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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.


Settlement of Brain Injury Claim for Compensation Approved in Court

A settlement of a brain injury claim for compensation has been approved in the High Court in favour of a twenty-five year old man from County Longford.

On 27th January 2009, Francis Smith from Edgeworthstown in County Longford was driving along a local road when he had to manoeuvre out of the way of a car heading directly towards him. As Francis took evasive action to avoid a collision with the car, he crashed into the back of a council lorry that was parked ahead of some roadworks.

Francis, who was eighteen years of age at the time and who held full-time employment at a local factory, sustained devastating brain damage in the accident. As a result of his injuries, Francis has cognitive and physical issues. He is no longer able to work or live independently, and is cared for at the family home by his mother, Martina Dempsey.

On Francis´ behalf, Martina made a brain injury claim for compensation against Longford County Council. She alleged in her claim that the council had been negligent by failing to give adequate warning of the roadworks by means of bollards or warning signs, and that there was no flagman in place to warn oncoming traffic of the obstruction in the road.

While requesting a settlement of a brain injury claim for compensation, Martina alleged that the lorry into which Francis had crashed was parked in such a way that it protruded extensively into the road. Due to the proximity of the roadworks to a bend in the road, the lorry, it was claimed, was a danger to other road users.

Longford County Council denied its liability for Francis´ brain injuries. The council counter-claimed that Francis had significantly contributed to the cause of the accident by his own contributory negligence and had been driving too fast into the bend in the road. However, at the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that a €750,000 settlement of the brain injury claim for compensation had been agreed between the two parties.

After noting that the settlement of the brain injury claim for compensation represented 25% of the full value of the claim, Judge Cross approved the settlement. The judge commented in his closing remarks that the settlement was a good one in the circumstances and he wished Francis all the best for the future.


Claim against Mother for Injuries in a Car Crash Resolved at Court

A teenage girl´s claim against her mother for injuries in a car crash has been resolved at court with the approval of a €1.3 million compensation settlement.

On 26th November 2005, Beth Cullen (then just six years of age) was badly injured in a car crash on the dangerous “Nine Bends” stretch of the N11 near Ballinameesda. As a consequence of the car crash, Beth – from Kilmacanogue in County Wicklow – lost the use of her left eye, became deaf in her left ear and also lost her sense of smell.

On his daughter´s behalf, William Cullen made a compensation claim against her mother – Caroline Barrett – who had been driving the family car when the car crash happened and who was considered responsible for causing the accident.

In the claim against the mother for injuries in a car crash it was alleged that Barrett had failed to steer, stop, swerve or manage the car prior to the accident. It was also alleged that, through her actions, Barrett failed to have any or any adequate regard for the safety of her daughter.

Liability was conceded by Barrett´s insurance company, and a €1.3 million settlement of the claim against the mother for injuries in a car crash was negotiated. As the legal action had been taken on behalf of a minor, the negotiated settlement had to be approved at the High Court to ensure it was in Beth´s best interests.

The approval hearing took place at the beginning of last week before Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross heard about the circumstances of the accident and the injuries that Beth had sustained. After being told that Beth was doing well at school despite her reduced senses of sight and hearing, Judge Cross approved the settlement and wished Beth well for the future.


Judge Awards Multiple Compensation Settlements for an SUV Accident

A judge at the Limerick Circuit Court has awarded multiple compensation settlements for an SUV accident in which a driver and three passengers were injured.

Mary O´Reilly was driving her husband´s SUV from Charleville in County Cork to Rathkeale on 18th October 2011, when the vehicle was rear-ended by a rental van driver by Rathkeale resident Jeremiah O´Brien. Several days after the accident, Mary and her three female passengers started to experience pain from soft tissue injuries they had sustained in the accident.

The four women claimed injury compensation from the driver of the rental van, the company from which it had been hired – Enterprise Rent a Car – and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Mary´s husband – William O´Reilly – also claimed compensation for the property damage to his SUV –

Enterprise Rent-a-Car and MIBI contested the claim on the grounds that the circumstances of the accident did not stand up to scrutiny. The defendants alleged that Jeremiah O´Brien and William O´Reilly were known to each other, and that when the Gardai attended the scene of the accident, no property damage was recorded.

As consent for the Injuries Board to assess the compensation settlements for an SUV accident was denied, the case went to Limerick Circuit Court, where it was heard by Judge Karen Fergus. Judge Fergus was told that, although William O´Reilly´s parents had lived near Jeremiah O´Brien´s parents, the two men had only met once before.

Judge Fergus also heard about the various injuries that had been sustained by Mary and her passengers, and that one of the passengers – Lisa O´Reilly had already settled her claim out of court. The judge awarded multiple compensation settlements for an SUV accident to Mary O´Reilly (€7,500), Caitriona McDonagh (€10,000) and Breda McCarthy (€12,000). William O´Reilly was also awarded €4,800 for the property damage to his SUV.


Compensation Awards made by the High Court under Attack

A representative of the motor insurance industry has claimed that judges need educating about who pays for compensation awards made by the High Court.

