201910.15
0

€30,000 Creché Abuse Compensation Award for Boy Featured on RTÉ Documentary

At the High Court a €30,000 creche abuse compensation award has been been settled in favour of an eight-year-old boy who attended a creche mentioned in an RTE exposé on the treatment of pre-school children when he was just a baby.

Lucas Doyle was just two years old what footage of him allegedly being strapped into a chair for two hours at the Giraffe creche, Belarmine, Stepaside, Co Dublin. as shown on the RTÉ programme ‘A Breach of Trust’.

The Belarmine Giraffe creche was one of three premises selected by the RTE PrimeTime Investigates programme to be the subject of an undercover investigation in to the standard of care provided by pre school services within the State in 2013. The High Court was told that, ten days before the RTE documentary was broadcast, the producer and cameraman of the programme came to the boy’s home with footage due to be broadcast. He showed the young boy’s parents the footage from the Belarmine creche which allegedly showed Lucas in a room where children. Along with him being tied into the chair the children are allegedly being shouted at.

Lucas attended the creche in Belarmine between August 2012 and May 2013, starting when he was 11-and-a-half months’ old until he was a year and eight months old. He (Lucas), through his mother Aisling Emmet, took the creche abuse compensation action against Giraffe Childcare Unlimited Company and its managing director Simon Dowling.

In the legal action they claimed that the footage showed that Lucas being allegedly restrained in a chair for two hours on one day. Giraffe Childcare, through the court, informed the boy’s parents that new safeguards had been put in place after the incident. However his parents had sourced alternative childcare and Lucas was reported to have recovered well from any suffering he had to endure.

Mr Justice Garret Simons approved a creche abuse compensation settlement of €30,000.

201910.08
0

Creche Fall Compensation Award of €32,500 for Boy (2)

€32,500 creche fall compensation has been awarded to a two-year-old boy who fell and cut his left eyebrow at Wee Care Limited, Monkstown, Co Dublin in the Circuit Civil Court on Tuesday.

The accident occurred as the boy, Lucas Murphy, was cleaning his hands in a crèche bathroom. Barrister Samantha Cruess Callaghan, counsel for Lucas, told Judge John O’Connor that the boy had been standing on a footstool while cleaning his hands at a sink. He was using the footstool as the sink was too high for him to reach. Lucas is now seven years old.

Lucas, with an address at  Ashgrove, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, had been standing on a small plastic stool while cleaning his hands when the accident happened and he struck his head on the toilet bowl as he fell from his perch.

Through his legal team and his father, it was alleged that there was negligence on behalf of the creche in relation to the incident and Lucas had been left with a visible horizontal scar on his left eyebrow.

The accident occurred when Lucas, who was aged two-and-a-half at the time, was attending the Wee Care Creche in October 2014. The young boy suffered a great deal of trauma and was rushed to Tallaght Hospital by ambulance. He was then taken to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin where he was seen to by physicians. They treated him medically using adhesive tape.

Lucas was taken back to the day care unit at the hospital for three further appointments, the last being in January 2015. By that time the wound had properly healed but he had been left with a two centimetre long scar.

The creche fall injury compensation action was taken against Wee Care Limited for Lucas via his father Darren Murphy. The Judge was informed that they believed the accident had happened due to negligence on behalf of the crèche. Wee Care Ltd made a settlement offer of €32,500 damages which Judge O’Connor approved, despite being advised that the boy’s parent believed that it was insufficient. However they were informed by the Judge that given the circumstances, it was a very reasonable offer.

201909.04
0

Widow Awarded €170,000 Wrongful Death Compensation Award in Relation to Husband’s Death

A wrongful death compensation action has been settled for €170,000  in favour of the widow of pensioner Martin Flannery, who died due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mr Flannery had been reviewing if petrol generators were powered on to properly heat a newly constructed building for his niece. The house was being heated prior to a first fix airtight test.

However, Mr Flannery was found, lying on the ground, unconscious in the house, which was next door to his own hosue in Mayo, in 2015. An official inquest into the death of Martin Flannery (66)  returned a verdict of accidental death.

Coroner John O’Dwyer said, in returning the verdict, that Mr Flannery was merely helping his brother and his niece by checking on the house when the tragic incident happened. Martin Flannery was discovered unconscious in a room at the back of the property and despite efforts to revive him, he was pronounced dead after being brought to hospital.

In the High Court Mr Flannery’s wife of 42 years, Eileen, submitted the wrongful death compensation action against her husband’s niece Laura Costello and her husband Declan Costello also of Kilkeeran, Ballinarobe, Co Mayo in relation to the accident that happened on September 11, 2015.

It was claimed there was a failure to have any proper or proper system of ventilation in place in the building. Along with it was alleged the house has been allegedly allowed to become toxic with carbon monoxide fumes and to constitute a serious hazard for those that entering the building. It was also alleged that there was a failure to cordon off the house while the generators were in use and until the place had been made safe for people to enter. Legal counsel for the defence refuted all of these claims.

The High Court was advised that, when the accident happened, the house was at first fix stage in construction and had an air tight test scheduled for that day. Before the test could be completed the house had to be heated and two fan heaters and an oil heater were put in situ. These heaters were powered by two petrol generators as electricity had not yet been turned on in the house. Both generators had been running for about an hour the night previous. They had been powered off during the night.

On the morning of September 11, 2015 the generators were turned back on. Mr Martin Flannery had checked in the generators at 10.30am and was due to check on them again after dropping his wife to town. However, when the air tight specialist arrived at the house to carry out the test at approximately 12.30pm he turned off one of the generators.

He noticed a strange smell and became dizzy as he went upstairs in the house and left it immediately. When he went back in he found Mr Flannery unconscious in a room at the back. He dragged him (Mr Flannery) outside tand attempted to revive him. However, Mr.Flannery was later pronounced dead when he was taken to hospital.

Justice Tom Cross gave his approval for the €170,000 settlement in the wrongful death compensation action.

201909.02
0

Public Service Card Data Breach Likely to Result in Compensation Claims

Following revelations that the manner that data was collected during the issuing of Public Services Cards (PSC) was illegal, it appears that there is a good chance that compensation claims will be submitted against the State.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has released a report which reveals that the retention of information gathered during the application process was not legal, along with the obligation on the general public to have the card in order to receive certain State services and benefits.

There are already a number of civil society organisations groups who are said to be looking at putting together a class-action style case.When the card was introduced advocacy groups such as Digital Rights Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Age Action were vociferous with their opposition to it.

After the DPC investigation it was ruled that the operation of the PSC scheme does not adhere with the transparency obligations of data protection legislation due to the inadequate nature of information given, by Department of Social Welfare, to those individuals who were having their data processed. The outcome of this is that the kept in relation to over three million card holders must now be deleted and data processing by the Department, rather that the public body providing the service, must be brought to an end. These tasks must be finished within the outlined timeline or some enforcement measures may be applied against those to blame.

The DPC released a statement which said “Ultimately, we were struck by the extent to which the scheme, as implemented in practice, is far-removed from its original concept,” the DPC said in a statement published on its website. Whereas the scheme was conceived as one that would make it easier to access (and deliver) public services, with chip-and-pin type cards being used for actual card-based transactions, the true position is that no public sector body has invested in the technology capable of reading the chip that contains the encrypted elements of the Public Sector Identity dataset. Instead, the card has been reduced to a limited form of photo-ID, for which alternative uses have then had to be found.”

