Injury Compensation News
Professional negligence is a term often described to describe avoidable mistakes by professional people from which you have suffered a loss or injury. Although claims for professional negligence are most frequently made against members of the medical profession; solicitors, architects and investment consultants are among other professions in which individuals could be sued for professional negligence. The Injuries Board Ireland will decline to assess claims for professional negligence on the grounds that their remit is not to establish professional negligence, but to calculate a fair and adequate compensation settlement, so it is your best interests to consult with a personal injury solicitor whenever you believe you may have been the victim of professional negligence.
Friday, 8 February, 2013
The High Court has awarded a mother €100,000 compensation for a failed sterilisation after the son she was never supposed to give birth to died after only six months of life.
Karen Hurley-Ahern (41) from Newcastlewest, County Limerick, underwent the sterilisation procedure in February 2001 after discovering from her GP that she had a rare blood-clotting disorder that would pose a risk to herself and her unborn child if ever she were to fall pregnant again.
The operation was performed by gynaecologist Dr Victor Moore at the Tralee General Hospital in County Kerry, but in April 2002 Karen fell pregnant again and, after a difficult pregnancy, gave birth to baby Samuel on 10th October 2002 – six weeks early and by emergency Caesarean section.
Samuel suffered from severe abnormalities which were unrelated to Karen´s sterilisation procedure, and remained in hospital for six months – kept alive by a series of life -support machines. In April 2003, Samuel suffered a severe heart attack and Karen and her partner – Garrett Ahern – made the painful decision to switch off the life-support machines.
After seeking legal advice, Karen and Garrett made a claim for failed sterilisation compensation against Dr Moore and the Southern Health Board (now the Health Service Executive), for the suffering and trauma the couple had been through due to the unsuccessful procedure.
Dr Moore and the HSE denied liability – claiming that the procedure had been performed correctly and the couple had been warned that there was a risk of failure. However, in the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Sean Ryan found in favour of the now-separated claimants – acknowledging that Samuel´s disability was not a consequence of the failed sterilisation procedure, but stating that Karen had suffered to a significant extent due to the defendant´s negligence.
Awarding Karen €100,000 compensation for a failed sterilisation, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said that the award of compensation was in respect of the worry she had experienced when she discovered she was pregnant, the pain of childbirth, the distress of Samuel´s condition and distress after his death. However, no award was made to Garrett as – according to Mt Justice Sean Ryan – while he had undoubtedly endured emotional anguish, there was no proof Garrett had suffered a defined psychiatric injury.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Doctor Negligence Claims, Hospital Death Settlements, Medical Negligence Claims, Professional Negligence, Psychological Injury Claims, Surgical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 17 January, 2013
A woman, who was just hours from death after contracting an infection during a breast enlargement operation, has had her claim for plastic surgery errors settled for an undisclosed sum.
Kate Murray (28) from Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, made her claim for plastic surgery errors after undergoing surgery at the Cosmedico Clinic in Kilmacanogue, County Wicklow on 15th March 2008; within three days of which she had started to experience pains across her abdomen and chest and started vomiting.
On 20th March, Kate returned to the clinic, where she was examined by her surgeon – Marco Loiacono – and advised that there were no signs of infection. However Kate was forced to return to the clinic each day for the next five days to have her wounds dressed, as they were seeping yellow-green fluid and blisters were developing on other areas of her breasts.
On none of these latter occasions was Kate attended to by Mr Loiacono, and it was not until the 31st March that Loiacono acknowledged that something may have gone wrong during the original plastic surgery. An emergency operation was organised and Kate´s breast implants were removed that evening.
However, Kate continued to suffer severe pain and, on 3rd April, Kate´s mother summoned her GP. The GP had Kate rushed to St. Vincent´s University Hospital where doctors discovered a severe infection on her chest, in her back and in her stomach.
Kate was diagnosed with such a severe case of “sepsis and extreme infection” that, at a later Irish Medical Council´s Fitness to Practice committee, consultant surgeon Denis Evoy testified that the infection could have killed Kate if she had been hospitalised nine hours later.
