201504.02
0

Settlement Approved of Claim for an Accident on the Luas

A young girl who was injured when the doors of a train closed on her head has had a €25,000 settlement of compensation approved in respect of her claim for an accident on the Luas.

On 14th February 2008, six-year-old Aoife Heron from Raheny in Dublin boarded a Luas train at Connelly Street ahead of her mother Elaine and her younger sister Kate, who was being pushed in a buggy.

The family was intending to go to Jervis Street in Dublin but, as Elaine attempted to board the Luas, the doors closed on the buggy – leaving Aoife inside the train and her mother outside on the platform. The doors opened so that Elaine could remove the buggy, but as Aoife tried to exit the Luas to be with her mother, they closed once again – trapping Aoife´s head between them.

Aoife was treated at the site by an ambulance crew for a head injury, and then diagnosed by her family´s GP as having suffered a soft tissue injury and bruising. She has a small scar on her head and has developed a fear of travelling on the Luas which may need to be treated with psychotherapy.

Through her mother, Aoife made an injury compensation claim for an accident on the Luas against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd for negligence and breach of duty. The transport company prepared a defence against the claim, but after negotiations took place, agreed to a settlement.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that the two parties had agreed Aoife should be paid €25,000 in settlement of her injury compensation claim for an accident on the Luas. The judge approved the settlement and wished the young girl – who is now thirteen years of age – all the best for the future.

201503.23
1

Judge Awards Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury

A Circuit Civil Court judge has awarded a seventeen-year-old boy €7,500 compensation for a dog bite injury after finding an animal rescue centre negligent.

Rhys Loy was just twelve years of age when, in November 2009, he was cycling home from school in Raheny, Dublin. As he mounted the pavement, Rhys was bitten by a five-year-old Collie – Charlie – who was being walked on a rope by its temporary owner Anecy Sholling.

Rhys suffered a superficial laceration to his left calf and was taken to the Children´s University Hospital in Temple Street, where his wound was cleaned and sutured. Rhys – who lives in Clongriffin in Dublin – had to return to the hospital on several occasions to have his dressings changed.

Through his mother, Sinead Byrne, Rhys claimed compensation for a dog bite injury against the owners of the dog – Deidre and Gina Hetherington of the PAWS animal rescue centre in Mullinahone, County Tipperary. Ms Byrne also organised a warrant to have the dog put down.

The Hetheringtons denied liability for Rhys´ injuries and claimed that the Collie had been adopted by Ms Sholling several months before the attack. They also denied any knowledge of the dog´s whereabouts after he escaped capture by the Gardai who were trying to execute the warrant.

The claim for compensation for a dog bite injury went to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. At the hearing the judge heard testimony that the Collie was being fostered by Ms Sholling at the time of the attack, and that the dog had been returned to the animal rescue centre afterwards.

As the dog was in the ownership of the animal rescue centre at the time of the attack, the judge found Deidre and Gina Hetherington negligent and ordered them to pay Rhys €7,500 compensation for a dog bite injury – adding that he did not believe it was a coincidence the Collie had escaped his punishment.

201503.06
0

Judge: More Compensation for Shop Accident Injuries

A judge has refused the approval of a personal injury claim made on behalf of a child, saying that she should get more compensation for shop accident injuries.

Shauna Kelly from Ballyfermot in Dublin was fourteen years of age when she was browsing through the electronic books section of Eason´s in Lower O´Connell Street in July 2012. As she studied the book titles on the shelf, an electronic display frame fell from its mountings above her and hit Shauna on the head and on her right wrist.

At the Crumlin Children´s Hospital in Dublin, x-rays revealed that no bones in Shauna´s head or arm had been fractured. Shauna was treated for soft tissue injuries to her neck and lower back, and diagnosed with concussion. A splint was placed around her wrist to give it support while further soft tissue injuries healed.

On Shauna´s behalf, a claim for compensation for shop accident injuries was made by her mother against Eason´s and David James Retail Solutions Ltd of Edenderry in County Offaly – the company that had installed the electronic display frame.

During negotiations between the parties to agree on how much compensation for shop accident injuries Shauna´s claim should be settled for, an offer of €13,500 was made to Shauna´s mother – Kathy Maher. As Shauna is still a legal minor, the offer of settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be accepted.

Therefore, at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told about the circumstances of the accident and that Shauna suffered from severe headaches for six months. He was also told that Shauna still suffers from stiffness in her back more than two and a half years after her accident.

The barrister representing Shauna told Judge Groarke that an offer of €13,500 compensation for shop accident injuries had been made, but that he did not believe that €13,500 was sufficient to compensate Shauna for her injuries and recommended that the offer should not be approved.

Judge Groarke agreed with Shauna´s barrister and declined to approve the offer of settlement. He said it would be more appropriate to award compensation for shop accident injuries after a full hearing of the case, and adjourned the hearing for date to be scheduled for the Circuit Civil Court later this year.

201503.05
1

HSE Found Liable in Hydrocephalus Brain Injury Claim

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has been found liable in a hydrocephalus brain injury claim after a hearing at the High Court.

