201711.23
0

€31,000 Car Accident Compensation for Limerick Garda

Garda, and former Limerick hurler, Nigel Carey (46), of Croom, Co Limerick, was injured when the Garda patrol car he was travelling in  was rear ended in October 2010 following a high-speed chase involving a Mercedes car. He has now been awarded €31,000 in compensation for the injuries he sustained in the incident.

Barrister Kevin D’Arcy, on behalf for Garda Carey, said his client had been quite an elite athlete, a hurler, at the time of the crash in 2010. The Garda attended his GP once regarding his neck, shoulder and lower back injuries and was advised to seek physiotherapy treatment

Garda Carey advised the court that the Garda patrol car had been “sent flying” due to the force of the impact. The vehicle was so badly damaged it had to be written off following the incident.

His neck, right shoulder and lower back had been damaged in the accident. He said his shoulder was still restricted but it did not impede his movement too much.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton remarked “the best medical report supporting Garda Carey’s claim for compensation” was supplied by the chief medical officer from An Garda Síochána who had examined Mr Carey on behalf of the Minister for Public Expenditure.

The judge praised Garda Carey’s dedication during the Garda Workplace Car Accident Compensation hearing as he (Mr Carey) had taken only been absent from work for three days following the incident. He added that it was to Garda Carey’s credit that he had not made an issue of his back injury which quickly cleared up.

He had made no attempt to build up more and more medical reports to make more of his injuries than was there.

201711.02
0

Sexual Harassment Claims Made by Healthcare Workers Against Patients

Five members of staff employed in the State healthcare system took sexual harassment claims over the last number of years, claiming they were assaulted by service users, according to details in a report published by RTE in November.

The State Claims Agency has not released specific details about where the alleged abuse happened in these or any other individual cases. The claims relate to incidents that took place between 2012 and 2016 and make up almost half of all sexual harassment claims being handled by the State Claims Agency for the State.

Up until recent days the Agency had declined to release any information on such claims. There have been calls from Fianna Fail and the Oireachtas Justice Committee for the State Claims Agency to publish a detailed breakdown of all sexual harassment claims made against individual public sector bodies. This comes after the initial refusal by the State Claims Agency to publish such a breakdown, by employer and sector, of all the sexual harassment claims which it handles on behalf of the State.

Additionally, The Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee wrote, in November, to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan asking him to back a call for the data to be released for public consumption. Following this the State Claims Agency released a limited amount of information on the number of such claims. However, it did not say where the claims arose from specifically.

In a statement released to the media it said that the State Claims Agency has handled 11 claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, which it said was “referable to three State Authorities, inclusive of all Delegated Healthcare Agencies, in the years 2012 to 2016”.

It also revealed that in six of the cases they’ve handled the alleged assailant and victim are both staff members. In the other five cases they said the person believed responsible for the assault was a service user in the healthcare area and the victim was a member of staff.

The State Claims Agency (SCA) commented “The claims that the SCA handle, of this nature, are claims which are wholly or mainly ones seeking compensation for injury (mental or physical).”

“We also need further information on the manner in which the SCA deals with such claims, how many of the cases end up in court, full details of all the costs incurred and whether the State seeks to recoup any of these costs from the alleged assailant.”


201710.23
0

22% Increase in State Compensation Claims

A recent report by the State Claim Agency has revealed that there was an increase in the cost of compensation claims taken against the State, bringing the overall spend to approximately €2.2 billion during 2016.

This is a 22% increase on the previous year’s figures according to the agency which is responsible for legal actions taken against the State. The total number of case encountered during 2016 was 8,900 at the end of 2016, up from 6,000 in 2015.

Main Reasons for Rise in Compensation Paid Out by the State

  1. The Department of Education settled/paid out compensation claims for roughly €50 million.
  2. €1.9 billion of the €2.2 billion total compensation paid out was by Tusla and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
  3. Anyone who wins a legal action is now entitled to a higher pay out following a Supreme Court ruling to make up for falling returns on the cash.
  4. The Department of Justice and Defence paid out compensation claims worth €175 million compared to €27 million of claims for the the Department of Health.

As part of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), the State Claims Agency was set up to address the continual increases in compensation claims being taken against the State.

Séamus McCarthy Comptroller and Auditor General for  the NTMA commented saying “The number of claims under management has increased significantly since 2011”.

201710.05
0

Judge Approves Settlement of a Rear End Accident Claim

A judge at the Circuit Court has approved the settlement of a rear end accident claim made on behalf of two sisters who suffered psychological injuries.

In February 2016, the sisters were safely secured in the back seat of family car when it was involved in a rear end accident on Newcastle Road in Dublin. The girls, aged seven and four, escaped without any physical injuries but subsequently became nervous whenever large vehicles passed the car while they were travelling in it.

A medical examination revealed they were suffering from  “a mild effect on the mental health” – the older of the two girls being diagnosed with periodic worry, panic and hyperventilation while travelling in the car; and the younger sister being diagnosed with symptoms of panic whenever they approached the scene of the accident, which was close to the family home.

The girls’ mother made a rear end accident claim on behalf of her daughters. Liability was admitted by the negligent driver, and his insurance company made an offer of settlement amounting to €33,000. After seeking professional advice, the offer was accepted subject to it being approved by a judge as the rear end accident claim had been made on the behalf of two minors.

Earlier this week at the Circuit Civil Court, the circumstances of the accident and the nature of the girls´ injuries were explained to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge heard that the girls had only missed one day of school because of the accident in order to seek a physical examination from the family GP, and was also told the girls´ mother was satisfied with the settlement of the rear end accident claim.

Approving the settlement, the judge ordered it should be paid into court funds until each girl reaches the age of maturity. The settlement is to equally divided, so each of the sisters will receive €16,500 on turning eighteen years of age.

201710.05
0

Tayto Park Compensation of €25k Following Fall

A High Court Action has been settled for €25,000 for a Tayto Park compensation claim after a child fell from a tower and fractured his lower arm in March 2012.

