Compensation for Catastrophic Birth Injuries Approved in Court

An interim payment of compensation for catastrophic birth injuries has been approved in the High Court for a ten-year-old boy who suffers from severe dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

In February, the Coombe Hospital was found liable in a catastrophic birth injury claim brought against it by Dr Fiona Murphy of Malahide, County Dublin, on behalf of her son Eoin.

Eoin had been delivered at the hospital in July 2002 suffering from near total acute hypoxic ischaemia, but was not ventilated until seventeen minutes later because a paediatric registrar was not available at the time. As a consequence of the avoidable delay, Eoin´s brain was starved of oxygen and he now suffers from dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

After finding the Coombe Women’s and Infants’ University Hospital liable for Eoin´s injuries, Ms Justice Mary Irvine adjourned the case in February for the assessment of damages, and  yesterday the family were back in court to hear Mr Justice Michael Moriarty approved an interim settlement of compensation for catastrophic birth injuries amounting to €2.9 million.

The settlement is intended to provide initial support and care for Eoin, with a further hearing scheduled for two years time, when a review of Eoin´s future needs will be conducted and by which time a structured compensation payment system may be in place. After approving the settlement, the judge said it had been “a harrowing, taxing and difficult case” for Eoin’s family and legal advisers.

As part of the settlement of compensation for catastrophic birth injuries, the Coombe Hospital is also to drop its Supreme Court appeal against the February decision which found the hospital liable for Eoin´s injuries.


Compensation for Being Burned by Hot Tea in Burger King

A nine-year-old girl, who was scalded when a customer spilled a cup of tea on her, has been awarded €14,000 in compensation for being burned by hot tea in Burger King by the Circuit Civil Court.

Jade Boylan of Arbour Hill, Dublin, was just seven and a half years of age when, in December 2011, a cup of hot tea was spilled onto her in the Burger King restaurant in the Omni Shopping Centre in Dublin by a customer who had bumped into her.

Jade was taken to the A&E Department of the Temple Street Children´s Hospital, where she was treated for a second degree burn to her left shoulder. Jade had her wound cleaned and dressed, and was prescribed antibiotics, but the swift medical treatment failed to prevent a permanent scar developing on her shoulder.

Through her father, Michael Boylan, Jade made a claim for being burned by hot tea in Burger King against the restaurant claiming that, in addition to her physical injuries, she also became nervous around a boiling kettle.

At the Civil Circuit Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery was told that the restaurant had made an offer of €14,000 in compensation for being burned by hot tea in Burger King and the family had been advised to accept it. After hearing evidence from Jade´s father about her accident, the judge approved the settlement.


Compensation for a Back Seat Passenger Awarded in Court

A boy, who suffered severe physical and psychological injuries when a car he was travelling in was hit an uninsured driver, has been awarded injury compensation for a back seat passenger at the High Court.

Ben Conroy – a member of the senior Laois GAA hurling panel – was seated in the rear seat of a car which was struck from behind by another car attempting an overtaking manoeuvre on the Rushin Road in Mountrath, County Laois, on March 15th 2009.

As Ben was only 14 years of age at the time of the accident, he made a claim for back seat passenger injury compensation through his father, Ben Conroy Snr, against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), as both the driver of the car which struck him and its owner were uninsured.

 Liability for Ben´s injuries was accepted by the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, but the claim for injury compensation for a back seat passenger had to go to the High Court for the assessment of damages. After hearing evidence in relation to the nature of his injuries, Ben was awarded €20,600 by the court.


Compensation for a Casualty Department Misdiagnosis Approved

A grieving family have had a settlement of compensation for a casualty department misdiagnosis approved after hearing a statement read out in court apologising for the healthcare that resulted in death of their son.   

The parents of eight-year-old Richard de Souza made their claim for compensation for a casualty department misdiagnosis following the events of February 2011, when Ralmon and Flavia de Souza attended the A&E department of the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise with their son who was suffering from chicken pox.

The two parents were concerned about a large swelling under Richard´s left arm that was hot to touch and were told by a doctor at the hospital that Richard had developed an infection. The doctor prescribed a three-day supply of antibiotics and sent the family home.

However, later that evening, Richard developed a great thirst and became delirious. The following morning he complained of feeling the need to vomit before passing out at the family home in Athy, County Kildare. An ambulance was called, but Richard was in a state of cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived and he was declared dead on arrival at the Midland Regional Hospital.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Richard´s cause of death was a streptococcal infection which led to toxic shock syndrome. She was told that a patient displaying a high temperature and high pulse and heart rate would normally be admitted to hospital straight away and that had Richard been administered intravenous antibiotics at the time it would have saved his life.

