existed. It was further alleged that there had been a failure by the ESB to carry out an inspection of the wall Kurt used to access the electricity pole so as to detect the dangerous nature of the wall´s proximity to the electricity cables.

The electrocution accident compensation claim was supported by expert evidence that was critical of the ESB for not identifying the risk of danger. The expert´s report said that there was a statutory requirement to ensure that electricity poles were inaccessible to a height of three metres, and the ESB should have spotted that the pole was accessible if the wall was used to access it.

The ESB denied that it was responsible for Kurt´s injuries, and the electrocution accident compensation claim was scheduled for a full court hearing. However, before the hearing could take place, a negotiated settlement of the claim was agreed for €700,000. Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said that it was a good one in the circumstances, as Kurt may have been accused of contributory negligence if his claim for electrocution accident compensation had gone to a full hearing.

201508.07
0

Children in Residential Care Homes in a “Vulnerable Situation”

The Ombudsman for Children has claimed that children in residential care homes are in a “vulnerable situation” due to a lack of monitoring by the HSE´s Child and Family Service.

Listeners to this morning´s “Morning Ireland” program on RTE1 heard the Ombudsman for Children – Niall Muldoon – criticise the HSE´s Child and Family Service (“TUSLA”) for allowing voluntarily and privately run children´s residential care homes to remain open when it should have been known that their owners were in breach of statutory regulations.

Mr Muldoon blamed staff shortages at TUSLA and “inconsistencies and discrepancies” in monitoring standards for the failure to inspect the residential care homes. He said his own office´s investigation had revealed that it often took fourteen months after the registration of a care home for an inspection to be carried out, and this was placing children in residential care homes in a “vulnerable situation”.

The inconsistencies, Mr Muldoon explained, were due to the HSE having four different regions that have developed over the past twenty years. Each region has developed its own policies and procedures within that time, and this concerned the Ombudsman inasmuch as his office wants to see the same standards of care for children in residential care homes across the country.

In order to resolve this situation, the Ombudsman for Children has initiated proposals to amalgamate TUSLA into the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA – the agency currently responsible for monitoring state run residential care homes). The intention is to run the agency as an independent authority in line with the recommendations made by the 2009 Ryan Report.

Speaking later in the day on RTE´s News at One, TUSLA´s Director of Quality Assurance – Brian Lee – said: “We are working very closing with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and with HIQA to move this along. There’s nothing impeding us from supporting this process but it’s in the hands of the Department and HIQA to move this forward.”

201507.24
1

State Claims Agency Criticised after Settlement of Claim for Severe Birth Injuries

The mother of a brain damaged girl has criticised the State Claims Agency for delaying the settlement of her daughter´s claim for severe birth injuries.

Alex Butler (10) from Dunmore East, County Waterford, was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital in April 2005, “blue and lifeless” after her delivery had been mismanaged and she had been deprived of oxygen in the womb.

Alex was resuscitated, but is tetraplegic and normally confined to a wheelchair. Only through the efforts of her parents is Alex capable of walking a few steps, but she will require full-time care for the rest of her life.

Through her mother – Sonya – Alex made a claim for severe birth injuries against the Health Service Executive (HSE), her mother´s consultant obstetrician John Bermingham, and the locum Mahmud Khbuli who had failed to identify the need for an emergency Caesarean Section when Alex´s foetal heartrate dropped.

The HSE admitted liability and the case against the two doctors was dismissed. The family received a €1.4 million interim settlement of compensation in 2013, and the claim for severe birth injuries was recently heard once again at the High Court for a final settlement to be approved.

Even though liability had been admitted and an apology read out to the family at the start of the proceedings, it took eighteen days for the State Claims Agency to agree to a €9 million final settlement of the claim for severe birth injuries – provoking Alex´s mother to describe their attitude as “disgusting”.

“They fought tooth and nail” Sonya told the press after the settlement had been approved. “They basically want Alex to have an existence, not a life. They want her to scrape by with the bare minimum rather than her having the life that she should have had.”

In response, the State Claims Agency issued a statement which read: “The State Claims Agency recognises that clinical negligence cases involve patients who have suffered enormous trauma and pain. The Agency is acutely conscious that it has a duty to act fairly, ethically and with compassion in all its dealings with these patients and their families.”