The card was first launched during 2011 in order to help out with the processing of social welfare payments. After this, it was necessary for a number of other services including first-time adult passport applicants, replacement of lost, stolen or badly-damaged passports issued before January 2005, where the person is living in the State, citizenship applications, driving test and driver licence appointments.

In relation to the PSC, Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said: “Any cards that have been issued, their validity is not in question by anything we’ve found in this report. They can continue to be used in the context of availing of free travel or availing of benefits that a person is claiming from the department. She went on to say that this does not mean that it is impossible to issue a single card, or possibly a national identity card that can be used for all interactions with the state.  She said: “No, we’re not saying that at all. We’re saying that if that’s what’s intended or required, there isn’t a lawful basis [as currently set up]. It can’t be the case that a national identity card automatically offends EU charter fundamental rights or EU data protection law because they exist all around Europe. It is a possibility, by carefully laying down the lawful basis for such a card.”

Ms Dixon has asked the Department to publish the report of the investigation in the Public Services Card.



201908.02
1

Girl (7) Awarded €35,000 Creche Abuse Compensation

A 7-year-old girl who was filmed in 2013 attempting to walk as she was tied into a chair and left unattended to cry during nap time has been awarded €35,000.

Emily Martin was recorded as part of RTE’s first undercover creche expose, She sued Giraffe Childcare and the Health Service Executive (HSE) via her father Jonathan Martin. Emily, from Sandyford, was only 21 months old when the Prime Time documentary was aired in May 2013.

Judge Garrett Simons was informed that Emily had been int he care of the Giraffe Creche at Belarmine Copse, Enniskerry Road, Stepaside, Dublin from the time that she was eight months old. She was moved into into the ‘wobbler room’ shortly after her first birthday. Emily parent’s told the judge that they had reviewed the promotional literature regarding the ‘premium nature’ of the service available in choosing the creché in question.

However, in 2013, an undercover RTE journalist took up a role at the creche, as a childcare worker, and secretly filmed the daily practices for some six weeks. When the footage was aired on May 28, 2013 and showed many of the children being badly treated or handled. These inflicted serious trauma and the children attending the creche.

Emily’s parents informed the judge that they were extremely distressed when they viewed the documentary footage which showed their child tied to a chair and crying holding her toy horse during nap time.

legal representative for Emily and her parents informed the court that she (Emily) was told to ‘go asleep’ over and over again, and that a creche worker threatened her. When the RTE worker attempted to comfort Emily as she was crying, she was told to ‘leave her cry’. Her parents withdrew Emily from the care at the creche upon viewing the documentary.

After Emily moved to the wobbler room, her parents informed the court, she began started having trouble sleeping and would often become angry and would shout. After she was taken away from the the creche this behaviour abated.

It was claimed that the creche had failed to put in place proper precautions for Emily’s safety, had restrained children in chairs in an improper manner and had attempted to put them to sleep in an inappropriate fashion. It was also alleged that the creche management had failed to supervise or train staff properly.

A separate claim taken by the family said that the HSE had not made sure that the creche complied with all child care regulations.

Judge Simons said he was happy to approve the settlement that he was told the defendants had offer, which included meeting the costs of the creche abuse compensation action.

201907.26
0

Legal Cases likely for Hyde and Seek Creche Mismanagement

Child Protection Agency Tusla has revealed that its Social Work Unit is working with the Garda Child Protection Unit at Mountjoy Garda to open an investigation following the revelations uncovered by RTÉ Investigates into standards of care at the Hyde & Seek Childcare chain. Legal cases are a  likely outcome from these investigations.

Tusla has obtained a copy of the secretly filmed television footage from RTE. This footage shows mistreatment and emotional abuse of children by the Hyde and Seek company, among a range of other discrepancies including staff to children ratios, no Garda vetting for new staff before employment commences, poor standards of food and insufficient space allowed between cots for sleep to be properly supervised. Tusla has now handed the tape over to the Gardaí.

Gardaí in two Dublin stations are asking any parents or guardians who have complaints to contact them at Mountjoy Garda Station as they seek to investigate operations at the Hyde and Seek crechés. In a separate enquiry, Gardaí based in Mountjoy are investigating an alleged assault on a young girl at one of the crèches which is thought to have occurred earlier this month. No arrests have yet been made in this case.

Yesterday Tusla announced that it has already initiated official enforcement proceedings against the Hyde and Seek. The owner of Hyde & Seek, Anne Davy, was removed from any frontline activity for the company ahead of the RTE Investigates programme being aired on Tuesday evening (July 24).  The Hyde and Seek Childcare group released a statement on Ms Davy, saying that “in recent months she has occasionally fallen below the standards of our behavioural management policy”. It went on to say that Davy had dealt with children in a manner which was “short, rather than simply direct”.

During the RTE programme Davy is recorded placing children on their stomachs to put them to sleep at one of the chain’s creches and advised one of the undercover reporters that: “This is a business, it’s not a babysitting [facility].” She was also recorded covering a baby’s eyes and she (Davy) blocked the child’s vision despite her hand being pushed away by the child. On another occasion she is shown holding another child down on its stomach for a number of minutes to try and get it to go to sleep. Davy offered to show one of the undercover reporters how to use this as an effective manner of encouraging the children in their care to sleep.

Davy was previously convicted in 2004 following an incident when her staff a North Dublin crechés. left a three-year-old boy on his own at a nearby playground after they had returned to the creché with the other children in their care. Subsequent to this, in 2007, she was convicted for breaking child care regulations such as inadequate child to adult ratios and failing to maintain adequate records. During these years, the company changed name on three occasions.

A group representing parents of the children that attended Hyde & Seek creches revealed their devastation and sorrow at what was revealed in the RTE programme and criticised Tusla for not providing the framework within which regulation breaches could not occur. It read: “Our trust has been betrayed. We call on all parties concerned to immediately address how this happened, and to credibly explain how they will make amends. It appears the current oversight system, even when it detects breaches, is inadequate to ensure the same, similar, or more serious breaches do not occur again.”

In a separate statement released yesterday Tusla said: “We recognise and share the serious concerns the programme raises about the quality of care within these crèches, but more importantly the impact of concerning adult behaviours on children. We have been proactively addressing areas of non-compliance with regulations in these crèches since 2018.”

Concerned parent can contact Mountjoy Garda Station on 01 666 8600.





201907.18
0

Starbucks Injury Compensation Award of €85k Award to Girl (16)

A 12-year-old girl who suffered serious burns after hot tea she was carrying under her elbow in a takeawat in a Starbucks spilled on her has settled a High Court action over the accident for €85,000.

Demi Mooney had gone to the coffee shop on Henry Street in Dublin with her grandmother on December 21, 2014, the High Court was told. Ms Mooney’s Legal Counsel, Michael Byrne SC, told the High Court that Demi, who is now 16-years-old, had purchased a cup of tea, a large cookie and a frappuccino. She was carrying the coffee in her left hand, the cookie in her right and the tea between her elbow and ribs when the tea spilled on her, Judge Garrett Simons was told.

Mr Byrne said: “The top of the tea cup shot off, and Demi suffered significant burns and scarring to her forearm.’ He said that liability for the accident had been fully contested in the case”.

In her action, brought on her behalf by her mother, Siobhan Mooney, it was was claimed that she should have been provided with a tray for the hot drinks, particularly as she was a child. However the defendant argues as to whether Demi had been offered a tray to carry the drinks on. Mr Byrne told the High Court: “‘They said she was, she said she was not. But the rule for Starbucks is that you should not give children hot drinks without a tray.”