The Court was advised that Conor Bolger, then aged just 8 years old, had to have surgery and pins inserted near his elbow following suffering the fracture in the amusement park accident.

Taking the legal compensation action through his father Brian Bolger, the now aged 13 Conor Bolger of Briarfield Road, Kilbarrack, sued Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd,Co Meath trading as Tayto Park due to injuries sustained in the accident that occurred on on March 25, 2012.

Counsel claimed that Conor was playing on a tower in the main playground area, then the main attraction in Tayto Park. The tower, it was alleged, was overcrowded and Conor fell as a result of this. The area that he landed on was, according to Mr Bolger’s legal team, insufficiently covered with protective wood chips and he (Conor) suffered a fracture to his left elbow as a result of this. In the aftermath of the incident Mr Bolger had his elbow in a cast for a month and had pins inserted below his elbow in a surgical procedure.

Additionally, his legal team stated there was believed to have been a failure in providing an adequate inspection procedure that would have seen a raking of wood chips in the playground to plimsoll level which may have provided adequate insulation in the event of an accident like this occurring. 

The claims were denied by Counsel for Ashbourne Visitor Centre David McGrath SC. He stated that Conor Bolger was climbing the tower when he “just fell”. He claimed that there was no criticism of the tower itself.  Mr McGrath stated that Mr Bolger’s family were happy with the proposed settlement despite Conor suffering a serious injury and undergoing a surgical procedure that left him with a scar.

In approving the proposed settlement for Tayto Park compensation, Justice Kevin Cross stated that, following a personal inspection of the scar on Conor’s elbow, it was not “too upsetting”. Mr Cross also took into account the fact that Conor enjoys playing basketball which may have been inhibited by the injury that he suffered.

201709.19
0

Unfair Dismissal Claim Resolved by Workplace Relations Commission

A man who was dismissed after allegedly making insulting comments to a female employee has been awarded €15,000 in settlement of his unfair dismissal claim.

The man had been employed by the Boyne Valley Group at its distribution centre in Drogheda, County Louth since 2008 – first as a machine operator and then as a supervisor. In February 2015, he allegedly made insulting comments to a female employee about her appearance in earshot of her colleagues.

The female employee made a formal written complaint about her supervisor to the distribution centre manager, who subsequently held a formal meeting with her and initiated an investigation into her claims. Witnesses, who had heard the comments being made, were interviewed during the investigation.

In May 2015, the man was dismissed by the Boyne Valley Group for alleged gross misconduct. The company claimed he had made inappropriate comments on more than one occasion, and appeared to have singled her out for public humiliation. His actions, the company claimed, were in breach of their policies on bullying and harassment.

The man appealed the decision and his unfair dismissal claim was heard recently by the Workplace Relations Commission. At the hearing, the man admitted he had made comments about the young woman´s appearance, and he accepted some people might find the comments insulting. He also told the Commission he had tried to apologise, but the female employee had declined to accept his apology.

The way in which the investigation into the woman´s allegation had been conducted was explained to the Commission, which agreed it had been fair. However, the Chair of the Commission disputed the company´s claim the decision to dismiss the former supervisor was “within the band of reasonableness” and said his dismissal was a disproportionate response to the allegations.

Awarding the man €15,000 in settlement of his unfair dismissal claim, the Chair if the Commission added that, although the comments may have been unwelcome to the female employee in question, the matter should have been dealt – at least initially – in a more low-key manner.

201709.04
0

Hospital Fall Injury Claim Resolved at Circuit Civil Court

A hospital fall injury claim has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court in favour of a seventy-nine year old woman who fractured her spine in the accident.

In April 2015, the woman attended the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin for a routine gastroscopy. Following a successful procedure, she was given a cup of tea as she started to come out of the general anaesthetic, and left alone on the recovery unit. Unfortunately, as the woman attempted to get out of bed, she fell – fracturing her spine when she landed on the floor.

Rather than attending the hospital as a day patient as had been intended, the woman spent a further month at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital before being transferred to the Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital in Clontarf for specialised treatment. She remained at the Clontarf hospital for a further three months before being removed by her daughter to be cared for at home.

The woman, who prior to her fall had lived an independent life, now requires full-time care. She has to wear a lumbar brace at all times and uses a Zimmer frame for walking. After seeking legal advice, the woman made a hospital fall injury claim against the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, alleging that the hospital had failed to adhere to its own falls prevention policy.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge James O´Donohoe heard that due to the injury in the hospital fall the woman was no longer the woman she previously was. He was also told that the woman had required hospital treatment previously following a fall at her home in November 2014, and the hospital should have reasonably been aware of this and monitored her closely.

Judge O´Donohoe heard evidence from the recovery unit´s Head of Nursing, but said “what speaks volumes to this court is that the ward nurse who attended the plaintiff was not called to give evidence.” The judge also accepted the evident of an expert witness who testified the Mater Hospital had failed to comply with its standard falls prevention policy.

Finding in favour of the plaintiff, Judge O´Donohoe said the gastroscopy had a good outcome but tragically things changed for the worse. Initially awarding the woman €58,500 in settlement of her hospital fall injury claim, the judge granted a stay pending a possible appeal on the proviso a partial settlement of €30,000 was paid immediately.

201708.06
1

Judge Awards Woman Compensation for Dog Attack Injuries

A woman has been awarded more than €234,000 compensation for dog attack injuries so horrific her young children were frightened to get close to her.

The woman was walking along a rural road near her home when two boxer dogs started to approach her. The woman tried to shoo the dogs away and told them to go home, but they jumped up and attacked her – knocking her to the ground.

The woman attempted to protect herself by placing her arms in front of her face, but the attack was so ferocious she suffered bites to her head, face, forearms and body. She sustained multiple lacerations which have now developed into visible scars.

The attack only stopped when a passing motorist sounded the horn of her car and the dogs ran away. The dogs have since been destroyed and their owners admitted liability when she claimed compensation for dog attack injuries.