The attack on compensation awards made by the High Court was made by Conor Faughan from AA Ireland, who was responding to the news that the average value of High Court personal injury settlements had increased from €227,000 in 2013 to €304,000 last year.

Mr Faughan said there was a need for judges to be educated so that they would understand that compensation awards made by the High Court are paid for by the country´s two million drivers. Although not strictly true (few road traffic accident claims are resolved in the High Court), Mr Faughan pointed out that the average value of assessments conducted by the Injuries Board had remained steady during the same period at around €22,600.

It has also been suggested that the increase in the average value of compensation awards made by the High Court could be due to changes made under the Courts and Civil Law Act 2013, which saw the minimum potential compensation level at which cases would be heard by the High Court from €38,092 to €60,000. Some observers believe that High Court judges are awarding a minimum compensation settlement of €60,000 when – prior to the increase – they would have awarded less.

Dorothea Dowling – founding chairperson of the Injuries Board, and the chair of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board – believes that plaintiffs are shunning Injuries Board assessments for higher compensation awards made by the High Court. Ms Dowling told the Independent: “The Department of Justice was forewarned well in advance. This is what happens when you increase the limits of the lower courts – it sends out the message that €38,000 is small money.”

Whereas Ms Dowling has a point, it is not a point that everybody shares. Earlier this year (In McGarry v McGarry) Mr Justice Bernard Barton criticised the government for not updating the injury compensation values published in the Book of Quantum since 2004. During the case, Judge Barton acknowledged that for all practical purposes the Book of Quantum was being ignored by the courts because it was so out of date and commented “it is unquestionably in the interests of the proper administration of justice that the Book be reviewed and be kept updated to properly reflect [compensation awards made by the High Court]”.


Hit and Run Injury Claim Settled with Split Liability

A hit and run injury claim has been settled during a break in proceedings on the first day of a hearing after an agreement was reached on the division of liability.

Anthony Driver (25) from Enniskerry in County Wicklow made his hit and run injury claim after being run over by an unidentified car at the junction of Sidmonton Avenue and Meath Road in Bray on 2nd November 2012.

Anthony – who was on his way to meet a friend to get a lift home – remembers that the unidentified car pulled over after hitting him, but then drove off again without calling for help or offering assistance.

It was only when Anthony was found lying injured in the street by a Garda that he was taken to hospital where he was treated for a fractured spine, fractured ribs, a lacerated liver and various internal injuries.

Anthony remained in hospital for none days – four of them in intensive care. After his discharge from hospital he experienced difficulty eating for some time and he still suffers from pains in his back.

As the driver of the car that struck Anthony could not be traced, Anthony´s hit and run injury claim was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – the body that are responsible for paying injury compensation when the owner of a vehicle cannot be traced or is uninsured.

The MIBI disputed liability for Anthony´s hit and run injury claim as the Garda who found Anthony had described him as “grossly intoxicated”, and the insurers´ bureau said that Anthony was likely responsible for his injuries due to his own lack of care.

As liability for Anthony´s hit and run injury claim was disputed, the Injuries Board issued Anthony with an authorisation to allow the option of court action. The case went to the High Court last week where it was heard by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns.

At the hearing, Anthony admitted to Judge Kearns that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The MIBI repeated their argument that, because of his condition, Anthony should accept some level of liability for his injuries.

Discussions regarding a negotiated settlement started as the court was adjourned for lunch. On Judge Kearns´ return, he was informed that Anthony had agreed to an undisclosed settlement of his hit and run injury claim after accepting 75% contributory negligence.


Judge Awards Compensation for a Pedestrian Hit by Car

A judge at the High Court in Limerick has awarded €177,630 compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car to a man who had a similar accident once before.

On March 5th 2010, Edmund Quinlan (72) of Garryspillane in County Limerick was walking from his home to the local pub for a drink and a game of cards with his friends, when he was hit and knocked down by a car whose driver had failed to see him due to the low sun.

Edmund was taken to hospital with extensive leg fractures and spent ten weeks with his leg placed in balanced suspension. His recovery was especially complicated as he had broken the same leg six years previously and the bone supporting a metal plate that had been inserted was shattered in the accident.

On his discharge from hospital, Edmund sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car. Full liability for Edmund´s injuries was disputed by the driver that hit him, who claimed that Edmund had been drinking prior to the accident and that his intoxicated state contributed to his unsteadiness as he was walking along the road.

With issues over liability, the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for Edmund´s case to be heard in court. However, the day before the hearing was scheduled to get underway at the High Court in Limerick, the allegations of Edmund having been drinking were withdrawn and the case was presented to Mr Justice Paul McDermott for the assessment of damages only.

At the hearing, Judge McDermott heard from Edmund´s surgeon – Dr Thomas Burke – that his patient had made a near-miraculous recovery from his leg injuries, but due to his increasing frailty he now resided in a nursing home. The judge said that Dr Burke should be proud of what he had achieved in his treatment of Edmund, who himself had been very stoical in dealing with the injuries he had sustained.

