Injury Compensation News

Compensation for long term injuries can be a significant amount, and it is important that any compensation claim for long term injuries is accurately calculated to ensure that the claimant has sufficient funds to support themselves and their family, and be able to afford the medical care to enable their recovery. Compensation for long term injuries also has to take into account lost earning potential and other opportunities – such as leisure activities – that a person with long term injuries will not be able to enjoy. Therefore, if you feel that you are entitled to claim compensation for long term injuries, it is in your best interests to discuss your long term injuries compensation claim with an experienced personal injury solicitor.

Delayed Birth Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A €4 million settlement of delayed birth injury compensation has been approved in favour of a thirteen year old girl at the High Court in Dublin.

Katie Martin from Trim in County Meath was born at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin in November 2000 after her mother – Fiona – had arrived at the hospital very early in the morning complaining of having irregular contractions.

A CTG trace was performed on the expectant mother and – according to Katie´s solicitor – the trace produced abnormal readings that indicated Katie was being starved of oxygen in the womb. However, it was nearly an hour and a half before an emergency Caesarean Section was organised and, when Katie was born, she had suffered a cardiac arrest and displayed no signs of life.

The medical team were able to resuscitate Katie, but she had suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen prior to her delivery which has left her requiring constant care for the rest of her life.

Katie made a claim for delayed birth injury compensation through her mother against the Coombe Hospital – which denied its liability for her injuries, and argued that Katie was starved of oxygen in the womb before her mother arrived at the hospital, and there was nothing that could have been done to prevent her brain damage.

However, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was informed that a €4 million settlement of compensation for a delayed birth injury had been negotiated without admission of liability from the hospital, and that the case was before her for approval of the settlement.

The judge was told the circumstances of Katie´s brain damage – and that the hospital had prepared a full defence against the claim – before approving the settlement and commenting that it was a good one considering that the Coombe Hospital had contested the claim.

Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Brain Injury Compensation, Children's Injury Claims, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Hospital Negligence Claims - Comments Off

Car Crash Passenger Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A settlement of car crash passenger injury compensation, with a value of €10 million, has been approved by a High Court judge after a hearing in Dublin.

Lydia Branley (28) from Kinlough in Country Leitrim sustained devastating injuries in September 2010, when a car she was travelling in as a passenger left the N4 slip road  at Ballisodare at a speed of 150km/hour, crashed through two road barriers, hit a pole and ended upside down in a stream.

The driver – Martin Kearney from Balinoo in County Mayo – and a second male passenger were thrown clear from the vehicle as it crashed; but Lydia – who had been wearing a seatbelt – had to be cut from the wreckage of the BMW Coupe and was taken unconscious to Sligo General Hospital.

Lydia was later transferred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where she remained in a coma for nine months. When she came out of the coma, Lydia discovered that she had lost the use of her arms and legs and the ability to communicate by speech.

Kearney – who had just got his license back after a previous five-year driving ban – was convicted for dangerous driving causing serious harm, and in June 2012 given a six-year jail sentence and banned from driving for twenty years.

Through her father, Lydia made a car crash passenger injury compensation claim against Martin Kearney and his father Michael Kearney in his capacity as owner of the car. Liability was accepted and a negotiated compensation settlement of €10 million was agreed.

Because of Lydia´s condition, the settlement of car crash passenger injury compensation had to be approved by a judge and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told the circumstances of Lydia´s injuries and how Lydia will require full-time care for the rest of her life.

Describing the €10 million compensation settlement as “excellent” as she approved it, the judge said “It does not give back Lydia her life. Nothing will, but it will provide her with the best care and hopefully bring back a degree of normality.”

Posted in Brain Injury Compensation, Car Passenger Accidents, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Road Traffic Accidents - Comments Off

New Symphysiotomy Compensation Plan Announced

The Government has proposed a new symphysiotomy compensation plan after its U-turn on extending the Statute of Limitations for women who underwent the procedure between the 1940s and 1980s.

Minister for Health Dr James Reilly announced in a press conference that Judge Yvonne Murphy has been asked to examine the feasibility of a compensation scheme for women who underwent the controversial childbirth procedure, and who have been left with permanent injuries such as incontinence, difficulty with walking and chronic pain.

Judge Murphy has been asked to compile a series of compensation options for review in February 2014, to “assist in finding closure” for the women affected by the operation. Dr Reilly said that the Government would contribute to an ex gratia scheme if that is the symphysiotomy compensation plan recommended, and it is understood that Judge Murphy will be meeting with insurance companies to explore whether they would contribute towards such a scheme.