Mr Byrne informed the Judge that a Starbuck Injury Compensation settlement offer of €85,000 had been made by the defendant. Hwent on to say that, if the case proceeded to a full hearing, there was a chance that a judge could find Demi between 20pc and 25pc responsible for the accident due to contributory negligence.

Judge Simons was informed that Demi was provided with medical assistance, directly after the accident, from a nurse and doctor who were on the premises on the time and they applied a spray to treat the burn. She wa taken to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she received medical treatments in the Plastics Clinic as well as for occupational therapy.

Demi, Mr Byrne, told the High Court had been left with very significant scarring on her right forearm, which was smooth but obvious, and would be permanent. He added that the plastic surgeon Demi decided not to do any more to minimise the scars, for fear of making them worse. Due to the injuries she suffered, Demi, now has to be careful what clothes she wears, being very careful to wear long sleeves when out in the sun.

Mr Byrne said the book of quantum gave a guide figure of between €75,000 and €90,000 in personal injury compensation for scarring. He added that, as the scars were not on her face, Mr Byrne believed the €85,000, plus legal costs, offered by the defendant, cafe owner Colfee Unlimited Company, was a satisfactory compensation figure.

Mr Justice Simons was satisfied to approve the offer as it would come very close to what a judge might decide the case was worth if successful at trial. The Starbucks Injury Compensation will  be paid into court until Demi turns 18-years-old.

201906.28
0

Young Girl Awarded Compensation due to Cuts Suffered in School Accident

A four-year-old girl who suffered a six centimetre cut to her leg from due to an accident that involved a school bench with a protruding rusty nail has been awarded personal injury compensation €22,500 by Justice Raymond Groarke in the Circuit Civil Court.

Circuit Court President Judge Raymond Groarke heard that Kaoise McNamara, who had an address at Edenmore Avenue, Raheny had taken the school accident compensation action against St Eithne’s National School and St Monica’s Infant Girl’s School for €60,000 damages for personal injuries arising she suffered in the school yard accident that occurred on June 30th, 2008.

Mark O’ Connell, legal representatives for Kaoise, advise Justice Groarke that his client had sustained injuries due to a lateral cut to the rear of her right leg below her knee. He said the nail had been concealed at the back of the bench.

15-year-old Kaoise was brought to a nearby hospital where she had was given a tetanus injection and had her wound cleaned out. The medical team tending to her applied sutures as there had been considerable bleeding. The young girl was also given a prescription of painkillers before being discharged and allowed to return home.

The court heard that when Kaoise, who took the school personal injury accident action via her mother Linda Forristal, was ten years of age before she had become conscious of how the scar appeared to those around here. The court was advised that the young girl was, from that age, conscious of the scar on occasions such as when she was participating in sporting events and also during social occasions. Judge Groarke was informed that, on most occasions like this, Kaoise took the decision to make an attempt to conceal or cover up the cut using trousers or high knee-socks.

Judge Groarke approved the school yard compensation action settlement offer of €22,500 for the young girl.

201906.13
0

Garda Sergeant Awarded €290,000 for Work Knee Injury

A €290,000 work injury compensation settlement has been awarded to Sergeant Donal Cronin who sustained a knee injury during a violent struggle with a prisoner.

Garda Cronin (50) was unable to carry out full policing duties due to his knee injury and end up missing out on possible promotions due to this. The overall figure awarded to the garda was  €286,630 due to incident that occurred when he was involved in the struggle that took place at Limerick Circuit Court on July 9, 2004.

The court was informed Sargeant Cronin had passed examinations required for promotion to the rank of inspector with distinction in 2001. Despite this he was overlooked in both rounds of promotion interview board competitions in 2010 and in 2014.

The court was informed that the Garda was eventually appointed to the role of court presenter. A position that he could carry out despite the difficulties he had due to the injuries he suffered in the struggle.

Sergeant Cronin’s legal representatives alleged that the basis for overlooking his promotion qualifications was the injuries. In addition to this they advised the Judge that he would probably need an operation for a knee replacement within the coming two years.

Among those who gave evidence was a retired chief superintendent said the score Sergeant Cronin had achieved from the interview board for promotion was excellent but the system was “unfit for purpose” as it did not make take into account when a candidate was suffering from a disability.

Refuting the claims on behalf the minister for finance and public expenditure, a sergeant garda said there was no solid reasoning to claim that the injuries suffered on duty were an obstacle to the promotion to the rank of inspector.

He went on to say that it was not uncommon for a candidate coming from an administrative post without major operational frontline experience to be appointed to the post of inspector and that said the promotion procedure was heavily regulated. The interview board could not see a candidate’s medical records as part of the process. He added that just four of 17 sergeants in the Limerick division were successful in their application for promotion to inspector, two of which were for administrative positions.

An estimated figure for Sergeants Cronin’s compensation including future loss of income due to missing out on promotion of €166,630 was provided to the court. In addition to this he was awarded him another €120,000 in general damages due to the serious injury his suffered to his left knee that resulted in physical disability and ongoing pain and discomfort.

Justice Bernard Barton said he was satisfied that if Sgt Cronin reapplied for promotion, his injuries would not be an impediment “to a successful outcome”.

201905.29
0

Ryanair Accident Compensation of €150k for Girl (8) after Spilled Hot Chocolate Accident

A Ryanair Accident compensation claim against, in relation to an eight-year-old girl who suffered second-degree scald burns when hot chocolate fell on her, has been settled for an approved award of €150,000 at the High Court.

The girl in question, American Sriya Venkata Neti, was travelling on a flight from Rome to Krakow with her parents when the hot liquid and the paper cup slipped over her as she tried to take a drink of the hot chocolate.

Sriya submitted the personal injury compensation action against Ryanair through her father Srinivas Neti in relation to the accident that happened on the Rome to Krakow flight on June 25, 2016.

The court was told that she sustained burns to her thighs and buttocks along with some other scarring. Her father, Srinivas, submitted an affidavit to the court, which said that the scarring has now almost healed completely. He also told the Judge that his daughter has made a good recovery and her injuries have much improved.

Sriya’s legal counsel Mr Hugh Mohan SC advised the judge that the girl sustained serious burns.  A medical report handed in to the court said the hot liquid came together on the seat causing extreme burning pain and the child’s mother had to release the child from her safety belt on the seat and her clothing had to be stripped off to stop further burns. Her mother said that daughter’s skin was gone from where the liquid landed on her and blisters formed elsewhere.

After arriving in Krakow the girl was brought to a hospital for further treatment before being transferred to Toronto, Canada where she spent eight days receiving further treatment as an outpatient before she was allowed to return home to California.

in the personal injury action it was claimed that the cabin crew failed to take steps that would have resulted in the burns suffered being worse than they initially would have been. In particular, it was claimed that there was no steps taken to try and cool the burns. Ryanair refuted the allegations that were made in the personal injury action.

Justice Justice Kevin Cross, in approving the  Ryanair accident compensation settlement, told the Court that it must have been extremely painful when Sriya was scalded and also said at the young girl has also been left with bad wounds scarring despite making a good recovery so far.


201905.15
0

€60k Caesarean Section Injury Compensation Sought by 15-year-old Boy

A 15-year-old boy who claims that he sustained a wound to his face during when his mother was undergoing a Cesarean section has submitted a €60,000 birth injury compensation action against the master of the National Maternity Hospital and Dr Stephen Carroll, the surgeon who carried out the procedure.

The boy in question, Rory Saunders and his mother Noeleen Saunders, of Silchester Park, Glenageary, told Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke through his legal representative barrister Mark O’Connell  that his cheek was cut at the time during the delivery.