The judge awarded Edmund €177,630 compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car, which comprised of €115,000 general damages for his injury and suffering, and €62,630 special damages to pay for Edmund´s medical and nursing home costs.


Fatal Car Accident Compensation Approved by Court

The mother of a toddler, who was killed when her neighbour´s car ran over her, has had a settlement of €36,188 fatal car accident compensation approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Lily Rose O´Toole was nearly two years old when, on 3rd March 2013, she was playing in the front garden of her family home in Tallaght, Dublin. Her mother – Ruth – took her eyes off of her daughter for just a few minutes while she chatted with a neighbour who was just about to leave in her car.

After a short conversation, Ruth turned back towards her own garden and could not see Lily Rose. She then heard a bang and turned around to see her daughter at the back of the neighbour´s car. Lily Rose had been able to get up and walk a couple of steps, but when Ruth picked her daughter up, she noticed a graze on Lily Rose´s forehead.

Lily Rose was taken to Tallaght Hospital, but died shortly after of intra-abdominal bleeding caused by internal injuries.

Ruth made a claim for fatal car accident compensation against her neighbour – Esther Dillon – under the Civil Liability Act 1962, alleging that she and Lily Rose´s step-brother – Patrick – had suffered mental distress. Ms Dillon´s liability was accepted by her car insurers and a settlement of €36,188 was agreed.

Because part of the settlement was for Lily Rose´s ten-year-old brother, the settlement of fatal car accident compensation had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be resolved. Consequently, the case was brought before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge Groarke was told the circumstances of the tragic accident, and the distribution of the settlement of fatal car accident compensation. The judge approved the settlement and expressed the court´s deep sympathy – saying that the loss of a child was a horrible thing to happen to any mother.


Family Awarded Compensation for Death of Son in Car Accident

A devastated family has been awarded €35,000 compensation for the death of their son in a car accident after a hearing at Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Ciaran Treacy was a passenger in his mother´s car when, on April 17, the car was involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle being dangerously driven by Finbar O´Rourke along the Portarlington to Portlaoise Road at Ballymorris.

Ciaran (aged 4) was killed in the accident, while both his mother and brother were seriously injured. Ciaran´s mother – Gillian – is now confined to a wheelchair as a result of the accident and his brother – Sean (aged 8) – is still to make a full recovery.

The negligent driver – Finbar O´Rourke – was arrested at the scene of the accident and charged with dangerous driving causing death. His case is to be heard on December 11th at the Portlaoise District Court.

Ciaran´s father – Ronan Treacy, of Portarlington, County Laois – made a claim for compensation for the death of his son in a car accident under the Civil Liability Act 1961 to account for the mental distress he and his wife had suffered and the loss of their son.

The claim was not contested and, at the Civil Circuit Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that an offer of compensation for the death of a son in a car crash had been made by O´Rourke´s insurance company and the offer had been accepted.

The judge heard that the settlement consisted of €10,000 each for the parents Ronan and Gillian Treacy; €5,000 each to Ciaran’s brother, Sean, and two-year-old sister Caoimhe; €1,250 each to Ciaran’s maternal grandparents, Noel and Marie Ryan; and €1,250 each to his paternal grandparents, Patrick and Mary Treacy.

Judge Groarke approved the settlement, awarding Ronan Treacy a further €8,000 towards the funeral costs. The judge also expressed the court’s deep sympathy to the Treacy family in their tragic loss.


Pedestrian Accident Brain Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A Dublin resident, who sustained life-changing injuries when hit by a car as she was crossing the road, has been awarded €1 million pedestrian accident brain injury compensation after a hearing at the High Court.

Elena Schiopu (60) was crossing Morehampton Road in Dublin on 9th September when she was knocked over by a vehicle whose driver had been attempting to undertake the car that had given way to Elena and her granddaughter, who Elena was pushing in a buggy at the time.

Although Elena had suffered cuts and bruises in the accident, she continued home with her unharmed granddaughter, but later developed slurred speech and weak limbs, and went to hospital for an examination.

Elena was admitted to hospital, and her condition deteriorated so rapidly that she remained in intensive care for seventeen days. Eventually Elena lost all powers of communication and was diagnosed with a quadriplegic brain injury. In 2012, Elena was transferred to a nursing home for specialist care.

On her behalf, Elena´s daughter claimed pedestrian accident brain injury compensation against Eamon McElwain of Donnybrook in Dublin – the driver of the vehicle that had knocked down Elena as she was crossing the road -.

In their action against McElwain, the family argued that McElwain had undertaken the stationary car when he should have known it might be unsafe to do so. McElwain contested the claim – arguing that he had not been speeding or driving dangerously, and that Elena had failed to look as she stepped out from behind the stationary car.

Eventually a €1 million settlement of pedestrian accident brain injury compensation was agreed upon and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told of the circumstances of the accident and Elena´s tragic injury. The judge approved the settlement – commenting that it was such a distressing case – and extended her sympathies to the family.