Originally Dr Reilly had said he would not oppose a private members bill introduced into the Dáil by Sinn Féin’s Health Spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin to allow a one-year window for the affected women to make claims for symphysiotomy compensation; however the Government were then told that such a move could result in a legal challenge by the insurance companies who would have been liable for compensating the women.

Sinn Féin’s health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin criticised plans to keep the statute of limitations in place. He said “The type of scheme outlined in the terms of reference offers the women no prospect of adequate compensation for what was so barbarically done to them nor the choice to pursue their rights in the courts.”

However Chairman of the support group Survivors of Symphysiotomy Ltd – Tom Moran – welcomed the announcement of a new symphysiotomy compensation plan. His comment was “We welcome this decision to appoint the judge and we hope it leads to women finally being given a chance of some kind of closure.”

Posted in Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Medical Negligence Claims, Surgical Negligence Claims - No Comments »

Interim Payment of Compensation for Cerebral Palsy Approved

A High Court judge has approved an interim payment of cerebral palsy compensation for a 12 year old girl who sustained birth injuries due to the negligence of an obstetric consultant.

Roisin Conroy was born at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portloaise on 14th November 2001, four days after her mother – Mary Conroy of Portlaoise, County Laois – had attended the hospital, believing that her waters had broke. Mary was sent home after being reassured that everything was okay but, three days after attended the clinic of Dr John Corristine – her private consultant obstetrician – and, following an ultrasound at the clinic, Mary insisted she be admitted into hospital.

A CTG scan conducted at the hospital failed to indicate any sign of contractions, and Mary was advised to take a bath. However, there was insufficient hot water was available at the hospital so Dr Corristine prescribed Mary with some medicine to induce labour. Thereafter, Dr Corristine was not present during Mary´s labour or Roisin´s birth the next day.

When Roisin was born the following morning, she suffered seizures soon after her birth and was transferred to a neo-natal unit in Dublin. However, her condition failed to improve and Roisin was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy – due to which she is permanently disabled and can only communication using eye movement.

Mary blamed herself for Roisin´s condition, and insisted on having her next two children delivered by Caesarean Section. Both Mary and her husband Kevin gave up work to look after Roisin, believing what the hospital had told them that nothing could have been done to avoid the tragedy and that the couple had just been unlucky.

An investigation was launched into the circumstances Roisin´s birth after the couple had spoken with a solicitor and, with evidence of negligence against both the hospital and the obstetric consultant, Kevin and Mary made a claim for cerebral palsy against both the Health Service executive (HSE) and Dr Corristine on their daughter´s behalf.

Both the defendants denied their responsibilities for Roisin´s injuries for almost two years until – five weeks before a scheduled court hearing – the hospital and Dr Corristine admitted that errors had been made in the management of Mary´s pregnancy which led to Roisin suffering birth injuries.

An interim payment of compensation for cerebral palsy amounting to €2.3 million was negotiated between the parties and, at the High Court in Dublin, the interim payment of compensation for cerebral palsy was approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine.

The family also heard an apology read to them by an HSE representative and Dr Corristine, after which Ms Justice Mary Irvine adjourned the case for two years so that an assessment of Roisin´s future needs can be made and to allow time for the introduction of a system of structured compensation payments.

Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Children's Injury Claims, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Doctor Negligence Claims, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Structured Injury Settlements - No Comments »

Second Interim Cerebral Palsy Compensation Payment Approved

A High Court judge has approved a second interim cerebral palsy compensation payment for a young girl who was born with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy in 2004 due to the negligence of her mother´s consultant.

Isabelle Sheehan (now 8 years of age) was born at the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in Cork on November 29th 2004 by emergency Caesarean Section, after a blood test on her mother – Catherine – had revealed an alarming rise in the presence of certain blood group antibodies.

Unfortunately, Catherine Sheehan´s consultant doctor – Dr David Corr – had failed to refer Catherine to an expert in foetal medicine, who would have identified potential difficulties with the pregnancy due to a clash between the antibodies in Catherine´s blood and those of her husband – Colm Sheehan.

When Isabelle was born, she was in a poor condition and was diagnosed with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Through her mother, Isabelle made a claim for compensation for the negligence of the consultant doctor, who admitted liability for Isabelle´s injuries when the case was first heard in October 2011.

At the original hearing, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill approved an interim cerebral palsy compensation payment of €1.9 million, and adjourned the case for two years in the hope that a structured compensation payments system would be in place to assure a life time of care for Isabelle.

However, as no legislation has yet been passed in Ireland which would allow a structured system of compensation payments, the case was back in front of Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who heard that a further interim cerebral palsy compensation payment of €635,000 had been agreed between the parties to provide the care that Isabelle needs for a further two years.

