201812.11
0

€30k Compensation after 16-year-old Girl Finds Glass in Jar of Nutella

A teenage student has been awarded more than €30,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court in relation to an incident in which, she alleges, she swallowed a chocolate spread that had miniscule shards of glass in it.

The girl, 16-year-old Jamie Lee McAdam, took the product injury compensation action through her mother Natasha, against Ferrero UK Limited, Greenford, England, producers of branded chocolate and confectionary products, in this case Nutella.

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

Mr Binchy, told the court that Jamie Lee had been injured after consuming Nutella spread over a bagel that her mother had prepared for her. While investigating Jamie Lee’s injury her family discovered there were numerous pieces of glass in the Nutella that remained in the bottom of the jar.

The Nutella in question had been produced in the United Kingdom by Ferrero and bought in a sealed jar in an Irish grocer. Mr Binchy said Jamie Lee had become very worried in the hours following the event when she started to suffer stomach pains.  Her mother had called Temple Street Children’s Hospital and had been advised by staff to bring her daughter to the hospital to be seen.

She had been attended to by a Doctor and x-rays were conducted but no fragments of glass had been found and she had been sent home without any further treatment being administered. Jamie Lee was unable to remain in school the next day as she was suffering from further pain. The following day she had experienced pains in her stomach and had to go home from school.

Judge Groarke approved the offer which will remain in court funds until Jamie Lee’s 18th birthday.

201812.05
0

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

A Limerick man as been awarded over €80,000 by the High Court after being successful in his personal injury compensation claim for slipping on a wet floor at the Copper Face Jacks nightclub and breaking his ankle in two places.

Colin McNamara, a bar manager from Limerick was in the Dublin nightclub after attending an Ireland soccer at the Aviva Stadium in 2015.

Mr McNamara (aged 36), Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co Limerick had take the nite club accident compensation action against Breanagh Catering Ltd, with offices at Harcourt Street, Dublin, and the owners of the nightclub Copper Face Jacks at Harcourt Street, Dublin, as a result of the accident that occurred on October 9, 2015. In his action he (Mr McNamara) stated that he slipped on a floor which he alleged was wet and represented a slipping hazard to patrons. He went on to say that was an alleged failure to implement  any adequate steps to clean and dry the floor surface. Finally, he claimed that the floor had been, allegedly, allowed to remain wet and slippy and allegedly posed a danger to patrons. As a result of this neglect Mr McNamara, allegedly, slipped and injured himself.

The defendants in the personal injury compensation action denied these claims.

In the evidence he presented in the High Court, Mr McNamara informed the Judge that bouncers came and picked him from the floor and brought him out to a back alley where a member of staff looked at his leg and ankle before advising him that it was not broken.

After being told that the security staff could not call an ambulance, Mr McNamara said he “hobbled away” and got a taxi back to his hotel. AS he was still in a considerable amount of pain when he returned to Limerick he went to hospital where he was informed that he had fractured his ankle. As a result of this he had to have surgery and was on crutches.

Mr Justice Hanna told the Court that he had been given an order of the court giving judgment against the defendant in this case, therefore issues of liability were not an issue. It would have been open to the defendant to

As attempts at resolution were unsuccessful the defendant chose not intervene in court to challenge the medical evidence, as was their right, but instead opted for a legal cost accountant. Due to this the defendant, though not represented, was not deemed to be inactive,

Presiding Judge, Mr Justice Michael Hanna, told the Court that Mr McNamara has suffered a serious and significant injury’ when accounting for the fact that he would be required to be “fleet of foot” in bar manager role. He added that Mr McNamara missed five months of work due to slipping on the wet floor of the nite club.

The appropriate figure of nite club compensation was, the judge said, in this case €80,000 plus special damages of €7,116 to cover medical and other expenses.

201811.20
0

Scald Injury Causing Death Compensation of €54,000 Awarded to Family of Deceased Woman

The family of a 90-year-old woman have been awarded just over €54,000 damages after she died due to scald injuries from a burst hot water bottle .

The court was told that the family were awarded compensation in relation to their own pain and suffering, loss, funeral and travel expenses arising from the tragic death of their mother and granny at a Dublin nursing home.

Legal representative for the family Barrister Frank Crean told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that the deceased Ms Olive Sheeran experienced extensive scalding of her buttocks, left thigh and calf, heels and ankles when a water bottle burst in her bed.