Hit and Run Injury Compensation Approved at Court

A settlement of hit and run injury compensation has been approved at the High Court in favour of a woman who was hit by a drunk driver when she was a twenty-one year old student.

Laura Byrne (now 26 years of age) was a veterinary student living in New Ross in County Wexford when – on June 20th 2009 – she was hit by a car driven by Karol Chrzan while talking to friends in the street.

As the car hit Laura, she was thrown into the air and landed on the bonnet of the vehicle, cracking her head against the car windscreen. She was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital and later transferred to Cork for specialist treatment of her injuries.

As a result of the accident Laura had to abandon the veterinary course she was studying at college due to ongoing problems with her balance and attacks of double-vision. She still suffers from her left arm being weaker than her right arm.

Chrzan panicked and drove off from the scene of the accident. He was later arrested by police, when he admitted to drinking six beers and some vodka before getting into his partner´s car, for which he was not insured.

He was charged with injuring Laura in the hit and run accident and sentenced to three years imprisonment for dangerous driving causing serious harm. He was also banned from driving for six years.

Laura made a claim for hit and run injury compensation against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – the organisation that settles claims against uninsured drivers – and a €1.2 million settlement of Laura´s claim was negotiated to account for her injuries and lost opportunities.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of hit and run injury compensation – commenting that it was a very good one in the circumstances, and that although no amount of money could make up for the trauma Laura had suffered, the judge hoped that the extra money would make life better for her.


Family Settle Claim for Fatal Passenger Injuries at Hearing

A family has settled their compensation claim for fatal passenger injuries against a driver whose reckless driving caused a mother of five to die after a head-on car crash.

Rose Martin (57) of Carrickakelly in County Monaghan suffered fatal injuries in a car crash at Philipstown Corner in Killerley when her husband´s car – in which she was a front-seat passenger – was involved in a head-on collision with a car driven by Jason Kearney of Dundalk, County Louth.

Despite suffering serious injury in the accident, Rose´s only concern after the accident were for her son who was travelling in the back seat of the vehicle and who suffers from Down Syndrome, and her husband – William Martin – whose leg had been trapped under the dashboard as a result of the crash.

Rose died in hospital eleven days after the accident on New Year´s Eve 2006, while her son – David – required emergency abdominal surgery and William suffered permanent lower leg injuries – and still walks with the aid of a crutch.

William Martin made a claim for fatal passenger injuries against Kearney on behalf of the family, which included compensation for the loss of his wife, his son´s injuries and his own physical and psychological trauma.

A settlement of compensation amounting to €650,000 was negotiated but, before the claim for fatal passenger injuries could be finalised, it had to be approved by a High Court judge due to David Martin being unable to represent himself and because of the nature of the claim.

Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told of the circumstances of the accident, how Rose Martin had been her son´s primary carer for 28 years and the settlement that had been agreed. The judge approved the settlement in order that the claim for fatal passenger injuries could be finally resolved.


Teenager Resolves Claim for Foetal Injuries in a Car Crash

A teenage girl, who was born prematurely two days after her pregnant mother was involved in a road traffic accident and suffered respiratory distress syndrome as a result, has had a claim for foetal injuries in a car crash resolved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Martina Sheehan from Rathfarnham in Dublin had been driving the family car along Templeroan Road in Rathfarnham in April 1999, when she was in collision with a car driven by Elaine O’Connor also from Rathfarnham.

Although neither driver was injured in the accident, the shock of the collision allegedly resulted in Martina going into labour at thirty-six weeks, and two days later delivering a daughter – Aoife – at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin.

Aoife immediately suffered from respiratory distress syndrome and she was transferred to the neo-natal intensive care unit, where she placed on a ventilator and given medication to assist with her breathing. She remained in the neo-natal intensive care department for a further three weeks – critically ill.

Through Martina Sheehan, Aoife (now 14 years of age) made a claim for foetal injuries in a car crash on the grounds that, had the accident not occurred, Martina would have not have gone into labour so early, Aoife would not have been born prematurely and suffered respiratory distress syndrome.

The insurance company representing Elaine O´Connor denied their policyholder´s liability for Aoife´s injuries – claiming there was no proof that the accident was responsible for the early onset of labour, Aoife´s premature birth and her breathing difficulties as pre-term babies were more pre-disposed to respiratory distress.

However, solicitors representing Martina and Aoife persevered with the claim for foetal injuries in a car crash and, as Judge Matthew Deery heard at the Circuit Civil Court was told, a negotiated settlement had been agreed that would see Aoife receive €17,800 in compensation for her pre-birth injuries.

The judge approved the settlement, stating that it was a good one in the circumstances, and ordered that Aoife´s compensation be paid into court funds, where it will remain until she reaches the age of eighteen.


Injuries Board Claims Rise by 10 Percent

Injuries Board claims and applications for the assessment of personal injury compensation have risen by 10 percent in the first six months of 2013 according to a report published on injuriesboard.ie.

