Judge Awards Compensation for a Slip on a Potato Wedge in Dunnes

A judge has awarded an injured shopper €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes following a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

In November 2011, sixty-year old housewife Anna Manning from Clondalkin in Dublin was entering the fish section of her local Dunnes Stores, when she slipped on a potato wedge that had been left on the floor following an earlier spill and fell onto the shop floor.

Anna landed on her hands and knees, but the following day attended her GP for treatment to pains that had developed in her back and neck. Anna also sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes.

Dunnes Stores refused its consent for Anna´s claim to be assessed by the Injuries Board and she was issued with an Authorisation to pursue her claim in court. The claim for compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes was recently heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing Judge Groarke was told that Anna´s slip and fall had aggravated an existing condition, and that she had also sustained a wrist injury that was having a negative effect on her quality of life. Dunnes Stores contested Anna´s claim, and argued that she had contributed to her injuries by her own lack of care.

Judge Groarke dismissed Dunne´s argument of contributory negligence and found in Anna´s favour. The judge commented that Anna was a “very poor candidate” to fabricate her story considering her previous medical history and he considered Dunnes Stores to have been negligent for failing to thoroughly clean up the previous spill.

Judge Groarke awarded Anna €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes, adding on the balance of probabilities that the potato wedge on which Anna had slipped had likely been a “brother or sister” of the wedges that had been spilled earlier in the day.


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.


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.


Dublin Bar found Liable in Cut Hand Injury Compensation Claim

A Dublin bar has been found liable for injuries sustained by a painter and decorator after a hearing into a cut hand injury compensation claim.

David O´Keeffe (31) made his cut hand injury compensation claim after slipping and falling at the Woolshed Baa & Grill on Parnell Street in Dublin on 18th September 2011. David had been watching the All Ireland Football Final in the packed bar with a group of friends and, at the end of the game, he attempted to visit the bathrooms.

However, as he manoeuvred his way through the packed bar, he slipped on a wet area of the floor and fell – cutting his left hand on a piece of glass that was laying on the floor. David received First Aid behind the bar for his injury, and later attended the Accident & Emergency Department of St James´ Hospital, where the cut was cleaned properly and stitched.

Following his hospital treatment, David made a cut hand injury compensation claim against the Woolshed Baa & Grill, alleging that the bar had allowed uncollected glasses to stack up, which had likely fallen over and smashed and caused the piece of glass to be laying on the floor. He also alleged that spilled drinks remained unattended to and that the bar had failed to follow cleaning procedures.

The Woolshed Baa & Grill denied its liability for David´s injury, and refused to consent to an Injuries Board assessment of the cut hand injury compensation claim. David was issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim through the court system, and a hearing to establish liability took place last week before Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

At the hearing, the bar´s legal team argued that David´s injuries were due to his friends unsuccessfully trying to lift him up while he had a glass in his hand. The bar owners testified that the bar had followed its cleaning procedures on the day in question, and that an accident report had been filled out at the time that David slipped and fell, but that they were unable to locate it.

Judge Linnane said that she accepted David´s version of events, as the bar had been packed “to the point that one would not have been able to see that the floor was wet”. She found in David´s favour and awarded him €20,000 in settlement of his cut hand injury compensation claim.


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.


Compensation Claim for Breaking a Hip in Dunnes Stores Settled at Hearing

A compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores has been settled in favour of the plaintiff following a three-day hearing at the High Court in Cork.

Seventy-seven year old Bernadette O´Leary from Clonakilty in Cork was shopping in her local Dunnes Stores on 2nd July 2013, intending to buy a waterproof canopy to protect her stall at the weekly farmers market, where she sold homemade cakes and other food items.

Bernadette located a small gazebo that she thought may be suitable and asked a shop assistant whether he knew if the gazebo was waterproof. The shop assistant said that he would ask a colleague, and told Bernadette to follow him as he went to find out the answer to her question.

Unfortunately, as Bernadette followed the shop assistant into the adjacent aisle, she stumbled and fell over a fold-up deckchair that had been removed from its packaging and was waiting to be placed on a display shelf.

Bernadette broke her hip in the fall, and was taken by ambulance to hospital – where she spent forty-eight hours on a trolley waiting for a bed to be available. After she was discharged, Bernadette discussed her injury with a solicitor and made a compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores.

The basis of Bernadette´s claim was that – according to Dunnes Stores´ own safety statement – goods should not be left unattended in an aisle because they were a hazard. However, Dunnes contested Bernadette´s compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores on the grounds that she should have looked where she was going.

As liability was contested, the Injuries Board issued Bernadette with an Authorisation to pursue her compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores in court, and the case was recently heard by Mr Justice Henry Abbot at the High Court in Cork.