Ava Kiernan started displaying the symptoms of hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”) when she was just a few months old. In April 2008 – when she was three months old – Ave was examined by a public health nurse, who failed to act on her mother´s concerns or arrange a follow-up examination.

Hydrocephalus is caused by spinal fluid “pooling” in the skull because it has failed to drain from the brain. It is most commonly identified in children under the age of one year by a rapid expansion of the head´s circumference or “soft spot” bulges appearing around the skull.

A follow-up examination would have identified a rapid growth in the size of Ava´s head, but her skull was not measured again until September 2008, when the measurement – which would have been conducted in time to prevent Ava from suffering brain damage – was performed incorrectly.

Due to the nurse´s failure to act and the subsequent errors in the measurement of Ava´s head, the pressure from the spinal fluid resulted in Ava suffering brain damage. She now suffers from physical and mental disabilities and, on her behalf, Ava´s mother – Ruth Kiernan from Duleek in County Meath – made a hydrocephalus brain injury claim for compensation against the HSE.

The hydrocephalus brain injury claim was contested by the HSE, and the case went to the High Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross found in Ava´s favour after a hearing that lasted three weeks. He deduced that if Ava had been recalled for a second examination four weeks after the April head measurement, or the subsequent September measurement of her head in September had been performed correctly, Ava´s hydrocephalus would have been identified.

Judge Cross continued to say that Ava´s hydrocephalus could have been diagnosed and treated before it resulted in permanent brain damage where it not for the public health nurse´s failure to act on Ruth´s concerns and the medical negligence in the second measurement. The judge adjourned the hydrocephalus brain injury claim so that an assessment can be conducted to determine Ava´s future needs and an appropriate damages settlement.

201501.24
0

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.

201501.14
0

Girl Receives Compensation for Rottweiler Attack

A girl, who suffered significant bite injuries from a dog that had been allowed to roam freely on the road, is to receive €150,000 compensation for a Rottweiler attack.

Lauren Kelly was just nine years of age when she was out with friends playing “hunting the wren” on St Stephens Day in 2011. As Lauren walked down the road in her home town of Abbeylara in County Longford, she came across a Rottweiler that been allowed to escape from its home and stray onto the public road.

The Rottweiler attacked the young girl and, despite the attentions of her mother, Lauren suffered multiple bite injuries to her upper right arm. Lauren was taken to hospital, where she was treated for 26 puncture wounds. She has had to undergo skin grafts and has been left with significant scarring.

Through her father – Michael Kelly – Lauren claimed compensation for the Rottweiler attack against the owner of the dog, William Crawford – also of Abbeylara in County Longford. Crawford admitted liability and a settlement of compensation for a rottweiler attack was negotiated amounting to €150,000.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard how Lauren had been thrown around like a rag doll while the attack was in progress. The judge was also told how Lauren experienced nightmares and a bout of sleepwalking after the incident, but that these psychological injuries had now receded – although Lauren still retains a fear of large dogs.

The judge approved the settlement of €150,000 compensation for the Rottweiler attack. The funds will be held in a trust until Lauren is eighteen years of age, although her patents will be able to access the compensation if Lauren needs further medical care to cope with the consequences of the vicious attack.

201412.01
0

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.

201411.28
0

€35K Compensation for Injuries in a Trampoline Accident

A seven-year-old schoolboy has been awarded €35,000 compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident after a previously negotiated settlement was refused by a judge.

Kevin Stokes from Lucan in County Dublin was playing on a trampoline in July 2012, when his leg went into a gap between the base and the frame. Kevin – who was just five years of age at the time – was taken to Our Lady´s Children´s Hospital, where x-rays revealed fractures to his fibula and tibia as a result of the trampoline accident.

Kevin was admitted to the hospital with a black slab cast surrounding his leg. Several days later the fractures were manipulated and Kevin´s leg was put into an above-the-knee cast. He was discharged from hospital in a wheelchair and the cast stayed in place for a further month.

After the cast was removed, Kevin needed to use a walking frame for several weeks, during which time he was unable to play with his friends and continued to experience pains in his leg. Through his mother – Margaret – Kevin made a claim for compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident against the shop from which the trampoline had been purchased – Smyths Toy Store.

After a forensic engineer had determined that the mechanism for securing the safety clip to the frame was inadequate, Smyths Toy Store acknowledged their liability, and a €25,000 settlement of compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident was negotiated.

However, at the Circuit Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groake refused to approve the settlement – saying it was inadequate for the level of injury that Kevin had sustained. Smyths Toy Store increased its offer of compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident to €35,000 and, after hearing that Kevin had made a good recovery from his injuries, the judge approved the settlement.

201411.27
0

Judge Approves Compensation for School Bus Accident

A woman who sustained significant head injuries when she was ten years of age has heard her settlement of compensation for a school bus accident approved at the High Court.

On January 22nd 2001, Bernadette Nicholson from Milltown in County Galway was seated on the back seat of the school bus home from the Belmont National School in Milltown with several of her friends. On the journey home, the girls decided to stand up on the back seat and sway against the movement of the bus as it rounded corners.