The analysis of Injuries Board Claims to June 2013 shows that the number of applications for the assessment of personal injury compensation received by the government body rose from 14,685 in the first six months of 2012 to 16,162 in the corresponding period of 2013 – an increase of just over 10 percent.

The total value of accepted assessments and the average value of Injuries Board claims also rose (by 8 percent and 4 percent respectively), predominantly due to a small number of exceptionally high claims assessments – one in particular (for €976,000) being the highest-ever assessment of personal injury compensation made by the Injuries Board.

The number of Injuries Board claims assessments accepted by plaintiffs also increased from 5,180 in 2012 to 5,286 in 2013; but this represented a substantial decrease in the percentage of Injuries Board assessments accepted (32.7 percent from 37.2 percent), indicating that more claims for personal injury compensation are being resolved by direct negotiation and court action.

As with previous years, Injuries Board claims for road traffic accidents accounted for the highest proportion of applications for assessment submitted to the Injuries Board (75.5 percent), while the proportion of claims for injuries sustained at work continued to decline (8.1 percent). The balance of Injuries Board claims was in respect of public liability claims and product liability claims.

Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland – commented that the higher volume of claims and increased value of accepted compensation assessments did not provide an excuse for insurance companies to increase the premiums they charge. She said that, as the Board´s processing fee to respondents had been reduced from €850.00 to €600.00, the savings made by insurance companies should counter the increased value of Injuries Board claims.

For comprehensive information about compensation claims, please refer to this article.


Settlement of Quadriplegic Injuries Compensation Approved

A man left with quadriplegic injuries and with severe brain damage following a road traffic accident has had a €6.5 million settlement of quadriplegic injuries compensation approved in the High Court.

Alan Kavanagh (41) from New Ross, County Wexford, sustained his injuries when he and his daughter were involved in a head-on collision with a van errantly driven by Liam Toohey of Nenagh, County Tipperary in November 2004.

Having suffered multiple fractures and brain damage which left him in a quadriplegic condition, Alan is totally dependent on others for nursing care, is unable to feed himself and is confined to a wheelchair. Fortunately, the only injury suffered by Alan´s daughter in the accident was a broken finger.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Alan had made a claim for quadriplegic injuries compensation through his brother against Toohey and the owner of the van involved in the accident – John Heffernan, a haulage contractor, also of Nenagh, County Tipperary. Liability for Alan´s injuries had been accepted and the case was before the judge for assessment of damages only.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Alan was currently living in a nursing home for the elderly which was not suitable for his needs; however a settlement of €6.5 million had been proposed which would provide financial security for the rest of Alan´s life and enable him to have the level of care he required.

After hearing evidence from Alan´s partner and mother of his daughter – Loretto Power – that the family was happy with the settlement of quadriplegic injuries compensation, Ms Justice Mary Irvine gave the settlement her approval – saying that it was an excellent settlement which gave Alan the best chance of meeting his future needs.


Council Found Negligent in Road Crossing Accident Claim

Dublin South County Council has been found 100 percent responsible in a road crossing accident claim after a hearing at the High Court in Dublin.

The claim was brought by Linda Dargen Burgess from Tallaght, Dublin, on behalf of her son Brandon who – at the age of thirteen – was hit by a motorist at the junction of the Tallaght Bypass and Killinarden Way while trying to cross the road at a temporary crossing erected by the council.

Brandon suffered a serious head injury in the accident and fractures to his arms and legs, and missed a significant period of his education while he recovered from his injuries. As a consequence of his accident, Brandon has now left school without completing his Leaving Certificate.

Brandon´s mother made a claim for road crossing accident compensation against both the driver of the car – James Mulholland from Dundrum, Dublin – and Dublin South County Council, claiming that the way in which the temporary crossing had been set up made it extremely difficult for pedestrians to access the signal box.

It was further alleged that the placement of a Dublin South County Council vehicle at the crossing had obscured the lights on the central island and it was impossible to see whether the signal crossing man was at green or red. Both James Mulholland and Dublin South County Council disputed liability.

In the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine dismissed the road crossing accident claim against Mr Mulholland, after hearing that he had been driving within the speed limit with a green light ahead of him. Ms Justice Mary Irvine agreed with the defendant that even if he was keeping a proper lookout, he did not have a realistic chance of seeing Brandon before he stepped out in front of the car.

She also dismissed claims of contributory negligence made against Brandon by the council, who had alleged that Brandon had failed to take adequate care for his own safety before stepping out into the road. The judge said that in the circumstances she was satisfied that the positioning of the signal box and blocking of the lights on the central island amounted to negligence by the council and found them 100 percent liable for Brandon´s injuries.

Awarding compensation for a road crossing accident of €826,818, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that, but for the accident, Brandon would have completed his studies at school and will now have a completely different type of future as a result of his injuries.


Girl Receives Compensation for Injuries in Car Accident

A young girl, who was suffered severe physical and emotional trauma due to a crash in which her sister and best friend died, has been awarded €200,000 compensation for her injuries in the car accident.