After hearing arguments from both sides and watching a CCTV recording of the accident, Judge Abbot agreed with Bernadette´s counsel that “the defendant had invited the plaintiff into the path of a hazard on which she fell and was injured”, and awarded her €137,000 in settlement of her compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores.


Hit and Run Injury Claim Settled with Split Liability

A hit and run injury claim has been settled during a break in proceedings on the first day of a hearing after an agreement was reached on the division of liability.

Anthony Driver (25) from Enniskerry in County Wicklow made his hit and run injury claim after being run over by an unidentified car at the junction of Sidmonton Avenue and Meath Road in Bray on 2nd November 2012.

Anthony – who was on his way to meet a friend to get a lift home – remembers that the unidentified car pulled over after hitting him, but then drove off again without calling for help or offering assistance.

It was only when Anthony was found lying injured in the street by a Garda that he was taken to hospital where he was treated for a fractured spine, fractured ribs, a lacerated liver and various internal injuries.

Anthony remained in hospital for none days – four of them in intensive care. After his discharge from hospital he experienced difficulty eating for some time and he still suffers from pains in his back.

As the driver of the car that struck Anthony could not be traced, Anthony´s hit and run injury claim was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – the body that are responsible for paying injury compensation when the owner of a vehicle cannot be traced or is uninsured.

The MIBI disputed liability for Anthony´s hit and run injury claim as the Garda who found Anthony had described him as “grossly intoxicated”, and the insurers´ bureau said that Anthony was likely responsible for his injuries due to his own lack of care.

As liability for Anthony´s hit and run injury claim was disputed, the Injuries Board issued Anthony with an authorisation to allow the option of court action. The case went to the High Court last week where it was heard by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns.

At the hearing, Anthony admitted to Judge Kearns that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The MIBI repeated their argument that, because of his condition, Anthony should accept some level of liability for his injuries.

Discussions regarding a negotiated settlement started as the court was adjourned for lunch. On Judge Kearns´ return, he was informed that Anthony had agreed to an undisclosed settlement of his hit and run injury claim after accepting 75% contributory negligence.


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.


Dublin Airport Injury Claim Heard at Court

A pensioner´s Dublin Airport injury claim has been resolved at the High Court after the judge assigned the plaintiff 33% contributory negligence and reduced the settlement of her claim to €40,000.

On 2nd November 2011, Elizabeth Lavin (69) from Kilcullen in County Kildare arrived at Dublin Airport intending to fly to Manchester. As she was travelling up the escalator towards Terminal 2, the escalator juddered, causing Elizabeth to fall forward and hit her head on the moving stairway.

Elizabeth was taken to the Beaumont Hospital, where she received treatment for a head injury and minor lacerations. She subsequently has had to undergo orthopaedic treatment for pain in her head, arm, hip and knee – during which time she found it difficult to do household activities.

After seeking legal advice, Elizabeth made a Dublin Airport injury claim, alleging that Dublin Airport Authority PLC had failed to take reasonable care of her safety. Elizabeth also alleged negligence on the part of the Authority for designing the airport in such a way that the escalator was the only apparent practical means of access to the next floor for passengers with luggage.

Dublin Airport denied liability for Elizabeth´s injuries. They argued that Elizabeth had failed to hold onto the handrail of the escalator and had contributed to the extent of her injuries by placing her hand luggage in front of her, instead of behind her, as the escalator ascended. Furthermore, the airport claimed, Elizabeth had the option of using the lift.

When the Dublin Airport injury claim was heard at the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Hanna was told that Elizabeth was unaware that the option of a lift was available because there were no signs erected at the time directing passengers to the lift. The judge heard that these were not erected until 2013. Judge Hanna was also shown CCTV footage of Elizabeth´s fall.

After viewing the CCTV footage, Judge Hanna said that Elizabeth could not be considered to have contributed to her injuries for failing to hold onto the handrail or for placing her luggage in front of her, but she could have asked for directions to the lift from an airport assistant. He assigned her 33% contributory negligence and reduced the settlement of her Dublin Airport injury claim from €60,000 to €40,000.


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.


€1 Million Compensation for a Trip and Fall Injury Approved

A High Court judge has approved a €1 million settlement of compensation for a trip and fall injury in favour of a man who suffered a brain injury when he fell.

James O´Sullivan (32) was walking through the Muddy Hill Car Park in Mallow, County Cork, late in the evening of December 10, 2007, when he tripped over a base unit which was supporting a Heras fence at the boundary of the car park and fell onto wasteland below.

The fall – estimated to be between twelve and twenty feet – knocked James unconscious and he was taken to Mallow General Hospital before being transferred to Cork University Hospital to receive treatment for a serious head injury.

On his discharge from hospital, James sought legal advice, and made a claim for compensation for a trip and fall injury against Mallow Town Council, Denis Murphy, Kilpatrick Civil Engineering Ltd, and Groundworks on the basis that the unlit car park was dangerous and had exposed him to the risk of loss, injury and damage.