The statement concluded by attacking the lack of a structured settlement system: “The Agency has frequently stated that the current legal system for resolving medical negligence cases is not fit for purpose and has been to the forefront in introducing reforms to make the process easier for the families involved.”

201507.23
1

Judge Says €15,000 Compensation for Crèche Psychological Trauma Insufficient

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has refused to approve a settlement of compensation for crèche psychological trauma, saying that €15,000 is not enough.

Emilie Kiely (4) from Sandyford in Dublin started attending the Giraffe crèche in Stepaside in 2011 when she was just eight months old. In September 2012, Emilie was moved to the “Toddlers Room”, after which she would become stressed and anxious when her parents were preparing to take her to the childcare facility.

The crèche was exposed in May 2013 by the RTE Prime Time documentary “A Breach of Trust” for allegedly mistreating children in its care. Emilie´s parents withdrew their daughter from the childcare facility after they saw one of the minders responsible for looking after their daughter screaming at children in the program.

After seeking legal advice, Emilie´s father – John – claimed compensation for crèche psychological trauma, alleging that his daughter´s behaviour had changed after her transfer to the Toddlers Room and would cry “No crèche! No crèche”. John claimed that his daughter had suffered stress, emotional upset and terror due to a breach in the crèche’s duty of care.

The claims were denied by the Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre, but an offer of compensation for crèche psychological trauma amounting to €15,000 was made to Emilie´s parents without an admission of liability. As the offer of compensation was in favour of a minor, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before the case could be closed.

Consequently the circumstances of Emilie´s alleged psychological trauma were heard by Judge James O´Donohue at the Circuit Civil Court. Judge O´Donohue ruled that the proposed settlement of compensation for crèche psychological trauma was insufficient for the level of injury that it was claimed Emilie had suffered.

He ruled that the case should go to a full hearing before another judge – a decision that will affect up to twenty-five other compensation claims for psychological trauma that have been made on behalf of children that attended the Giraffe childcare facility. The Kiely´s – and many of the other parents – have also initiated legal action against the crèche for breach of contract. That claim is yet to be resolved.

201505.23
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Girl Awarded €30,000 in Cut Knee Sports Injury Claim

A teenage girl has been awarded €30,000 compensation in settlement of a cut knee sports injury claim after a previous settlement was rejected by a judge.

Rhian Holohan (now 17 years of age) was playing in goal for Kentstown Rovers FC when – in June 2012 – she dived to make a save and cut her knee on a piece of broken glass that was on the surface of the Ayrfield United FC pitch.

The game in the Dublin Women´s Soccer League was stopped so that Rhian could receive first aid treatment and she was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, where her lacerated knee was cleaned and sutured under anaesthetic.

Because of the depth of the cut, Rhian had to use crutches for support for several weeks. She experienced considerable pain from her swollen knee and was unable to play football again for several months. She now has a visible 1.5 cm scar on her knee.

Through her mother – Anita Holohan of Kentstown in County Meath – Rhian made a cut knee sports injury claim for compensation against Dublin City Council, the Trustees of Dublin Women´s Soccer League and the Trustees of Ayrfield United FC.

Liability for Rhian´s injury was accepted by the defendants and a settlement of €22,000 was negotiated. However, when the cut knee sports injury claim went to the Circuit Civil Court for the settlement to be approved, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said that the settlement was not appropriate for the level of injury and asked the parties to reconsider the offer.

Following further talks between the parties, the offer of settlement of Rhian´s cut knee sports injury claim was increased to €30,000 – a figure which Mr Justice Raymond Groarke found more acceptable. Judge Groarke approved the revised settlement of Rhian´s cut knee sports injury claim and closed the case.

201504.22
0

Claim for the Failure to Treat Meningitis Resolved in Court

A young boy´s claim for the failure to treat meningitis has been resolved in court with the approval of a €3.7 million interim settlement of compensation.

Matthew McGrath was admitted to Wexford General Hospital on 27th May 2004 at the age of 17 months after it was noticed that he was uncharacteristically drowsy and vomiting fluids. Matthew was diagnosed with Haemophilus Influenza Type B – which is known to lead on to meningitis – and he should have been administered antibiotics.

Overnight, Matthew´s condition deteriorated and he was identified as being in shock. Despite medical guidelines recommending against it when a patient is in shock, Matthew underwent a lumbar puncture procedure to confirm suspected meningitis – due to which a compression of the spinal cord took place and Matthew is now permanently paralysed.

