201812.11
0

€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 products, in this case Nutella.

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

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

A Limerick man as 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 nightclub after attending an Ireland soccer at the Aviva Stadium in 2015.

Mr McNamara (aged 36), Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co Limerick had take the nite 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 was an alleged failure to implement  any adequate steps to clean and dry the floor surface. Finally, he claimed that the floor had been, allegedly, allowed to remain wet and slippy and allegedly posed a danger to patrons. 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 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.

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. It would have been open to the defendant to

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 nite 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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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.



201807.11
1

Former Ryanair Cabin Crew Member Awarded €30k Work Injury Compensation

Judge Francis Comerford in the Circuit Civil Court awarded air hostess Laura Albacete, from Manelvidal, Vielha, Spain, €30,000 €30,000 work injury damages against Ryanair yesterday.

The air hostess’ lawyer, Samantha Cruess Callaghan, said she fell from the top to the bottom of an air stairs, operated hydraulically from the rear of the plane, on a wet morning at Cork Airport on February 11, 2012. Ms Albacete suffered the injury during this fall

Ms Cruess Callaghan told the court that Ms Albacete had struck her head and had been knocked unconscious for short duration of time after the incident. After this Ms Albacete (28) said she had been taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where she was medically examined and found to have experienced a head injury and a sprained ankle.

After she had been treated Laura decided to fly home to Spain to recover from her ordeal. However, Ryanair had insisted that she pay for her own way home. Despite this harsh stance, Judge Comerford said that it was not an aggravating factor in a €60,000 personal injury claim against Ryanair.

MS Albacete, Judge Comerford was advised, suffered from headaches following her workplace fall and had also sustained a possible post traumatic optic neuropathy. Following a six-month period of recuperation in Spain before returning to work. However this only lasted for a short while before she had to leave her role. The Court was told that Ms Albacete’s dream had been to become an air hostess and in order to achieve this she had taken on work as an au pair in Cork so to become fluent in English.

Judge Comerford said he believed the arguments that the Ryanair plane was in good and proper condition and it had not been negligent of the airline to use it at the time.  Ms Albacete had been injured in an unlucky accident on the stairs which, after the incident, had been discovered  by a number of Laura’s colleagues, including the flight captain, to be wet and slippery. The airline had no knowledge of these wet and slippery conditions before the accident occurred.

Six years after the accident occurred Ms Albacete is still suffering from headaches at least once a month, the Judge was advised via medial reports. Additionally he as advised that she had at least suffered amnesia directly after accident and may have been knocked unconscious.

In relation to the pain and suffering and disruption to her lifestyle he awarded her €21,000 with an extra €9,000 for difficulties she had experienced with her eyes for a short time following the fall.

Ryanair revealed that it is to appeal the award of  the work injury compensation to the cabin crew member. In a released to the media this morning, a spokesperson for the airline said: “We have instructed our lawyers to immediately appeal this decision.”

201806.19
0

€5m Birth Negligence Compensation Settlement for Boy (14) with Cerebral Palsy

A €5m Birth Injury Compensation settlement for a 14-year old boy has been approved in High Court in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Sligo General Hospital.

The boy Conor Maxwell was represented by Des O’Neill SC and Doireann O’Mahony BL who advised told the court Conor has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy and cannot communicate. They told the judge that, as far as they understand, Conor is happy but has trouble communicating and with his vision. Mr O’Neill said the settlement was settlement between the sides.

Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross spoke highly of Conor’s parents for the care they have given their son and the judge said the settlement will now help, “as far as money can” in the future care of the boy.

Conor of Carrickmackeegan, Ballinamore, County Leitrim was born on August 13, 2003. His mother was admitted to Sligo General Hospital in labour two weeks prior her due date. It was alleged that f Ms Maxwell’s labour was not handled correctly and as a result, the baby was exposed to significant hypoxia-ischaemia. The baby was monitored by continuous CTG but the cardiogram was allegedly abnormal from the start. These decelerations it was claimed were suggested the presence of hypoxia in the baby, but their importance was allegedly not considered.

It was claimed that the CTG was clearly abnormal abut was misinterpreted over and over again. Conor was delivered at 07.17am on August 13, 2003 and required resuscitation and in the hours after his birth contracted severe breathing difficulties and experienced seizures.