Unfortunately for Bernadette and three of her friends, as the bus pulled away after dropping off another child, the glass in the back window crashed out of its frame and the four schoolchildren fell out of the bus and onto the road – Bernadette being knocked unconscious by the fall and taken to University College Hospital in Galway with severe head injuries. Bernadette was later transferred to the specialist unit at the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

An enquiry into the accident discovered that the seal surrounding the window was broken and, in 2002, Bus Éireann was found guilty of being the owner of a vehicle with a defect that was a danger to the public and that could have been discovered through the exercise of ordinary care. The judge in the case – Judge Mary Fahy – disagreed with the bus company that the pressure exerted by the girls would have been enough to force the glass out of the window.

Bernadette – now 24 years of age – made a claim for compensation for the school bus accident against Bus Éireann and, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of the accident and Judge Fahy´s decision in 2002. Stating that Bernadette had made a remarkable recovery from appalling circumstances, the judge approved Bernadette´s €1.78 million settlement of compensation for a school bus accident and closed the case.

201411.20
0

Child Awarded Compensation for Head Injury in Creche

A five-year-old child has had an agreed settlement of compensation for a head injury in a creche increased by 50 percent during a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Five year old Madison Davis from Tallaght in Dublin was attending The Little Children´s Creche in Tallaght when, in April 2012, she went to place a cup on a table. As she did so, Madison tripped and hit her head on the corner of the table – the accident resulting in her suffering a deep laceration above the left eyebrow.

Madison was taken to the National Children´s Hospital, where the laceration was closed with steri-strips. She had stitches the following day under an anaesthetic. Unfortunately Madison was left with a 2.5 centimetre scar on her forehead which she will have permanently even if she undergoes cosemetic surgery in the future.

Through her mother – Jennifer Quinn – Madison claimed compensation for a head injury in a creche; alleging that she had been left to carry the cup and traverse the floor without adequate supervision and that Fettercairn Community Childcare Ltd – trading as The Little Children´s Creche – had failed to protect her adequately.

The owners of the creche admitted liability for the accident, and a settlement of €50,000 was agreed in compensation for a head injury in a creche. However, when the case went before Mr Justice Raymond Groake at the Circuit Civil Court for approval of the settlement, the judge found it inadequate for the severity of the injury.

Judge Groake described the scar as “nasty” and said he believed the settlement should be increased by 50 percent as it will affect Madison for the rest of her life. The judge adjourned the hearing in order that the two parties could discuss the revised settlement. On his return, Judge Groake was informed that a settlement of €75,000 had been agreed upon. The judge approved the settlement and wished Madison well for the future.

201410.16
0

Fine Issued after Child Injured by Animal at Zoo

The Zoological Society of Ireland has been told to pay €5,000 in charitable donations by Dublin District Court after a child was injured by an animal at the zoo in Phoenix Park.

The prosecution of the Zoological Society of Ireland was brought by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) after an investigation into a Tapir´s attack on a two-year old toddler and her mother which left the child injured by the animal at the zoo.

The incident happened on 8th August 2013, when an organised party of four adults, four children and a zoo-keeper entered the Brazilian tapir enclosure. While the party were inside the enclosure, one of the tapir´s became agitated and attacked the little girl.

The toddler was taken to Temple Street children´s hospital, where she underwent surgery on stomach and arm injuries. Her mother also received medical attention for injuries she sustained after trying to defend her child from being injured by the animal at the zoo.

The HSA investigation revealed that the visit to the tapir enclosure had been in contravention of a risk assessment conducted in 2006 which concluded that members of the public should not have access to the tapir enclosure. The HSA charged the Zoological Society of Ireland with a single breach of Section 19.4 of the 2005 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act.

At the Dublin District Court, Judge John O´Neill heard a statement read by a representative of the Zoological Society of Ireland, in which the zoo pleaded guilty to the offence, apologised for the injuries sustained by the toddler and her mother, and provided a list of health and safety changes it had implemented since the event to prevent another child being injured by an animal at the zoo.

The judge put the Zoological Society of Ireland on probation, subject to it paying €5,000 in charitable donations to LauraLynn Children’s Hospital and the Jack and Jill Foundation. Provided the payments are made by December 8th – when the zoo is scheduled to appear in court again – no conviction will be recorded against the Zoological Society of Ireland.

It is understood that no civil proceedings are being brought by the parents of the child injured by the animal at the zoo.

201409.24
0

Compensation for Teenager´s Birth Injury Approved in Court

A settlement of compensation for a teenager´s birth injury has been approved in court after a judge agreed it would be difficult to prove full liability.

Emma O´Donnell (16) from Aklow in County Wicklow was born at the National Maternity Hospital on 9th June 1998. Hours after her birth by suction, Emma started to have seizures and turned blue. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has been cared for solely by her father – James Forde – since her natural mother was institutionalised in 2007 suffering from a significant bi-polar condition.

Emma needs round-the-clock care, suffers from an intellectual disability and has behavioural problems. On her behalf, James Forde made a claim for compensation for a teenager´s birth injury, but encountered difficulties establishing causation between the treatment Emma had received and negligence before and after her birth.