The judge also heard that Ralmon de Souza had to be hospitalised due to the severity of the nervous shock he sustained on hearing about his son´s death and, because of Ralmon´s grief, eight-month pregnant Flavia de Souza had to attend her son´s funeral alone. Both parents were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following Richard´s death.

As part of the €160,000 settlement of the de Souza´s claim for a casualty department misdiagnosis, an apology was read out in court apologising for the mistakes which led to Richard de Souza´s death. After hearing the apology, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of compensation for a casualty department misdiagnosis.


Compensation Settlement for Cerebral Palsy Approved in Court

A ten-year-old boy, who alleged through his mother that he suffered foetal distress due to a hospital´s mismanagement of his birth, has had an interim compensation settlement for cerebral palsy approved at the High Court.

Jamie Patterson from Drimnagh in Dublin was born in November 2002 at the city´s Coombe Hospital after his mother – Teresa – had been administered the drug Syntocinon to help start her contractions.

However, the hospital allegedly failed to take into account that the administration of the drug could cause foetal distress without careful monitoring, and Jamie was born with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia.

Through his mother, Jamie – who is unable to talk and can only communicate through body language and facial expressions – made a claim for cerebral palsy compensation on the grounds that Coombe Hospital failed to exercise a proper standard of care for Jamie and his mother.

The claims were denied by the hospital but, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill heard that an interim compensation settlement for cerebral palsy of €1.58 million had been agreed between Jamie´s legal representatives and the Health Service Executive.

The judge also heard that the interim compensation settlement for cerebral palsy was made without admission of liability. Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill approved the settlement – saying that it was an extremely prudent settlement – and adjourned the case for two years while an assessment is made of Jamie´s future needs.


Claim for Birth Injuries due to Lack of Staff Resolved in Court

The family of a girl who suffered brain damage at her birth due to hospital obstetric negligence have had their claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff resolved at the High Court in Dublin.

Alex Butler (8) from Dunmore East, County Waterford, was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital in April 2005; however, due to the hospital´s failure to have an adequate number of properly trained competent medical staff to deal with the Alex´s delivery, and to ensure that an adequate and properly competent obstetrician was available, Alex´s delivery was delayed by twelve minutes – during which time she suffered brain damage which led to permanent tetraplegic injury.

Through her mother – Sonya – Alex made a claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff at the hospital, alleging that her consultant obstetrician had been allowed to take leave at the same time as the hospital´s two other obstetricians and that the hospital had employed a locum obstetrician without ensuring that he competent. It was further claimed that Sonya´s pre-operative assessment was substandard and there was a failure to recognise the necessity for a Caesarean section.

The High Court heard that the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted liability for Alex´s injuries, and the claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff against the consultant obstetrician – John Bermingham – and locum obstetrician – Mahmud Khbuli – were dismissed. A representative from Waterford read out an apology for the mismanagement of Alex´s birth and accepted that the mistakes that were made should never have happened.

The Court also heard that an interim settlement of Alex´s claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff amounting to €1.4 million had been agreed upon between the HSE and Alex´s parents. The compensation settlement is to be reviewed again in two years when an assessment of Alex´s care needs for the future has been made, and by which time it is hoped that the option of a structured settlement is available.


Court Approves Compensation for the Wrongful Death of a Child

The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for the wrongful death of a child after a statement was read out in court apologising for the death of the child due to a delayed diagnosis.

Kaiden Costello was admitted to Temple Street Children´s Hospital in April 2009 when he was just six months old, as his concerned mother – Kate – had noticed her son was off his food. Kaiden was diagnosed with a failure to thrive, but two months later was re-admitted and an MRI revealed that his condition was due to a brain tumour. Kaiden underwent surgery to remove the tumour in July 2009, but he died three days later.

Kaiden´s mother made a claim for the wrongful death of a child due to a delayed diagnosis against the hospital and HSE; alleging that, had an MRI been conducted when Kaiden was first admitted to the hospital and the tumour identified sooner, her son could have received chemotherapy treatment that would have extended his life by five to ten years or undergone surgery earlier to remove the tumour.

In the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that liability for the failure to diagnose Kaiden had been admitted by Temple Street Children´s Hospital and a settlement of compensation for the wrongful death of a child had been agreed upon amounting to €180,000.

As part of the settlement agreement, an apology was read out by CEO of Temple Street Children´s Hospital – Mona Baker – who said that she understood that no apology or compensation arising from Kaiden´s death could negate the continuing heartache that the family must feel every day.

Judge Cross thereafter approved the settlement of compensation for the wrongful death of a child which comprised of €145,000 for Kate Costello´s nervous shock as a result of the death of her son and €35,000 relating to the wrongful death due to a delayed diagnosis.