As no negotiated settlement could be agreed for her claim, the case went to the High Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr for the assessment of damages. Judge Barr heard testimony from the woman and several medical experts who confirmed the nature of her injuries.

During the woman´s testimony, she told Judge Barr how she was devastated by her appearance and how her young children were frightened to get close to her. The judge was shown photographs of the woman taken shortly before the attack and after the attack.

The judge accepted the woman had undergone a profound change in her appearance, personality and mental state as a result of the attack and acknowledged that she would have suffered some degree of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Awarding €234,557 compensation for dog attack injuries, Judge Barr commented the woman had experienced a terrifying attack and he was confident she had not tried to embellish the details of the attack nor exaggerate the injuries she had sustained.

201707.20
0

Making a Claim for a Hearing Loss at Work

To ensure you receive an appropriate settlement of compensation when you make a claim for a hearing loss at work, discuss your case with an injury solicitor.

When you make a claim for a hearing loss at work, there is a risk you will be undercompensated. Unlike most other physical injury compensation claims, it can be difficult to communicate to the Injuries Board the impact your injury has had on your quality of life and your emotional wellbeing.

If you do not tell the Injuries Board you are no longer able to listen to music or pursue hobbies in which hearing plays an important role, the assumption will not be made these factors affect you. Instead, the Injuries Board will assess your claim for a hearing loss at work solely on the information provided by your doctor.

Inasmuch as a work induced hearing loss is a substantial injury, the compensation for the injury alone is not going to be adequate to account for your loss of amenity and the deterioration in your quality of life. For example, you will likely not enjoy socialising so much, going to the cinema or even watching TV. These factors should be accounted for.

To ensure you receive an appropriate settlement of compensation when you make a claim for a hearing loss at work, it is recommended that you discuss you case and the consequences of your injury with an injury solicitor – or have somebody speak with an injury solicitor on your behalf if your hearing loss is total.

Before submitting your application for assessment, your injury solicitor will ask you to maintain a diary and record every time your hearing loss was a negative factor in your life. You will be surprised how often you are making new entries. The solicitor will then use this information to fully communicate to the Injuries Board the factors that should be considered in your claim for a hearing loss at work.

201707.14
0

Historic Sexual Abuse Case Heard in Waterford

A historic sexual abuse case has been heard at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court concerning the abuse of a man who was fourteen years of age in 1976.

At Waterford Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Eugene O´Kelly was told the circumstances of a historic sexual abuse that took place on a scouting holiday in Cheekpoint – a small village on the confluence of the Rivers Suir and Barrow, twelve kilometres from the town of Waterford.

The court heard how, in June 1976, a group of teenage scouts had arrived in Waterford and were taken to Cheekpoint to set up camp by their scout leader – a man who is now in his 70s and who cannot be named in order to prevent the identify of his victim.

When the camp was set up, the scout leader beckoned one of the teenage boys towards his tent, pulled him inside and started tickling him. It was during this event that the fourteen-year-old boy was touched inappropriately by the scout leader.

The victim did not make a complaint about the historic sexual abuse until 2013, when he reported it to the gardaí. When questioned, the former scout leader admitted he may have touched the boy inappropriately and was charged with historic sexual abuse.

Judge O´Kelly was read a victim impact statement in which it was claimed that the boy had suffered nightmares as a result of the historic sexual assault and, in later life, had drunk heavily – causing the collapse of his business. The court also heard that the victim has taken anti-depressants for the past twenty-eight years.

The judge was told the former scout leader had resigned from his position on the board of management at UCC after admitting the offence and placed on the sexual offenders list. He has also paid the victim more than €7,500 compensation and issued a statement in which he said he was extremely sorry for what he had done.

Taking into account the historic sexual assault had taken place more than forty years ago and that the perpetrator had demonstrated a “significant element of remorse” following a “one-off incident”, the judge sentenced the former scout leader to fifteen months in prison and suspended the sentence for three years.

201707.10
0

Claiming Compensation for a Botched Lip Implant

Seek professional legal advice before claiming compensation for a botched lip implant to make sure you are eligible to claim for injury compensation.

Claims for compensation for a botched lip implant are dealt with in the same way as a medical negligence claim – or, if the botched lip implant is attributable to a faulty product, a product liability claim. As neither of these categories of claim comes under the Injuries Board´s remit, you will have to use a solicitor to claim compensation for a botched lip implant.

However, before you start the claims process, it is important to understand that not every injury sustained in a botched lip implant procedure is eligible for compensation. If, for example, you developed an infection after being informed that there was a risk of infection, you more than likely waived your right to compensation when you signed the consent form.

In order for claims for compensation for a botched lip implant to be successful, it has to be shown that the injury you sustained was not a known risk of the procedure (that you likely acknowledged on the consent form) and was due to a lack of skill by your cosmetic surgeon. In order to prove negligence, your solicitor will likely engage the services of a medical expert.

If negligence is proven – and liability for your injury admitted by either the negligent surgeon or the manufacturer of a faulty lip implant – how much compensation for a botched lip implant you are entitled to can vary considerably depending on the nature of the injury, its long-term consequences for your quality of life and whether or not the injury can be revised.

While negotiations are ongoing to agree a settlement of your claim, it is advisable to be wary of any approaches from the surgeon´s or manufacturer´s insurance company with an offer of settlement, as these rarely reflect the true value of your claim. To find out more about claiming compensation for a botched lip implant, speak with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.

201706.02
1

Report Reveals Most Common Clinical Incidents in Ireland

The State Claims Agency has published a report revealing the most common clinical incidents in Ireland and the cost of settling clinical negligence claims.

The report – National Clinical Incidents, Claims and Costs – covers the period between 2010 and 2014. Its purpose, according to lead author Dr Dubhfeasa Slattery, is to help improve patient safety by analysing national data on clinical incidents in Ireland, and studying the results in order to develop a “learning health system” that provides safer care.