Mr O’Connell told Justice Groarke that the Cesarean section compensation action was due to the consequences of the actions that were taken during Rory’s birth on September 9, 2003. The scalpel used in the clinical procedure by Dr Carroll cut Rory’s left cheek. Once the birth was completed the wound was cleaned and Steri-Strips were put in place.

There is now a permanent 2.5cm scar on Rory’s cheek, which is visible to anyone standing close to him. The wound, Judge Groarke was advised, is more visible during the summer months. In addition to this, the scar has become a source of stress for Rory after he had been on the receiving end of negative teasing and mocking at school and among his friends.

The claims in relation to medical negligence were denied by Dr Carroll, who is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and a specialist in high-risk pregnancies, and the National Maternity Hospital. Plastic surgeon Matt McHugh said that they were of the opinion that the wound was not going to improve in the future.

Judge Groarke was given the medical reports of two eminent consultants into court and was also informed that a birth injury compensation offer of €25,000 had been made.

Judge Groarke said he was not happy with the medical negligence compensation offer before the court and added that one medical report appeared to give “a very blunt view” on the matter. He felt the specialist in question, who had not seen his colleague’s medical report before providing an opinion, should be asked to look over the other medical report to see if there was any new information for him to consider.

The hearing was adjourned until the medical reports had been reconsidered by their both parties.

201904.10
0

€30,00 restaurant Accident Compensation for Girl (3) Injured by Table Blown in the Wind

Following suffering a broken nose when a table blew over outside a restaurant, a three-year-old girl has been awarded €30,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Legal representative for Lily Spratt, who is now five years old, Barrister Ivan Daly said that she had been injured when a table in an outdoors seating area hit her face after being blown in the wind outside an O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar, at Lower Grand Canal Street, Dublin.

Mr Daly told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that the girl was treated, following the accident, at Temple Street Children’s Hospital where her nose had been repaired. During the procedure Lily had been place under general anaesthetic.

The restaurant injury compensation action was taken against Adleo Limited through Lily’s mother, Emma Kelly, York Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Lily has since completely recovered from the injuries that she suffered in the accident that happened during April 2018.

Mr Daly told the court that the young girl had suffered no permanent damage to her nose. He said: “Certainly there is no question of any disfigurement of her nose.” he was recommending that the court accept the settlement offer that was being made by Adleo Ltd.

Presiding Judge Judge Groarke gave his approval to the restaurant accident compensation settlement as he thought it to be a very good offer.

201904.05
0

Car Accident Compensation of €75,000 Awarded to Taxi Driver

Dolores McMahon, a 57-year old, take driver, has been awarded just under €75,000 car accident compensation at the Circuit Court following two different accidents she her taxi was written off.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said in court that she, Ms McMahon, had displayed admirable courage for going back to work as a taxi driver despite being badly injured in both collisions. Ms McMahon had seen her taxi damaged beyond repair on both occasions and she was awarded personal injury compensation in relation to for her suffering, loss of income as well a compensation for two written off automobiles.

Judge Groarke commented: “This is a lady who was very genuinely and very badly affected psychologically and has suffered quite extensive physical injuries.”

Representing Ms McMahon in Court, Caitriona O’Reilly advised the Justice Roarke that her client had experienced neck and shoulder injuries in the first road traffic accident that took place on December 14 2014. She then experienced a lower back injury in a second road traffic accident that occurred on July 14 2016. Ms O’Reilly added that, on both occasion, the other driver involved had driven into the path of Ms McMahon’s vehicle and later admitted liability.  The accidents that occurred at Old Airport Road, Santry, and Balheary Road, Sword

The personal injury was back before the Circuit Civil Court only for a final assessment of damages in Ms McMahon’s case against the other drivers – Mr Arthur Oliver Ryan and Martin Mann.

Judge Groarke said that he was aware that, following periods of rehabilitation after both incidents, Ms McMahon went back to her taxi driver occupation despite having been nervous.

He awarded Ms McMahon €74,912 road traffic accident compensation,  €46,468 from the first accident and €28,444 from the second crash.

201903.13
0

Creche Fall Compensation of €52k Award to Boy (9) Who Broke Thigh Bone

A nine-year-old schoolboy who fractured a bone in his leg at a creche in 2014 was awarded €52,600 creche fall compensation against its the operators of the establishment.

Barrister Ronan Quinn, representing for Ms Andrea Geraghty and her Cillian, from Airpark Court, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, said Cillian was with a group of children taken to the washroom to use the facilities on September 17, 2013, just days after his fourth birthday.

Mr Quinn, who was appearing in court along with Joe Clancy Solicitors, informed the court that Cillian broke a thigh bone due to fall and was restricted in his movement confined for some weeks at home in a right hip spica cast. Andrea told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that a light was suddenly switched off and on which startled Cillian and fell in the washroom at the creche.

Cillian was taken to Crumlin Hospital on the day of the accident for treatment. Physicians at the children’s hospital decided to keep the boy in overnight before he underwent surgery the following day.

Mr Quinn informed the court said that, after initial treatment and care, Dr Paula Kelly, consultant orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at the Beacon Consultants Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin, recorded a 0.5mm length discrepancy between Cillian’s right leg and his left. However she later noted that this had resolved during subsequent examinations.

Ms Geraghty advised the court through an affidavit that the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PAIB) had suggested a creche fall compensation award €32,000 for Cillian’s injury. However, she was not happy to accept this. Due to this more settlement negotiations were held between all parties involved and RSA Insurance, on behalf of the creche, had made an new compensation offer of €50,000.

Ms Gerathy told the court that the family had also had to repay a figure of €2,000 to their private health insurers.

Judge Groarke, who said he was happy from Ms Geraghty’s assurances to the court that Cillian had been fully rehabilitated after the accident. He approved the creche fall compensation settlement terms of €52,600.

201903.08
0

Mother who was Assaulted by Ex Awarded €150,000 Injury Compensation

A mother of two has been awarded €150,000 in personal injury compensation at the High Court after she was attacked by her former partner, and father of her two children.

Jonathan McSherry (36), formerly of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, was sentenced to three and a half years for the attack on Jessica Bowes. He was released after 22 months of the sentence. Mr McSherry admitted that he broke nearly every bone in Ms Bowes face and kicked her a number of times during a assault in December 2015.

The former soldier said sorry to Ms Bowes and her civil action was being heard by the High Court for a final assessment of damages. He (McSherry) attacked Ms Bowes after she arrived at her Clondalkin home in a taxi from a Christmas night out on December 20, 2015, to find him waiting there. Security camera footage of the attack showed McSherry dragging Ms Bowes from the taxi, punching, kicking and dragging her along the ground. She lost consciousness twice in the attack which lasted over one minute and a half before she managed to escape into a closeby house.

Speaking after the award was revealed, Ms Bowes said she hopes the ruling and compensation award will lead to more and more victims of domestic violence to come forward and taking legal actions.

She said: “I hope this will act as a deterrent, that people will realise there are possible large financial consequences as well as the threat of prison for this sort of violence. I’ve already had people write to me about it. One woman sent me a letter and a holy medal on Tuesday thanking me for my courage and asking me to pray for her so that she could find courage to tell the truth too. “She went to the bother of writing the letter, getting a stamp and posting it”.

“I was very upset for her and I will pray for her. She signed the letter ‘an old lady’, and it shows this can happen to anyone from any background. I just hope now that with International Women’s Day coming tomorrow, women everywhere will find the courage to speak out” Ms Bowes added.