Due to the failure to administer antibiotics when Matthew was first admitted to the hospital, and the subsequent inappropriate lumbar puncture, Matthew cannot move his arms or legs and can only breathe through a ventilator. He spent the next two years of his life in hospital until his parents were eventually allowed to care for their son at home.

Through his mother – Cathy McGrath of Gorey in County Wexford – Matthew made a claim for the failure to treat meningitis against the HSE – alleging that, if he had been treated with antibiotics and given fluids at the time of his admission into Wexford General Hospital, he would not have suffered such devastating injuries.

After an investigation into the claim for the failure to treat meningitis, the HSE admitted liability and issued an apology to Matthew´s parents. An interim compensation settlement of €3.7 million was agreed, but first had to be approved by a judge before payment could be made.

Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin, the circumstances of Matthew´s devastating and unnecessary injuries were related to Mr Justice Matthew Cross. Judge Cross approved the settlement, and adjourned the claim for the failure to treat meningitis for five years in order that reports into Matthew´s future needs can be conducted.

201504.02
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Settlement Approved of Claim for an Accident on the Luas

A young girl who was injured when the doors of a train closed on her head has had a €25,000 settlement of compensation approved in respect of her claim for an accident on the Luas.

On 14th February 2008, six-year-old Aoife Heron from Raheny in Dublin boarded a Luas train at Connelly Street ahead of her mother Elaine and her younger sister Kate, who was being pushed in a buggy.

The family was intending to go to Jervis Street in Dublin but, as Elaine attempted to board the Luas, the doors closed on the buggy – leaving Aoife inside the train and her mother outside on the platform. The doors opened so that Elaine could remove the buggy, but as Aoife tried to exit the Luas to be with her mother, they closed once again – trapping Aoife´s head between them.

Aoife was treated at the site by an ambulance crew for a head injury, and then diagnosed by her family´s GP as having suffered a soft tissue injury and bruising. She has a small scar on her head and has developed a fear of travelling on the Luas which may need to be treated with psychotherapy.

Through her mother, Aoife made an injury compensation claim for an accident on the Luas against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd for negligence and breach of duty. The transport company prepared a defence against the claim, but after negotiations took place, agreed to a settlement.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that the two parties had agreed Aoife should be paid €25,000 in settlement of her injury compensation claim for an accident on the Luas. The judge approved the settlement and wished the young girl – who is now thirteen years of age – all the best for the future.

201503.23
0

Judge Awards Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury

A Circuit Civil Court judge has awarded a seventeen-year-old boy €7,500 compensation for a dog bite injury after finding an animal rescue centre negligent.

Rhys Loy was just twelve years of age when, in November 2009, he was cycling home from school in Raheny, Dublin. As he mounted the pavement, Rhys was bitten by a five-year-old Collie – Charlie – who was being walked on a rope by its temporary owner Anecy Sholling.

Rhys suffered a superficial laceration to his left calf and was taken to the Children´s University Hospital in Temple Street, where his wound was cleaned and sutured. Rhys – who lives in Clongriffin in Dublin – had to return to the hospital on several occasions to have his dressings changed.

Through his mother, Sinead Byrne, Rhys claimed compensation for a dog bite injury against the owners of the dog – Deidre and Gina Hetherington of the PAWS animal rescue centre in Mullinahone, County Tipperary. Ms Byrne also organised a warrant to have the dog put down.

The Hetheringtons denied liability for Rhys´ injuries and claimed that the Collie had been adopted by Ms Sholling several months before the attack. They also denied any knowledge of the dog´s whereabouts after he escaped capture by the Gardai who were trying to execute the warrant.

The claim for compensation for a dog bite injury went to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. At the hearing the judge heard testimony that the Collie was being fostered by Ms Sholling at the time of the attack, and that the dog had been returned to the animal rescue centre afterwards.

As the dog was in the ownership of the animal rescue centre at the time of the attack, the judge found Deidre and Gina Hetherington negligent and ordered them to pay Rhys €7,500 compensation for a dog bite injury – adding that he did not believe it was a coincidence the Collie had escaped his punishment.