In his action for compensation, James – who lives and works in Mallow – alleged he suffers from forgetfulness since his accident, post-traumatic epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. He also claims to have suffered a profound neurological impairment as a result of the accident.

The four defendants against whom James claimed compensation for a trip and fall injury each denied their liability. They also contested the extent of James´ injuries. Consequently, the Injuries Board could not adjudicate on his application for assessment and the case proceeded to the High Court.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that a €1 million offer of compensation for a trip and fall injury had been made without admission of liability. After being told that James was willing to accept the offer, the judge approved the settlement – stating that it was a good one in the circumstances as if the case had proceeded, and the defendants´ contention was accepted, there was a risk that James might not receive such a large settlement of compensation for a trip and fall injury.


Man Awarded Injury Compensation for Bin Lorry Accident

A man from County Wicklow, who suffered a severe brain injury when being run over by a Dublin City refuse truck, has been awarded almost €5 million injury compensation for a bin lorry accident.

Padraig Hearns (39) from Hollywood in County Wicklow had been enjoying a night out in Dublin´s Temple Bar area in April 2007, when he was assaulted in Sycamore Street. Dazed and confused, Padraig was lying on the street when he was run over by a bin lorry operated by Dublin City Council.

As a result of the bin lorry accident, Padraig – a former Mr. Ireland who had been working as an air steward for British Airways – suffered a fractured skull and severe injuries to his arm and eye. He remained in hospital recovering from his injuries for several months – the first week spent in an induced coma.

Due to the brain injury sustained in the accident, Padraig now lives at home – being cared for by his parents and siblings. He will never be able to live independently again nor be able to work in any meaningful employment.

On Padraig´s behalf, his parents made a claim for injury compensation for the bin lorry accident against Dublin City Council. The Council denied their liability for Padraig´s injuries on the grounds that it was not the operators of the bin lorry that were to blame for Padraig lying on the floor in front of the refuse truck.

However, at the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart found in Padraig´s favour. The judge noted that Dublin City Council had ignored its own by-laws not to collect commercial waste in the Temple Bar area between 12:00pm and 6:00pm – implemented three months before the accident.

Judge Peart said “It makes complete sense from a public safety point of view that these large refuse trucks would not be permitted to try and negotiate their way through an area such as the narrow and crowded streets of Temple Bar when so many people are present”.

He added that the local authority had a duty of care to have a man outside of the refuse truck when it moved off to ensure that it was safe to do so. In the judge´s opinion, Dublin City Council had breached that duty of care by failing to notice Padraig lying in the street beneath the wheels of the lorry.

Mr Justice Michael Peart awarded Padraig €4,885,888 injury compensation for the bin lorry accident, which included €350,000 for pain and suffering, €266,341 for loss of earnings, €155,230 for care costs to date and €3,485,000 for future care costs. The judge added that he would be awarding legal costs in favour of Padraig as well. The proceedings were adjourned for mention until October 8th.


Girl Awarded Compensation for Slip and Fall in Tesco

A nine-year-old schoolgirl, who was left with a permanent scar after she slipped and banged her head against a supermarket freezer, has been awarded €18,000 compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco.

Angela Prendergast was only six years of age when – in September 2010 – she was shopping with her mother at the Tesco Express Supermarket in Kilcoole, County Wicklow. As Angela and her mother were walking along the frozen food section, Angela slipped on a wet floor surface and banged her head against a steel freezer as she fell.

Although she was given First Aid by a member of Tesco´s staff, Angela´s mother – Ann Prendergast from Kilcoole in County Wicklow – took her to the local hospital, where the wound was cleaned and stitched with glue. Angela still has a two centimetre scar on the right side of her forehead to act as a permanent reminder of the accident.

On her daughter´s behalf, Ann Prendergast made a claim for injury compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco against Tesco Ireland Ltd. Tesco admitted that the negligence of their staff had been a contributory factor in the floor being slippery, and a settlement of €18,000 was negotiated between solicitors representing the two parties.

As the claim for Tesco slip and fall injury compensation had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement of compensation had to be approved before a judge before Angela´s case could be closed; and therefore the circumstances of Angela´s accident were related to Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

After hearing how Angela had banged her head, and seeing the scar that the little girl had been left with, Judge Deery approved the settlement of compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco, which will now be paid into court funds until Angela reaches the age of eighteen.


Man Settles Injury Claim for Fall Down Stairs of Pub

An eighty year old man, who suffered brain damage when falling down the stairs of the Stags Head in Dublin, has settled his injury claim for a fall down the stairs of a pub for €250,000.

Frank McHugh from Rathgar in Dublin had been enjoying an Easter meal with his family at the Stags Head pub in Dublin when, on April 24th 2011, he left the group to visit the bathroom.