She finished saying: “I hope women young and old will that find strength. It’s important for women to realise help is there for them – from places like Women’s Aid – [and] that legal advice and professional help is available.”

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said that she believed that Ms Bowes’ account was genuine and factually correct. The judge added that this was an extremely serious case that led to the woman suffering from difficulties which were ongoing and permanent.

The judge said that it was also recorded that Mr McSherry’s admissions and apology for the attack did not come immediately. Additionally it was stated that it was not the function of the civil court to punish the defendant but rather to assess the appropriate damages.However, the judge also recognised the steps that McSherry had taken to rehabilitate himself, but did not reduce the amount of compensatory damages that Ms Bowes was to be awarded.

The Judge deemed a personal injury compensation award of €150,000 appropriate given the circumstances.

201902.12
0

€38k Attack at Work Compensation Award for Garda

A garda, who was knocked out in a savage attack by a gang of thugs, was awarded €38,500 attack at work compensation after he was left with significant injuries.

A High Court judge was told Detective Garda Brian Dunne managed to save a dislodged tooth by pushing it back up into his gum after he recovered consciousness.

The Garda informed presiding Judge Justice Tony O’Connor he will always remember the pain of pushing his upper right front tooth back into his gum socket. He went on to say that he was told by a dental specialist that this was the correct course of action.

The injury compensation hearing was told that that attack took place just before Christmas 2006 when the uniformed community garda, who was based at Ballymun Garda Station, had been assaulted by a group of six young men as they were on their way with drinks to a party.

Judge O’Connor said they could only be referred to as ‘thugs’ who had carried out a savage attack on Garda Dunne. The judge was told that the garda had been punched, knocked to the ground, and had a bottle smashed into his face. Following this he had been kicked repeatedly in the head and body until he eventually lost consciousness.

Colleagues of Detective Garda Dunne came to the scene and then on to the Mater Hospital by ambulance. Here he was treated for his injuries. Garda Dunne said: “I suffered a very bad gash to my mouth and to the back of my head and I learned that some of my teeth had been pushed backwards. At the scene when I recovered I had pushed a dislodged front tooth back into my gum. Another one of my teeth had been broken.”

He told the court he had to receive four stitches to one side of his mouth and five to the other side. On the inside of his mouth he had 14 stitches inserted. The gash on the back of his head had been brought together with glue.

Speaking about the pain that he suffered, Detective Garda Dunne said his teeth had been really painful and he required root canal work. Along with this, his body was bruised and he had a shoulder injury. Following having his dental injuries dealt with he was required to attend review appointments over the following five years. These reviews showed that the dislodged tooth had never fully come back into line after the attack.

The Garda told the Court that he had been absent from work for about six weeks in the aftermath of the attack. He said that he returned to work quickly as he had been due for promotion to detective at the time. He is of the opinion that he had probably gone back to work “too early.”

Legal representative for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform barrister Joseph O’Sullivan was informed by Detective Garda Dunne was now back to full duties within three months of the incident. His recovery has been good and he has returned to playing football for his local club, though he still suffers from an occasional niggle him while active.

Judge O’Connor said he had sustained significant injuries in the incident and had been left with a noticeable scar at the side of his mouth. He awarded Detective. Garda Dunne €38,500 injury at work compensation.

201902.06
0

Work Injury Compensation €40,000 After Garda Squad Car Attack

At the High Court a work injury compensation award of just under €40,000 has been approved for a 36-year-old garda who was attacked by a woman in a squad car.

Judge Justice Tony O’Connor said at the High Court Garda Compensation hearing that Garda Sinead McBride, a mother of two, had suffered post-traumatic rotator-cup tendonitis in her left shoulder after the incident and experienced pain for three years and still felt occasional twinges over seven years later.

Legal counsel for Garda McBride informed the court Garda McBride had been kicked in the shoulder by “an aggressive and abusive” woman while she was being apprehended in connection with a disturbance at a family residence in August 2011.

Garda McBride told Judge O’Connor she had been driving the squad car that the arrested woman had been in the back in the aftermath of the arrest. The woman kicked her in the back of her left shoulder without any warning.

Garda McBride was taken to her GP and Letterkenny University Hospital to have her soft tissue injuries and also underwent a course of physiotherapy. She was absent from work for some time before returning to light duties for a period despite having movement restrictions and discomfort in her shoulder and neck. She told the court that she still has some find it uncomfortable to tend to her children and that the pain returns a number of times every so often.

When she was pregnant with her two children, Garda McBride had been unable to use any painkillers. She is now pregnant with her third child and will, once again, be unable to use painkillers. Along with this she has undergone almost 20 sessions of physiotherapy at a cost over around €4,000.

Judge O’Connor informed the Court that he felt Garda McBride was a genuine witness and did not seek to overemphasise the extent of her injuries following the attack.

201901.20
0

Woman Settles with Marks and Spencer after Alleged ‘Superman’ fall in Aisle

A personal injury compensation action has been settled in the High Court Marks and Spencer (Ireland) and a woman who claims she  fractured her leg when a Marks and Spencer staff member came off a step ladder and knocked her over.

Loretta McSherry (64) Cremore, Templeogue, Dublin told the High Court that she was in the Marks and Spencer branch located at Dundrum Shopping Centre to purchase some ready made meals. When she was walking through the bakery section the accident occurred.

She said: “I looked at some scones but thought they looked stale and decided not to buy. I gave the step ladder a wide berth, I was not aware of anybody on the ladder. I was struck in the shoulder as I walked past. It was like my Superman moment, I flew forward.”

Ms McSherry informed the Judge that the pain she experienced was the worst she had ever suffered and resulted in her rolling along the ground. The physicians that treated her said that she had fractured her thigh bone in a manner consistent with a high-speed car accident.

Ms McSherry, an IT systems analyst, had taken the personal injury compensation action against Marks and Spencer (Ireland) Ltd, with offices at Mary Street, Dublin due to the accident that occurred on January 4, 2014 at the Dundrum Shopping Centre branch.

She alleged that Mark and Spencer staff had not made sure that the shopping aisle was safe for the use of customers and an alleged failure to have any regard for her safety had also taken place. She went on to say that a Marks and Spencer employee was allegedly allowed to use a step ladder for restocking without any help. Finally, she said there was a failure to cordon off or prevent customers from coming in close proximity with the step ladder in question.

Marks and Spencer refuted the allegations and contended there was contributory negligence on Ms McSherry’s part for allegedly failing pay adequate attention to her surroundings.


201901.16
2

64-year-old Librarian Awarded €60k Car Accident Compensation following Monkstown Crash

A €60,000 car accident compensation settlement has been agreed at the Circuit Civil Court between a 64-year-old librarian and the former Bank of Ireland Governor Laurence Crowley in relation to a car crash that occurred in August 2015.

The librarian, Mr Richard Barrett with an address at The Turrets, Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin, filed the car accident compensation claim against Mr Crowley and O’Flaherty Holdings Limited, the registered owners of the car, for injuries he sustained in the road traffic accident at Monkstown Crescent, Dublin.

There was also a claim, made by Mr Barrett, that Mr Crowley had been driving the car – a Mercedes 300 – in a negligent manner. Mr Barrett’s legal counsel Barrister Ivan Daly, appearing with HJ Ward Solicitors, advised presiding Judge Justice Raymond Groarke that the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for costs. This was following the case being reduced to an assessment of damages after an admission of liability by the defendants.

During the hearing Mr Barrett alleged that on August 29 2015 he was a front seat passenger in a vehicle when a Mercedes car, emerging from a minor road, crashed into the car he was a passenger in. He told the court that he was of the opinion that the Mercedes in question was being driven at an excessive speed and that the driver had not displayed an acceptable level of awareness regarding his surroundings.