More than 206,000 clinical incidents in Ireland were reported to the State Claims Agency over the five year period – not all of which were attributable to medical negligence, and therefore not all resulting in clinical negligence claims. The incidents were divided into five main categories – Medicine, Surgery, Maternity Services, Disability Services and Care of the Elderly.

In the Medicine category – the category in which most clinical incidents were reported – the most common adverse outcomes were attributable to a delay or failure to diagnose and treat (most often in the emergency room), the incorrect medicine or dosage of medicine being prescribed or administered, and serious soft tissue damage – typically caused by bed sores due to a lack of nursing care.

Among the most common surgical clinical incidents in Ireland, the delay or failure to treat was again the leading cause of adverse outcomes. However the high percentage of adverse outcomes attributable to faulty equipment and missing or misplaced clinical records was also a cause for concern – both in the Surgery category and the Maternity Services category.

The leading clinical incidents in Ireland in the Maternity Services category were post-partum haemorrhages and perineal tears, while medication issues and serious soft tissue damage dominated the clinical incidents in the Disability Services and Care of the Elderly categories. A further 66,000 medical incidents were reported to the State Claims Agency during the period being investigated that were not regarded to be of a clinical nature.

In relation to the number of clinical negligence claims made during the period and the cost of settling them, the figures quoted in the report (2,873 claims and €288 million in settlement costs) are misleading as they included claims made during the period not settled during the period, and pre-2010 claims settled between 2010 and 2014. They were also inflated during 2012 by DePuy hip replacement claims, the Lourdes Redress scheme, and by the volume of claims made for unnecessary symphysiotomy procedures.

201705.25
0

Settlement of Creche Abuse Claim Approved after Second Court Hearing

The settlement of a creche abuse claim has been approved by a judge at the Circuit Civil Court after the approval of a previous proposal had been denied.

At the Circuit Civil Court last week, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that the plaintiff on whose behalf the creche abuse claim was made was just two years of age when she started attending the Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre in Stepaside, County Dublin.

In September 2012, the young girl was transferred to the creche´s “Toddler´s Room”; after which, it was alleged, she started showing signs of anxiety. According to her parent´s testimony, the girl would cry “No creche. No creche” as she was being got ready each morning, and was often withdrawn and tired when she was collected each evening.

The girl´s parents discussed their concerns about the signs of anxiety and disturbed sleep patterns with her carer, but were told she was receiving an appropriate level of supervision. However, after watching the RTE documentary “A Breach of Trust” – in which their daughter´s carer was depicted being abusive to children in the same age group, the parents removed the girl from the creche and sought legal advice.

A creche abuse claim was subsequently made against the Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre on the grounds that the girl had suffered emotional injuries. Liability was initially denied, but an offer of settlement was made amounting to €15,000 without an admission of liability. As the creche abuse claim had been made on behalf of a child, it first had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in the girl´s best interest.

In July 2015, the circumstances behind the creche abuse claim were related to Judge James O´Donohue at the Circuit Civil Court. Judge O´Donohue ruled that the proposed settlement of the crèche abuse claim was insufficient for the level of injury it was claimed the girl had suffered and he refused to approve the settlement.

Following a period of negotiation, a further offer of settlement was made to the girl´s parents. On this occasion, the approval hearing was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The circumstances of the girl´s alleged emotional injuries were once again related to the court and, after Judge Groarke was assured that the girl had suffered no lasting psychological injury – he approved the settlement.

201705.20
0

Compensation for Car Accident Injuries Awarded in Court

A total of €37,500 compensation for car accident injuries has been awarded to two plaintiffs injured in the same accident by the Circuit Civil Court.

In November 2013, the two plaintiffs were travelling along the M1 in a recently-purchased Toyota, when the sun roof of their car blew off. Alarmed at the sudden noise – described as being “like a bomb going off in the car” – the driver of the Toyota braked sharply, causing all five adult occupants of the car to suffer whiplash-type injuries due to the sudden deceleration.

The driver of the car and her 72-year-old mother claimed compensation for car accident injuries against the company from which it had been purchased – Denis Mahony Limited of Kilbarrack Road in Dublin. They alleged in their legal action that their injuries were directly attributable to a fault with the sun roof that should have been identified in a pre-sale inspection.

The car dealership denied the sun roof was faulty and contested the claims for compensation for car accident injuries. However, at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard from an independent car assessor, who found extensive corrosion of the remaining frame of the sun roof and testified the corrosion had made the car unsafe to drive and should have been identified before it was sold to the driver.

Judge Groarke also heard that the five adult occupants and two children in the car had been travelling to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition at the time of the accident. The driver had subsequently pulled in to an AppleGreen filling station and stuck a plastic sack over the hole in the roof, but the shopping trip had to be abandoned.

The judge said he accepted the sun roof flying off would have been a terrifying experience assuming that the car was travelling at 80-90kmph, and added he understood why the driver had applied the brakes so sharply. He found in favour of the plaintiffs and awarded the driver of the car €12,500 and her mother €25,000 compensation for car accident injuries.

201705.09
0

Unprotected Chemical Exposure Claims against the Defence Forces

New unprotected chemical exposure claims against the Defence Forces, made by a former Baldonnel-based air corps mechanic, have been published in the Journal.

Working conditions at the Casement Airbase in Baldonnel, County Dublin, have been the subject of investigation since unprotected chemical exposure claims against the Defence Forces were made in 2015 and 2016 by former air corps personnel, and as a result of a HSA inspection in October last year.

The current investigation is looking into claims that servicemen were exposed to high levels of dichloromethane for up to twelve years despite the Defence Forces being aware of the health risks. The new unprotected chemical exposure claims against the Defence Forces are potentially more serious.

According to the Journal, a “whistle-blower” has alleged air corps servicemen were not protected against exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals at Baldonnel, and as a result at least twenty former servicemen have died due to neurological and cancer-related illnesses.

The former air corps mechanic also believes that the partners of personnel based at the aerodrome have suffered fertility issues, and that their children have been born with birth defects or development issues. Five children have allegedly died due to their parents´ exposure to toxic chemicals and, the “whistle-blower” claims, many more are living with life-changing illnesses.