Compensation for a Childs Cut Knee Approved in Court

A settlement of compensation for a childs cut knee has been approved by Judge Matthew Deery following a hearing in the Circuit Civil Court.

Ellen Hackett of Artane in Dublin was just four years of age in June 2011 when she knelt on some broken glass which was on the floor of the crèche she was attending, while settling down with other young children to watch  a concert at the Artane Beaumont Family Recreation Centre in Dublin.

The deep cut to her right knee was of such severity that she was taken immediately to Temple Street Children´s Hospital for treatment. Once Ellen had been discharged from hospital, her mother sought legal advice and made a claim for a childs cut knee against the recreation centre on her daughter’s behalf.

The Artane Beaumont Family Recreation Centre acknowledged their liability for Ellen´s cut knee injury and gave their consent for the Injuries Board to assess the compensation claim for a childs cut knee.

The value of the claim was assessed at €25,000 plus €1,931 and legal costs, to which both parties agreed. However, as Ellen is still a legal minor, the settlement of compensation for a childs cut knee still needed court approval.

After hearing the circumstances of Ellen´s injuries and the fact that she has been left with a permanent scar, Mr Matthew Deery approved the Board´s assessment.


Coombe Hospital Liable in Catastrophic Birth Injury Claim

A High Court judge has found the Coombe Women´s Hospital in Dublin negligent in a catastrophic birth injury claim brought against it by a ten-year-old boy.

The claim for catastrophic birth injury compensation was made by Fiona Murphy of Malahide, County Dublin, on behalf of her son Eoin (10) following the events of his birth on 12th July 2002.

Eoin had been born suffering from near total acute hypoxic ischaemia which an investigation into the catastrophic birth injury claim determined had begun two or three minutes before he was delivered.

However, rather than resuscitating Eoin within minutes of his birth, a delay of seventeen minutes occurred due to a paediatric registrar not being available and, as a consequence, Eoin sustained irreversible brain damage and now suffers from severe dyskinetic cerebral palsy .

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that, had the hospital acted with reasonable care for Eoin’s welfare, there was no reason why he should not have been effectively ventilated by the time he was nine minutes old which would have prevented his injuries from occurring.

Finding the Coombe Women’s and Infants’ University Hospital liable for Eoin´s injuries, the judge said “the delay was unacceptable and the hospital was negligent in failing to ensure the child received the type of intubation and ventilation mandated in the first 10 minutes of his life”.

Eoin´s catastrophic birth injury claim has now been adjourned for the assessment of damages.

UPDATE May 2013: Eoin was awarded an interim settlement of €1.9 million in compensation for catastrophic birth injuries in May 2013, with his case adjourned for a further two years when a review of his future requirements will be conducted.


Compensation for a Childs Arm Injury Approved in Court

A boy, who lost significant use of his right arm due to alleged hospital negligence during his birth, has had a settlement of €340,000 compensation for a childs arm injury approved in the High Court.

Jack Fitzpatrick of Clonmel, County Tipperary, was born at the St Joseph’s Hospital in Clonmel on April 9th 2002 but, soon after his birth, it was noticed that the whole of his right arm was weak. Jack was diagnosed with an Erb´s Palsy injury – most often caused by the stretching and tearing of nerves contained within the brachial plexus – which affects the movement and strength of the affected limb.

After seeking legal advice, Jack´s mother – Catriona Fitzpatrick – made a claim for childs arm injury compensation against St Joseph´s Hospital and the Health Service Executive on behalf of her son, claiming that medical negligence during the time of Jack´s birth was responsible for the condition.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Sean Ryan heard that Jack´s injury prevented him from playing racquet sports and would prevent him from the family tradition of becoming a Garda. Mr Justice Sean Ryan was also told that, despite his handicap, Jack – now ten years of age – dealt with his arm injury remarkably well and was the fastest runner in his class.

The judge approved a negotiated settlement of compensation for a childs arm injury amounting to €340,000, praising Jack’s parents for the work they had done in carrying out physiotherapy exercises on his arm.


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.


Court Approves Compensation for Child Passenger in Car Crash

A young girl, who suffered spinal injuries in a traffic accident which left her paralysed from the waist down, has had a settlement of compensation for a child passenger in a car crash approved at the High Court.

Britney Arendse (now 12) of Kells, County Meath, was returning from a day out on Bettystown Beach in June 2009 with her mother -Bridgitte – her mother´s friend and the friend´s two daughters, when a car being driven on the wrong side of the road collided with them.