Mr Crowley was not present in the Circuit Civil Court for the hearing which was due to hear Mr Barrett’s testimony in relation to the injuries he suffered and the medical reports produced regarding them.

Mr Barrett advised Justice Groarke that he had been shocked and distressed following the accident. He was taken to the emergency department of St Vincent’s University Hospital where he was treated by Mr Nigel Salter, consultant in emergency medicine. He (Mr Barrett) informed the Judge that he had not sustained any bone or internal injuries. However, he had been prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain-killing medication for injuries to his chest and abdomen.

Mr Barrett, who had a background history of anxiety disorder, had suffered a severe panic attack followed by a number of similar  episodes after the accident.


201812.11
2

€30k Compensation after 16-year-old Girl Finds Glass in Jar of Nutella

A teenage student has been awarded more than €30,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court in relation to an incident in which, she alleges, she swallowed a chocolate spread that had miniscule shards of glass in it.

The girl, 16-year-old Jamie Lee McAdam, took the product injury compensation action through her mother Natasha, against Ferrero UK Limited, Greenford, England, producers of branded chocolate and confectionary product Nutella.

Presiding Judge Justice Groarke was informed that the incident had changed Jamie Lee’s eating habits and she had lost some weight along with recurring episodes of abdominal pain that she experienced. Barrister William Binchy, counsel for Jamie Lee, told the Judge that she had been offered a personal injury compensation settlement of €31,600 by the defendant. Mr Binchy was recommending that it be approved by the court.

Mr Binchy, told the court that Jamie Lee had been injured after consuming Nutella spread over a bagel that her mother had prepared for her. While investigating Jamie Lee’s injury her family discovered there were numerous pieces of glass in the Nutella that remained in the bottom of the jar.

The Nutella in question had been produced in the United Kingdom by Ferrero and bought in a sealed jar in an Irish grocer. Mr Binchy said Jamie Lee had become worried in the hours following the event when she started to suffer stomach pains. Her mother had called Temple Street Children’s Hospital and had been advised by staff to bring her daughter to the hospital to be seen.

She had been attended to by a Doctor and x-rays were conducted but no fragments of glass were found and she had been sent home without any further treatment being administered. Jamie Lee was unable to remain in school the next day as she was suffering from further pain. The following day she had experienced pains in her stomach and had to go home from school.

Judge Groarke approved the offer which will remain in court funds until Jamie Lee’s 18th birthday.

201812.05
0

Night Club Accident Compensation Awarded to Man Following Copper Face Jacks Fall

A Limerick man has been awarded over €80,000 by the High Court after being successful in his personal injury compensation claim for slipping on a wet floor at the Copper Face Jacks nightclub and breaking his ankle in two places.

Colin McNamara, a bar manager from Limerick, was in the Dublin night club after attending a Republic of Ireland soccer match at the Aviva Stadium in 2015.

Mr McNamara (aged 36), Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co Limerick had take the night club accident compensation action against Breanagh Catering Ltd, with offices at Harcourt Street, Dublin, and the owners of the nightclub Copper Face Jacks at Harcourt Street, Dublin, as a result of the accident that occurred on October 9, 2015. In his action he (Mr McNamara) stated that he slipped on a floor which, he alleged, was wet and represented a slipping hazard to patrons. He went on to say that there was an alleged failure to implement any adequate steps to clean and dry the floor surface. As a result of this neglect Mr McNamara, allegedly, slipped and injured himself. The defendants in the personal injury compensation action denied these claims.

In the evidence he presented in the High Court, Mr McNamara informed the Judge that bouncers came and picked him up from the floor and brought him out to a back alley where a member of staff looked at his leg and ankle before advising him that it was not broken.

After being told that the security staff could not call an ambulance, Mr McNamara said he “hobbled away” and got a taxi back to his hotel. As he was still in a considerable amount of pain when he returned to Limerick he went to hospital where he was informed that he had fractured his ankle. As a result of this he had to have surgery and was on crutches for a period of time.

Mr Justice Hanna told the Court that he had been given an order of the court giving judgment against the defendant in this case, therefore issues of liability were not an issue. As attempts at resolution were unsuccessful the defendant chose not intervene in court to challenge the medical evidence, as was their right, but instead opted for a legal cost accountant. Due to this the defendant, though not represented, was not deemed to be inactive,

Presiding Judge, Mr Justice Michael Hanna, told the Court that Mr McNamara has suffered a serious and significant injury when accounting for the fact that he would be required to be “fleet of foot” in bar manager role. He added that Mr McNamara missed five months of work due to slipping on the wet floor of the nite club.

The appropriate figure of night club compensation was, the judge said, in this case €80,000 plus special damages of €7,116 to cover medical and other expenses.

201811.20
1

Scald Injury Causing Death Compensation of €54,000 Awarded to Family of Deceased Woman

The family of a 90-year-old woman have been awarded just over €54,000 damages after she died due to scald injuries from a burst hot water bottle .

The court was told that the family were awarded compensation in relation to their own pain and suffering, loss, funeral and travel expenses arising from the tragic death of their mother and granny at a Dublin nursing home.

Legal representative for the family Barrister Frank Crean told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that the deceased Ms Olive Sheeran experienced extensive scalding of her buttocks, left thigh and calf, heels and ankles when a water bottle burst in her bed.

Mr Crean said the operators of the Deansgrange-based nursing home, SRCW Limited, had agreed to pay the family €54,406 personal injury compensation. He told the Court that Ms Carol Hayes, of Corabally, Ardfield, Clonakilty, Co Cork, a daughter of the late Ms Sheeran, had taken the nursing home compensation action against SRCW Limited on her own behalf and on behalf of her brothers Mark (57) and Conor Sheeran (55) and Ms Sheeran’s grandchildren Adam (18), Jennifer (17), Alexandra (26), and Thomas Sheeran (20) and Peter (28), Matthias (26) and Oisin (23) Hayes.

Ms Hayes told the court, through an affidavit, that she was seeking that the court approve the Injuries Board assessment “in respect of the fatal injuries” her mother, then aged 89, had suffered in an accident at Ferndene on January 6, 2017. Ms Hayes said her mother had been living in the home at the time of her death.

The accident happened when a nurse at the home had visited Ms Sheeran’s room and taken two water bottles away to refill them. One of the refilled water bottles had then been placed next to Ms Sheeran’s feet and burst a little while later, severely scalding her.

Judge Groarke was told that following an investigation all water bottles had been taken out of use at the home and the investigator had advised they should be replaced with coded stock. This stock is to be inspected once a month and replaced every year.

Ms Sheeran had been taken by ambulance to the emergency department of St Vincent’s Hospital where she had been assessed before being taken to the burns unit of St James’s Hospital. Her burns were treated with antiseptic dressings, antibiotics and analgesia. However she (Ms Sheeran) had developed pneumonia and a urinary tract infection and was treated with intravenous antibiotics. She had to stay in hospital for a period of three months when her wounds almost completely healed before she passed away.

Ms Hayes said: “I have been advised by my mother’s plastic surgeon that she suffered a life-threatening injury with a 31pc predicted mortality. My mother died on August 21, 2017.”

Judge Groarke approved the nursing home injury compensation settlement.

201811.01
0

Refuse Worker Awarded €224,000 Work Injury Compensation

At the High Court a factory worker, who fell to the ground and suffered a severe ankle injury when he attempted to free a trapped bin, has been awarded €224,000 damages.