Mr Loiacono was barred from practising medicine by the Irish Medical Council in 2011 after he was found guilty of professional misconduct and, although she has to still go through many years of reconstructive surgery, Kate made a claim for plastic surgery errors against both Mr Loiacono and the Cosmedico Clinic.
With liability already established, the High Court was due to hear Kate´s claim for plastic surgery errors for the assessment of damages only but, with neither Kate nor Mr Loiacono present in court, the announcement was made that the case had been settled for an undisclosed sum.
Posted in Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Doctor Negligence Claims, Professional Negligence, Surgical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 18 October, 2012
Following the Central Bank of Ireland´s naming of six Irish banks over the PPI insurance scandal, speculation has increased that businesses may soon be able to make IRSA mis-selling claims in Ireland.
At the beginning of October, the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) named and shamed six of Ireland´s leading high street banks over the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) policies on loans, credit cards and overdraft facilities; opening the doors for ordinary citizens in Ireland to make PPI insurance claims for compensation.
However, inasmuch as the mis-selling of PPI insurance is one of the biggest banking scandals of our time, a much larger financial headache could be facing Ireland´s banking industry should the CBI acknowledge that there has been widespread mis-selling of complex Interest Rate Swap Agreements (IRSAs) to small and medium sized Irish businesses.
In the UK, the Financial Services Authority have already identified eleven British banks who knowingly mis-sold more than 40,000 of these policies to business customers on the premise that it would protect the businesses from financial exposure if interest rates on loans the businesses had taken out with the banks began to rise.
The policies were mostly sold between 2005 and 2008, at a time when bank interest rates were at their lowest since 1955. However, since then, bank interest rates have fallen even further – leaving thousands of UK businesses tied into loan agreements which have cost them billions of pounds in interest payments.
Although the offending banks have been told to conduct a “redress exercise and past business review”, many of the banks have appointed their own “independent reviewers” to oversee the refund of mis-sold IRSAs, and business owners are being advised to seek professional legal advice to ensure they receive a fair share of compensation for mis-sold interest rate swaps.
In Ireland, there is already a precedent for business owners to recover compensation for the mis-selling of insurance on bank loans. In July, Dublin property developer David Agar pursued a case against the Ulster Bank over the mis-selling of IRSAs, eventually forcing the bank to write off millions of Euros after his mis-sold loan insurance claim was successful.
Mr Agar´s case, the Financial Services Authority investigation in the UK and the CBI´s action against the banks found guilty of fraudulently selling payment protection policies could all be the foundation for small and medium sized business owners to make IRSA mis-selling claims in Ireland.
Posted in Professional Negligence - No Comments »
Friday, 12 October, 2012
The Central Bank of Ireland has opened the doors for tens of thousands of bank customers to make PPI insurance refund claims against financial institutions who knowingly mis-sold them payment protection insurance policies.
The Central Bank took the unusual step of naming six banks involved in the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) policies following an investigation into allegations that thousands of policies were sold to customers – including the self-employed, homemakers and part-time workers – who could never make a claim under the terms of the insurance they bought.
The six banks named as perpetrators of the scandal by the Central Bank of Ireland were AIB, Permanent TSB, EBS, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and GE Money – all of whom have been told to review their files on payment protection and refund customers who should never have taken out these policies.
Other financial institutions are also suspected of mis-selling PPI in Ireland and officials at the Central Bank have warned that the Central Bank is considering taking legal action against some as yet unnamed firms that it feels broke the rules when selling protection insurance on car loans and credit cards.
Both the Central Bank and the National Consumer Agency issued advice to customers that they need not do anything if they believe they are entitled to make PPI refund claims in Ireland, as they will be monitoring the progress of the refund procedures. However, this advice was attacked by a leading solicitor in Dublin, who claimed that the information provided by the Central Bank and the National Consumer Agency was wrong.