As he descended the stairs to the toilets, Frank tumbled and fell – suffering a fractured skull and brain damage which left him in a coma. Due to the injuries sustained in the fall down the stairs of the pub, Frank has no recollection of the accident and will require permanent care for the rest of his life.

Through his son – Peter McHugh – Frank made an injury claim for a fall down stairs of a pub against Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd – owners of the Stags Head – alleging that there was a failure to provide a safe means of access to the toilets and that no warning signs of the alleged dangers were present in the stairwell.

Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd denied the claim made against the company – arguing that Frank had failed to descend the stairs in a safe manner and had fallen as a result of his own negligence. The company included in its defence CCTV footage of Frank taking the first step of the stairs and then tumbling forward.

At the High Court in Dublin Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that, although Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd contested the injury claim for a fall down stairs in a pub, the company had made an offer of settlement amounting to €250,000. The judge was told that the value of the settlement was a fraction of what a full compensation award might amount to, but the family had been advised to accept it.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine agreed that €250,000 would not go far in care costs, but approved the settlement on the grounds that it was unlikely Frank´s injury claim for a fall down the stairs of a pub would be successful if it went to a full trial due to a lack of evidence.


Chef Settles Claim for Injury on Team Building Exercise

A hotel chef has settled his compensation claim for an injury on a team building exercise after the hearing into his claim had already commenced.

In October 2006, Cathal Kavanagh (54) from Ongar in Dublin attended a team-building day organised by his employer – The Carton House Spa and Golf Hotel in Maynooth, County Kildare, where he worked as the executive head chef -at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge.

During the day Cathal and his colleagues from the four star luxury hotel participated in a series of events and games – one of which was a relay race in which Cathal was required to hop forwards and then run backwards. During the race, Cathal slipped, his foot went from underneath him and he broke his wrist in the subsequent fall.

After seeking legal advice from a solicitor, Cathal made a compensation claim for an injury on a team building exercise against his employer, the organisers of the day out – JikiJela Ltd of Tubbercurry in County Sligo – and Kildare County Council, the owners of the Riverbank Arts Centre.

Cathal alleged in his action that all three parties had been negligent by failing to ensure that the activities were safe and by failing to ensure that no danger would be present. The three defendants denied their liability for Cathal´s wrist injury and the Injuries Board issued an Authorisation for the claim to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court.

However, following the lunch break on the first day of the hearing, Mrs Justice Mary Irvine was informed that Cathal´s compensation claim for an injury on a team-building exercise had been settled and that the claim could be struck out.


Man Awarded Compensation for an Injury at Dublin Airport

A man, whose nose was broken as an electric door closed on him, has been awarded €19,000 compensation for an injury at Dublin Airport after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Thomas Smyth (63) and his wife Evelyn had travelled down to Dublin Airport from County Cavan in January 2011, to fly to a holiday destination in the Canary Islands. The couple were on their way to board their flight when an automatically-timed electric door suddenly closed on Thomas – breaking his nose.

Thomas was taken to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where the fracture was confirmed, and the couple had to delay their holiday plans for two days while Joseph received treatment and their flights could be re-arranged. Eventually the couple arrived in Tenerife, but their holiday had been ruined by the incident at the airport.

On his return to Ireland, Thomas sought legal advice, and made a claim for compensation for an injury at Dublin Airport against both Aer Lingus – the company with whom the couple were originally flying to Tenerife – and the Dublin Airport Authority. Both parties agreed that an injury due to negligence had occurred, but neither wanted to admit liability.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told that a settlement of €19,000 compensation for an injury at Dublin Airport had been agreed to be appropriate; but the question of who was to be considered liable for Thomas´ injury had still to be determined.

After hearing evidence that the door which had automatically closed on Thomas was working properly, and was timed to close after 30 minutes once it had been opened by an Aer Lingus flight attendant, Judge Linnane found the flight company responsible for Thomas´ broken nose. She stated that if Aer Lingus needed longer than thirty minutes to get the passengers on their plane, they should have asked Dublin Airport Authority to extend the time available to them.


Claim for an Injury in a Nightclub Heard in Court

A man who was injured while working as a security guard in a popular Dublin bar has given evidence at the Circuit Civil Court in support of his claim for an injury in a nightclub.

Longin Gasiorowski (31) was working on the door of the city´s Traffic nightclub in Middle Abbey Street on 16th July 2007, when a superior gave Longin permission to admit a man who had previously been known to cause trouble in the club.

Later during the evening, while patrolling the inside of the club, Longin saw the man arguing with another patron and attempted to summon colleagues to assist him but found that his radio was not working properly. Longin tried to restrain the man by himself but, while doing so, was hit on the head by another man wielding a broken glass bottle.