The man in question, Tomasz Zdejszy, was employed at a waste collection business when he suffered permanent damage to his ankle. Tomasz fell nine feet to the ground when the accident occurred in April 2012 at the business park in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Judge Michael Hanna said, while giving judgment, that the 37-year-old man had climbed up on a waste paper container to try and free a bin, which had become stuck, by kicking it. The Judge said that Mr Zdejszy jhad begun to climb down from the position due to becoming afraid of the height. At this point a co-worker handed him a metal bar to assist in dislodging the stuck bin.

In his case against his employer Stewart Foil Ltd,  Tomasz claimed that there had been a failure to ensure the safe and proper removal of an obstacle to waste collection without the necessity of Mr Zdejszy working at a height when, he claimed, it was dangerous to do.

In his work injury compensation claim against Panda Waste Services, he stated that he was expected to remove a rubbish bin on a waste container while working at a height. Additionally, he claimed that he was given an inappropriate implement, a metal bar, to accomplish this task.

In his ruling Justice Hanna found 20 per cent contributory negligence on the part of Mr Zdejszy due to the fact that he did not use sufficient care in relation to his own safety. He deemed that Stewart Foil Ltd were two thirds responsible and Panda Waste Services one third responsible for the accident.

Judge Hanna told the High Court that Mr Zdejszy had suffered a typical injury for such a fall, with a severe fracture of the right side of his foot, extending into his ankle joint. This fracture resulted in arthritis on the joint, which required surgical fusion. He experienced permanent loss of movement in his ankle, a loss of heel height of approximately an inch on the injured side and had been left suffering constant pain.


201810.16
0

Garda Awarded €4,000 Following Night Club Assault

A Garda has been awarded €4,000 after being assaulted by his girlfriend’s brother whom he was restrain with colleagues outside a Letterkenny nightclub.

High Court Judge Justice Michael Twomey was advised that Garda Fintan Smith was headbutted by the individual in question, leading to a black eye and nose bleed. Garda Smith stated that, following the initial headbutt incident, he was sitting in the front of the Garda car when his assailant was sitting in the rear seat in handcuffs for transport to Letterkenny Garda Station. At this point he was kicked to the side of the head by the man.

Garda Smith advised the Judge that he no longer has any relationship with the individual. However, he still has excellent relations with the other members of his girlfriend’s family. Garda Smith and his girlfriend have since married and, he said in a response to his legal counsel’s question, although his girlfriend’s brother had been invited to the wedding in May 2018 he (the brother) had not turned up. He (Garda Smith) added that his preference is now not to attend any family events if he is aware that his brother-in-law will be there.

His legal counsel, Ms Fiona Crawford, submitted that her client had sustained an injured nose but X-rays had revealed no bone injury.

The High Court was advised that the incident had caused a lot of trauma between Garda Smith and his partner. Due to this he sought, and received, a transfer from Letterkenny to Ballybofey Garda Station. Garda Smith said that the entire episode lead to him being very angry. He added that his now brother-in-law had been in trouble with the gardaí at the time of the event and was not the sort of person who would respect the gardaí.

He (Garda Smith) missed a month of work due to the embarrassment caused.

Judge Twomey accepted that Garda Smith’s brother-in-law had a negative attitude towards garda and awarded Garda Smith workplace compensation of €4,000 for the injuries he sustained.

201810.04
1

Hotel Wedding Dance Fall Leads to Injury Compensation Settlement

A High Court injury compensation settlement has been agreed between a Tipperary hotel and a Clonmel woman after she slipped on petals on a hotel dance floor almost two hours after the bride had thrown her bouquet during a wedding reception

The specific details of the settlement are to be kept confidential and presiding Judge Kevin Cross was told the case had settled and could now be struck out.

Plaintiff Ann White, who lives at Highfield Grove in Clonmel, told the court she was celebrating at the afters of a work colleague’s wedding at the Aherlow House Hotel in September 2012. She slipped on some petals on the dance floor, fracturing her wrist and arm.

Ms White, a 53-year-old child care worker, told the Court that had been a “serious scrum” of about 20 “very enthusiastic” women when the bride threw her bouquet at 12.30am. As a number of ladies pulled at the bridal bouquet of pink and white roses, petals came off and were spread all over the dance floor. Ms White said she decided to dance at roughly 2.30am and her right foot skidded on on the rose petals. Ms White told the Judge that she was wearing stilettos but is is used to doing so.

Due to the injuries Ms White had to have surgery and told the court that she still experiences pain in her arm on daily basis. The Aherlow House Hotel refuted Ms White’s claims, arguing that it was an unfortunate accident which was not foreseeable by the hotel management or staff.

Mr Justice Cross congratulated the parties on reaching the settlement and added that he was very glad to hear it as, in the event of the court making a decision it was open to appeal, which he said taking the scarcity of judges into account would have taken a long time.

201809.22
1

€30k Compensation Awarded to Epileptic Solicitor Denied Request to Work from Home

An epileptic solicitor has been awarded €30,000 from the legal service provider she worked for in relation to its refusal to permit her to work from home.

The woman had made six unsuccessful requests to work from home in total with her employer during the time period between March 2015 and January 2017. She made the request due to suffering a number of acute or ‘grand mal’ attacks. She pointed out to the Workplace Relations Commission that other colleagues have been permitted to conduct their work from home.

In directing the legal services provider to pay the €30,000 to the employee for denying her rights under the Employment Equality Acts, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudication Officer Pat Brady stated that there should be a zero-risk approach to a situation where there is a danger of a life threatening event occurring.

The Adjudication Officer referred to the attitude of the employer in denying the staff member in her request to complete her work duties from home whatever argument she used. He (Mr Brady) ruled that the employer’s refusal to make any ‘reasonable accommodation’ for the employee over her home working request was a breach of the Employment Equality Act. Additionally he said that the medical evidence in the case “is not very decisive”.

He reported that anything that will reduce stress will help the worker but that the request to work from home would only make a ‘minimal’ contribution to this.

Mr Brady ruled that the legal services provider did not appear concerned about, or was indifferent to, a danger due to the ‘minimal’ impact assessment, despite the chance of a catastrophic event for the employee. The employer in question advised its employee that it would be ‘very challenging’ were she to work at home and ‘incompatible’ with her official duties. Instead the employer permitted other measures such as a reduction in the working week expected.

The employee advised the WRC that it would create no difficulty to carry out her work from home and that she had ‘huge autonomy’ in relation to the delivery of her duties. She said that she made it known that she was willing to be entirely flexible and respond to business needs as necessary. She also said that the majority of her work is of a preparatory nature and could just as easily be carried out from home as from her office.

Mr Brady said that a company spokesperson visibly shrugging his shoulders at the hearing showed that there was no company view as as to how the member of staff could be accommodated.

201809.11
0

€1,118 Personal Injury Compensation Payout for Woman Mocked because of her Accent

An industrial tribunal has awarded compensation to a woman who was mocked because of her west Belfast accent and also harassed for being female.

The incident occurred at the Four Winds bar in Castlereagh where Caroline Curran was working as an assistant manager. She told the tribunal that she was made fun of and verbally abused due to her background and gender. She alleged that one manager told her she was “not in the Devenish now”, referring to a bar in west Belfast. On another occasion she claimed that a male colleague shouted at her: “Would you women f*** up!… you’re never done moaning.”

Ms Curran said: “I’m a strong person, but I found it extremely difficult to deal with mentally and I can only imagine if it was a younger woman or someone maybe not as strong as myself, what sort of state they would be in? I just didn’t want to let that go or allow them to treat anybody else like that.”