The Journal reports the representative association for air corps personnel – PDFORRA – has been attempting to get attitudes towards health and safety changed for many years. The association´s general secretary Gerry Rooney told the Journal: “There’s a tendency in military organisations to focus on carrying out the operation at all costs. It´s fairly clear there was a problem with chemicals and their use.”

Attempts to get comments from the Defence Forces and Department of Defence about the new unprotected chemical exposure claims against the Defence Forces were unsuccessful, but Dublin South Central TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh was heavily critical of junior Justice Minister Paul Kehoe. He told the Journal that previous chemical exposure claims had fallen on deaf ears, despite Minister Kehoe stating the health and wellbeing of members of the Defence Forces are a priority for him.

201704.26
0

Claims for Birth Defects due to taking Epilim

Claims for birth defects due to taking Epilim while pregnant have been made in France on behalf of up to 4,100 children with foetal valproate syndrome.

Epilim is the trade name of an anti-epilepsy drug that uses the active ingredient sodium valproate to control electrical activity in the brain. Introduced in France in 1967, Epilim was passed for use in Ireland in 1983, and is now also often prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, migraine and chronic pain.

At the time it was introduced into Ireland, claims for birth defects due to taking Epilim while pregnant were being investigated in France. It was alleged that the sodium valproate entered the bloodstream as valproic acid, which caused foetal congenital and development issues.

The evidence of birth defects due to taking Epilim was considered inconclusive, and the drug continued to be prescribed to pregnant mothers. It was only in 2006 that the manufacturers of the drug – Sanofi – warned that sodium valproate may have adverse effects and advised the medical profession to advise pregnant mothers of the potential risks.

Research conducted several years later by France´s social affairs inspectorate – IGAS – found the majority of doctors and pharmacists were unaware of the risks associated with Epilim. The research prompted the inspectorate to conduct a small scale study in the Rhone-Alpes region last year, where a much higher than expected rate of birth defects due to taking Epilim while pregnant was discovered.

France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) looked deeper into the issue and researched the health of 8,701 children born between 2007 and 2014 whose mothers were known to have taken Epilim during their pregnancies. ANSM identified up to 4,100 children suffering from foetal valproate syndrome and discovered hundreds of Epilim-related stillbirths.

ANSM´s study has resulted in the families of those affected by the adverse effects of sodium valproate to form a class action in order to jointly make claims for birth defects due to taking Epilim. The families claim that Sanofi did not do enough to adequately inform the medical profession of the risks associate with the drug. It also claims the drug manufacturer failed to put adequate warning on its packaging.

In Ireland, the Disability Federation has called on the government to conduct an audit of children diagnose with foetal valproate syndrome. The organisation claims the scale of the problem in Ireland should be identified in order that adequate support measures are provided for families. If a member of your family has been affected by foetal valproate syndrome, and you would like to know more about claims for birth defects due to taking Epilim while pregnant, you should speak with a solicitor.

201703.03
0

Broken Restaurant Chair Accident Claim Resolved in Court

A broken restaurant chair accident claim has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court in favour of a woman who suffered a soft tissue back injury.

In May 2014, the thirty-four year old woman from Finglas in Dublin was dining at the China Kitchen restaurant in Beaumont when a leg of the chair she was sitting on became detached from the body of the chair, causing the chair to collapse.

The woman manged to avoid falling onto the floor, but jolted to her right side to prevent her fall and twisted her lower back as the chair gave way. A waiter came to her assistance, but rather than replace the broken chair, he tried to repair it.

Due to the tenderness and pain across her lower lumbar region, the woman attended her GP and was prescribed painkillers. She also attended physiotherapy sessions, but continued to experience intermittent pain in her back after working in her job as a cleaner or after sitting for long periods.

The woman made a broken restaurant chair accident claim against the owners of the China Kitchen restaurant – Xwfx Limited – claiming that the restaurant had been negligent in providing her with a dangerous chair that constituted a trap.

The owners failed to respond to the Injuries Board request for consent to conduct an assessment, or attend a subsequent court hearing to defend the broken restaurant chair accident claim. The woman consequently obtained a judgement in her favour in default of appearance.

When the broken restaurant chair accident claim was presented to Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court, the judge was told that it was for the assessment of damages only. After hearing details of the woman´s accident and her subsequent injury, Judge Linnane awarded the woman €17,500 in settlement of her broken restaurant accident claim.

201702.25
1

Judge Awards Woman Compensation for an Injury in a Taxi Accident

A woman, described in court as a talented musician, has been awarded compensation for an injury in a taxi accident that prevents her practising the violin.

On March 8th 2012, the woman – a thirty-three year old musician from Ardnacrusha in County Clare – was a passenger in a taxi when it was rear-ended on Wexford Street in Dublin by another taxi. The woman suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder as a result of the accident and was prescribed painkillers for her injury by her GP when she sought medical attention the following day.

When the woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim, the negligent taxi driver accepted liability for causing the accident and her injuries. However, the amount of the assessment was rejected by the woman, who claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury.

The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim in court and, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard how the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising her violin several hours a day. He was also told by the defendant´s insurance company that her injury was unrelated to the “insignificant” collision between the two vehicles.

Judge Groarke admitted that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting” and that on the balance of probabilities the woman had likely made a full recovery from her injury. However, while concluding that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin and as such it was an exceptional case.

Judge Groarke awarded the woman €25,000 compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, stating he accepted the plaintiff´s belief that the discomfort she suffers is related to the March 2012 accident.

201701.30
0

Man Awarded Compensation for Slipping on a Path at Work

A former sewerage plant employee has been awarded compensation for slipping on a path at work after a judge found him 40% responsible for his accident.

On 3rd February 2010, the former sewerage plant employee was working as a maintenance engineer at the plant in Templemore, County Tipperary, when he slipped and fell on sewerage that had overflowed from the flumes surrounding the inlet channels.