Bridgitte Arendse – who was driving – and her four passengers had to be cut from the wreckage of the vehicle and were rushed to hospital, where Britney remained in a coma for three weeks before being transferred to Temple Street Children’s Hospital and then to the National Rehabilitation Unit in Dun Laoghaire.

After it was confirmed by doctors that Britney will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, Bridgitte Arendse made a claim for compensation for a child passenger in a car crash against the driver of the vehicle – Sean McKenna – and the owner of the vehicle – Patricia McKenna – both of Duleek, County Meath.

Liability was acknowledged for Britney´s injuries and a settlement of compensation for child passenger in car crash was agreed amounting to €3.9 million. As with all compensation settlements involving children, the settlement had first to be approved by a judge and, after hearing the circumstances of the accident and the injuries sustained by Britney, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement at the High Court.


Compensation for Faulty Ear Piercing Awarded to Girl

An 11-year-old girl, who required plastic surgery to repair vertical splits in her ears due to the negligence of a beauty salon, has had an award of compensation for faulty ear piercing approved in court.

Nicole Smyth was just six years of age when she attended the Claires Accessories beauty salon in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, County Dublin, in April 2007 to have both her ears pierced. A month after the procedure, the holes in both her ear lobes had elongated and eventually the stud in her right ear fell through a vertical split in her ear lobe.

Nicole, who lives close to the Liffey Valley Shopping centre, went with her mother – Saraqh – to the Swiftcare Clinic in Dundrum, where she was referred to Our Lady´s Hospital, Crumlin. At Our Lady´s she was placed under a general anaesthetic and had both ears repaired by plastic surgery. As a result of the trauma to her ear, Nicole has been left with a small scar.

After doctors determined that the reason for the ear lobe splitting was because the piercing had been performed too low on the ear, Nicole´s mother made a claim for faulty ear piercing against Claires Accessories – claiming that their negligence had resulted in Nicole´s injury and subsequent distress causing her to now cover her ear with her hair.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Matthew Deery heard that Claires Accessories admitted their liability for Nicole´s injury and had made an offer of compensation for faulty ear piercing amounting to €22,000 which the family were prepared to accept. Judge Matthew Deery approved the award, stating that it was a very good settlement considering the circumstances.


Compensation for Mild Cerebral Palsy Approved in Court

An award of compensation for mild cerebral palsy amounting to €1.35 million has been approved in the High Court in favour of eleven-year-old Shane Fitzgerald.

Shane, from Lehanaghmore in County Cork, had sued consultant obstetrician Dr David Corr and the Bon Secours Health System Ltd, trading as the Bon Secours Hospital, College Road, Cork City, through his mother Susan after alleged delays in Shane´s delivery on April 10th 2001.

It was claimed in Shane´s action that, due to an alleged delay in his birth, he suffered from a lack of oxygen to his brain and was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy. Had Shane been delivered earlier, it was claimed in his action, he would have been spared his injury.

Both Dr Corr and the Bon Secours Hospital denied their liability for Shane´s injury but, at the High Court, Mrs Justice Mary Irvine was told that an offer of settlement of €1.35 million had been made in respect of Shane´s claim for mild cerebral palsy compensation without admission of liability.

Mrs Justice Mary Irvine was told that, despite his condition, Shane is doing very well in school and is a “happy young man”. The judge approved the compensation for mild cerebral palsy settlement – noting that it was a good settlement, as there may have been issues concerning liability had the hospital negligence case been litigated in court.


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.


Compensation for Delayed Hospital Action Approved in Court

A settlement of compensation for delayed hospital action has been approved at the High Court in the case of Brid Courtney – two years after the brain damaged child was awarded an interim payment.

Brid, who is now nine years old and comes from Ardfert in County Kerry, was born in Tralee General Hospital in February 2003 suffering from brain damage after medical staff at the hospital allegedly failed to act on a sudden and dramatic change in the foetal heart rate pattern.

As a consequence of the decrease in heart beat, Brid suffered perinatal asphyxia in the womb and because of the oxygen starvation is now confined to a wheelchair from which she has to be lifted bodily. She is also unable to speak and has to rely on the use of her eyes and facial expressions to communicate with her family.

Following a claim for injury due to delayed hospital action made through her mother – Deidre – the Health Service Executive agreed to settle the claim without admission of liability and, in November 2010, Mr Justice John Quirke approved an interim payment of 2 million Euros and adjourned the case for two years to allow for the introduction of periodic payments.

However, a system for periodic compensation payments for catastrophic injuries has still not been brought in by the government and – two years after the initial payment of compensation for delayed hospital action was approved – the case returned before the court for the approval of a final settlement.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard evidence from experts that a further 9 million Euros in compensation for delayed hospital action would be required to provide adequate care for Brid through the remainder of her expected life and, as both Brid´s mother and the Health Service Executive agreed with the expert´s assessment, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement.