After hearing that Isabelle is “bright and intelligent” and keeping up with children in her mainstream national school class with the help of a home assistant, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the interim cerebral palsy compensation payment, adjourned the case for a further two years and wished Isabelle a very good future.

Posted in Children's Injury Claims, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Doctor Negligence Claims, Structured Injury Settlements - No Comments »

Man Settles Claim for Workplace Head Injury

A man, who suffered a severe head trauma when a meat conveyor bench fell on him, has settled his claim for a workplace head injury after a hearing at the High Court.

Hany Boles from Cahir in County Tipperary worked as a knife washer in the AIBP meat processing factory in Cahir when, in May 2007, he was instructed to assist a colleague who has loading a meat conveyor bench onto two trolleys in order to move it elsewhere within the processing plant.

As 49-year old Hany and his colleague loaded the meat conveyor bench onto the trolleys, the bench slipped and fell on him while he was crouching beneath it; striking him on the head and causing a severe head trauma. Hany received hospital treatment immediately following the accident but, because of the nature of his injury, the High Court heard that Hany has not been able to work since.

Hany made a compensation claim for a workplace head injury after seeking legal advice on the basis that he had been asked to perform a task for which he had not been trained or instructed adequately and because of his employer´s negligence he had suffered the injury.

His employers denied their responsibility for Hany´s head injury and claimed that the accident had occurred because of Hany´s own lack of care. However Hany´s legal advisors pursued his compensation claim for a workplace head injury and the case went before Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill at the High Court in Dublin.

After hearing testimony from both parties, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill found in Hany´s favour and said that he believed Hany´s account of how the meat conveyor bench accident had occurred. He commented that the accident had a major impact in Hany´s life, but that his employers had adopted an “antagonistic approach” to Hany´s situation.

The judge also criticised AIBP for recording a “trivialised and an inaccurate account” of the accident into the company’s accident reporting system and chastised the defence´s counsel for suggesting that Hany had been “malingering” since 2007. Awarding Hany €257,000 compensation in settlement of his claim for a workplace head injury, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill commented that the defendants had got this case “completely wrong”.

Posted in Brain Injury Compensation, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Workplace Injury Claims - No Comments »

DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Case Put Back Again

The twice-postponed DePuy ASR hip replacement court case has been put back in date again – this time after a change of plaintiff and a ruling about referring to the DePuy recall as evidence.

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

The first `Bellwether` DePuy ASR hip replacement case has now been rescheduled for September 24th, and will revolve around the hip dislocation sustained by Ann McCracken (57) from Rochester in New York, which is alleged to have been due to metal particles displaced by her DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System causing the soft tissues around her hip to decay.

Ann had a DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System implanted in August 2009, but had to undergo revision surgery in January 2011 after she had suffered her dislocated hip. In October 2011, Ann had to undergo further surgery to insert a device restricting the movement of her hip, which has reduced her mobility and will result in her present hip replacement system wearing out quicker – resulting in another hip replacement operation in the future.

The latest delay is due to Judge Katz agreeing that the worldwide recall of the DePuy hip replacement systems should not be referred to in court – not only because the DePuy ASR hip replacement case to be heard on its individual merits, but DePuy´s lawyers successfully argued that any reference to the DePuy recall at trial might prevent other companies from voluntarily withdrawing potentially dangerous medical devices because of the legal consequences.

One of the purposes of this first ‘Bellwether’ DePuy ASR hip replacement case is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the plaintiffs´ claims and DePuy Orthopaedic´s defence. If Ann´s case – and others still to be scheduled among the `Bellwether’ trials – results in a yardstick for compensation settlements, DePuy Orthopaedics are likely to negotiate settlement offers with the 7,800 plaintiffs also attached to this DePuy ASR hip replacement case through the consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL).

If no compensation yardstick is established by the juries in each of the trials – or if there are both positive and negative verdicts returned – all of the remaining DePuy ASR hip replacement cases will be referred back to the US District Courts in which they were originally filed – each to be heard individually and prolonging the how long it will take for each plaintiff to receive a fair settlement of DePuy hip replacement injury compensation.

This second scenario would also have an impact on plaintiffs in Ireland who have made a claim for DePuy hip replacement injury compensation, as each DePuy ASR hip replacement case in Ireland would then have to go through the court process.

Posted in Class Action Suits, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, DePuy Hip Implant Recall, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Product Liability Claims - No Comments »

Compensation for Injury Caused by Broken Chair Awarded in Court

A Canberra woman, who made a claim for compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work, has had her claim resolved in court for more than AU$1 million.