Longin was immediately taken by taxi to the Emergency Department of St James´ Hospital, where he was treated for multiple lacerations – one of them 3cm in length which left a visible scar behind his ear. Longin was detained in hospital overnight and discharged the following morning with his wounds sutured and his head heavily bandaged.

After seeking legal advice, Longin made a claim for an injury in a nightclub against the owner of the Traffic nightclub – Cyril O´Brien – and his employers, P&B Security Services Limited of Kilwarden, County Kildare; alleging that the two defendants had allowed the nightclub to open without sufficient security staff.

The two defendants denied their liability for Longin´s injuries but, after Longin had given evidence before Mr Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court, the judge was told that the two sides had agreed a preliminary undisclosed settlement of Longin´s claim for an injury in a nightclub and he adjourned the case to allow the parties to implement the settlement.


Council Found Negligent in Road Crossing Accident Claim

Dublin South County Council has been found 100 percent responsible in a road crossing accident claim after a hearing at the High Court in Dublin.

The claim was brought by Linda Dargen Burgess from Tallaght, Dublin, on behalf of her son Brandon who – at the age of thirteen – was hit by a motorist at the junction of the Tallaght Bypass and Killinarden Way while trying to cross the road at a temporary crossing erected by the council.

Brandon suffered a serious head injury in the accident and fractures to his arms and legs, and missed a significant period of his education while he recovered from his injuries. As a consequence of his accident, Brandon has now left school without completing his Leaving Certificate.

Brandon´s mother made a claim for road crossing accident compensation against both the driver of the car – James Mulholland from Dundrum, Dublin – and Dublin South County Council, claiming that the way in which the temporary crossing had been set up made it extremely difficult for pedestrians to access the signal box.

It was further alleged that the placement of a Dublin South County Council vehicle at the crossing had obscured the lights on the central island and it was impossible to see whether the signal crossing man was at green or red. Both James Mulholland and Dublin South County Council disputed liability.

In the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine dismissed the road crossing accident claim against Mr Mulholland, after hearing that he had been driving within the speed limit with a green light ahead of him. Ms Justice Mary Irvine agreed with the defendant that even if he was keeping a proper lookout, he did not have a realistic chance of seeing Brandon before he stepped out in front of the car.

She also dismissed claims of contributory negligence made against Brandon by the council, who had alleged that Brandon had failed to take adequate care for his own safety before stepping out into the road. The judge said that in the circumstances she was satisfied that the positioning of the signal box and blocking of the lights on the central island amounted to negligence by the council and found them 100 percent liable for Brandon´s injuries.

Awarding compensation for a road crossing accident of €826,818, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that, but for the accident, Brandon would have completed his studies at school and will now have a completely different type of future as a result of his injuries.


Woman Awarded Compensation for Fall on Moving Walkway

A woman who caught the heel of her shoe in a hole on a travelator in a Dublin shopping centre has been awarded €13.150 in compensation for a fall on a moving walkway after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Nuala Holloway Casey (60) from Blackrock in Dublin brought her action against Secret Retail Holdings (trading as Superquinn Shopping Centre) and Kine (Ireland) Limited, travelator and escalator fitters, of Ballymount, County Dublin, after suffering an ankle injury at the Superquinn Shopping Centre in December 2007.

Judge Barry Hickson in the Circuit Civil Court heard that on December 21st 2007, Nuala had caught the high heel of her shoe in a hole at the entrance to a descending moving walkway and fallen heavily – damaging her left ankle. Nuala told the court that she still suffered pain in the ankle and had been forced to give up playing tennis because of the injury.

The court also heard that liability for the injury had been admitted by the joint defendants but how much compensation for a fall on a moving walkway Nuala should receive was in dispute as Nuala had failed to visit her doctor for 10 days after the accident and exacerbated her injury by a separate fall in 2009.

After reviewing the medical evidence in support of Nuala´s claim, Judge Hickson awarded the former Miss Ireland €12,000 compensation for the fall on the moving walkway plus an additional €1,250 to account for the expenses she had incurred which were directly attributable to her accident.


Racegoer Awarded Compensation for Slip on Dance Floor

A woman, who slipped and fell while dancing in a bar at Leopardstown Racecourse, has been awarded €28,802 in compensation for a slip on a dance floor after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Pauline McNamara (60) from Skerries, County Dublin, had visited the racecourse with friends on 28th December 2009 but, after the racing had been cancelled due to fog, retired to “The Fillies Bar” where a disc-jockey was encouraging people to dance in a tiled alcove of the bar.

Pauline was dancing with a man she had just met when she slipped on a wet patch on the floor and fell – hitting her head on the tiles and breaking her left wrist. After seeking medical treatment, Pauline made a claim for injury compensation for her slip on the dance floor, however her claim was contested.