As a result of his slip and fall accident, the employee sustained a back injury that prevented him from returning to his job. He applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of his claim but his employers – Templemore Town Council – refused to give its consent for the assessment to be conducted.

The Injuries Board issued the former employee with an authorisation to pursue his claim for compensation for slipping on a path at work in court. The hearing to determine liability took place last week at the High Court before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam.

At the hearing, Judge Fullam was told that the employee worked alone at the now decommissioned plant, and his duties included cleaning the flumes and ensuring that the paths were free from hazards. It was argued that, by failing to fulfil his duties, the employee had contributed to the accident by his own lack of care.

Judge Fullam agreed that the employee should take some responsibility for his accident, and if he had needed additional tools to fulfil his duties, he should have asked for them. However the judge also accepted the employee´s evidence that there was an issue with the pumps at the time of the accident, and that he did not have the time to clean the paths.

The judge acknowledged that flumes surrounding the inlet channels were in a bad state on the day of the accident, but said that the employee had to take some responsibility for his accident and subsequent injury. He awarded the employee €79,000 compensation for slipping on a path at work, but reduced the award by 40% to €47,400 to account for his contributory negligence.

201701.27
0

Judge Orders Full Hearing of Claim for a Broken Leg at Play School

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke has said the proposed settlement of a girl´s claim for a broken leg at play school is inadequate.

In April 2015, the plaintiff was just three years of age when she climbed onto an open wardrobe at the Larkin Early Education Centre in Ballybough, Dublin, and fell – landing awkwardly. X-rays revealed that the young girl had fractured the tibia in her right leg, and she had to undergo a manipulation of her bones under anaesthesia.

She was discharged from hospital wearing a long leg cast, and had to wear a walking boot for several weeks afterwards. Despite the accident occurring almost two years ago, the girl continues to feel pain in her leg and, on her behalf, her mother made a claim for a broken leg at play school against the Larkin Early Education Centre.

The claim for a broken leg at play school was assessed by the Injuries Board and, once the assessment was completed, an offer of settlement was made by the school amounting to €31,000. The family´s solicitor advised the girl´s mother not to accept the offer and, as no improved offer was forthcoming, the case went to the Circuit Civil Court for evaluation

The hearing took place earlier this week before Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident and how the settlement of the claim for a broken leg at play school had been determined. He agreed with the family´s solicitor that the offer of settlement was inadequate and ordered that it go to a full trial at the Circuit Civil Court.

According to the recently revised Book of Quantum, the range of compensation settlements for a moderate lower leg fracture in which the bones have been displaced is €40,500 to €70,400. Considering that injuries to the tibia are considered to be more serious than those to the fibula, and that the young girl continues to experience pain in her leg, the final settlement of her claim for broken leg at play school is likely to be at the higher end of the scale.

201701.23
0

Woman Settles Injury Claim for a Trip and Fall in a Creche

A childcare worker has settled her injury claim for a trip and fall in a creche, during a hearing to determine liability at the Circuit Civil Court.

The 26-year-old woman worked at the Precious Minds childcare facility in Dublin when, in January 2015, she was asked to assist a superior with nappy changing duties in the babies room. Although she was looking after several one and two years at the time, the woman agreed – taking with several of the children in her care who were not sleeping.

The superior member of staff subsequently left the babies room to attend to other matters – leaving the woman to look after nine children. While she was attending to one of the children, she tripped on a plastic plate that had been left on the floor and landed awkwardly on her back – sustaining soft tissue injuries to her lower back and upper leg.

Despite seeking prompt medical attention from her GP, the woman continues to suffer back pain as a result of her injury. Conscious that she may have to look for other work due to her injury, she made an injury claim for a trip and fall in a creche. Precious Minds denied their consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment, and she was issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court.

The hearing took place before Judge Brian O´Callaghan last week at the Circuit Civil Court. The woman´s counsel claimed that Precious Minds had failed to have regard for the woman´s safety by asking her to look after so many children at the same time, and the allegations were supported by evidence from a forensic engineer, who testified that adult/child ratio was too high.

In its defence, the creche claimed it was among the woman´s duties to keep the floor clear from hazards and, by failing to do so, she was the author of her own misfortune. A short adjournment followed, after which Judge O´Callaghan was told that the injury claim for a trip and fall in a creche had been settled for an undisclosed amount without an admission of liability.

201612.13
0

Judge Approves Settlement of Claim against B&Q for a Finger Injury

A Circuit Civil Court judge has approved the settlement of a claim against B&Q for a finger injury, made by a Dublin man on behalf of his six-year-old son.

In November 2011, the man´s son was just sixteen months of age when he cut the base of his right hand middle finger on a fire purchased from B&Q. He was taken to the A&E Department of Crumlin Hospital where it was diagnosed that he had completely severed one tendon, and suffered damage to another as well as to an artery and a nerve.

The young boy underwent surgery under a general anaesthetic to repair the damage to his finger and was discharged from hospital wearing a cast. Despite the seriousness of the injury, the boy can now use his right hand fully without difficulty or pain, and the scars from his injury and the subsequent surgery are expected to disappear as he grows older.

Through his father, the boy made a claim against B&Q for a finger injury, and also included Focal Point Fires of London in the claim – alleging that the company was negligent in the manufacture of the wall-mounted fire. B&Q and Focal Point Fires admitted liability for the boy´s injury and made an offer of settlement amounting to €30,000.

The family were advised to accept the offer of settlement; but, as the claim against B&Q for a finger injury had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement first had to be approved by a judge to ensure that it was in the boy´s best interests. The approval hearing took place earlier this week at the Circuit Civil Court before Judge James O´Donohoe.

At the hearing, Judge O´Donohoe was told the circumstances of the accident and the medical attention that the boy subsequently received. He heard that the boy had recovered full functionality of his right hand and that there was a low possibility of a permanent cosmetic injury. After inspecting the boy´s hand Judge O´Donohoe approved the settlement of the claim against B&Q for a finger injury, stating that the settlement was adequate and appropriate.