Emma´s solicitors had attempted to recover €9 million in compensation for the teenager´s birth injury, but the hospital and Health Service Executive placed value on the claim at €6 million – and only then if full proof of negligence could be established. Eventually a compromise was agreed in which the claim would be settled for €3 million provided it was approved by a judge.

Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told the tragic case of Emma´s life to date. He heard that the case had been brought so late in Emma´s life due to difficulties with liability and that the hospital had provided a letter of consent to a settlement of compensation for a teenager´s birth injury amounting to €3 million.

Judge Kearns agreed with Emma´s solicitors that it would be a hard case to prove if the claim went to a full hearing, and he approved the settlement of compensation for a teenager´s birth injury – describing the care that had been provided by James Forde as “heroic”.

201406.20
0

Interim Obstetrician Negligence Compensation Payment Approved

A High Court judge has approved a further interim payment of obstetrician negligence compensation in favour of an eight-year-old boy who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Luke Miggin of Athboy, County Meath, suffered brain damage prior his birth on 26th February 2006 at Mullingar General Hospital due to consultant obstetrician Michael Gannon failing to act on decelerations of the child´s heart rate recorded on CTG traces taken throughout the day.

Luke has cerebral palsy due to the obstetrician´s negligence, is confined to a wheelchair and will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

Liability for Luke´s birth injuries was admitted by Mr Gannon and the Health Service Executive in 2010 and, in January 2011, an interim settlement of obstetrician negligence compensation was approved by Mr Justice John Quirke, pending the introduction of legislation to allow for a structure settlement to be put in place.

However, with no such legislation yet available, Luke´s mother – Emily – had to return to court to have a further interim payment of obstetrician negligence compensation approved; where she was commended for her patience by Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who apologised for successive Ministers of Justice failing to deliver on their promises of periodic payments.

The judge approved a second interim obstetrician negligence compensation payment of €580,000 to add to the €1.35 million interim payment Luke received in 2011. The payment is in respect of Luke´s care for the next three years, after which time Emily Miggin will have to return to court once again for a further interim payment of compensation or to have the terms of a structured settlement approved.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine expressed her frustration at not being able to approve a final settlement of obstetrician negligence compensation, and commented that the ongoing litigation prevents families such as the Miggins from getting on with their lives.

201406.03
0

Meningitis Medical Negligence Claim Resolved at Court

A County Wicklow teenager´s meningitis medical negligence claim for compensation has been resolved after a High Court hearing at which her settlement of compensation was approved.

Laura Kavanagh (18) from Newtownmountkennedy in County Wicklow had fallen ill on 29 January 1998 at the age of thirteen months with a high temperature and severe fatigue. Her mother – Simone – had telephoned the surgery of Dr Frank Malone and Dr Paul Crean in Greystones in County Wicklow to communicate her daughter´s condition and had been told to keep an eye out for a rash.

Several hours later, Laura´s condition had deteriorated and Simone Kavanagh rang the surgery again – on this occasion speaking with Dr Crean, who said he would make a house call after surgery due to Simone not having transport available.

Three and a half hours later, Dr Crean arrived at the Kavanagh´s home and diagnosed a bowel infection. He left two suppositories and told Simone to call him back in the morning if Laura´s condition had not improved. The following day, Simone called the surgery requesting a home visit, but later cancelled the call as Laura seemed to be looking better.

However, the next morning Laura once again was very ill, and Simone was able to get an on-call doctor to visit straight away. He immediately admitted Laura to hospital, where she was diagnosed with severe meningitis.

As a result of the illness, Laura lost her hearing, and through her mother she made a meningitis medical negligence claim for compensation against Drs Malone and Crean, alleging that Dr Crean had failed to diagnose meningitis and that there had been a failure to attend Laura in good time, ensure proper care or any continuity of care.

The two doctors denied Laura´s meningitis medical negligence claim, however agreed a €5 million settlement of meningitis medical negligence compensation without admission of liability.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that if Laura had been admitted to hospital when Dr Crean misdiagnosed her condition as a bowel infection, it was likely that Laura would not have lost her hearing.

The judge was also told that after Laura lost her hearing, she learned to communicate through sign language and lip reading – but has a moderate intellectual disability. Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of Laura´s meningitis medical negligence claim, saying that it would never give Laura the life she was meant to have.

201405.13
0

Girl Awarded Compensation for Slip and Fall in Tesco

A nine-year-old schoolgirl, who was left with a permanent scar after she slipped and banged her head against a supermarket freezer, has been awarded €18,000 compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco.

Angela Prendergast was only six years of age when – in September 2010 – she was shopping with her mother at the Tesco Express Supermarket in Kilcoole, County Wicklow. As Angela and her mother were walking along the frozen food section, Angela slipped on a wet floor surface and banged her head against a steel freezer as she fell.

Although she was given First Aid by a member of Tesco´s staff, Angela´s mother – Ann Prendergast from Kilcoole in County Wicklow – took her to the local hospital, where the wound was cleaned and stitched with glue. Angela still has a two centimetre scar on the right side of her forehead to act as a permanent reminder of the accident.

On her daughter´s behalf, Ann Prendergast made a claim for injury compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco against Tesco Ireland Ltd. Tesco admitted that the negligence of their staff had been a contributory factor in the floor being slippery, and a settlement of €18,000 was negotiated between solicitors representing the two parties.