201503.06
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Judge: More Compensation for Shop Accident Injuries

A judge has refused the approval of a personal injury claim made on behalf of a child, saying that she should get more compensation for shop accident injuries.

Shauna Kelly from Ballyfermot in Dublin was fourteen years of age when she was browsing through the electronic books section of Eason´s in Lower O´Connell Street in July 2012. As she studied the book titles on the shelf, an electronic display frame fell from its mountings above her and hit Shauna on the head and on her right wrist.

At the Crumlin Children´s Hospital in Dublin, x-rays revealed that no bones in Shauna´s head or arm had been fractured. Shauna was treated for soft tissue injuries to her neck and lower back, and diagnosed with concussion. A splint was placed around her wrist to give it support while further soft tissue injuries healed.

On Shauna´s behalf, a claim for compensation for shop accident injuries was made by her mother against Eason´s and David James Retail Solutions Ltd of Edenderry in County Offaly – the company that had installed the electronic display frame.

During negotiations between the parties to agree on how much compensation for shop accident injuries Shauna´s claim should be settled for, an offer of €13,500 was made to Shauna´s mother – Kathy Maher. As Shauna is still a legal minor, the offer of settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be accepted.

Therefore, at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told about the circumstances of the accident and that Shauna suffered from severe headaches for six months. He was also told that Shauna still suffers from stiffness in her back more than two and a half years after her accident.

The barrister representing Shauna told Judge Groarke that an offer of €13,500 compensation for shop accident injuries had been made, but that he did not believe that €13,500 was sufficient to compensate Shauna for her injuries and recommended that the offer should not be approved.

Judge Groarke agreed with Shauna´s barrister and declined to approve the offer of settlement. He said it would be more appropriate to award compensation for shop accident injuries after a full hearing of the case, and adjourned the hearing for date to be scheduled for the Circuit Civil Court later this year.

201503.05
1

HSE Found Liable in Hydrocephalus Brain Injury Claim

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has been found liable in a hydrocephalus brain injury claim after a hearing at the High Court.

Ava Kiernan started displaying the symptoms of hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”) when she was just a few months old. In April 2008 – when she was three months old – Ave was examined by a public health nurse, who failed to act on her mother´s concerns or arrange a follow-up examination.

Hydrocephalus is caused by spinal fluid “pooling” in the skull because it has failed to drain from the brain. It is most commonly identified in children under the age of one year by a rapid expansion of the head´s circumference or “soft spot” bulges appearing around the skull.

A follow-up examination would have identified a rapid growth in the size of Ava´s head, but her skull was not measured again until September 2008, when the measurement – which would have been conducted in time to prevent Ava from suffering brain damage – was performed incorrectly.

Due to the nurse´s failure to act and the subsequent errors in the measurement of Ava´s head, the pressure from the spinal fluid resulted in Ava suffering brain damage. She now suffers from physical and mental disabilities and, on her behalf, Ava´s mother – Ruth Kiernan from Duleek in County Meath – made a hydrocephalus brain injury claim for compensation against the HSE.

The hydrocephalus brain injury claim was contested by the HSE, and the case went to the High Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross found in Ava´s favour after a hearing that lasted three weeks. He deduced that if Ava had been recalled for a second examination four weeks after the April head measurement, or the subsequent September measurement of her head in September had been performed correctly, Ava´s hydrocephalus would have been identified.

Judge Cross continued to say that Ava´s hydrocephalus could have been diagnosed and treated before it resulted in permanent brain damage where it not for the public health nurse´s failure to act on Ruth´s concerns and the medical negligence in the second measurement. The judge adjourned the hydrocephalus brain injury claim so that an assessment can be conducted to determine Ava´s future needs and an appropriate damages settlement.

201501.24
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Fatal Car Accident Compensation Approved by Court

The mother of a toddler, who was killed when her neighbour´s car ran over her, has had a settlement of €36,188 fatal car accident compensation approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Lily Rose O´Toole was nearly two years old when, on 3rd March 2013, she was playing in the front garden of her family home in Tallaght, Dublin. Her mother – Ruth – took her eyes off of her daughter for just a few minutes while she chatted with a neighbour who was just about to leave in her car.

After a short conversation, Ruth turned back towards her own garden and could not see Lily Rose. She then heard a bang and turned around to see her daughter at the back of the neighbour´s car. Lily Rose had been able to get up and walk a couple of steps, but when Ruth picked her daughter up, she noticed a graze on Lily Rose´s forehead.