201611.15
3

Customer Awarded Compensation for a Knee Injury in Tesco

A customer, who fractured their knee when tripping and falling over a six-pack of beer, has been awarded €42,000 compensation for a knee injury in Tesco.

The customer – a thirty-two year old female nurse from Dublin – was entering her local Tesco Metro store in Terenure in January 2014, when she tripped and fell over a six-pack of beer that had been left on the floor by a customer waiting to use the self-service check-out.

The woman was taken to St James´s Hospital by ambulance and her left knee x-rayed. The x-ray revealed a fracture and the woman – who had previously undergone reconstruction surgery of the same knee – had to undergo two further surgeries and two and a half years of physiotherapy treatment.

Consent to conduct an assessment of compensation for a knee injury in Tesco was denied by the store, and the woman was issued with an authorization to pursue her claim through the courts. The hearing to determine liability took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Tesco´s was denying liability because the claimant had tripped over a brightly-coloured package of beer that had been placed on the floor just seconds before her accident. There was nothing that could have been done, Tesco´s argued, to prevent the accident.

However, the judge also heard that the layout of the Terenure branch of Tesco Metro meant that customers entering the store had to navigate through any customers waiting to use the self-service checkout. The judge commented that, if a better system of customer traffic control had been applied, it would have prevented this accident from occurring.

Judge Groarke found in the claimant´s favour, initially awarding her €60,000 compensation for a knee injury in Tesco, and then reducing the award by 20% to account for her contributory negligence. The judge said it had been an especially nasty fracture and it was still symptomatic almost three years after the accident.

201611.07
1

Former Dunnes Employee Awarded Compensation for a Head Injury at Work

A former Dunnes Stores employee has been awarded €15,000 compensation for a head injury at work after a hearing of the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

The former employee was nineteen years of age when, in March 2012, she was asked to go into the storeroom of the Dunnes Store in Tallaght Dublin to fetch a trolley loaded with bread. As she starting pushing the two-metre high trolley towards the store floor, the tray on the top shelf fell out and hit the woman on her head.

The woman was knocked to the floor by the impact of the tray and was given first aid by a colleague. She then went to the emergency department of Tallaght Hospital, where no serious injury was detected but she was admitted overnight as a precaution. The woman alleges she still suffers headaches and neck pain as a result of the accident.

The woman claimed compensation for a head injury at work against Dunnes Stores, who accepted liability for her injury but contested how much compensation for a head injury at work she was claiming. A hearing of the personal injury claim was schedule for the Circuit Civil Court for the assessment of damages only.

The hearing took place last week, when Judge Terence O´Sullivan was told that the former employee is now twenty-three years of age and works as a hairdresser. The circumstances of her accident were described to the judge, who also heard both sides argue whether or not she had sustained a “significant injury”.

Counsel representing Dunnes Stores argued that the cause of the former employee´s ongoing neck pain was not her 2012 accident, but her current hairdressing job. Judge O´Sullivan noted that the former employee had not attended her doctor for three years or made any effort to seek physiotherapy, instead relying on painkillers.

Commenting that the woman had done a poor job of looking after herself if she had indeed suffered a significant injury, Judge O´Sullivan said it was the opinion of the court that the former employee “wasn´t that badly hurt”. He awarded her €15,000 compensation for a head injury at work and gave Dunnes Stores leave to appeal the award provided they pay €10,000 to their former employee immediately.

201611.02
0

Passenger Awarded Compensation for an Accident at Tara Street Station

A passenger, who fractured his shoulder in a fall between a train and the platform, has been awarded compensation for an accident at Tara Street station.

The passenger was travelling on an Irish Rail train from Dun Laoghaire to Connolly Street in Dublin on 2nd August 2012, when he mistakenly got off of the train at Tara Street. On realising his mistake, the passenger turned quickly to re-board the train, but slipped and fell through the gap between the train and the platform.

The passenger – a fisherman from Dun Laoghaire – was able to climb back up onto the platform, get on the train and continue his journey to Connolly Street. On his arrival at his destination, he reported the accident to a member of staff. The following day, he attended St Michael´s Hospital complaining of a pain in his right shoulder, and an x-ray revealed a triple fracture.

The passenger applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation for an accident at Tara Street station. Irish Rail declined to consent to the assessment and the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the passenger to pursue his claim through the courts. The claim for an accident at Tara Street station was heard last week at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that, despite there being “probably more CCTV cameras at Tara Street Station than there are at Pinewood Studios,” there was no recording of the accident. He also heard Irish Rail argue they could not be liable for a passenger who injured himself because he failed to look where he was going.

Counsel for the passenger said once he had purchased his ticket, there was an obligation on Irish Rail to provide safe transit and that obligation had not been met. Drivers were supposed to warn passengers to mind the gap and, despite there having been eleven previous incidents of passengers falling between the train and the platform in the past five years, no warning was given.

Judge Groarke found in the passenger´s favour – commenting that Irish Rail had an “absolute requirement” to warn passengers to mind the gap. The judge added that, although the passenger may have been distracted by getting off of the train at the wrong station, he agreed the passenger should have taken more care for his own wellbeing. The judge awarded the passenger €50,000 compensation for an accident at Tara Street station, but reduced it by 50% to account for the passenger´s contributory negligence.

201610.31
1

Check-In Clerk Awarded Compensation for a Manual Lifting Work Injury

A former Ryanair check-in clerk has been awarded compensation for a manual lifting work injury after appealing the dismissal of her claim to the High Court.

The former Ryanair employee – a thirty-six year old woman from Swords in Dublin – claimed compensation for a manual lifting work injury after straining her back while lifting luggage onto a conveyor belt at Dublin Airport in July 2011.

The woman alleged there was no safe system of work for tagging the last piece of luggage to indicate to luggage handlers that check-in had closed. She also claimed that the check-in desk was an unsuitable site from which to lift bags onto the conveyor belt.