Conor’s legal team argued that there was an alleged failure to exercise the competence, diligence, care, and judgement necessary in the management of a birth.

In giving his approval to the birth injury compensation settlement Mr Justice Cross praised Conor’s mother Evonne and dad, Jason Kellett for the way they have raised for their son. The judge said it was a good settlement and he wished the family all the best for the future.

201806.06
0

Go-Kart Injury Compensation Award of €10k for Schoolgirl

The Circuit Civil Court has awarded €10,000 personal injury compensation against a holiday centre after a 17-year-old schoolgirl’s hair became trapped in the wheels of a go-kart  which resulted in her below-waist-length hair becoming trapped.

The girl Alannah Reddin, of Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, Co Dublin, advised Judge Terence O’Sullivan, through her legal counsel Esther Earley, that lumps of Alannah’s locks had to be cut off so that she could be released from the go-kart’s back wheels. She, Ms Earley, added that Alannah had been trapped for almost an hour as staff attempted to free her before having to resort to cutting the young girl’s hair.

Judge O’Sullivan heard that Alannah,was holidaying with her family at Trabolgan Holiday Centre, Cork, in April 2017 when the accident occurred. Counsel for Ms Earley argued that Trabolgan and Hemway Limited had been responsible for arranging a number of various activities at their premises. However when it came to go-karting they had not given any warnings about the risks involved for those with long hair participating.

Alannah, taking the legal action against the holiday park through her mother Emma Reddin, had not been advised to tie up her long hair. Ms Earley told the Court said that the organisers of the activity should have been able to recognise the danger and the possibilty of the participants’ especially long hair could becoming tangled in the wheels of the go-kart

Alannah, the court was told, had suffered pain in her scalp and had experience migraines  for some time after the accident. However, the young girl did not experience any other lasting problems apart from the duration of time it had taken for her hair to grow back.

Judge O’Sullivan approved a holiday park personal injury settlement offer of €10,000. He said Alannah had experienced a frightening experience and hair loss and he felt the figure was an adequate amount of compensation on the basis that some contributory negligence would have to be taken into account. As Alannah would be 18 on November 12 2018 the judge directed that payment be made directly into her bank account.  Additionally she was also awarded just over €1,000 for incidental expenses associated with her personal injury compensation claim.

201805.07
0

€37k award for Woman in Sexual Harrassment Case

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has awarded a €37,000 payout to a woman who claim that she was sexually harassed and had felt pressurised to massage antibiotic cream into her employer’s back and groin.

The woman, a former food service worker, took a legal action in relation to the the payment of wages, unfair dismissal and sexual harassment against her previous employer. The claims were found to be credible by the adjudication officer presiding over the case. The officer also disregarded  the findings of an investigator, who was hired by the employer, who had found that there was no bullying or harassmen previously.

The woman in question advised the WRC that she was subjected to “ongoing bullying and harassment and intolerable working conditions during the course of her employment which had a detrimental effect on her health and well-being”. It was claimed that she worked 25-30 hours a week but was only paid €200 regardless of the hours that she worked.

Additionally, she advised her solicitor that there had been attempts to bribe her into withdrawing her complaints and also that her previous co-employees were obstructed from speaking out on her behalf. She claimed that she was diagnosed with a mental health condition, and was on medication for depression while employed in the role.

The WRC was advised by a witness that the employer “deliberately belittled and put down the claimant”, while another witness stated it was “common knowledge that the claimant was on medication for her mental health issues and that the respondent was constantly on her back and that she was often crying”.

The case for defence rested on the evidence of an investigator that the employer hired when the woman requested her P45 in September 2015. Despite concerns regarding the impartiality of the investigator the woman agreed to the review being carried out.

The WRC adjudicator upheld the claim of sexual harassment, and awarded the complainant in question €17,450. Overall she was awarded €37,450 sexual harassment compensation.


201805.01
0

Over 2,000 People Call CervicalCheck Helpline Over Three-Day Period

A special CervicalCheck Helpline, set up to address public concerns over the recent revelations that smear test results carried out in 2014 may have been incorrect, was inundated with calls from more than 2,000 people over the weekend.

