An appeal against a €30,000 health club injury compensation award, made in favour of a woman injured in a swimming pool accident, has been dismissed.
In November 2011, a thirty-two year old guest of the West Wood Health Club in Dublin broke her two upper front teeth when she dived into the health club´s swimming pool and hit her face on the pool´s shallow bottom. The woman claimed health club injury compensation and, in May 2015, was awarded €30,000 by Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court. The West Wood Health Club appealed the award, arguing that the plaintiff had contributed to her accident and injury through her own negligence.
The appeal hearing took place earlier this week before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who was told the plaintiff had never visited the club before and had dived into the pool straight after coming out of the sauna. As the pool was a full-length 50 metre pool, she had assumed that – like most pools of that size – the depth of the water would be 2 metres. However, the pool had a single depth of just 1.35 metres.
The judge also heard there were no signs erected to warn guests at the club not to jump or dive into the pool. According to the plaintiff´s counsel, there was no reason for the plaintiff to believe that the pool was not safe. The club´s assertion that a lifeguard was present at all times was refuted by the plaintiff´s own testimony that she had to go to the reception area of the club to report her accident and seek medical assistance as there was nobody by the poolside to help her.
Dismissing the allegations of contributory negligence, Judge Noonan also dismissed the appeal. On hearing that the plaintiff had flown to Hungary to have crowns fitted to her two broken teeth, and that she would require replacement crowns every five to ten years, the judge increase t original award of health club injury compensation to €38,097, and commented the West Wood Club should consider itself fortunate that the plaintiff´s claim was not originally heard in a court of higher jurisdiction.
A High Court judge has awarded €134,000 injury compensation for a jogger hit by a van mirror after finding the driver of the van liable for the accident.
Forty-seven year old Donna Woods – a school teacher from Mullingar in County Westmeath – was jogging along the Ballynacarragy to Mullingar road in January 2013, when she was hit by the wing mirror of a van travelling in the opposite direction. Donna sustained a fractured wrist due to the impact of the van mirror and was treated at hospital for other injuries to her hand, elbow, shoulder and jaw.
Donna applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of injury compensation for a jogger, but the driver of the van – Joseph Tyrell – denied that he was totally to blame for Donna´s injuries and refused to give his consent for the assessment to take place. Donna was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court, and the hearing took place earlier this week.
At the hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that, on 22nd January 2013, Donna and her friend were jogging along the road against the oncoming traffic and that a tractor and trailer combination had just passed them on the far side of the road.
The two joggers had seen Tyrell pull over onto the grass verge alongside the road to give the tractor a wide berth, but believed he would return to the carriageway once the tractor had passed and continued running towards the van. However, Tyrell continued to drive along the grass verge – the wing mirror of his van hitting Donna and causing her injuries.
Defending the claim for injury compensation for a jogger, Tyrell alleged that Donna was guilty of contributory negligence because she and her friend had run two abreast against the traffic without wearing high-visibility clothing. The judge dismissed the claim of contributory negligence by noting that Donna had been wearing bright clothing on the morning of the accident.
Acknowledging that Donna had previously been a “very active lady”, and that the injuries she had sustained in the accident had prevented her from competing in physically demanding sporting activities, the judge found in Donna´s favour and awarded her €134,000 injury compensation for a jogger hit by a van mirror.
A pony trek injury claim for compensation, made by a woman who alleged she was given an unsuitable pony to ride, has been settled during a court hearing.
On 15th July 2013, Maria Gray (35) from Belfast was one of a party of friends celebrating a hen weekend by taking a pony trek at Feeney’s Riding School in Thonabrocky near Galway City. After the group had done some trotting, the friends made their way down an incline.
It was at this point that the legs on Maria´s pony – “Chancer” – buckled, and Maria was thrown onto the tarmac. Maria suffered several injuries in the accident and received stitches for a cut to her chin, which have left a visible scar.
Maria – a dentist by trade – also suffered an injury to her wrist. The injury deteriorated and Maria had to wear a splint for eight weeks, during which time she was unable to work and had to undergo physiotherapy.
After seeking legal advice, Maria made a pony trek injury claim for compensation against the owners of the riding school – Gerard and Siobhan Feeney. In her claim, Maria alleged that the pony she had been given to ride was unsuitably small for a 10 stone 5lb woman, 5 foot 8½ inches in height and that it was “on its last legs”.
The Feeney´s denied that Chancer was too small for Maria to ride and contested Maria´s other allegation that she had been given no instructions on how to ride the pony. Due to the dispute over liability, the Injuries Board was unable to conduct an assessment and Maria was given an authorization to pursue her pony trek injury claim for compensation in court.
The case opened last week before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam at the High Court. However, prior to the second day of the hearing, Judge Fullam was told that the pony trek injury claim for compensation had been settled for an undisclosed amount and the case could be struck.
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.
A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has awarded a plaintiff €30,000 compensation for a health club accident after dismissing claims that the plaintiff contributed to the accident by her own lack of care.
Thirty year old Timea Babos – a supervisor at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin – was visiting the West Wood Club on a free guest pass when, on 13th November 2011, she decided to go for a swim after coming out of the health club´s sauna.