Faith Varden-Carberry (12) who now lives in Tuam, County Galway, was just seven years of age when her mother Mary Carberry (36) crashed the car she was driving into a clay embankment outside Edgeworthstown, County Longford, in November 2007.

In the accident, Faith´s sister Ava (6) and her best friend Michaela Logan were both killed, and Faith´s injuries were so bad that she had underwent emergency treatment at the scene before being transferred to Our Lady´s Childrens Hospital in Crumlin – where she remained in a spinal cast for two months.

Faith´s mother – who was banned from driving at the time because of a previous accident – was found to be in excess of the legal alcohol limit, was arrested and sentenced to six years imprisonment for her part in the crash.

Faith went to live with her step-sister in Tuam when she was released from hospital, and made a claim for compensation for injuries in a car accident through her grand-father Anthony Carberry against both her mother and father – Thomas Varden – who was the legal owner of the car.

The claim against Thomas Varden was later dropped, , and – as Mrs Carberry was uninsured herself and banned from driving – the claim for compensation for injuries in a car accident was transferred to the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).

At the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Charleton was told that a settlement of compensation for injuries in a car accident had been agreed amounting to €200,000 and that the case was before him for approval of damages only.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton approved the settlement, and also allowed €2,000 to be instantly withdrawn from it in order to allow Faith to have a new computer to assist her with her schoolwork.


Judge Denies Access to Childrens Compensation Funds

A District Court judge has declined a request to access court-held injury compensation, insisting that childrens compensation funds should not be used for family expenses.

Judge Mary Collins ruled that funds held by the court on behalf of four-year-old Oluwatimileyin Olaleye, who was awarded 4,500 Euros following a traffic accident in 2010, should not be released in order that the family could purchase a new car.

The boy’s father, Ibrahim Olaleye, from Lucan, County Dublin, had applied to court for the release of 1,500 Euros from his son’s award in order to buy a car for the family. However, Judge Mary Collins refused to release any money from the boy’s court account, saying that childrens compensation funds had never been meant for the purchase of a car or any other family expense.

Oluwatimileyin had been awarded the compensation last year for injuries he received in a car crash in which his mother, Veronica, had been the driver. The award of 4,500 Euros had been approved in court after a compensation claim had been by Oluwatimileyin through his father, but Judge Mary Collins said the money was to remain in court until Oluwatimileyin was 18; at which time it would be released to him with any interest gained.


Insurers to pay Aggravated Damages for Whiplash Claim

An insurance company has been ordered to pay aggravated damages in a whiplash claim for compensation after failing to pursue allegations of collusion against the claimant.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery made the order against the AXA insurance company after it had accused the injured victim of a rear-end accident – James O’Sullivan, of Clane, County Kildare – of colluding with a defence witness in order to support his compensation claim for a whiplash injury.

The judge heard how the negligent driver in the case – Gary Reilly, of Ballyfermot, County Dublin – had sworn an affidavit concerning the events of September 27, 2008, when Reilly´s taxi rear-ended O´Sullivan vehicle in Eirhouse in County Dublin.

However Mr Justice Matthew Deery said that the allegation had not been pursued at the hearing and directed that AXA and Reilly pay aggravated damages of 3,000 Euros to O´Sullivan for the manner in which they had defended the whiplash injuries claim in addition to the award of 7,750 Euros for whiplash injury.


Woman Receives Compensation for Hit and Run Injuries

A woman from Dublin, whose arm was broken when a car reversed over her after she had slipped and fallen, has been awarded 79,000 Euros in compensation for hit and run injuries by Dublin´s High Court.

Siofra O´Loughlin (24) from Rolestown, Dublin, had been playing with friends on Dollymount Beach in July 2006, when she slipped on wet sand trying to retrieve a ball. While she was laying face down on the ground, a motorist reversed back over her – causing Siofra to sustain injuries to her upper arm and back.

According to the report Siofra and her friends gave the Gardai, the motorist stopped a short distance from where the accident had taken place, looked back at Siofra laying in agony on the ground, got back into his car and drove away. Siofra was tended at the scene for her injuries and then taken to hospital where it was discovered that her humerus bone was fractured and there were significant abrasions to her back.

As the driver of the vehicle was never traced, Siofra made a compensation claim for hit and run injuries to the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – the organisation funded by the car insurance industry to provide personal injury compensation to victims of road traffic accidents in which the negligent party is either uninsured or unable to be traced.

The Motorist Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland contested Siofra´s claim for compensation for hit and run injuries – alleging that there had been a different version of events reported to the Gardai. However, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at the High Court is Dublin dismissed their claims and awarded Siofra 79,000 Euros in compensation for hit and run injuries – stating that he believed Siofra´s version of events as they had been presented in court.


Child Passengers in Car Accident Awarded 26,000 Euros

Four children, who were passengers in a car accident when the vehicle driven by their mother was in collision with a Garda patrol car, have been awarded a total of 26,000 Euros in personal injury damages.