The phoneline was launched on Saturday morning at 9am. A spokesperson for the Health Service Executive revealed that the service, established by the Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT) was extremely busy from the time it opened. He said: “The SIMT was informed that the helpline was once again very busy today. As of 1:30pm there were 614 contacts.”

This comes as it was revealed that Minister for Health Mr Simon Harris had directed a senior team to investigate CervicalCheck and review the cases of the 206 women impacted by the screening controversy. The team were ordered to examine each individual case to see if any of the women involved were made aware of the delayed diagnosis. Mr Harris also revealed that he has lost confidence in the Senior Management of the CervicalCheck group.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, speaking on RTÉ’s This Week stated that the Government has already moved to make changes to the system of reporting so that an incident like this will be avoided in the future. He said: “I think learning from this case, I think the Government will move forward on the recommendation of Minister Harris that in cases like this patients are entitled to information quickly. Sometimes it takes cases like Vicky Phelan’s cases to ensure policy change happens quickly”.

Head of CervicalCheck programme Gráinne Flannelly, resigned from her position over the weekend. This came in the aftermath of the case taken by Vicky Phelan due to an incorrect smear test result that was carried out in 2011. A 2014 audit by showed that the 2011 test was incorrect but Ms Phelan was not advised about this until September 2017, by which time the cancer had become terminal.

In January 2018 Ms Phelan was advised that she has less than 12 months to live. Last week she settled her High Court action against the US laboratory that carried out the smear test for €2.5m. In an interview with The Sunday Independent last weekend Ms Phelan also stated that, she was told in September 2017, that she was just one of ten women whose results were re-examined in 2014. When she asked if any of them had died, her doctor told her that he was aware of three who had passed away.


201804.27
0

Former Cemetery Hr Manager Awarded €47,500 in Unfair Dismissal Compensation

An unfair dismissal compensation award of €47,500 has been awarded to a former human resources manager at a cemetery by the Workplace Relations Commission. The Commission ruled that his dismissal was ‘both substantively and procedurally unfair’.

The man in question was earning a salary of €51,500 when he departed his role in October 2016, having worked at the cemetery since 1996. Following being sick during March and April 2016 he returned to work and was informed that a number of concerns had arisen in relation to his work practices.

He was suspended from work, with pay, from April to September of that year while an internal investigation was carried out.

At a disciplinary hearing conducted by the deputy CEO of the cemetery on September 29, he was advised he was being dismissed from his position with immediate effect, due to his actions constituting gross misconduct.

The former HR manager defended himself, emphasising that he had an unblemished disciplinary record before the ‘concern’ that were used to justify his dismissal.

These concerns included the removal of data from a company-owned hard drive, inadequate management of health and safety records, and the manner in which he handled the long-term absence of a colleague.

Defending himself, he argued that he had removed the data from the hard drive due to a legitimate data request relating to the non-payment of bonuses for a period of two years. The data request in question had been handled by the deputy CEO.

He also did not accept the suggestion that he had mismanaged the prolonged absence of the other person, saying that far from exposing the company to litigation or financial risk, he had in fact saved the company from harm.

Adjudication officer Eugene Hanly was critical of the dismissed man regarding all three points raised by the cemetery.

However, he ruled that the various concerns raised by the cemetery neither collectively nor individually were sufficient grounds for the dismissal and he ruled that the company must pay the man €47,500 in unfair dismissal compensation within six weeks.

201804.13
0

Woman Who Fell in Marks & Spencer Settles Personal Injury Compensation Claim

A woman has settled her personal injury claim got a fall in Marks and Spencer after she slipped on an alleged grease like substance in the food hall at the Dublin city centre-based shop.

Ms. Flynn, bride to be who was bridesmaid dress shopping with one of the friends when the accident occurred, claimed in the High Court that she fell to the ground when she was walking through the food hall at the Marks and Spencers branch on Mary Street on February 6, 2016.

Ms Flynn, aged 49, said that the incident resulted in her was crying and greatly embarrassed and as she could not get up from the ground. When they could not find a member of staff to assist her another customer in the shop came to her aid.