Terry Anne Downie was employed as a team leader for the Community Information and Referral Service in the Australian Capital Territory when, in June 2002, she purchased furniture for her office from the ex-government furniture outlet – Fyshwick – including a chair for her own use at work.

In October of the same year, Terry Anne was sitting on the chair while using the telephone when two legs of the chair snapped and she fell to the floor. A co-worker who saw the accident said that she heard a loud crack and then witnessed Terry Anne struggling to get up.

Terry Anne was taken to hospital, where scans revealed that a bulging disc inflamed by the accident was in contact with a nerve root. Doctors were unable to fix the injury and Terry Anne – now 51 years of age – suffers from ongoing pain, mental illness, sexual dysfunction and a permanent sensation, described in court, of ants under the skin of her legs.

In 2005, Terry Anne was paid Au$190,000 in worker´s compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work but also made a private claim for personal injury compensation against the chair´s importer – Jantom – claiming that the product was faulty when it was supplied to Fyshwick. Terry Anne´s employers also made a claim against Jantom to recover the amount of worker´s compensation they had paid her.

At the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court, Judge Master David Harper found in favour of Terry Anne and her employer after hearing expert evidence that plastic moulding on the base of the chair had failed in a catastrophic manner when two of five supporting spokes had broken.

The judge said “Terry Anne has many years ahead of pain and depression. Her life is very different to the life she could have expected if it had not been for her injury. Her enjoyment of life, and the kind of life she is able to lead, have been altered immeasurably.”

He awarded her Au$933,030 compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work plus a further Au$112,000 in special damages to cover her medical expenses. Terry Anne´s employer was also able to recover the compensation already paid to Terry Anne and the costs of raising the claim for an injury caused by a broken chair at work.

Posted in Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Falling Accident Claims, Mental Stress Claims, Product Liability Claims, Workplace Injury Claims - No Comments »

Airline Offers Compensation for Plane Crash Survivors

Asiana Airlines has offered an initial payment of compensation for a plane crash to the 288 survivors of Flight 214 that crashed on its approach to San Francisco International Airport last month.

Three people died in the crash – two from injuries sustained in the accident and a third who was tragically run over by a fire truck racing to the plane´s assistance – which is suspected to have occurred due to the plane from Seoul approaching too low and clipping a seawall at the perimeter of the airport.

Following the accident 181 passengers were taken to hospital where forty-nine still remain in a serious condition. Due to the number of passengers that sustained major spine injuries, doctors believe several patients could be permanently disabled.

Investigators from the US National Transportation Safety Board are yet to confirm the exact cause of the accident; however Asiana Airlines has already made a preliminary offer of compensation for a plane crash to all the survivors for the emotional trauma they suffered.

The offer of $10,000 is a preliminary amount offered under US law, and – under the Montreal Convention – is not conditional on passengers waiving their right to claiming further compensation for a plane crash.

The final value of future compensation settlements may not be known for many months and will depend on whether the passenger is a citizen of the United States (in which case US levels of plane crash compensation apply) or whether they have to claim compensation for a plane crash from the airline under the Montreal Convention.

Posted in Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Mental Stress Claims, Psychological Injury Claims - No Comments »

Settlement of Passenger Brain Injury Claim Approved in Court

A woman, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when the car she was travelling was involved in a car crash, has had the settlement of her passenger brain injury claim approved in the High Court.

Rhona Murphy (34) was just twenty years of age when, in February 1999, she was travelling as a front seat passenger in a car which attempted to undertake a slower moving vehicle on the Galway to Headford Road.

Rhona, who comes from Newcastle in County Galway, was lucky to survive the crash after the driver of the car in which she was a passenger lost control of the vehicle and collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction.

As a result of the traumatic brain injury suffered in the car crash, Rhona had to abandon her studies which she hoped would lead to a career in teaching and now has to take heavy medication to help with her memory and balance. She has been cared for since the accident by her father.

Through her father, Rhona made a claim for passenger brain injury compensation against the driver of the car, alleging that the driver had been driving at an excessive speed in a reckless, dangerous or careless manner.

Liability for the passenger brain injury claim was admitted and, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that an offer of 3 million €uros had been made in settlement of the claim which the family were prepared to accept.

After hearing the circumstances of Rhona´s injury, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of her passenger brain injury claim, stating that it was a good offer considering there was a doubt that Rhona was wearing a seatbelt at the time and had knowingly entered a vehicle which was being driven by somebody who had consumed a significant amount of alcohol.

Posted in Brain Injury Compensation, Car Passenger Accidents, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Contributory Negligence, Drunk Driving Injury Claims, Road Traffic Accidents - No Comments »