As the claim for Tesco slip and fall injury compensation had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement of compensation had to be approved before a judge before Angela´s case could be closed; and therefore the circumstances of Angela´s accident were related to Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

After hearing how Angela had banged her head, and seeing the scar that the little girl had been left with, Judge Deery approved the settlement of compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco, which will now be paid into court funds until Angela reaches the age of eighteen.

201405.07
0

Judge Approves Bus Accident Serious Injury Compensation

A Spanish student´s €9 million settlement of bus accident serious injury compensation has been approved by a judge after a hearing at the High Court.

On 4th February 2009, Carlos Tesch – who was then twelve years of age – was walking along Herbert Road in Bray, County Wicklow, with a group of friends, when he dashed out into the road in order to avoid other youths who had allegedly verbally threatened the young Spaniard and his friends previously.

As Carlos ran into the road, he was hit by a bus coming up from behind him, and Carlos suffered severe head injuries – including a fracture to the base of his skull – which has left him unable to walk or speak and reliant on his parents – Hans and Mar Tesch – for his primary care.

Through his father, Carlos made a claim for bus accident serious injury compensation against Dublin Bus. Dublin Bus denied its responsibility for Carlos´ injuries, stating that the driver had been travelling at 40Km/h in a 50 Km/h zone and that he could not have foreseen a child running out into the road.

An earlier High Court hearing had determined that Dublin Bus should be considered 70 percent liable for Carlos´ injuries because the driver had been distracted by a passenger shortly before the accident, and – after the decision had been upheld by the Supreme Court – the case returned to the High Court for the assessment of damages.

At the High Court, the circumstances of Carlos´ accident with the bus were related to Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who also heard how Hans Tesch had given up his managerial position to care full-time for his son and has twice taken him to China for stem cell treatment.

The judge was also told how Carlos attends the Spanish Institute during school hours and – approving the €9 million settlement of bus accident serious injury compensation – Ms Justice Mary Irvine said she was fully aware of what parents had to give up to maximise the situation for their children in cases of such catastrophic injuries.

201404.08
0

Compensation Approved for Cut Finger in Shop Accident

A young schoolgirl has had a compensation settlement approved in court for an injury she sustained when she cut her finger in a shop accident.

Naoise Walsh was just six years of age when, in March 2011, she attempted to remove a drink carton from a fridge in the café of the Debenhams store in Henry Street, Dublin.

As she took the drink carton from the fridge, Naoise´s finger caught on the metal grill of the shelf and she suffered a severe laceration.

Bleeding profusely, Naoise was taken by ambulance to the Temple Street Children’s Hospital, in Dublin, where the wound was dressed.

Naoise returned to the hospital the following day for an examination of the finger injury under a general anaesthetic; but no tendon damage was found, the wound was stitched, and Naoise was discharged from hospital the same day.

Through her mother – Amy Walsh of Bluebell, Dublin – Amy made a compensation claim for a cut finger in a shop accident against the Debenhams store in Henry Street, who admitted liability for Naoise´s injury and offered €10,000 compensation.

As is required when a compensation settlement is agreed for a child, the settlement first has to be approved by a judge and – at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin – Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the circumstances of Naoise´s injury.

The judge approved the settlement of compensation for a cut finger in a shop accident and closed the case.

201402.14
0

Delayed Birth Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A €4 million settlement of delayed birth injury compensation has been approved in favour of a thirteen year old girl at the High Court in Dublin.

Katie Martin from Trim in County Meath was born at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin in November 2000 after her mother – Fiona – had arrived at the hospital very early in the morning complaining of having irregular contractions.

A CTG trace was performed on the expectant mother and – according to Katie´s solicitor – the trace produced abnormal readings that indicated Katie was being starved of oxygen in the womb. However, it was nearly an hour and a half before an emergency Caesarean Section was organised and, when Katie was born, she had suffered a cardiac arrest and displayed no signs of life.

The medical team were able to resuscitate Katie, but she had suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen prior to her delivery which has left her requiring constant care for the rest of her life.

Katie made a claim for delayed birth injury compensation through her mother against the Coombe Hospital – which denied its liability for her injuries, and argued that Katie was starved of oxygen in the womb before her mother arrived at the hospital, and there was nothing that could have been done to prevent her brain damage.

However, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was informed that a €4 million settlement of compensation for a delayed birth injury had been negotiated without admission of liability from the hospital, and that the case was before her for approval of the settlement.

The judge was told the circumstances of Katie´s brain damage – and that the hospital had prepared a full defence against the claim – before approving the settlement and commenting that it was a good one considering that the Coombe Hospital had contested the claim.

201312.16
0

Compensation for Injury on Ryanair Flight Approved by Judge

A settlement of compensation for an injury on a Ryanair flight has been approved in the High Court in Dublin after Ryanair made an offer to settle without admission of liability.

On 24th September 2010, Klaudia Adamczyk from Wroclaw in Poland was with her family on a Ryanair flight from Wroclaw to East Midlands in the UK when, as the airplane landed, a heavy item of luggage fell from the overhead bin above Klaudia and struck her on the back of the head when passengers started to retrieve their cabin luggage.