Mr Crean said the operators of the Deansgrange-based nursing home, SRCW Limited, had agreed to pay the family €54,406 personal injury compensation. He told the Court that Ms Carol Hayes, of Corabally, Ardfield, Clonakilty, Co Cork, a daughter of the late Ms Sheeran, had taken the nursing home compensation action against SRCW Limited on her own behalf and on behalf of her brothers Mark (57) and Conor Sheeran (55) and Ms Sheeran’s grandchildren Adam (18), Jennifer (17), Alexandra (26), and Thomas Sheeran (20) and Peter (28), Matthias (26) and Oisin (23) Hayes.

Ms Hayes told the court, through an affidavit, that she was seeking that the court approve the Injuries Board assessment “in respect of the fatal injuries” her mother, then aged 89, had suffered in an accident at Ferndene on January 6, 2017. Ms Hayes said her mother had been living in the home at the time of her death.

The accident happened when a nurse at the home had visited Ms Sheeran’s room and taken two water bottles away to refill them. One of the refilled water bottles had then been placed next to Ms Sheeran’s feet and burst a little while later, severely scalding her.

Judge Groarke was told that following an investigation all water bottles had been taken out of use at the home and the investigator had advised they should be replaced with coded stock. This stock is to be inspected once a month and replaced every year.

Ms Sheeran had been taken by ambulance to the emergency department of St Vincent’s Hospital where she had been assessed before being taken to the burns unit of St James’s Hospital. Her burns were treated with antiseptic dressings, antibiotics and analgesia. However she (Ms Sheeran) had developed pneumonia and a urinary tract infection and was treated with intravenous antibiotics. She had to stay in hospital for a period of three months when her wounds almost completely healed before she passed away.

Ms Hayes said: “I have been advised by my mother’s plastic surgeon that she suffered a life-threatening injury with a 31pc predicted mortality. My mother died on August 21, 2017.”

Judge Groarke approved the nursing home injury compensation settlement.

201810.04
0

Hotel Wedding Dance Fall Leads to Injury Compensation Settlement

A High Court injury compensation settlement has been agreed between a Tipperary hotel and a Clonmel woman after she slipped on petals on a hotel dance floor almost two hours after the bride had thrown her bouquet during a wedding reception

The specific details of the settlement are to be kept confidential and presiding Judge Kevin Cross was told the case had settled and could now be struck out.

Plaintiff Ann White, who lives at Highfield Grove in Clonmel, told the court she was celebrating at the afters of a work colleague’s wedding at the Aherlow House Hotel in September 2012. She slipped on some petals on the dance floor, fracturing her wrist and arm.

Ms White, a 53-year-old child care worker, told the Court that had been a “serious scrum” of about 20 “very enthusiastic” women when the bride threw her bouquet at 12.30am. As a number of ladies pulled at the bridal bouquet of pink and white roses, petals came off and were spread all over the dance floor. Ms White said she decided to dance at roughly 2.30am and her right foot skidded on on the rose petals. Ms White told the Judge that she was wearing stilettos but is is used to doing so.

Due to the injuries Ms White had to have surgery and told the court that she still experiences pain in her arm on daily basis. The Aherlow House Hotel refuted Ms White’s claims, arguing that it was an unfortunate accident which was not foreseeable by the hotel management or staff.

Mr Justice Cross congratulated the parties on reaching the settlement and added that he was very glad to hear it as, in the event of the court making a decision it was open to appeal, which he said taking the scarcity of judges into account would have taken a long time.

201808.09
0

Thalidomide Group Happy with Ruling to Allow Discovery of State Documents

A legal hearing has been adjourned at the High Court until November following the filing of several thalidomide compensation claims.

Producers of the German drug Grünenthal GmbHT, which was introduced t the market as a sedative in Germany in 1957, are facing 26 compesation cases which have been brought brought against them and their Irish distributors TP Whelehan Son & Co, and the Ministers for Health and Environment – all of the whom deny the claims.

Claim have been submitted allegin that the drug caused deformities in unborn children when it was prescribed to their pregnant mothers. The claims relate to incidents that occurred dating back to the 1960s.

The High Court is currently reviewing whether the cases are statute-barred.

At the High Court yesterday the cases returned before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who has stated his unease about “the slow pace” of the proceedings. He (Judge Noonan) ruled on several requests issued by the defendants that the plaintiffs further particularise and answer questions about certain aspects of their claims.

The defendants taking the compensation case argue that they require the information from the plaintiffs in order to fully address the claims that are being taken against them. The judge agreed with this assertion and directed that the details smust be provided before  the matter returns before the court for further case management on 7 November.  Additionally Judge Noonan said that  the plaintiffs had a right to seek to discover documents from the State as part of their claim.

When the matter returns before the court in November Judge Noonan is due to deal with other preliminary matters, including the discovery of relevant material and issues over expert reports. Earlier the court was advised that lawyers for the plaintiffs claimed there were difficulties in obtaining medical histories and related files in order to progress the cases.