Additionally, it is claimed that, as a consequence of the fall, her wrist and hip were sore and she still experiences challenges in completing domestic activities including hoovering and ironing and she could not blow dry her hair.

She has claimed there was a failure to take any reasonable steps or precautions for her safety and an alleged failure to provide and maintain a safe and adequate system of cleaning of the premises. Along with this the retail group has also denied that there was contributory negligence on the part of Ms Flynn who it was argued did not keep a proper lookout for any possible dangers.

After falling Ms Flynn said she saw a skid mark about a foot long on the ground which looked like a cream or grease like substance.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr was advised that the woman was embarrassed and suffering a lot of pain in the immediate aftermath of the incident. This was even worsened due to the fact that already experiences a arthritic condition and was at the time in the middle of a rehabilitation programme for rheumatoid arthritis.

Rather than meet up with friends for a pre-arranged lunch, she this and got a taxi home and phoned the Marks & Spencer store and told them what had happened at the Mary St store.

She said she got married a later that year but had been unable to keep up a gym exercise plan, devised for the run up to the wedding, due to the injuries that she suffered.

The case was settled on day two of the hearing.

201803.22
0

WRC Awards €50,000 Age Discrimination Compensation to Former RTÉ Reporter Valerie Cox

The Workplace Relations Commission awarded €50,000 to former RTÉ presenter Valerie Cox yesterday by after they found that she had been discriminated against due to her age.

The WRC was advised Ms Cox, who worked at RTÉ for 21 years before her retirement in 2016, had two different contracts of employment with two different sets of terms and conditions.

Speaking on RTE with Sean O’Rourke this morning, Ms Cox stated: “I loved working with you, it was a lovely, lovely job. I would have loved to have stayed on, I don’t know how long for but I would have loved it.

“I’m working as a freelance journalist and still loving it. It’s one of the best jobs in the world,” she said.

Ms Cox was on two different contracts with RTE. The first contract, beginning in August 2004, was a full-time contract of direct employment, which involved work as a radio reporter on programmes including the showToday with Sean O’Rourke. It was from this role that she retired when her contract terminated on March 8th, 2016 when she celebrated her 65th birthday.

The other contract of employment was a freelance contract for the ‘What It Says In The Papers’ slot on RTE Radio’s flagship programme ‘Morning Ireland’, as well as early morning slots on the weekend periods.

Ms Cox says that when she called RTE to resume her freelance contract work after her a brief break, she was advised told by RTE that she could not return to work at RTÉ due to her age.

RTE said it did not comment on particular cases, even if they were planning to appeal the ruling or not.

The WRC ruling has been referred to as a “landmark decision” by members of Dául Eireann. Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin remarked that Ms Cox’s case will the first of many on the basis of ageism as people seek to work later in life and he pleaded with the Government to prioritise legislation which will abolish the compulsory retirement age of 65 from many sectors of the public service.

Commenting on the WRC ruling Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Conveney reacted to the ruling by announcing that he plans to remove the compulsory retirement age are being advanced and will come into effect “as soon as possible”. In the meantime interim arrangements have been put in place to address this situation.

201803.18
0

Man ‘lucky to survive’ when tree fell on him during storm awarded €165k

A High Court Settlement for falling tree accident compensation of €165,000 has been approved for a man who experienced a number of severe injuries when a tree dropped on him during a stormy.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that John Haskins Junior, now aged 37, ‘lucky to survive the accident which occurred in 2014. Mr Haskins suffered fractures to the spine, ribs and ankle. Due to falling tree incident he spent the two months recuperating in hospital.

Taking the personal injury action through his father Mr Haskins Jnr, from Athy, Co Kildare sued Camphill Communities of Ireland, the operator of a health care center located in  Dunshane House, Brannmockstown, Naas, Co Kildare, due to the traume and physical pain he experienced in the accident that happened on February 12, 2014.

Mr Haskins Jr was attending the health care facility when the accident happened as he has Asperger syndrome. Mr Haskins’ legal representatives advised the High Court that he was passing through the garden of the centre when a mature beech tree fell and struck him. It is argued that the tree was known to be unhealthy and, despite this, was not taken away from the area where it was dangerous to anyone close by. Along with this, they claimed that a supposed failure to maintain, fix or removed the tree or take the necessary steps to minimize potential danger. The area could have been cordoned off or, ideally, the tree would have been cut down.