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.


Compensation for Football Injury Approved in High Court

A young girl, who sustained a serious neck injury after the crossbar of a goal fell on her head, has had her settlement of compensation for a football injury approved in the High Court.

Jessica Fidgeon Cush (17) from Lusk, County Dublin, was just eleven years of age when her accident happened in October 2006. While playing in goal for Round Towers Lusk GAA in a Gaelic football game at the at the Starlights GAA Club in Collinstown, North Dublin, the crossbar fell from the goalposts and hit Jessica on head.

X-rays taken on her arrival at hospital revealed that Jessica had a lucky escape. Her sixth vertebrae was broken but, had the crossbar had hit her once inch either side of her injury, she would have been killed or paralysed. Jessica was required to wear a neck brace while her injury healed, but also suffered from headaches, nightmares and flashbacks, and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after developing a fear of dying.

Through her father – Philip – Jessica made a claim for compensation for a football injury against the Gaelic Athletic Association, as the GAA are responsible for the organisation, control and supervision of Gaelic games in the State. In the action it was claimed that the goalposts had been allowed to remain in an unsafe condition, that no inspection of the goalposts had been undertaken and that there was a failure to ensure that the crossbar was adequately secured to the goalposts.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told that the case before him was only for the approval of damages, as a compensation settlement of 50,000 Euros had been agreed between the two parties. After hearing the details of the case, Mr Justice Kearns approved the settlement of compensation for a football injury which will be paid into court for one year until Jessica reaches the age of eighteen.


Compensation for Childrens Sport Injury Awarded

A child, whose family alleged he suffered devastating injuries due to the type of bat used in a baseball game, has been awarded 14.5 million dollars in compensation for childrens sport injury in an out of court settlement.

Steven Domalewski was twelve years of age when his tragic accident happened. Playing as a pitcher in a Police Athletic League baseball game in 2006, the player to who Steven pitched the ball hit it back with such force that it caused Steven to suffer a cardiac arrest when it hit him on the chest.

Despite the attentions of parents and officials, it was almost twenty minutes before Steven regained consciousness – during which time his brain was starved of oxygen, resulting in him sustaining permanent and irreversible brain damage.

Steven´s family made a claim for childrens sports injury compensation, based on the grounds that the baseball bat that was used was in the game was made of metal and, because of the additional power it provided in relation to wooden bats, should not have been used in a children´s game of baseball.

Liability was denied by Little League Baseball who sanctioned the bat as safe to use, Hillerich and Bradsby – the manufacturers of the “Louisville Slugger” metal baseball bat – and the national retailer of the bat, The Sports Authority.

However, solicitors acting on behalf of the Domalewski family argued that – in 2008 – Little League Baseball limited the performance of metal bats used in children´s games of baseball to the same as that of wooden bats, with an eighty percent reduction in injuries to pitchers.

A trial date was set but, as opening statements were about to be heard, the State Superior Court in Passaic County heard that an agreement of compensation for childrens sport injury had been negotiated between the parties and that Steven was to receive 14.5 million dollars to provide him with the care that he will need for the rest of his life.


Baby Chairs Recalled due to Claims of Bumbo Seat Injury

Following complaints and reports of injury made to the American Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) a popular series of baby chairs have been recalled due to claims of Bumbo seat injury.

The chairs – which are manufactured for babies aged from 3 months to 10 months – are sold in Ireland through various retail outlets and online stores for around 40 Euros, but have been found to be unstable when used by active children and have lead to several serious injuries when babies have rocked from side-to-side or leant backwards.

Marketed in Ireland as Bumbo Baby Sitters, Bumbo Baby Chairs and Bumbo Baby Chairs, the product was originally withdrawn in 2007 after it was found that parents in the US were placing their new-born children at risk by leaving them unattended and unrestrained in the Bumbo chairs placed on a table. More than twenty reports of infants sustaining injuries due to falling out of Bumbo Baby Chairs were received by the CPSC – including two of a fractured skull injury.

Since the product was re-introduced into the States, more than four million sitters have been sold. However, the application of a label advising parents that the Bumbo baby Seats should not be used at height has not stopped the complaints from continuing. Between 2007 and 2011 the CPSC received more than 50 reports of injuries to children due to using the Bumbo Baby Sitters – with a further 19 skull fractures recorded.

In November 2011, when it was learned that a number of these skull fracture injuries were sustained by children seated on the floor, the CPSC issued a health warning advising parents to be vigilant whenever they placed their children into a Bumbo Baby Seat. This further warning failed to stop Bumbo Baby Sitter accidents from occurring, and now the manufacturer has recalled the baby seats – with the CPSC issuing instructions that they should not be used until a repair kit which includes a safety harness has been obtained from Bumbo International.