Her claim for compensation for a manual lifting work injury was originally dismissed by the Circuit Civil Court last November, when Judge Jacqueline Linnane expressed doubt about whether the plaintiff was standing or sitting – contrary to Ryanair´s training policy – at the time the injury occurred.

Costs were awarded to Ryanair and the staff recruitment company against whom the plaintiff had made the claim. However, the plaintiff was given leave to appeal the verdict – which she did – and the appeal hearing took place last week at the High Court before Mr Justice Kevin Cross.

At the hearing, Judge Cross found in the plaintiff´s favour. He ruled that, regardless of whether she had been sitting or standing, the company´s training for tagging the final piece of check-in luggage had not been “site specific” and consequently insufficient.

Judge Cross did however find that the plaintiff had contributed to her injury by twisting, rather than turning to lift the bag onto the conveyor belt. He awarded her €20,800 compensation for a manual lifting work injury, but reduced the award to €16,650 to account for her 20% contributory negligence.

201610.28
0

Appeal against Health Club Injury Compensation Award Dismissed

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.

201610.12
0

Claim for Being Stuck in a Shopping Centre Lift Resolved at Court

A claim for being stuck in a shopping centre lift has been resolved at a High Court hearing with an award of €25,060 psychological injuries compensation.

In August 2012, fifty-four year old Marie Dicker was shopping at the Square in Tallaght, Dublin, when she and her son took the shopping centre lift down to the ground floor. However, soon after the lift started to descend, it stopped – trapping Marie and her son inside.

Marie pressed the elevator alarm button, but was unable to communicate with anyone via the intercom. She then started banging on the lift doors and calling for help and, several minutes later, the couple were rescued by a security guard who was able to prise the doors open and release the trapped shoppers.

Despite being trapped inside the lift for less than five minutes, Marie unfortunately suffered a recurrence of childhood claustrophobia. Due to feeling unsafe in rooms with closed doors, Marie sought professional medical help and was diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder by a psychologist.

After starting treatment for her psychological injuries, Marie – a department store supervisor from Walkinstown in Dublin – sought legal advice. She subsequently made a compensation claim for being stuck in a shopping centre lift against Square Management Ltd and Pickering Lifts Ltd.

Both defendants acknowledged that Marie had suffered an avoidable injury due to the failure of the lift, but they disputed how much compensation Marie was claiming. They presented evidence from an independent psychologist who had examined Marie and failed to find any evidence of an anxiety disorder.

The claim for being stuck in a shopping centre lift went to the High Court in Dublin for the assessment of damages. At the hearing, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told that Marie was undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy to deal with her claustrophobia and was responding well to the program. The treatment is expected to continue for twelve to eighteen months.

After hearing the evidence, Judge Barr commented he was satisfied that Marie had suffered a psychiatric injury as a direct result of the incident at the Square, and he awarded her €25,060 compensation in settlement of her claim for being stuck in a shopping centre lift.

201610.07
0

Judge Approves Settlement of Child´s Fall from Window Injury Claim

A Circuit Court judge has approved an Injuries Board assessed settlement of a child´s fall from window injury claim in favour of a five-year-old girl.

In August 2012, fifteen-month-old Róisín Byrne fell eleven feet onto an emergency fire escape from a window of her parent´s temporary accommodation in Blackrock, County Dublin. Róisín injured her head, punctured a lung and fractured a rib in the accident. Now five years of age, she still has a visible scar on her forehead.

Róisín´s parents – Ronan Byrne and Chloe Murphy – had previously complained to the caretaker of the property about the large Georgian sash window from which their daughter fell. They claimed that it presented a risk of injury due to opening just twenty-one inches from the floor and had asked for a security mechanism to be fitted so that the window could be locked shut.

The request was never attended to and, on Róisín´s behalf, Chloe applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of the child´s fall from window injury claim. The owner of the accommodation – Enda Woods – gave his consent for process to continue, and the Injuries Board assessed the injuries to Róisín as having a value of €46,000.

Both parties accepted the Injuries Board´s assessment but, as the child´s fall from window injury claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the proposed settlement first had to be approved by a judge. As the value of the assessment was in excess of €15,000, the approval hearing was held at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

At the approval hearing, the circumstances of Róisín´s accident were related the judge, who was also informed about the scar on her forehead. Judge Groarke approved the settlement of the child´s fall from window claim, which will now be paid into court funds until Róisín is eighteen years of age.

201609.23
1

New Book of Quantum to Bring Consistency to Personal Injury Awards in Ireland

A revised Book of Quantum is expected to bring consistency to personal injury awards in Ireland when it is published in the next few weeks.

The Book of Quantum is a publication used to assess how much compensation a plaintiff is entitled to for a physical injury sustained in an accident for which they were not to blame. The Book lists a comprehensive selection of physical injuries and assigns each a range of financial values according to their severity and permanence.

As it was first published in 2004, the Book of Quantum has been criticised in recent years for being out of date. Judges, solicitors and insurance companies have sometimes ignored the Book´s guidelines – or automatically defaulted to the highest value in the range – when calculating personal injury awards in Ireland, resulting in inconsistencies in compensation settlements.

Now, after lengthy discussions between the senior judges, the Courts Service and the Injuries Board – and research into 52,000 personal injury awards in Ireland during 2013 and 2014 – a revised Book of Quantum is due to be published within the next few weeks. Those involved in its preparations say the updated publication will bring greater consistency to personal injury awards in Ireland.

As well as updating the financial values assigned to physical injuries, the revised Book of Quantum includes more degrees of severity and permanence. This higher level of granularity will enable judges, solicitors and insurance companies – and, to a degree, the Injuries Board – to more accurately assess personal injury awards in Ireland.

Although the revised guidelines and greater consistency they will bring are to be welcomed, it should be noted that personal injury awards in Ireland are not solely calculated on the extent and permanence of a physical injury. If you have been injured in an accident for which you were not at fault, you may also be entitled to compensation for your emotional trauma or any deterioration in your quality of life. For this reason, you should always seek professional legal advice from a personal injuries solicitor.