Dean McEvoy (15) and his three sisters, Lauren (13), Cody (11) and Megan (10), were travelling with their mother – Lorraine McEvoy of Crumlin, Dublin – when the accident occurred on the Tallaght bypass in November 2005.

Circuit Civil Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, heard that the Garda patrol car that struck the McEvoy car was being driven “at some degree of urgency”, but without its siren or warning lights on.  Lorraine McEvoy and her four children all sustained soft tissue injuries as a result of the impact.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery also heard that the State had accepted liability for the accident only after a lengthy dispute was settled in the High Court and he was asked to approve agreed settlements of 6,000 Euros for Megan and Lauren, 6,500 Euros for Dean and 7,500 Euros for Cody who had been the worse injured of the child passengers in car accident.


Car Accident Injury Claim Resolved for 6 Year Old Boy

A young boy, who was knocked down by a van as he played near his home, has had a car accident injury claim settlement of 17,500 Euros approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Warren Lavelle (6) of Tallaght, Dublin, was hit by the van on July 13 2008, when he was only three years of age. He suffered head injuries as a result of the accident and has been left with a permanent scar on his head.

The driver of the van – John Connors, also of Tallaght, Dublin – admitted liability for the accident and, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard that the case was before her to approve the agreed settlement.

After noting that the scar was still visible, Judge Linnane approved the car accident injury claim settlement of 17,500 Euros.


Brain Damaged Student Awarded 7 Million Euros Compensation

A twenty six year old woman, who was left irreparably brain damaged after her car was involved in a collision with a truck, has had a 7 million Euro compensation package approved in the High Court.

Valerie Bourke of Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, had just turned 21 in May 2006, when the red Nissan Micra she was driving on the road between Carrick-on-Suir and Waterford was struck by a truck driven by Patrick Holden of Carigee, County Waterford.

Valerie was taken to the Waterford Regional Hospital suffering from catastrophic brain damage. She remained there until the following April, during which time she was unable to communicate, required twenty four hour care and was fed via a tube.

Valerie was then transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire and six months later moved to a neuro-rehabilitation centre in England for further assessment of her needs. It was not until December 2008 – two and a half years after the accident – that she was able to return home.

Valerie´s parents built a special extension to their family home in order to accommodate her special needs but, although Valerie made a little progress with her mobility and cognitive functions, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at the High Court heard that prospects for Valerie´s future remained limited.

In an action against Patrick Holden and the owner of the truck – Stefan Gilchrist of Piltown, County Kilkenny – it was alleged that their negligent actions were responsible for Valerie´s injuries. Liability was admitted and the case was before Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill for assessment of damages only.

Announcing the settlement package of just over 7 million Euros, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill said that 4 million Euros was to be put aside for Valerie´s future care and that an application was to be made to have Valerie made a ward of court.


Doctor Awarded Compensation for Horse Collision Injuries

A GP, who sustained serious neck and back injuries after his car was in collision with a stray horse, has been awarded 668,352 Euros in personal injury compensation.

Thomas Breslin (46) from Ballyedmond, County Wexford, was driving along the road outside his home town when the accident happened in January 2007. The horse, which had escaped from a nearby field, collided with his car with such impact that the animal landed on the roof of Dr Breslin´s car – trapping him inside for more than two hours until he was released by emergency services.

Mr Justice Eamon de Valera at the High Court heard that as a result of the accident Dr Breslin had to undergo surgery on his back and have a plate inserted in his neck. He also suffered pschologically as a result of the accident and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. The court also heard that Dr. Breslin will only be able to work part-time due to his injuries and may even have to retire from his practise.

The negligent party in the action was named as Richard Johnston of Gorey, County Wexford, who admitted liability for not securing the horse´s paddock and the case was before Mr Justice Eamon de Valera for assessment of damages only.

Announcing the award of 668,352 Euros, the judge said that it was clear that Dr Breslin would continue to suffer physically and mentally as a result of the incident.


91,000 Euros Compensation for Crash Injury and Post Traumatic Stress

A man who was trapped in the wreck of his car after a violent motorway collision has been awarded 91,000 Euros for the pain and suffering and post traumatic stress he suffered.
Mr James Killeen (55) of Artane, County Dublin, was sat in stationary traffic on the approach to the M50 near Dublin, when his jeep was struck from behind at speed by a car driven by Mr Hongbo Guo of Castleknock, County Dublin, in November 2007.
Mr Justice John Quirke at the High Court heard how Mr Killeen and his son, Jack, were trapped in the damaged jeep for 90 minutes while firemen attempted to cut them free. During this time, the court heard, Mr Killeen became hysterical due to the presence of petrol fumes and his fear for his son´s safety.
Once cut free from the vehicle, Mr Killeen was transported to hospital in an ambulance which had to stop on four occasions to allow Mr Killeen to vomit – such was his distress at the incident. On admission to Blanchardstown Hospital, Mr Killeen was found to have sustained a soft tissue injury in his lower back, which left him with daily pain, discomfort and lack of movement
Mr Killeen´s physical condition was complicated by the fact that he had been involved in seven previous road traffic accidents between 1986 and 2009, in the course of which he had suffered multiple injuries including a fractured hip. The psychological trauma of the accident in 2007had resulted in an emergency admission to St Ita´s Hospital in 2008 as the result of attempted self harm.
The court heard from a consultant psychiatrist that Mr Killeen had suffered from severe depression and anxiety arising from the accident and had needed intensive psychiatric treatment to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the aftermath of the road traffic accident.
Mr Justice John Quirke stated that Mr Guo had accepted liability for Mr Killeen´s injuries and that the case was before him for assessment of damages only. In making the award of 91,000 Euros, the judge commented that the whole incident had been horrific for Mr Killeen, and had resulted in significant consequences for him.