In Ireland, parents should also stop sitting their children in the faulty chairs until a restraint has been received from the vendor from whom the sitter was purchased. Although the baby chair recall has not yet been extended to Ireland, parents of children who have sustained an injury due to a faulty chair should contact a solicitor to discuss their right to claim for Bumbo Seat Injury Compensation.


Tricycle Injury Compensation Approved at High Court

A child, who sustained head and leg injuries when he was thrown from his tricycle following a collision with a car, is to receive 100,000 Euros in tricycle injury compensation after the settlement of his claim was approved in the High Court.

Bartosz Zakrzewski from Birr, County Offaly, was just nine years of age when the accident occurred in July 2010. As he was cycling along An Coran Street in Birr, his tricycle was in collision with a car driven by Caitríona Kelly – also a resident of Birr, County Offaly. Bartosz´s tricycle was hit with such force that the boy was thrown several metres along the ground – suffering head injuries, curs and lacerations to his body as he fell and sustaining a broken leg.

Bartosz made a claim for tricycle injury compensation through his mother – Monika – claiming that Ms Kelly had been driving without due care and attention and in breach of her duty of care. Ms Kelly denied the allegations and – because of the potential value of damages that could be awarded in this case – the claim was scheduled to be heard at Dublin´s High Court.

However, shortly before proceedings at the High Court were due to begin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that an agreement had been reached to settle Bartosz´s claim for tricycle injury compensation in the amount of 100,000 Euros without an admission of liability from Ms Kelly. The judge approved the settlement of Bartosz´s tricycle injury claim, commenting that she had sympathy for both Bartosz´s family and Ms Kelly.


Compensation for Child Football Injury Approved in Court

An eleven-year-old boy, who sustained a broken leg while playing football on council property, has had a settlement of compensation for child football injury approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Kristin McMahon from Dublin was just eight years of age when the accident occurred in June 2009 at the Dublin City Council owned site of the former fish market in St. Michan´s Street. While playing in a competition hosted by Bradog Youth Services Ltd, Kristin fell on the concrete surface and sustained injuries to his knee and leg.

Kirstin was taken to the Children´s University Hospital in Temple Street by ambulance where x-rays revealed a fractured tibia and Kristin was fitted with a plaster cast which he had to wear for several weeks.

Through his mother, Carol Mooney, Kristin made a claim for child football injury compensation against Bradog Youth Services Ltd and Dublin City Council and, in a negotiated settlement, the two defendant´s agreed to pay 20,000 Euros in compensation for child football injury.

As with all compensation claims for children, the settlement had to be approved in court and, after hearing the circumstances of Kristin´s accident and the consequences to his quality of life while he was recovering, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement of child football injury compensation.


Injury Compensation for Dangerous Shop Display Approved

A County Wicklow schoolgirl, who sustained cuts and abrasions after catching her leg on a faulty cake display in Dunnes Stores, is to receive 21,000 Euros in compensation after her injury compensation for dangerous shop display settlement was approved in court.

Jade Earls (11) from Bray in County Wicklow had been shopping with her mother in the Dunnes Stores at Cornelscourt in Dublin when the accident happened in July 2010. As Jade passed by a stand displaying cakes, she snagged her leg on some rusty nails which were protruding from the support for the stand.

Judge Alan Mahon at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court heard that Jade sustained a 10 centimetre abrasion and a four centimetre laceration in the accident and, although both had healed successfully, Jade had been left with a permanent scar on her left leg.

After seeking legal advice, Jade made a claim for dangerous shop display injury compensation against Dunnes Stores and ABF Grain Products, Grosvenor Street, London, through her mother – Fidelma. The court heard that the two defendants had accepted liability on a 60&40 basis and that an offer of compensation had been made.

Judge Mahon heard that the offer of injury compensation for dangerous shop display amounted to 12,000 Euros plus costs and, as the family were prepared to accept the offer, he approved the settlement.


Compensation for a Fall in Toy Shop Approved in Court

A girl of five, who will be left with a permanent scar after a fall in Hamleys, has had a settlement of compensation for a fall in toy shop approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Brianna Healy (5) from Ballinteer, Dublin, was just two-years-old when she fell and hit her head at the Hamleys Toy Store in Dundrum, Dublin, on 23rd February 2009. Due to her accident, Brianna will have a scar on her face for the rest of her life.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard that the store had admitted liability for Brianna´s injury, but the family had not been satisfied with the original offer of compensation for a fall in toy shop and had taken legal advice.