According to the solicitor, a six-year Statute of Limitations applies for PPI insurance refund claims in Ireland and, should a financial institution fail to refund a customer who subsequently complains to that financial institution and has their complaint rejected, the customer´s next step would be to present a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO).
The FSO has no authority to investigate PPI refund claims in Ireland when the insurance policy was taken out more than six years ago and, should the financial institutions take a long period of time to review their files on payment protection, thousands of customers could miss out on their entitlement to a refund of their PPI policy.
It is estimated that more than 340,000 payment protection insurance policies were sold in Ireland between 2007 and 2011 and customers who have been mis-sold PPI policies could be entitled to refunds of between 2,000 Euros and 3,000 Euros. However, the AIB and EBS have already acknowledged that it may be a year before the first refund payments are received by customers – implying that the Dublin solicitor could well be justified in his advice to bank customers that they should use a solicitor to make PPI insurance refund claims in Ireland.
Posted in Compensation Claims, Professional Negligence - No Comments »
Monday, 30 July, 2012
Ulster Bank has settled a mis-sold loan insurance claim brought by Dublin property developer David Agar, after Mr Agar successfully claimed that he had been sold a complex derivative insurance product without being told of the risks involved.
In an action similar to the claims for compensation for mis-sold interest rate swaps in the UK, Mr Agar claimed that Ulster Bank had recommended in 2007 that he purchase a number of financial products related to interest rates on loans he had with the bank.
He stated in his claim for mis-sold loan insurance that he was not told that the complex derivative insurance product obliged the bank to pay him a dividend when interest rates increased or that he was liable to pay the bank a dividend when they fell.
Furthermore, it was claimed in the High Court that the value of the loan insurance allegedly mis-sold to Mr Agar covered finance of 87 million Euros, whereas the funds borrowed from Ulster Bank only amounted to 47 million Euros.
At the time the insurance was sold to Mr Agar, the ECB lending rate was 4 percent. It subsequently fell to 0.75 percent and the bank sought extra payments under the terms of the allegedly mis-sold loan insurance product.
Ulster Bank – whose parent company Royal Bank of Scotland was one of the first banks in the UK to be identified as mis-selling loan insurance to businesses – denied that they recommended any complex derivative insurance products to Mr Agar or made any misrepresentations to him.
However, in the first settlement of its kind in Ireland, Ulster Bank agreed to write-off 30 million Euros of loans and pay Mr Agar´s legal fees of 1 million Euros without admitting liability for his mis-sold loan insurance claim.
Posted in Professional Negligence - No Comments »
Friday, 3 February, 2012
An elderly widow, who was the victim of poor workmanship when builders replaced a utility room in her home, has been awarded compensation for professional negligence at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court.
Kathleen O’Leary (84), from Walkinstown, Dublin, had paid the building company Cranlowe Ltd 23,000 Euros for the work done at her home but, as Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard at the Circuit Civil Court, quantity surveyors compiled a list of twenty examples of professional negligence following the alterations to her 6 feet square (1.82m) utility room.
The court heard that shortly after the work had been completed, the utility room flooded due to inadequate drainage, causing a short-circuit of the electricity as the power supply had not been earthed. Further investigation revealed that the walls of the utility room had not been insulated properly, no under-floor ventilation had been installed and defects in the underground piping resulted in foul water leaking into the surrounding soil.
Giving evidence to the court, quantity surveyor Kevin O’Rafferty stated that had the work been carried out properly it should have cost Kathleen no more than 18,000 Euros, and it would now cost a further 14,912 Euros to have the faults repaired. The court also heard that when Kathleen confronted the co-owner of Cranlowe Ltd – Patrick Cowzer – with the litany of errors, he had become abusive towards her.
Mr Justice Matthew Deery was told that Kathleen´s claim for professional negligence had been granted in default of defence in November 2011, and the case was now before him for assessment of damages. The judge ruled that Cranlowe Ltd should pay Kathleen 14,912 Euros compensation for professional negligence – sufficient for Kathleen to have the necessary repairs made to her utility room – and a further 3,500 Euros to account for the emotional stress Kathleen had endured.