It was also argued there was neglect in relation to taking any adequate or effective measures to cordone off or secure the area or to have the tree completely taken away.

The claims were denied as, it was argued, the tree was still healthy and did not look in any way unhealthy. The decay in the tree root could only have been detected by a specialist arboriculturist according to the defendant.

Senior Counsel Hugh Mohan representing Mr Haskins, quoted a consultant report for his side which claimed that there was a decay and fungus in the tree and it had led to rot forming in the roots and the wood then becoming degraded and subject to possible fracture.

Mr Justice Cross, in approving the falling tree injury compensation settlement, commented that Mr Haskins had made a fantastic recovery after experiencing multiple major injuries.

201802.15
0

HSE Settles Cerebral Palsy Legal Action for €1.9m with Woman (20)

A woman, aged 20, who suffers from cerebral palsy who sued the HSE to relation to the treatment administered to her during her delivery has settled her cerebral palsy action with an interim payout of €1.95m at the High Court.

Despite being born just 40 minutes after her healthy twin sister in Wexford General Hospital, the High Court was told that Shauni Breen has cerebral palsy, spastic diplegia and is restricted to a wheelchair. There was an alleged failure to recognise it was a high-risk labour at the time.

Currently living in Meadowbrook, Riverstown, Glanmire, Co Cork, Ms Breen had  taken the legal action against the HSE in relation to the events that occurred at the time of her delivery on December 30, 1997. Before the delivery, when the twins were just 33 weeks and three days, their mother Marie Foley was taken to Wexford General Hospital at 5am in the morning.  Just after this Ms Breen’s twin sister Nicole was born healthy at 6.10am. Following this, it claimed that the labour for Shauni lasted approximately 40 minutes and was handled in a negligent manner. Ms Breen’s legal representative claimed there was no anaesthetist present nor a full supporting present and prepared for every possible outcome.

The HSE denied these claims in the High Court and argued that management of the birth complied with standard best practice and was consistent with normal procedures in Irish maternity units at the time of the birth in 1997.

It was argued by Ms Breen’s legal team Counsel that she (Ms Breen) displayed an abnormal presentation and, due to this. should have been delivered by caesarean section within 15 minutes of the birth of her sister. However, due to complications experienced Ms Breen had to be resuscitated and was transferred to a different hospital.

Judge Kevin Cross approved the 1.9m cerebral palsy compensation settlement and it as stated that Ms Breen will return court in five years’ time when her future care needs will be assessed.

Ms Breen’s Legal team told the Hight Court that the care by her mother to Ms Breen throughout her life had been extraordinary and Counsel said the young woman was currently doing well.

201802.07
0

Work Assault Injury Compensation of €25k awarded to Garda After Head-Butt Injury

A head-butt injury to the nose of a garda sergeant, who experienced sever snoring issues as we result, has led to a Work Assault Injury Compensation of €25,000.

The injury was sustained by Sergeant Noel McSweeney while he was on duty. The Court was advised that, following the injury, his snoring impacted his wife’s sleep so badly that he had to move into the spare room several times.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey was advised by Barrister Ellen Gleeson that Sergeant McSweeney, based at Enniscorthy Garda Station had been taking part in a missing person search in May 2012 when the incident happened.

Appearing with her solicitor Ernest Cantillon, Mr McSweeney told Ms Gleeson that the woman had been located in a car where she was extremely intoxicated and acting aggressively in a vehicle. There were also drugs found and she was taken into custody.

Sergeant McSweeney stated: “She jumped back and threw her head backwards, hitting me in the nose and upper teeth”. He went on to say that he experienced cuts to four of his upper front teeth and the line of his nose had been altered. He also experienced a restriction of the airflow through his nose as he suffered a deviated septum in the incident.

He added: “The appearance of my nose wasn’t upsetting to me so I decided not to have surgery correcting it.  Perhaps if I was a model it would be different”.

Sergeant McSweeney also admitted that he was unaware of the issue but had to sleep in his house’s spare room to his snoring problems. He (Sgt McSweeney) also stated that he only experienced slight discomfort and, hence, he had decided against surgery.