Klaudia – who was eight years old at the time of the accident – showed no apparent evidence of injury but, ten days later, Klaudia´s mother noticed blood in her ear and took her to hospital for a medical examination. A Cat-scan revealed that Klaudia had sustained a fracture to the base of her skull and has admitted into hospital for treatment.

For six months, Klaudia was unable to participate in any physical activity and continues to experience frequent headaches. After seeking legal advice, Klaudia´s mother – Betya Adamcyk from Wroclaw in Poland – made a claim for compensation for an injury on a Ryanair flight, but made it in Ireland as it is the company´s principal place of business.

In the compensation claim for an injury on a Ryanair flight, Klaudia´s mother alleged that the item of luggage which caused her daughter´s injury had been forced into the overhead bin without due diligence and that the flight crew had been negligent in their distribution of cabin luggage.

Ryanair denied that Klaudia´s injury had been due to the negligence of their cabin crew but, just prior to Klaudia´s claim being heard in court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that an offer of compensation for an injury on a Ryanair flight had been negotiated without admission of liability, and that a settlement of €50,000 was before her for approval only.

After hearing the circumstances of Klaudia´s accident, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement, commenting that the experience must have been very distressing for the young girl.

201311.26
0

Interim Payment of Compensation for Cerebral Palsy Approved

A High Court judge has approved an interim payment of cerebral palsy compensation for a 12 year old girl who sustained birth injuries due to the negligence of an obstetric consultant.

Roisin Conroy was born at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portloaise on 14th November 2001, four days after her mother – Mary Conroy of Portlaoise, County Laois – had attended the hospital, believing that her waters had broke. Mary was sent home after being reassured that everything was okay but, three days after attended the clinic of Dr John Corristine – her private consultant obstetrician – and, following an ultrasound at the clinic, Mary insisted she be admitted into hospital.

A CTG scan conducted at the hospital failed to indicate any sign of contractions, and Mary was advised to take a bath. However, there was insufficient hot water was available at the hospital so Dr Corristine prescribed Mary with some medicine to induce labour. Thereafter, Dr Corristine was not present during Mary´s labour or Roisin´s birth the next day.

When Roisin was born the following morning, she suffered seizures soon after her birth and was transferred to a neo-natal unit in Dublin. However, her condition failed to improve and Roisin was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy – due to which she is permanently disabled and can only communication using eye movement.

Mary blamed herself for Roisin´s condition, and insisted on having her next two children delivered by Caesarean Section. Both Mary and her husband Kevin gave up work to look after Roisin, believing what the hospital had told them that nothing could have been done to avoid the tragedy and that the couple had just been unlucky.

An investigation was launched into the circumstances Roisin´s birth after the couple had spoken with a solicitor and, with evidence of negligence against both the hospital and the obstetric consultant, Kevin and Mary made a claim for cerebral palsy against both the Health Service executive (HSE) and Dr Corristine on their daughter´s behalf.

Both the defendants denied their responsibilities for Roisin´s injuries for almost two years until – five weeks before a scheduled court hearing – the hospital and Dr Corristine admitted that errors had been made in the management of Mary´s pregnancy which led to Roisin suffering birth injuries.

An interim payment of compensation for cerebral palsy amounting to €2.3 million was negotiated between the parties and, at the High Court in Dublin, the interim payment of compensation for cerebral palsy was approved by Ms Justice Mary Irvine.

The family also heard an apology read to them by an HSE representative and Dr Corristine, after which Ms Justice Mary Irvine adjourned the case for two years so that an assessment of Roisin´s future needs can be made and to allow time for the introduction of a system of structured compensation payments.

201311.20
0

Second Interim Cerebral Palsy Compensation Payment Approved

A High Court judge has approved a second interim cerebral palsy compensation payment for a young girl who was born with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy in 2004 due to the negligence of her mother´s consultant.

Isabelle Sheehan (now 8 years of age) was born at the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in Cork on November 29th 2004 by emergency Caesarean Section, after a blood test on her mother – Catherine – had revealed an alarming rise in the presence of certain blood group antibodies.

Unfortunately, Catherine Sheehan´s consultant doctor – Dr David Corr – had failed to refer Catherine to an expert in foetal medicine, who would have identified potential difficulties with the pregnancy due to a clash between the antibodies in Catherine´s blood and those of her husband – Colm Sheehan.

When Isabelle was born, she was in a poor condition and was diagnosed with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Through her mother, Isabelle made a claim for compensation for the negligence of the consultant doctor, who admitted liability for Isabelle´s injuries when the case was first heard in October 2011.

At the original hearing, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill approved an interim cerebral palsy compensation payment of €1.9 million, and adjourned the case for two years in the hope that a structured compensation payments system would be in place to assure a life time of care for Isabelle.

However, as no legislation has yet been passed in Ireland which would allow a structured system of compensation payments, the case was back in front of Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who heard that a further interim cerebral palsy compensation payment of €635,000 had been agreed between the parties to provide the care that Isabelle needs for a further two years.