Ms Curran took up the position of bar assistant manager in March 2017, under manager Dermott McGinn and alongside fellow assistant manager Conor Magee. By July that year she raised a formal grievance after becoming unhappy at the treatment she was receiving and told that tribunal that Mr Magee “constantly undermines me in front of staff”.

Ms Curran also filed a complaint in relation to alterations to staff rotas, which she said he lied about causing her to feel “as if I’m going insane, sometimes he lies to me to make me think I’m wrong”. Following this she was signed off sick for two weeks and never returned. However, she attended a grievance meeting in August during which she submitted that Mr Magee made pointed jokes like: “You’re not in the Devenish now.”

Mr Magee denied all of Ms Curran’s claims, saying that “he hadn’t exactly a posh voice himself”, before going on to say that he thought he had the same accent and he was from west Belfast. As the grievance meeting did not hold up her complaints Ms Curran took the matter to the industrial tribunal.

At the tribunal legal representatives for Four Winds said the company refuted Ms Curran’s claims that her gender was an “overarching theme” in her complaints against colleagues and that she did not pursue sex discrimination in her official grievance.

When delivering the final judgment the tribunal said that Ms Curran was, more likely than not, made fun of because of her accent but this was not due to her gender. Additionally it said that her claims of being undermined by Mr Magee were not because of her gender.

On the allegations against Mr McGinn it said this was because of “bad staff management” but gender was not the cause of that. It did find that the comment, “Would you women just f*** up” was a clear occurrence of sexual harassment. The tribunal awarded Ms Curran £1,080 (€1,118) compensation.

201808.09
1

Thalidomide Group Happy with Ruling to Allow Discovery of State Documents

A legal hearing has been adjourned at the High Court until November following the filing of several thalidomide compensation claims.

Producers of the German drug Grünenthal GmbHT, which was introduced t the market as a sedative in Germany in 1957, are facing 26 compesation cases which have been brought brought against them and their Irish distributors TP Whelehan Son & Co, and the Ministers for Health and Environment – all of the whom deny the claims.

Claim have been submitted allegin that the drug caused deformities in unborn children when it was prescribed to their pregnant mothers. The claims relate to incidents that occurred dating back to the 1960s.

The High Court is currently reviewing whether the cases are statute-barred.

At the High Court yesterday the cases returned before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who has stated his unease about “the slow pace” of the proceedings. He (Judge Noonan) ruled on several requests issued by the defendants that the plaintiffs further particularise and answer questions about certain aspects of their claims.

The defendants taking the compensation case argue that they require the information from the plaintiffs in order to fully address the claims that are being taken against them. The judge agreed with this assertion and directed that the details smust be provided before  the matter returns before the court for further case management on 7 November.  Additionally Judge Noonan said that  the plaintiffs had a right to seek to discover documents from the State as part of their claim.

When the matter returns before the court in November Judge Noonan is due to deal with other preliminary matters, including the discovery of relevant material and issues over expert reports. Earlier the court was advised that lawyers for the plaintiffs claimed there were difficulties in obtaining medical histories and related files in order to progress the cases.

In a previous statement read out to the High Court, a spokesperson for Grünenthal said the company was “deeply sorry for what happened to those affected by the thalidomide tragedy. It’s important for us that we engage in efforts to improve the situations of those who are still living with the impact of these latter effects. We set up the Grünenthal Foundation to provide benefits in kind and financing for individual projects for those affected. Since its establishment, the Grünenthal Foundation has also approved more than 1,000 applications for individualised support in Germany and internationally.”

A spokesperson told the High Court that the Department of Health “can’t comment on an issue that’s the subject of ongoing litigation”.

John Stack, chairman of Thalidomide Ireland, which supports the claims, said the group was pleased to learn that the plaintiffs had a right to discover State documents as part of their case.

201808.01
0

€1.16m Back Injury Compensation for Garda and former Tipperary Hurler

The Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe has approved paying €1.16m back injury compensation to a garda and former captain of the Tipperary county hurling team Aidan Flanagan for injuries he sustained when attacked during an arrest.

This follows the earlier decision by Mr Justice Bernard Barton to award the 44-year-old Garda part compensation of  €175,000 general damages and €45,000 for loss of opportunity. However he (Judge Barton) had adjourned ruling a final outcome pending a review of ongoing negotiations between Micheál Ó Scanaill, SC, counsel for the Minister, and barrister Alan Keating, counsel for Garda Flanagan.

Mr Ó Scanaill, who appeared with barrister Rebecca Graydon for the minister, told Judge Barton that a consent order for €1.16m, a figure takes account of his past and present loss of earnings and a number of other factors, could be made in Garda Flanagan’s favour.

In Judge Barton’s earlier ruling at a Garda Compensation hearing in the High Court, he referred to the strong force of a blow that Garda Flanagan had received to the base of his back and the devastating consequences he suffered. He added that Garda Flanagan had suffered the injury when he was only 30 years of age and had made a substantial €1.47m claim for general damages and recurring pecuniary losses.

The incident occurred when Garda Flanagan had arrested a youth following a store burglary in which alcohol had been stolen. The youth had drunk a bottle of vodka and taken a quantity of tablets before he was arrested.

The youth in question had directed a kick into the small of Garda Flanagan’s back when being placed in the back seat of a squad car to for purposes of restraint, Judge Barton said. He also commented on the serious and significant deterioration in Garda Flanagan’s physical and mental capacity as a result of ongoing chronic pain he suffered. Additionally he had felt he could no longer serve as a garda and had so far been denied to retire on health grounds.

Garda Flanagan acted as captain of the Tipperary senior county side in the National Hurling League in 1997.


201807.12
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Dublin Zoo Compensation of €25,000 for Boy who Witnessed Tapir Attack his Young Sister

A 10-year-old schoolboy has been awarded €25,000 in the Circuit Civil Court after he witnessed an attack at Dublin  on his toddler sister by a Brazilian tapir at Dublin Zoo. His parents were also injured as they fought to save their daughter Katie’s life in the incident.

Katie’s parents Daragh Owens and his wife, Patricia, fought off the crazed animal and sustained injuries themselves in the attack that took place in Dublin Zoo on 8th August 2013.

Barrister Francis McGagh, counsel for the family, told Judge Francis Comerford today Tuesday that the children, Katie and Ruairi had been in the tapir cage. Ruari, who is now 15 years old, witnessed the female tapir, which had earlier given birth to a calf, lift his two-year-old sister, Katie, in its mouth and violently shake her. The Court was also told that Ruari’s brother Cathal, who was only six at the time, had also seen the Tapir attack. Both boys, while not physically injured, had suffered significant psychological injury and trauma.

Graphic pictures of the injuries caused in the horror attack had been published in the Medical Journal.

Mr McGagh said the Zoological Society of Ireland, had also made a €25,000 zoo injury compensation settlement offer to Cathal, now aged 11, but Judge Comerford said that from medical reports Cathal seemed to have been more seriously affected by the attack on his sister. Cathal’s settlement hearing was adjourned until the court receives an up-to-date medical report. Personal Injury Compensation claims on behalf of Katie, her mother Patricia Frost, and her father, Daragh Owens, were also currently before the High Court.

Dublin Zoo was ordered to make donations of €2,500 each to both the Jack and Jill Foundation and to the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice in December 2014 after the Zoological Society was prosecuted on the grounds of negligence in the District Court where the judge applied the Probation Act, thus avoiding a criminal conviction.