Judge Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court heard evidence from the manager of the bar – Mr Richard Smyth – that the man Pauline had been dancing with had been throwing her around the floor and the accident was caused by his “very rough” actions.

Judge Deery dismissed his defence, stating that impromptu dancing was permitted at the venue, but the bar had an inadequate cleaning system in place to cope with the number of customers it received when racing had been cancelled.

Awarding Pauline €28,802 compensation for a slip on a dance floor, Judge Deery said that the manner in which Pauline had fallen was consistent with the floor having been wet.


Court Awards Compensation for Pedestrian hit by Truck

A student, who was hit on the head by the wing mirror of a council works vehicle, has been awarded €300,000 in compensation for his pedestrian hit by a truck claim at the High Court.

Ciaran Chestnutt (25) of Greystones, County Wicklow, told Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill at the High Court that he did not remember a great deal about the accident because of the injuries he had sustained, but had been told he was standing at pedestrian traffic lights on Paddy Brown’s Road, Waterford, on October 26, 2007 when he was struck by the mirror of a passing truck.

As a result of his accident, Ciaran suffered brain damage which reduced his memory capacity and caused him to lose his senses of taste and smell. He also suffers a permanent black spot in the vision of his right eye and will have a permanent scar on his forehead as a reminder of the accident. Because of his accident, he also lost a year at college where he was studying architectural technology.

Having sought legal advice, Ciaran made a claim for compensation for a pedestrian hit by a truck. However Waterford City Council – which owned the truck – and its employee who had been driving the truck at the time of the accident, Michael Coyne, denied their liability – claiming that Ciaran was the author of his own misfortune by walking into the truck.

After hearing evidence from witnesses representing both parties, Mr Justice Iarflaith O´Neill said he was satisfied the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver for whom the Council was vicariously liable. Awarding Ciaran €300,000 in compensation for a pedestrian hit by a truck, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill said Ciaran´s injuries have had a huge impact on his life, but he had done extremely well coping with his injury and had got his academic career back on track.


Go-Karting Accident Compensation Awarded to Neck Injury Victim

A woman, who sustained neck injuries due to a rear-end crash on a go-karting track, has been awarded more than 9,000 Euros in go-karting accident compensation at the Circuit Civil Court.

Karen Wimpory (31) from Maidenhead in Berkshire was visiting Dublin in March 2009 with friends on a hen weekend when, as part of the celebration, she and her friends decided to try their hand at go-kart racing at Kylemore Indoor Karting racetrack.

Having signed a disclaimer which carried a warning that motor sport could be dangerous and “in the absence of any negligence on the part of the company” she was participating entirely at her own risk, Karen watched a safety video before climbing into her go-kart for a four-circuit warm-up.

It was at the end of this warm-up, Karen claimed, that she and other racers had been forced to brake abruptly because a race marshal had stepped on to the track. Although Karen was able to stop in time, another driver had crashed into the back of her kart, pushing her neck and shoulders backwards and leaving with neck injuries similar to whiplash.

After seeking legal advice, Karen made a claim for go-karting accident compensation against Grovepark Services Ltd., which trades as Kylemore Karting, alleging that her neck injuries were attributable to the negligence of the company. Grovepark Services denied that they were liable and the claim proceeded to court.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard that although Karen had watch the safety video and signed the disclaimer before commencing her warm-up, there had been no instruction given about what to do when traffic warning lights on the racetrack were illuminated.

Judge Deery was also told by racetrack designer Stewart Cosgrave and race controller Denis Gaffney that, although it was improbable that a race marshal would walk onto the circuit in front of karts travelling in excess of 20 miles per hour, the marshal in question had since died in a road traffic accident and would be unable to provide evidence.

After hearing evidence from forensic engineer Pat Cullerton that the karts did not have headrests or neck restraints fitted, and that novice karters should have also been instructed to sit at full extension when driving, Mr Justice Matthew Deery found in Karen´s favour and awarded her 9,064 Euros in go-karting accident compensation plus costs.


Compensation Claim for Accident in Newsagents Settled in Court

A woman, who suffered facial injuries when she walked into a shop shutter, has had her compensation claim for an accident in a newsagents settled at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Yvonne McEvoy (42) from Clondalkin, Dublin, had been shopping in Tuthill´s Newsagents in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre when, in October 2010, she was distracted by a Halloween display as she was leaving the shop and walked into a partly closed shutter.

The shutter, Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court was told, was often partly closed as the shop was about to shut to dissuade new customers from entering, but Yvonne failed to hear the warning shouted to her by a shop assistant and walked straight into it – sustaining an injury to the left side of her face.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard from forensic engineer Alan Conlon that CCTV video of the incident showed a previous customer ducking underneath the shutter as he left the shop, but that Yvonne was looking to her right as she walked towards the exit. The judge also heard that Yvonne had fallen pregnant in 2011 and was unable to take painkillers to ease the pain.