After hearing that Isabelle is “bright and intelligent” and keeping up with children in her mainstream national school class with the help of a home assistant, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the interim cerebral palsy compensation payment, adjourned the case for a further two years and wished Isabelle a very good future.

201310.11
0

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.

201309.23
0

Families Can Claim Pandemrix Injury Compensation in the UK

Families in the UK have been told that they will be able to claim Pandemrix injury compensation for children who developed narcolepsy following the administration of the flu vaccine in 2009 and 2010.

Parents will be able to claim up to £120,000 Pandemrix injury compensation from the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme which is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the UK, provided that they are able to show that their child has suffered a severe disability.

If their claim for Pandemrix injury compensation is rejected, the families will still have the option of court action, but a DWP spokesperson said “The Department for Work and Pensions has looked at some vaccine damage payments cases again in light of new information regarding swine flu and narcolepsy provided by the Department for Health”.

The news comes just days after Health Minister James Reilly was criticised for comments he made about Pandemrix injury compensation in Ireland during a radio interview. The minister claimed that – to his knowledge – the financial assistance that had been requested by families in Ireland whose children had developed narcolepsy as a side effect of the vaccine had been provided.

However, the support group SOUND (Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder) objected to his remarks – stating that the assistance that was being provided was only temporary and alleging that the government had reneged on a promise to approve a permanent solution last year.

SOUND committee member Eilish Plunkett – who has a son who developed narcolepsy due to Pandemrix in 2010 – said that her son (Sean) has a permanent illness which needs permanent support. She added that the personal services and financial Pandemrix injury compensation could be withdrawn at any time under the current arrangements.

She claims that James Reilly made a commitment to the support group to have the recommendations made in the official report Investigation of an Increase in the Incidence of Narcolepsy in Children and Adolescents in 2009 and 2010” approved by the government before the 2012 summer recess. The report is still waiting to be heard.

Almost one million doses of Pandemrix were administered to children in Ireland due to the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009. SOUND provides support for families which contain children who are suffering from the side effects of the flu jab.

201306.20
0

Children Awarded Compensation for Breathing Problems

Twin sisters, who developed respiratory difficulties following renovations to the family home, have had settlements of compensation for breathing problems approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

The girls – eleven-year-old Abby and Chloe Croke of Raheny in Dublin – both developed breathing problems after a shower drain had been incorrectly fitted during renovations to the family bathroom.

Despite investigations into the source of the Chloe´s asthma and the issues which had affected the rest of the family, it was three years until fumes from the shower drain were identified as the cause of the problem.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, heard that remedial work had been carried out which had improved the health of the family, and that the girls´ mother – Ita Croke – had made a claim for breathing difficulties due to negligence against Alpha Engineering Heat Providers of Finglas, Dublin.

The judge was told that the heating company had agreed settlements of compensation for breathing difficulties for both girls amounting to €5,000 each and, after hearing that the offers were made without admission of liability, Judge Groarke approved the settlements.

201306.18
0

Settlements of Childcare Injury Compensation Claims Approved

Two settlements of childcare injury compensation claims have been approved in the High Court following separate cases brought by the parents of children injured in childcare facilities.

The first claim for childcare injury compensation was brought against the Sandy Childcare facility of Dunshaughlin, County Meath, by the father of Ella Rogerson from Navan, who suffered a serious eye injury when she was hit in the face by a jet of water from a hose in June 2010.

Ella´s father alleged that the childcare facility had been negligent and in breach of their duty of care when the accident happened – childcare injury compensation claims that the operators of the facility originally denied.

However, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard that an agreement of compensation for an injury in a childcare facility in the amount of €122,000 had been reached and, after hearing the circumstances of Ella´s accident and the injuries she had sustained, the judge approved the settlement.

The second of the childcare injury compensation claims concerned three-year-old Lauren Torpey, who tripped and suffered a deep laceration to her face when she fell against a sharp skirting board at the Giraffe Childcare facility in Harcourt Road, Dublin in June 2011.

Through her mother – Tara Lillywhite of Rathgar, Dublin – Lauren made a claim for childcare injury compensation in which liability for her injuries was accepted by the childcare centre and a settlement of €51,500 was agreed. Mr Justice Michael Peart, who was again sitting, approved the settlement.

201306.13
0

Judge Refuses Settlement of Compensation for a Dog Bite

A Circuit Court judge has refused to approve the settlement of compensation for a dog bite proposed for a nine-year-old girl bitten on the face by a neighbour´s dog.

The little girl – Amy Shortle of Donabate, County Dublin – had been playing with children of neighbours Thomas Tol and Tracey Lynch when, in December 2011, she bent down to change her shoes and was bitten by the family´s Spaniel.

Amy suffered a laceration on the left side of her face and two more on the right side which needed twenty stitches when the family took her to hospital. Amy´s doctors believe that she may require laser treatment in the future to prevent permanent scarring.

Amy´s parents agreed a settlement of compensation for a dog bite with the owners of the dog but, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Mr Justice Raymond Groarke refused to approve the settlement on the grounds that Amy was still experiencing ongoing discomfort from the injury and there was the potential requirement for more treatment in the future.