Lily Rose was taken to Tallaght Hospital, but died shortly after of intra-abdominal bleeding caused by internal injuries.

Ruth made a claim for fatal car accident compensation against her neighbour – Esther Dillon – under the Civil Liability Act 1962, alleging that she and Lily Rose´s step-brother – Patrick – had suffered mental distress. Ms Dillon´s liability was accepted by her car insurers and a settlement of €36,188 was agreed.

Because part of the settlement was for Lily Rose´s ten-year-old brother, the settlement of fatal car accident compensation had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be resolved. Consequently, the case was brought before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge Groarke was told the circumstances of the tragic accident, and the distribution of the settlement of fatal car accident compensation. The judge approved the settlement and expressed the court´s deep sympathy – saying that the loss of a child was a horrible thing to happen to any mother.

201501.14
0

Girl Receives Compensation for Rottweiler Attack

A girl, who suffered significant bite injuries from a dog that had been allowed to roam freely on the road, is to receive €150,000 compensation for a Rottweiler attack.

Lauren Kelly was just nine years of age when she was out with friends playing “hunting the wren” on St Stephens Day in 2011. As Lauren walked down the road in her home town of Abbeylara in County Longford, she came across a Rottweiler that been allowed to escape from its home and stray onto the public road.

The Rottweiler attacked the young girl and, despite the attentions of her mother, Lauren suffered multiple bite injuries to her upper right arm. Lauren was taken to hospital, where she was treated for 26 puncture wounds. She has had to undergo skin grafts and has been left with significant scarring.

Through her father – Michael Kelly – Lauren claimed compensation for the Rottweiler attack against the owner of the dog, William Crawford – also of Abbeylara in County Longford. Crawford admitted liability and a settlement of compensation for a rottweiler attack was negotiated amounting to €150,000.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard how Lauren had been thrown around like a rag doll while the attack was in progress. The judge was also told how Lauren experienced nightmares and a bout of sleepwalking after the incident, but that these psychological injuries had now receded – although Lauren still retains a fear of large dogs.

The judge approved the settlement of €150,000 compensation for the Rottweiler attack. The funds will be held in a trust until Lauren is eighteen years of age, although her patents will be able to access the compensation if Lauren needs further medical care to cope with the consequences of the vicious attack.

201412.01
0

Family Awarded Compensation for Death of Son in Car Accident

A devastated family has been awarded €35,000 compensation for the death of their son in a car accident after a hearing at Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Ciaran Treacy was a passenger in his mother´s car when, on April 17, the car was involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle being dangerously driven by Finbar O´Rourke along the Portarlington to Portlaoise Road at Ballymorris.

Ciaran (aged 4) was killed in the accident, while both his mother and brother were seriously injured. Ciaran´s mother – Gillian – is now confined to a wheelchair as a result of the accident and his brother – Sean (aged 8) – is still to make a full recovery.

The negligent driver – Finbar O´Rourke – was arrested at the scene of the accident and charged with dangerous driving causing death. His case is to be heard on December 11th at the Portlaoise District Court.

Ciaran´s father – Ronan Treacy, of Portarlington, County Laois – made a claim for compensation for the death of his son in a car accident under the Civil Liability Act 1961 to account for the mental distress he and his wife had suffered and the loss of their son.

The claim was not contested and, at the Civil Circuit Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that an offer of compensation for the death of a son in a car crash had been made by O´Rourke´s insurance company and the offer had been accepted.

The judge heard that the settlement consisted of €10,000 each for the parents Ronan and Gillian Treacy; €5,000 each to Ciaran’s brother, Sean, and two-year-old sister Caoimhe; €1,250 each to Ciaran’s maternal grandparents, Noel and Marie Ryan; and €1,250 each to his paternal grandparents, Patrick and Mary Treacy.

Judge Groarke approved the settlement, awarding Ronan Treacy a further €8,000 towards the funeral costs. The judge also expressed the court’s deep sympathy to the Treacy family in their tragic loss.

201411.28
0

€35K Compensation for Injuries in a Trampoline Accident

A seven-year-old schoolboy has been awarded €35,000 compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident after a previously negotiated settlement was refused by a judge.