Finding Tuthill´s Newsagents negligent by lowering the shutter while there were still customers in the shop, Judge Jacqueline Linnane found in favour of Yvonne and awarded her 17,500 Euros in settlement of her compensation claim for an accident in a newsagents.


Compensation for Football Injury Approved in High Court

A young girl, who sustained a serious neck injury after the crossbar of a goal fell on her head, has had her settlement of compensation for a football injury approved in the High Court.

Jessica Fidgeon Cush (17) from Lusk, County Dublin, was just eleven years of age when her accident happened in October 2006. While playing in goal for Round Towers Lusk GAA in a Gaelic football game at the at the Starlights GAA Club in Collinstown, North Dublin, the crossbar fell from the goalposts and hit Jessica on head.

X-rays taken on her arrival at hospital revealed that Jessica had a lucky escape. Her sixth vertebrae was broken but, had the crossbar had hit her once inch either side of her injury, she would have been killed or paralysed. Jessica was required to wear a neck brace while her injury healed, but also suffered from headaches, nightmares and flashbacks, and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after developing a fear of dying.

Through her father – Philip – Jessica made a claim for compensation for a football injury against the Gaelic Athletic Association, as the GAA are responsible for the organisation, control and supervision of Gaelic games in the State. In the action it was claimed that the goalposts had been allowed to remain in an unsafe condition, that no inspection of the goalposts had been undertaken and that there was a failure to ensure that the crossbar was adequately secured to the goalposts.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told that the case before him was only for the approval of damages, as a compensation settlement of 50,000 Euros had been agreed between the two parties. After hearing the details of the case, Mr Justice Kearns approved the settlement of compensation for a football injury which will be paid into court for one year until Jessica reaches the age of eighteen.


Ryanair Injury Compensation Claim Settled Before Hearing

A woman, who suffered cuts and bruises after falling down the steps of a Ryanair airplane, has settled her Ryanair injury compensation claim shortly before a hearing into her case was about to commence.

Malgorzata Jeneralczyk (57), from Poznan, Poland, slipped on the mobile steps due to wet weather as she was disembarking from her flight at Dublin airport and fell to the tarmac below.

She was attended by an airport paramedic who recorded her injuries as a laceration to her left eyebrow and bruising to her left shoulder and ribs and her right hand and fingers.

After seeking legal advice, Malgorzata made a claim for injury compensation against Ryanair – claiming that the company had failed in its duty of care to provide passengers with safe transit. Ryanair disputed her claim for 38,000 Euros and were prepared to defend the company´s position in a court hearing.

However, shortly before the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin heard that Malgorzata had settled her Ryanair injury compensation claim for an undisclosed amount and that costs were to be charged to Ryanair


Woman Awarded Compensation for Elevator Fall

A woman from Jacksonville, Florida, has been awarded 13 million dollars in compensation for an elevator fall thirteen years after her horrifying accident occurred.

Janice Beasley (41) was made the award by a jury at Duval County Courthouse after a two-week trial in which the court heard how, in May 1999, Janice was a passenger in an elevator at the office building in which she worked.

The jury were told how the elevator had malfunctioned and fallen from the twenty-third floor to the eighth and how, when an elevator engineer was summoned, rather than extract Janice from the elevator, he sent the elevator – with Janice inside of it – falling down to the basement of the building.

As a result of her experience, Janice suffered multiple bruising which developed into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and left her wheelchair-bound with partial paralysis of her left leg. Janice was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression as a result of her accident.

Janice made a claim for compensation for the elevator fall against the building´s owners Highwoods Properties Inc and Schindler Elevator Company – claiming that Highwoods were responsible for the initial malfunction and Schindler Elevator Company for her second accident.

Schindler Elevator Company denied liability and went to great lengths to avoid going to trial. However, after a ten-year delay in court proceedings, the case was eventually heard – resulting in an award of compensation for an elevator fall against both defendants amounting to just over 13 million dollars.


Pensioner Awarded Compensation for Shopping Trolley Injury

A seventy-nine year old woman, who sustained a broken shoulder after the shopping trolley she was taking down a shopping centre travelator ran away from her, has been awarded 30,000 compensation for shopping trolley injury at the Circuit Civil Court.

Rosaleen Hill from Terenure in Dublin had been returning the shopping trolley to the underground car park of the Ashleaf Shopping Centre when the accident occurred in March 2009. Having completed her shopping in Dunnes Stores, Rosaleen took the downward travelator to the car park, at which point the shopping trolley started to roll away from her. Rosaleen attempted to hold on to her shopping but in her efforts fell to the ground and was dragged along the travelator surface.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court heard that Jacqueline sustained a broken right should in three places and a lacerated knee. She also heard that Rosaleen had made a claim for shopping trolley injury compensation against the owners of the shopping centre, the management company and Dunnes Stores; but Dunnes Stores had denied their liability, claiming that the trolley responsible for Rosaleen´s injury was not one of theirs.