A revised offer of 27,500 Euros was negotiated, which the family were happy with, and after hearing that the case was before him for the approval of damages, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement and wished Brianna well for the future.


Record Car Crash Injury Compensation in Ireland Approved

The highest ever award of car crash injury compensation in Ireland was made this week to a boy who sustained devastating injuries while travelling as a passenger in a car driven by his mother.

Cullen Kennedy (10), of Loughrea, County Galway, was awarded 11.5 million Euros at the High Court in Dublin following an accident in May 2008 when he was thrown against the windscreen of his mother´s car – despite being secured in a bolster chair on the rear seat – and suffered such devastating injuries that he is now a quadriplegic and breathes through a ventilator.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that on May 5th 2008, Cullen´s mother – Margaret – was momentarily distracted by her son and due to a “momentary lapse of concentration” wandered into the path of an oncoming car. Neither Margaret nor the driver of the other vehicle suffered any serious injury, but Cullen suffered severe spinal injuries which will confine him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

As Margaret Cullen was an uninsured driver, a claim for car accidents without insurance compensation was made by Cullen´s grandmother on his behalf against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). After assessing the care that Cullen had already received and what he made need for the future, an award of 11.5 million Euros was agreed which, although being a record for car crash injury compensation in Ireland, drew criticism from Ms Justice Mary Irvine.

Approving the lump sum payment, but condemning the lack of Periodic Payment Orders (PPOs), Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that the courts were gambling with the lives of those who had suffered catastrophic injuries. “The reality is the courts don’t know when people are going to die,” she said. “We are gambling every day.” Her comments were made in the context of an injured person living longer than anticipated by medical experts and running out of money to fund their care.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine noted that a working group on Periodic Payment Orders had been established in 2008, and had reported in October 2010 that legislation should be introduced to allow cases concerning a catastrophic injury to be settled on the basis of annual payments (PPOs). While Ms Justice Mary Irvine had “no doubt the Government has very significant issues to deal with” she said that the absence of legislation had left the courts guessing about the security, welfare and futures of the most vulnerable litigants.


Erbs Palsy Compensation Approved for Cork Girl

A teenager from Cork is set to receive 700,000 Euros after a proposed settlement for Erbs Palsy compensation was approved at the High Court in Dublin.

Aoife James (14) from Douglas in Cork, was born in 1998 with Erbs Palsy – a condition also known as Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy, which is caused by the over-extension of the nerves between the neck and shoulder during delivery.

In the majority of cases, the nerves heal themselves within the first few months of an infant´s life, but in Aoife´s case the condition remained in her right side and she is unable to perform relatively basic tasks such as wash herself or dry her hair using her right arm.

Despite intense physiotherapy and two major operations, Aoife´s condition has not improved and claiming through her mother, Carol, that her condition was due to medical negligence at the time of her birth, Aoife made a birth injury compensation claim against the attending consultant obstetrician – Patrick Kieran of the Cork Clinic, Western Road, Cork.

In her claim for Erbs Palsy compensation, Aoife alleged that she suffered permanent right-sided Erbs Palsy due to the obstetrician´s negligence, and that her severely functionally compromised upper right limb was responsible for a deterioration in her quality of life.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that an offer of Erbs Palsy compensation had been made without admission of liability and the family were willing to accept it. Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the amount of 700,000 Euros, and ordered that it be paid into court funds until Aoife reaches the age of eighteen.


Claims for Pandemrix Narcolepsy Connection Played Down by IMB

The Irish Medicines Board has played down claims for Pandemrix narcolepsy connection, despite a report showing 779 adverse reactions to the H1N1 swine flu vaccine between January 2010 and December 2011.

In a statement responding to the report, the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) said that the high number of reported adverse reactions – which included thirty confirmed cases of young people with the sleeping disorder narcolepsy – was due to “both the extent of usage and repeated requests and reminders by the IMB and Health Service Executive for reporting of experience with their use”.

Many of the recorded adverse reactions were relatively mild and included health issues such as gastrointestinal problems and flu-like symptoms; however the report comes at an important time for those making claims for Pandemrix narcolepsy connection following the news that the Finnish government has started making compensation payments to those who developed narcolepsy due to the vaccine in Finland.

A fund of 30 million Euros has been set aside in Finland to pay for medical care, medication and travel costs for treatment, along with other expenses incurred as a result of narcolepsy caused by the Pandemrix vaccinations. As narcolepsy is a life-long condition, and can be passed down to later generations, Finnish Permanent Secretary at the Minister of Social Affairs and Health – Kari Välimäki – has acknowledged that the fund is unlikely to sufficient to cover the claims for Pandemrix narcolepsy, and that the State may have to substantially increase the amount available to cover claims of medical negligence.