Only intending to swim a few lengths, Timea dived head-first into the swimming pool. However, the depth of the water in the pool was only 1 metre 35 centimetres (around four feet) and Timea hit her face on the bottom of the pool – breaking her two upper front teeth.
With nobody around the pool area to help her – Timea made her way to the club´s reception area still bleeding from the mouth to report her accident and complete an accident report form. Timea then went straight to her doctor´s surgery, where she was treated for her injuries and prescribed painkillers.
Two weeks after the accident at the health club, Timea flew to Hungary to have crowns fitted to her front teeth and, on her return, she sought legal advice before claiming compensation for a health club accident.
In her claim, Timea alleged that the health club was liable for her injuries as there were no signs warning of the shallow depth of the pool or a lifeguard on duty to prevent her from diving in. However, the West Wood Health Club denied its liability, and contested the claim on the basis that Timea had been negligent by diving into a swimming pool without first checking the depth of the water.
With liability contested, the Injuries Board issued Timea with an authorisation to pursue her claim for compensation for a health club accident through the courts; and the case was heard this week at the Circuit Civil Court before Judge Jacqueline Linnane.
Judge Linnane heard evidence from a forensic engineer supporting Timea´s claim that there were inadequate warnings around the perimeter of the swimming pool to indicate guests that it was unsafe to dive into the pool. He also told the judge that the swimming pool was unusual in design as it had a constant depth throughout with no deep end.
The judge dismissed the allegations by the West Wood Club that Timea had contributed to her injuries through her own lack of care, and awarded Timea €30,000 compensation for a health club accident.
A seven-year-old schoolboy has been awarded €35,000 compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident after a previously negotiated settlement was refused by a judge.
Kevin Stokes from Lucan in County Dublin was playing on a trampoline in July 2012, when his leg went into a gap between the base and the frame. Kevin – who was just five years of age at the time – was taken to Our Lady´s Children´s Hospital, where x-rays revealed fractures to his fibula and tibia as a result of the trampoline accident.
Kevin was admitted to the hospital with a black slab cast surrounding his leg. Several days later the fractures were manipulated and Kevin´s leg was put into an above-the-knee cast. He was discharged from hospital in a wheelchair and the cast stayed in place for a further month.
After the cast was removed, Kevin needed to use a walking frame for several weeks, during which time he was unable to play with his friends and continued to experience pains in his leg. Through his mother – Margaret – Kevin made a claim for compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident against the shop from which the trampoline had been purchased – Smyths Toy Store.
After a forensic engineer had determined that the mechanism for securing the safety clip to the frame was inadequate, Smyths Toy Store acknowledged their liability, and a €25,000 settlement of compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident was negotiated.
However, at the Circuit Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groake refused to approve the settlement – saying it was inadequate for the level of injury that Kevin had sustained. Smyths Toy Store increased its offer of compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident to €35,000 and, after hearing that Kevin had made a good recovery from his injuries, the judge approved the settlement.
A young woman, whose opportunity to compete in the Special Olympics was denied due to medical negligence, has had her settlement of compensation for a missed knee fracture approved in court.
In May 2009, Amy Rose McGowan (now 31) was in training for the Special Olympics World Games that were scheduled to take place in the summer of 2011 in Athens. Unfortunately, while participating in a 50 metre training race, Amy Rose fell and hurt her knee.
Amy Rose attended Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan, where – after an x-ray had been taken – she was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury and her knee was strapped for support. However, a few months later, a pain started to develop in her knee and Amy Rose saw her GP.
On inspection of her injury, her doctor discovered that Amy Rose had suffered a depressed fracture which had been overlooked at the hospital. Unfortunately the discovery was made too late for corrective surgery, and Amy Rose had to abandon her dreams of representing Ireland in Athens.
Through her mother – Charlotte McGowan of Trim, County Meath – Amy Rose made a claim for missed knee facture compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE), alleging that the care, diagnosis and treatment she had received in the emergency department of Our Lady’s Hospital had been negligent.
After an investigation, the HSE acknowledged that the depressed fracture had been overlooked by hospital staff and liability was admitted for Amy Roses´ knee injury. A settlement of compensation for a missed knee fracture was agreed; but, as the claim had been made on behalf of Amy Rose due to her intellectual disability, the settlement had to be approved by a judge.
Consequently, Mr Justice Michael Peart at the High Court in Dublin heard how Amy Rose had previously been a successful swimmer and athlete before her accident and had won 34 medals and 10 trophies. Approving the settlement of €142,000 the judge said it was a pity Amy Rose´s athletics career had been cut short.
A young man, who suffered serious injuries when diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool while on a family vacation in Spain, has settled his claim for holiday swimming pool injury compensation out of court.
Robert O’Byrne (25) from Dublin was left quadriplegic and confined to a wheelchair following his accident in the Spanish resort of Torremolinos in 2005. Robert, who was aged just seventeen years at the time, dived into the shallow end of a hotel pool at night after having consumed alcohol during the day.
In June 2008, Robert initiated a claim for holiday swimming pool injury against Michael Stein Travel Ltd of Dublin – the travel agent through who the holiday had been booked – alleging negligence, breach of duty and breach of contract.