Kevin Stokes from Lucan in County Dublin was playing on a trampoline in July 2012, when his leg went into a gap between the base and the frame. Kevin – who was just five years of age at the time – was taken to Our Lady´s Children´s Hospital, where x-rays revealed fractures to his fibula and tibia as a result of the trampoline accident.

Kevin was admitted to the hospital with a black slab cast surrounding his leg. Several days later the fractures were manipulated and Kevin´s leg was put into an above-the-knee cast. He was discharged from hospital in a wheelchair and the cast stayed in place for a further month.

After the cast was removed, Kevin needed to use a walking frame for several weeks, during which time he was unable to play with his friends and continued to experience pains in his leg. Through his mother – Margaret – Kevin made a claim for compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident against the shop from which the trampoline had been purchased – Smyths Toy Store.

After a forensic engineer had determined that the mechanism for securing the safety clip to the frame was inadequate, Smyths Toy Store acknowledged their liability, and a €25,000 settlement of compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident was negotiated.

However, at the Circuit Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groake refused to approve the settlement – saying it was inadequate for the level of injury that Kevin had sustained. Smyths Toy Store increased its offer of compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident to €35,000 and, after hearing that Kevin had made a good recovery from his injuries, the judge approved the settlement.

201411.27
0

Judge Approves Compensation for School Bus Accident

A woman who sustained significant head injuries when she was ten years of age has heard her settlement of compensation for a school bus accident approved at the High Court.

On January 22nd 2001, Bernadette Nicholson from Milltown in County Galway was seated on the back seat of the school bus home from the Belmont National School in Milltown with several of her friends. On the journey home, the girls decided to stand up on the back seat and sway against the movement of the bus as it rounded corners.

Unfortunately for Bernadette and three of her friends, as the bus pulled away after dropping off another child, the glass in the back window crashed out of its frame and the four schoolchildren fell out of the bus and onto the road – Bernadette being knocked unconscious by the fall and taken to University College Hospital in Galway with severe head injuries. Bernadette was later transferred to the specialist unit at the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

An enquiry into the accident discovered that the seal surrounding the window was broken and, in 2002, Bus Éireann was found guilty of being the owner of a vehicle with a defect that was a danger to the public and that could have been discovered through the exercise of ordinary care. The judge in the case – Judge Mary Fahy – disagreed with the bus company that the pressure exerted by the girls would have been enough to force the glass out of the window.

Bernadette – now 24 years of age – made a claim for compensation for the school bus accident against Bus Éireann and, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of the accident and Judge Fahy´s decision in 2002. Stating that Bernadette had made a remarkable recovery from appalling circumstances, the judge approved Bernadette´s €1.78 million settlement of compensation for a school bus accident and closed the case.

201411.20
0

Child Awarded Compensation for Head Injury in Creche

A five-year-old child has had an agreed settlement of compensation for a head injury in a creche increased by 50 percent during a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Five year old Madison Davis from Tallaght in Dublin was attending The Little Children´s Creche in Tallaght when, in April 2012, she went to place a cup on a table. As she did so, Madison tripped and hit her head on the corner of the table – the accident resulting in her suffering a deep laceration above the left eyebrow.

Madison was taken to the National Children´s Hospital, where the laceration was closed with steri-strips. She had stitches the following day under an anaesthetic. Unfortunately Madison was left with a 2.5 centimetre scar on her forehead which she will have permanently even if she undergoes cosemetic surgery in the future.

Through her mother – Jennifer Quinn – Madison claimed compensation for a head injury in a creche; alleging that she had been left to carry the cup and traverse the floor without adequate supervision and that Fettercairn Community Childcare Ltd – trading as The Little Children´s Creche – had failed to protect her adequately.

The owners of the creche admitted liability for the accident, and a settlement of €50,000 was agreed in compensation for a head injury in a creche. However, when the case went before Mr Justice Raymond Groake at the Circuit Civil Court for approval of the settlement, the judge found it inadequate for the severity of the injury.

Judge Groake described the scar as “nasty” and said he believed the settlement should be increased by 50 percent as it will affect Madison for the rest of her life. The judge adjourned the hearing in order that the two parties could discuss the revised settlement. On his return, Judge Groake was informed that a settlement of €75,000 had been agreed upon. The judge approved the settlement and wished Madison well for the future.