Family Awarded 100,000 Euros after Tragic Road Accident

The family of a mother and child, who were both tragically killed in a road traffic accident which occurred in 2006, have been awarded more than 100,000 Euros in a joint compensation agreement. Both Yvonne Mahoney (24) and her daughter, Bobbi-Ann (2), were killed when a car driven by Yvonne’s partner John Maloney (33) was struck by another car as it exited the crossroads junction at Lodge Cross, County Galway on July 9 2006. Mr Maloney also died in the accident.
In an action brought by Yvonne´s widowed mother, Mary (56) of Loughrea, County Galway, it was alleged that Galway County Council had failed to maintain clear vision at the junction by not cutting down, pruning or trimming the trees and hedges on the side of the road. It was also claimed that they had failed to erect yield or stop signs.
Mrs Mahoney also sued the estate of John Maloney, claiming that Mr. Maloney had been negligent on the day of the accident by way of his driving. It was claimed that the deceased driver had caused Mrs Maloney and her eight other children to suffer mental distress. In the High Court in Galway, Judge Mr. Justice Moriarty heard that the issue of liability had been withdrawn, and awarded Mrs Mahoney and the family of Yvonne and Bobbi-Ann a compensation settlement of 100,439 Euros plus costs.


Award Approved for Traumatised Teenager

A teenage girl, who suffered psychological injuries after her mother was knocked unconscious in a car collision, has had a compensation award of 21,000 Euros approved in the Circuit Court.
Charmaine Fitzgerald (14) of Clondalkin, County Dublin, was just 10 years of age when she and her mother were violently rear-ended while sitting in the family car close to Charmaine’s school. The force of the impact was so great that Charmaine’s mother, Lisa, was thrown from the car and lost consciousness.
In the Circuit Court, Mr. Justice Matthew Deery heard that Charmaine – who was just 10 years old at the time of the accident in March 2007 – had feared her mother had died, and was psychologically traumatized by the event – suffering headaches and nightmares for a prolonged period after the accident.
In the action brought through her mother, the court also heard that Charmaine’s condition deteriorated so much that she visualised the crash each time she was driven close to the scene, and had to change schools as a result.
Judge Mr. Matthew Deery approved the settlement offer of 21,000 Euros made by the defendant – Paul Mullins of Palmerstown, Dublin.


Hit and Run Victim Awarded 2 Million Euros Compensation

A man whose life was shattered in a hit and run accident in 2005 has been awarded 2 million Euros compensation by the High Court in Dublin.
Paul Gogarty (35) from Kingscourt, County Cavan, was walking home from a night out with friends, when he was run over by a vehicle which failed to stop. Due to the accident, Paul – formerly a factory worker – sustained severe bilateral traumatic brain injury.
As the vehicle responsible for Paul’s injuries was never traced, a claim for road traffic accident compensation was brought against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) through Paul’s brother, Oliver.
Mr. Justice Nicholas Kearns heard in the High Court how Paul’s injuries have left him requiring lifelong care and ongoing treatment for post-traumatic epilepsy. The consequences of the accident have also caused persistent cognitive and behavioural problems.
He also heard that an offer of compensation for 2 million Euros had been made by MIBI, which the family had agreed to accept. Approving the settlement, Mr. Justice Nicholas Kearns noted that an application will now be made to make Paul a ward of court.


Children´s Whiplash Award Approved for 56,000 Euros

Circuit Court President Justice Matthew Deery approved an award of 56,000 Euros for whiplash injuries suffered by three siblings, after hearing how their mother´s car had been rear-ended in an accident which occurred in January 2007.

Rachael Hopkins (9) and her brothers Daniel (10) and Thomas (7) from Broadford, County Kildare, had been passengers in a car driven by their mother Jennifer, when it was hit from behind by Ms Monica Carney of Lucan, County Dublin.

In an action brought through the children´s father, Thomas Hopkins, the court heard how the children had received treatment for recurrent and protracted symptoms of their injuries from the family GP and a specialist consultant.

The injuries had been more problematic for the two brothers, Daniel and Thomas, who were each approved a settlement of 20,000 Euros. A settlement of 16,000 Euros was approved for Rachael Hopkins, and the compensation award will remain invested in court funds until they are 18 years of age.