The judge heard testimony from a forensic engineer and a representative of the company that supplied Dunnes Stores with its shopping trolleys which confirmed the store´s claims that the shopping trolley was not one of theirs. The court heard that the shopping trolley had smooth wheels rather than the corrugated rubber ones which lock into the grooves on the travelator surface and that the rogue trolley had possibly been left in the common shopping trolley area by shopfitters who had been working in the shopping centre of the day of Rosaleen´s accident.

Finding Gary Smith, trading as The Ashleaf Shopping Centre and Kessow Limited – the management company responsible for health and safety at the shopping centre – jointly liable for Rosaleen´s injuries, Judge Jacqueline Linnane ordered that Rosaleen should be awarded 30,000 Euros in compensation for the shopping trolley injury.


Compensation Claim Settled for Low Hanging Poster Injury

A woman who walked into a Dublin advertising poster, and sustained head and neck injuries, has settled her compensation claim for low hanging poster injury for 38,000 Euros.

Sandra Memery (48)  was leaving her local MacDonald´s restaurant with her daughter on 16th September 2009 when the accident occurred. Having turned back towards her daughter to give her a bag, she started walking forward again, and immediately hit her head on the corner of the low hanging poster campaigning on behalf of Fianna Fail for a “Yes” vote in the second Lisbon Treaty referendum.

After feeling unwell for a day, Sandra visited her doctor, where she was diagnosed with lacerations to her scalp, a swelling over her right temporal and soft tissue damage to her neck. Sandra, who is 5 ft 5 in tall (1.65m) made a compensation claim for low hanging poster injury, stating that the campaign poster should have a minimum of three metres clearance from the floor.

Contesting the claim, Fianna Fail and Executive Posters Ltd jointly claimed that Sandra was responsible for her own injuries through contributory negligence and should have paid more attention to where she was walking. However, shortly before Sandra´s case was about to be heard at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court, her legal representatives announced to the court that a compensation settlement had been agreed upon in the amount of 38,000 Euros.


Child Awarded 20,000 Euro For Bus Wing Mirror Injury

Megan Ledden, now aged 14 years, of Glasnevin, Dublin, has been awarded €20,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court in a case against a minibus owner following an accident where she was struck in the head by a wing mirror.
The accident occurred on a pedestrian crossing on Old Finglas Road in March 2007. Ledden was knocked unconscious as she fell back and hit her head on the ground. Ledden suffered a laceration on the right side of her forehead and bruising on her right knee. The result was permanent faint scarring under the hairline on her forehead, although fortunately it is not visible.
Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement and also awarded legal costs.


How NOT To Build A Case For Injury Compensation

Ms Justice Mary Irvine has dismissed a personal injury claim by a student because he “deliberately misled” the court.  He was lucky that she just dismissed the claim and did not inflict additional punishment.  Alan Danagher, a student aged 22 from County Laois, was claiming against the owners of Mr O’s Nightclub in Templemore, County Tipperary, for assault on December 26th, 2005.

Mr. Danagher claimed that he was knocked to the ground by two third-party individuals and then assaulted while being forcefully removed from the premises by nightclub staff.

There was no doubt that he sustained some level of injuries when hitting his head on the ground and he was injured in a public place with witnesses. There appeared to be questions about contributory negligence and the level of injuries sustained.

There were a number of factors that indicate that Mr. Danagher was going to receive substantial compensation for his level of injuries:

  • He attended his GP doctor 50 times, indicating extremely severe problems
  • He attended physiotherapy 70 times, indicating a sustained injury problem
  • His claim was very well prepared, including both physical and psychological injuries
  • The impact on his lifestyle was documented, including being unable to play sports or participate in certain social activities and dropping out of Waterford Institute of Technology due to depression.

However, Mr. Danagher’s case was damaged by his own actions:

  • He updated his Facebook page to show his continued sporting activities, including hurling, rugby, and football.
  • He also updated his Facebook page to show social activities, as Ms Justice Irvine described as his “apparent enthusiasm for nightclubs, dancing and drinking”.
  • He denied participation in a charity parachute jump six months after he sustained his injury, despite photographic evidence, which Ms Justice Irvine described as “an act of dishonesty done to advance his claim”.

Some Lessons

A personal injury case is helped if you seek medical attention whenever it is required and damaged by not receiving medical attention when you do actually need medical help.  But while the medical records of repeated medical treatments will certainly help build the case for the severity of an injury and therefore the amount of financial compensation, excessive visits for relatively minor injuries will not fool an experienced judge.  And there are no inexperienced judges.

Be well-prepared for court and ensure you have all your facts correct. Never under any circumstances try to mislead the court.