In assessing the amount of compensation to be awarded Judge Twomey, referred to the Book of Quantum and recommended damages of €7,500 be paid in relation to the minor dental damage along with an additional €18,000 in Garda nose injury compensation.

201801.25
0

Garda Appeals for Right to Sue for Fingernail Injury Compensation

Garda Noel Callan, who suffered with a disfigured fingernail injury after a patrol car door slammed on the small finger of his left hand while he was tending to a call out, has challenged a refusal to allow him pursue a compensation claim.

The Garda, who was restraining a drunk and violent man at the time the incident occurred, disputes the refusal of the Minister for Justice to sanction a claim under the Garda Compensation Acts because the Minister felt that, based on the medical reports and evidence made available to him, the injury was minor.

Mr Justice Max Barrett heard the challenge to that refusal at the High Court on Wednesday and has reserved judgment.

Legal representative for Garda Callan Richard Kean SC claimed that, in line with the Garda Compensation Acts, a member of Gardai who suffers injury in the line of work is entitled to seek compensation from the courts and gardai are awarded sums in appropriate cases.

However, Garda Callan’s legal team accepted that a Minister must authorise a work injury compensation to be made and is not obliged to do so they feel that the injury suffered was merely trivial.

As the term ‘minor injury’ is not defined in the legislation it led to the issue arising in the legal compensation action. Mr Kean argued that, though the finger injury was not profound or serious, it still should not be classified as a minor injury. He added that, due to this, the Minister’s decision was not sound and did not properly consider the medical reports that were submitted at the initial hearing.

Counsel advised the court that Garda Callan is right handed and received treatment on his left hand’s little finger. He was also absent from work for a week following the incident.

Injuries sustained including a lacerated fingernail bed and his fingernail had to be removed. Due to this the Garda experienced pain over the following eight months including a loss of sensation and tenderness when driving and completing other tasks.

Mr Kean described how Garda Callan suffered the fingernail work injury when was on duty at Swords, Co Dublin, on August 26 2011. According to the evidence, a car door slammed on Garda Callan’s left hand after a drunk man became violent after being arrested in relation to public order offences.

The medical report produced referred to the fact when it grew back the fingernail was irregular and deformed. Garda Callan continues to experience some pain and tenderness, particularly during periods of colder weather.

Counsel for the Minister, opposing Garda Callan’s application claimed that all the initial medical evidence was fully considered, including a medical report stating Garda Callan had essentially recovered from the injury he experienced on the evening in question. Due to this the Minister decided that this was a minor injury concerning the cosmetic appearance of the fingernail.

Judge Max Barrett has reserved judgement in relation to the legal challenge.

201801.20
0

European Medicines Agency Reviewing Use of Epilim

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently reviewing the use of Epilim to treat cases of Epilepsy following a number of report that have linked it to instances of birth defects and disability.

Epilim, a drug which Epilepsy Ireland has urged doctors not to prescribe for new child patients, is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency. Findings of the review are expected to result in new guidelines regarding its use. Epilim is the brand name in Ireland for sodium valproate,

In Ireland, according to official figures released by the Health Service Executive, 1,700 female patients between the ages of 16 and 44were prescribed Epilim during the calendar year 2016. Epilepsy Ireland, and other campaigners, have asked that females being treated with the drug be considered for alternative medications as a precautionary measure.

Issues experienced by Irish using the drug include, along with some reports of spontaneous abortion:

  • Foetal malformation
  • Tumours
  • Spina bifida
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Autisc illnesses
  • Issues with development

Report in France state over 4,000 infants were born with malformations since 1967, when the use of the drug on children in the womb began in that country. Dr Mahmoud Zureik, the scientific director of France’s ANSM, remarked that the results showed that the potential for experiencing significant birth defects was globally four times greater in children born to a woman suffering from epilepsy being  treated with Valproate (Epilim), when compared with woman females who were not treated with the drug.

The Fine Gael Minister for Health Simon Harris is due to meet with Irish mothers of children who are thought to have suffered following being prescribed the drug to treat their own epilepsy.

Epilim is currently being implicated in 40 cases of birth defects and disabilities reported to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). Lobby groups are of the belief that this figure might actually be closer to 400 in the 43 years that the drug has been prescribed for treatment of epilepsy in expectant mothers in Ireland.