Posted in Professional Negligence, Psychological Injury Claims - No Comments »
Friday, 3 June, 2011
A teenage boy, who suffered a severe allergic reaction and hair loss after a hair colouring treatment went wrong, has had a compensation settlement of 12,500 Euros approved in the Civil Circuit Court. The unnamed boy, now aged 17, had gone to Peter Mark Hair Stylists of St. Stephen´s Green, County Dublin, in October 2009, to have highlights he had previously in his hair removed in order to allow his hair to return to its natural colour.
However, after the treatment, the boy´s hair started to fall out and he developed spots, ulcers and a swelling on his scalp. He also suffered a reaction which resulted in a severe skin irritation that spread across his forehead and down to his eye level.
Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Civil Circuit Court heard that the boy´s reaction had not lasted long due to being prescribed steroids to counter the effects of the treatment and that Peter Mark Hair Stylists had offered the boy 12,500 Euros in compensation plus special damages of 1,915 Euros and the costs of his claim.
Posted in Compensation Claims, Professional Negligence - No Comments »
Sunday, 23 January, 2011
In a High Court ruling, consultant obstetrician, Dr. Raymond Howard, was found liable for a 3.75 million euro compensation settlement, previously agreed in the case of Nicole Hassett of Clonmel, County Tipperary. Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill heard how Dr. Howard had delayed the birth of Nicole in 1997 with “absolutely no apparent reason”, causing her to suffer brain damage during the late stages of labour, and resulting in Nicole, now 13, suffering from cerebral palsy and being severely disabled.
The court was told how Dr. Howard was in St Joseph’s Maternity Hospital, Clonmel, from 12.15am on the morning of November 15. 1997, and should have delivered Nicole by 12.30am. However, he delayed the birth until 1.00am, during which time Nicole suffered the great bulk of her brain damage due to being left in the rigours of intense labour.
However, after hearing the circumstances of the “simply inexplicable” delay, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill ruled the HSE was entitled to be indemnified by Dr Howard due to his failure to adequately perform his duties and his breach of duty of care towards the child which was the proximate cause of her injuries.
The original court action was brought through Nicole’s mother, Orla, in 2005, and settlement was agreed against the South Eastern Health Board (now the Health and Safety Executive – HSE) with Dr. Howard and the UK-based Medical Defence Union as third parties.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Brain Injury Compensation, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Incidents, Medical Negligence Claims, Professional Negligence - No Comments »
Tuesday, 7 December, 2010
The psychiatric patient has received a €150,000 settlement in the High Court for self inflicted leg injuries suffered after jumping a second floor window of Saint Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital
The case was taken against the Health Services Executive (HSE) over the incident on March 12th, 1998, when it was alleged that the patient was placed in an inappropriate ward, that the windows were not correctly secured, and that no measures were taken to prevent patients from jumping out of windows.
Mr Justice John Quirke approved the settlement in the High Court and the victim is expected to be made a ward of court.
The patient’s identity was not revealed for legal reasons and has been moved to another secure facility.
The compensation settlement was made without any admission of liability.
Posted in Hospital Negligence Claims, Personal Injury Claims, Professional Negligence - No Comments »
Monday, 22 November, 2010
A new superbug called CRE (Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae) has been discovered in Irish hospitals for the first time. The new superbug is potentially fatal and can cause kidney infection and pneumonia. Four cases have been discovered so far in Ireland, causing concern with medical professionals because it is difficult to eliminate once it takes hold in a country’s medical system (which has already occurred in Greece and parts of the United States).
One of the problems with treating the superbug is that the general population is less responsive to treatments for CRE because of the widespread using of board spectrum antibiotics.
If CRE spreads in Irish hospitals, it it likely to be for the same reasons as the recent MRSA outbreak – contaminated surfaces, especially medical equipment.
Posted in Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Infections, Hospital MRSA, Hospital Negligence Claims, Professional Negligence - No Comments »