The connection between Pandemrix and the subsequent development of narcolepsy in young people was supported by research from Finland’s Institute for Health and Welfare. It was discovered that children administered with Pandemrix were nine times more likely to develop narcolepsy than those who did not have the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

Their findings were confirmed in Sweden where, in March 2011, the Swedish Medical Products Agency compiled a report which revealed a four-fold increase in cases of narcolepsy among children under the age of nineteen who had received the Pandenrix swine flu vaccine as opposed to those who had not.

The European Medicines Agency´s own study in July 2011 showed a six to thirteen-fold “increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents” vaccinated with Pandemrix compared with unvaccinated children.

Despite the alarming reports coming out of the rest of Europe, in September 2011 Health Minister, Dr James Reilly defended the actions of his predecessor Mary Harney who encouraged people to be vaccinated with the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine when Ireland faced the risk of an epidemic. Dr Reilly told the Dáil that “no link has been established yet between the swine flu vaccine and narcolepsy, but the Government will endeavour to ensure all families [of children diagnosed with narcolepsy] get the medical and social supports they need”.

The IMB added that despite adverse reactions to the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine heading the list of the drugs to which people had suffered side effects, the presence of a medicine on an overall list of adverse reactions could not be taken as an indicator of relative safety or risk.

The use of Pandemrix is no longer recommended in Ireland and GPs have been advised to return any remaining stocks.


Child Trip and Fall Compensation Approved for Schoolgirl

A girl, who tripped and fell in a hole due to the alleged negligence of an international construction company, has had her settlement of child trip and fall compensation approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Kodie Geoghegan Dowdall (12) of Ballymun, Dublin was on her way to visit her aunt in December 2006, when she tripped and fell into a hole which had been dug by the construction company SIAC. Sustaining a cut to her head which has since developed into a permanent scar, Kodie made a child accident claim against the company through her mother.

Circuit Civil Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, heard that SIAC Construction denied that they had been negligent but were willing to offer a settlement of 20,000 Euros in child trip and fall compensation. After hearing that the scar could be treated with excision and resuturing once Kodie turned eighteen, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the compensation settlement.


Playground Fall Compensation Awarded to Teenager

A teenage boy who fell and broke his wrist on a Dublin City Council playground has had an offer of compensation in respect of his playground accident claim approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Terence Power (15) from Dublin fell in the playground at St. Mary´s Place while playing football with friends. The accident occurred after Terence caught his foot in a poorly maintained perimeter fence and, after X-rays revealed that he had suffered an undisclosed fracture of the left wrist, Terence had to wear a plaster cast for five weeks.

Circuit Civil Court President, Mr. Matthew Deery, heard how the accident had hindered Terence´s training to be a boxer and that Dublin City Council had offered 12,000 Euros in settlement of Terence´s playground accident claim. Mr. Deery was told by Terence´s legal representatives that Terence and his family were happy to accept the offer of playground fall compensation, which was duly approved.


Child Bitten by Dog Off Lead in Public Park

A letter published in today´s Independent has asked a question about what a parent should do when their child is bitten by a dog off a lead in a public park.

Fortunately the child´s skin was not punctured and, other than the trauma of being attacked by the dog, the boy did not suffer any injury. Nonetheless, his parent took him to hospital for a precautionary tetanus injection.

The issue raised by the parent was that the owner of the dog said that he was allowed to let his dog off the lead between certain hours, and whereas this might be the case in certain local authorities, the parent wanted to know if there were other standards in place to prevent a child being bitten by a dog off a lead in a public place.

In answer to the question, the Independent´s legal advisor listed some of the legislation governing the control of pets in public places and gave the parent a number of options.

According to the legal advisor, all dogs in public places must be under the control of their owner or another person able to control the animal (Control of Dogs Act 1986 and 1992). Under Section 22 of the Act, a dog that is proven to have attacked a person has not been kept under control and is dealt with as a “dangerous dog”.

This means that that the parent could report their child being bitten by a dog off a lead in a public place and the District Court could impose fines on the owner and order to have the dog destroyed – irrespective of any bye-laws.

The parent could also make a claim for compensation on behalf of their child for being bitten by a dog off a lead in a public place under the Civil Liability Act 1961, even though the boy did not suffer any physical injury.

The legal advisor also quoted figures from the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), who estimates that up to half of children will have been bitten by a dog by the age of 12; although the majority of these incidents involve a family pet who has been teased or unintentionally provoked.

Nationwide there were 3,654 on-the-spot fines issued and 225 dog owners prosecuted under the Control of Dogs Act in 2010.