Michael Stein Travel contested the claim, and sought leave to issue a third party notice against Robert´s parents – alleging that they were in breach of their duty of care by allowing their son to drink alcohol contrary to the laws of Ireland and Spain, and by failing to supervise Robert´s actions which led to him diving into the shallow end of the swimming pool and sustaining his terrible injuries.
Robert´s parents argued that, at the age of seventeen, their son was old enough not to be under the continuous supervision of his parents and it was unreasonable to expect otherwise. They also produced evidence to show that alcohol was “sold indiscriminately” to young people by the bars within the hotel complex.
In December 2012, the Supreme Court dismissed Michael Stein Travel´s application to have Robert´s parents added to the case as defendants, and the claim for holiday swimming pool injury compensation was scheduled to be heard in the High Court.
However, when the case was called to be heard before Mr Justice Sean Ryan, the judge was told that the claim had been settled “on specific terms”. Details of the out of court settlement of compensation for a holiday swimming pool injury are to remain confidential.
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.
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.
A child, whose family alleged he suffered devastating injuries due to the type of bat used in a baseball game, has been awarded 14.5 million dollars in compensation for childrens sport injury in an out of court settlement.
Steven Domalewski was twelve years of age when his tragic accident happened. Playing as a pitcher in a Police Athletic League baseball game in 2006, the player to who Steven pitched the ball hit it back with such force that it caused Steven to suffer a cardiac arrest when it hit him on the chest.
Despite the attentions of parents and officials, it was almost twenty minutes before Steven regained consciousness – during which time his brain was starved of oxygen, resulting in him sustaining permanent and irreversible brain damage.
Steven´s family made a claim for childrens sports injury compensation, based on the grounds that the baseball bat that was used was in the game was made of metal and, because of the additional power it provided in relation to wooden bats, should not have been used in a children´s game of baseball.
Liability was denied by Little League Baseball who sanctioned the bat as safe to use, Hillerich and Bradsby – the manufacturers of the “Louisville Slugger” metal baseball bat – and the national retailer of the bat, The Sports Authority.
However, solicitors acting on behalf of the Domalewski family argued that – in 2008 – Little League Baseball limited the performance of metal bats used in children´s games of baseball to the same as that of wooden bats, with an eighty percent reduction in injuries to pitchers.
A trial date was set but, as opening statements were about to be heard, the State Superior Court in Passaic County heard that an agreement of compensation for childrens sport injury had been negotiated between the parties and that Steven was to receive 14.5 million dollars to provide him with the care that he will need for the rest of his life.
A young boy from Dublin, who received severe cuts when falling on broken glass in a laneway, has been awarded 20,000 Euros in compensation.
Christopher Connors of Rathfarnham, Dublin, had been playing soccer with his cousin in a laneway near his halting site home in October 2009, when he fell and lacerated his left arm on broken glass. He suffered deep cuts to his forearm and wrist in the accident, and a tear to his tendon had to be surgically repaired.
Judge Matthew Deery, sitting at the Circuit Civil Court, heard that a claim for personal injury compensation had been made against South Dublin County Council, who were responsible for keeping the halting site clean and safe.
The council had agreed with the Injuries Board Ireland’s assessment of damages amounting to 20,000 Euros, with a further 1,206 Euros in special damages, and the case was before Judge Deery for approval as Christopher is still under the age of eighteen.
Christopher has made a good recovery from the surgery, but may experience problems with his arm later in life. He also has major scarring on his forearm.
A Limerick man, who sustained a broken leg after an assault during a soccer match, is to receive a 100,000 Euros compensation payment in a civil settlement.
Limerick Circuit Criminal Court heard how Mr Hooman Reyhani (43) was competing in a six-a-side soccer game organised by the University of Limerick (UL), when he was attacked in an off-the-ball incident by University professor Dr Frederic Royall (53).
In a bizarre incident, described by Judge Carroll Moran as “disgraceful”, Dr Royall punched Mr Reyhani in the face causing a facial laceration and the victim to fall awkwardly – fracturing his leg in two places.
As a result of the assault which occurred in August 2007, Mr Reyhani – a self-employed engineer – has to wear an ankle brace and is house-bound; unable to enjoy simple pleasures such as a walk in the park with his son.
Binding Dr Royall to keep the peace for three years, Judge Carroll Moran heard that the compensation payment of 100,000 Euros had been agreed by the lawyers for both men in the High Court before the criminal case for assault was finalised.
Eoin Forde of Trim, County Meath, has been awarded €12,000 for a broken wrist received during soccer training. Ford, 10 years old, broke his wrist in July 2008 at a summer soccer camp in Trim when a Glasgow Celtic coach hit a football at him while he was playing goalkeeper. The broken wrist had been manipulated into a correct healing position under general anaesthetic and kept in plaster for three weeks until a full recovery was made.
The case was taken by Ian Forde, the boy’s father, against Celtic FC Limited of Celtic Park, Glasgow and Topflight Sports for Schools Limited. All child injury claims in Ireland must be approved by a judge. Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved a settlement offer of €12,440 plus legal costs in the Circuit Civil Court.