Once the EMA review findings have been released it is likely that the HPRA will meet to review the use of Epilim in Ireland by doctors.

201712.10
0

Whistleblower Claims Toxic Chemical Personal Injury Lead to Death of Air Corps Members’ Children

A protected disclosure claiming that children of Air Corps employees have died due to toxic chemical personal injury at Baldonnel Airfield has been made by whistleblower within the Defences Forces.

Earlier in 2017 a document was released to the public in which an employee of the Defence Forces claimed to have evidence of the “the untimely deaths of at least 20 adults…of which I believe died of illness related to unprotected chemical exposure”.

The Defence Forces whistleblower claims, with the permission of the children’s parents, that :

  • The death occurred of a newborn girl due to ventricular septal defect (heart defect)
  • A  five year old boy died while having surgery to address a ‘malrotated intestine’
  • One girl aged 15 died after suffering from Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of cancer and her father is currently suffering from leukaemia

Additionally there have been reports in relation to the effects of chemical exposure on the wives of members of the defence forces. A former mechanic who previously worked with the Air Corps discovered that a number of these women had experienced multiple miscarriages and in one particular case, a woman had 8 miscarriages in succession. An independent third party was appointed by the Minister for Defence in 2016, to investigate the allegations made in relation to fertility issues.

Although the HSA have advised that procedures into risk assessment need to be monitored, a whistleblower has stated that these steps are “too little, too late”, particularly in the case of those who have lost family members or who have developed life-changing illnesses and disabilities.

There have been claims made that these deaths are due to  systematic failure on the part of the Defence Forces which meant that Air Corps personnel were exposed to toxic chemicals at Baldonnel. The Defence Forces are now facing legal action by some former employees. The Defence Forces have issued a statement which says, “Given these matters are subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The Department of Defence has assigned former civil servant Christopher O’Toole with the duty of reviewing claims from three whistleblowers who alleged the health of many Air Corps staff may have been affected by exposure to chemicals used to clean and service aircraft.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said he believes a Commission of Investigation is now necessary. He said “The situation is far from satisfactory because with his opening comments the report’s author is essentially saying he cannot fulfill the terms of reference. From the Government’s point of view they established this review, they must have known the terms of reference could not be fulfilled. It’s farcical.”




201712.04
0

€30,000 Garda Injury Compensation for Cut to Mouth

A garda has been awarded €30,000 compensation for an injury to his mouth that he suffered while attending to a reported incident at a house in Finglas.

The young garda, Sean Kelly (31), stated that he remains sensitive about a scar on his upper lip and told Mr Justice Bernard Barton he was still conscious of the star-shaped scar. However, he joked with the presiding judge that he might have to wear make-up when he gets married next weekend.

The incident occurred just under five years ago when he was on duty on 7th January 2012. Barrister Fiona Gallagher, counsel for Garda Kelly, told the High Court that Garda Kelly had been called to a house in Finglas to deal with a man who, had just been released from a psychiatric institution, and was threatening self harm.

Garda Kelly, who was accompanied by two colleagues, said the man, who had ingested large amounts of non-prescriptive medication, had locked himself in his bathroom. He was threatening to jump from the bathroom window. When they made efforts to apprehend the man he (Garda Kelly) was struck on his mouth with a toilet brush holder which lacerated his lip.

Garda Kelly told Ms Gallagher that this resulted in serious bleeding and he had to be taken to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown to be treat immediately. Here, on examination, a piece of porcelain was found to be still embedded in his upper lip. X-rays revealed he had not suffered any major fractures.

He had been given an anaesthetic injection and received seven stitches, several of them on the inside of his mouth. When the scar later became infected, he had been put on a course of antibiotics until the infection cleared up. He said he could still feel the inside scar with his tongue.  The scar on the outside of his lip was noticeable at conversational distance and he was still very conscious of it.

Counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure, Barrister Derek Ryan told the court that, based no conflicting medical reports, he did not think that Garda Kelly has suffered Post Traumatic Stress to the the extent that it warranted an exceptional compensation award.

201711.23
2

€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
1

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.