Judge Groake adjourned the proceedings for further negotiations between the two parties.

Footnote: All settlements of personal injury claims for children in Ireland must be approved by a judge before they can be resolved. Judge Groake was perfectly within his remit not to approve the settlement of compensation for a dog bite in this case, as Amy parents would be liable for any treatment costs should the revision of Amy´s scars through plastic surgery amount to more than the value of the settlement.

201306.05
0

Court Approves Injury Compensation for a Trip in a Museum

The Circuit Civil Court has approved a settlement of injury compensation for a trip in a museum for an eight-year-old boy who suffered an eye injury in an accident at the National Museum of Ireland.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, heard how Bradley Kavanagh from Dublin had been enjoying a visit to the National Museum of Ireland with his grandfather when he tripped on a ‘defective floor surface’ and cut his head just above his left eyebrow.

Bradley – who was six years of age at the time – was taken by ambulance to the Temple Street Children´s Hospital, where five stitches were inserted into the wound while he was under a general anaesthetic.

Through his parents, Bradley made a claim for injury compensation for a trip in a museum against the National Museum of Ireland and, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told, an offer of compensation amounting to €18,133 had been made by the museum which the family were willing to accept.

After hearing that the cut had resulted in a permanent scar above Bradley´s eye, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke approved the settlement.

201306.01
0

Compensation for a Bouncy Castle Injury Approved in Court

A seven-year-old child, who lost a tooth following an accident at the Craggaunowen prehistoric park, has had a settlement of compensation for a bouncy castle injury approved in court.

Aimee Turner from Kilmore, County Limerick, made the bouncy castle injury compensation claim through her mother – Rachel Cross – after being hurt at the award-winning visitor attraction in County Clare in April 2010.

While playing on the bouncy castle, Aimee – who was four-and-a-half years of age at the time – was struck on the left side of her mouth, damaging her upper left central baby incisor tooth. Due to the trauma, Aimee´s tooth became discoloured and she was referred by the family dentist to consultant maxillofacial surgeon Michael Kilbride, who extracted the damaged tooth.

After a further examination by the family dentist, it was determined that the discolouring of Aimee´s teeth had been caused by bleeding into the crown of the tooth which was caused by the accident at the Craggaunowen prehistoric park.

After seeking legal advice, Aimee´s mother made a claim for compensation for a bouncy castle injury against the owners of the site claiming that, at the time of her daughter´s injury, the inflatable toy was unsupervised.

Liability for Aimee´s injury was acknowledged and the claim for a bouncy castle injury was assessed by the Injuries Board at €5,000 for the pain and suffering Aimee had experienced plus a further €1,624 for the costs incurred by her mother.

As settlements of compensation involving children have to approved by a judge before the claim can be resolved, the case was presented to Circuit Court president – Mr Justice Raymond Groarke – who, after hearing that the tooth had been removed 18 months early and that there would be no permanent damage, approved the settlement of compensation for a bouncy castle injury.

201305.27
0

Sisters Receive Compensation for Injuries in a Fatal Car Accident

Two sisters have had settlements of compensation for injuries in a fatal car accident approved in court following their mother´s tragic death while the family were travelling to attend a family wedding.

Meabh and Aislinn Reid from Malahide in County Dublin were aged nine and four respectively when their mother – Marian – suffered fatal injuries in a car accident as the family were travelling to attend the wedding of Marian´s brother in Killaloe, County Clare.

The accident in June 2004 was caused by the girls´ father – Derek – driving into a stationary truck on the Nenagh bypass in County Tipperary. Marian – who was a primary school teacher – died from the injuries she sustained in the accident, while Meabh suffered soft tissue bruising and Aislinn´s leg was broken.

The two girls made a claim for injuries in a fatal car accident against their father and, at the High Court in Dublin the two settlements of compensation for injuries in a fatal car accident were approved – Meabh receiving €75,000 and Aislinn €155,000.

201305.23
0

Judge Approves Compensation for Arm Amputation Accident

A High Court judge has approved a €1.5 million settlement of compensation for an arm amputation accident that resulted in a young child having his arm cut off by a lawnmower blade.

Conor Byrne (6) from Kilva in County Cork was just two years of age when the accident occurred in his aunt´s garden in Carrigogna in May 2009.

Conor had been playing on the patio of his aunt´s home while his mother was helping her sister plant flowers in the garden, but the little boy slipped down the embankment onto the lawn where his cousin was operating a drive-on lawnmower.

Despite the lawnmower having a protective guard shielding the blade, Conor´s right arm went under the guard when he fell and it was amputated just below the elbow. Conor was rushed to Cork University Hospital, but doctors were unable to re-attach the severed arm.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Feeney heard that Conor´s father – Ciaran – had made a compensation claim for an arm amputation accident against his wife´s sister and her husband – Mary and Tom Keohane – and that a settlement of €1.5 million had been agreed.

The judge was also told that the value of compensation for the arm amputation accident had been calculated with consideration of Conor´s future anticipated losses and included the cost of adaptations to the family home in Kilva.

Mr Justice Feeney approved the settlement of compensation for an arm amputation accident after hearing that, despite losing his predominant arm, Conor was getting on well at school.