In a previous statement read out to the High Court, a spokesperson for Grünenthal said the company was “deeply sorry for what happened to those affected by the thalidomide tragedy. It’s important for us that we engage in efforts to improve the situations of those who are still living with the impact of these latter effects. We set up the Grünenthal Foundation to provide benefits in kind and financing for individual projects for those affected. Since its establishment, the Grünenthal Foundation has also approved more than 1,000 applications for individualised support in Germany and internationally.”

A spokesperson told the High Court that the Department of Health “can’t comment on an issue that’s the subject of ongoing litigation”.

John Stack, chairman of Thalidomide Ireland, which supports the claims, said the group was pleased to learn that the plaintiffs had a right to discover State documents as part of their case.

201807.12
0

Dublin Zoo Compensation of €25,000 for Boy who Witnessed Tapir Attack his Young Sister

A 10-year-old schoolboy has been awarded €25,000 in the Circuit Civil Court after he witnessed an attack at Dublin  on his toddler sister by a Brazilian tapir at Dublin Zoo. His parents were also injured as they fought to save their daughter Katie’s life in the incident.

Katie’s parents Daragh Owens and his wife, Patricia, fought off the crazed animal and sustained injuries themselves in the attack that took place in Dublin Zoo on 8th August 2013.

Barrister Francis McGagh, counsel for the family, told Judge Francis Comerford today Tuesday that the children, Katie and Ruairi had been in the tapir cage. Ruari, who is now 15 years old, witnessed the female tapir, which had earlier given birth to a calf, lift his two-year-old sister, Katie, in its mouth and violently shake her. The Court was also told that Ruari’s brother Cathal, who was only six at the time, had also seen the Tapir attack. Both boys, while not physically injured, had suffered significant psychological injury and trauma.

Graphic pictures of the injuries caused in the horror attack had been published in the Medical Journal.

Mr McGagh said the Zoological Society of Ireland, had also made a €25,000 zoo injury compensation settlement offer to Cathal, now aged 11, but Judge Comerford said that from medical reports Cathal seemed to have been more seriously affected by the attack on his sister. Cathal’s settlement hearing was adjourned until the court receives an up-to-date medical report. Personal Injury Compensation claims on behalf of Katie, her mother Patricia Frost, and her father, Daragh Owens, were also currently before the High Court.

Dublin Zoo was ordered to make donations of €2,500 each to both the Jack and Jill Foundation and to the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice in December 2014 after the Zoological Society was prosecuted on the grounds of negligence in the District Court where the judge applied the Probation Act, thus avoiding a criminal conviction.



201807.11
1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201806.06
0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201803.22
0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201802.15
0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201801.25
0

Garda Appeals for Right to Sue for Fingernail Injury Compensation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201712.10
0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




201711.23
2

€31,000 Car Accident Compensation for Limerick Garda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201711.02
0

Sexual Harassment Claims Made by Healthcare Workers Against Patients

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


201710.23
0

22% Increase in State Compensation Claims

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

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

Main Reasons for Rise in Compensation Paid Out by the State

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

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

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

201710.05
0

Tayto Park Compensation of €25k Following Fall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201709.19
0

Unfair Dismissal Claim Resolved by Workplace Relations Commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201707.10
1

Claiming Compensation for a Botched Lip Implant

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

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

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

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

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

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

201705.25
0

Settlement of Creche Abuse Claim Approved after Second Court Hearing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201705.20
1

Compensation for Car Accident Injuries Awarded in Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

201705.09
0

Unprotected Chemical Exposure Claims against the Defence Forces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201704.26
0

Claims for Birth Defects due to taking Epilim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201703.03
0

Broken Restaurant Chair Accident Claim Resolved in Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201612.13
0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201611.15
3

Customer Awarded Compensation for a Knee Injury in Tesco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201611.02
0

Passenger Awarded Compensation for an Accident at Tara Street Station

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201610.28
0

Appeal against Health Club Injury Compensation Award Dismissed

An appeal against a €30,000 health club injury compensation award, made in favour of a woman injured in a swimming pool accident, has been dismissed.

In November 2011, a thirty-two year old guest of the West Wood Health Club in Dublin broke her two upper front teeth when she dived into the health club´s swimming pool and hit her face on the pool´s shallow bottom. The woman claimed health club injury compensation and, in May 2015, was awarded €30,000 by Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court. The West Wood Health Club appealed the award, arguing that the plaintiff had contributed to her accident and injury through her own negligence.

The appeal hearing took place earlier this week before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who was told the plaintiff had never visited the club before and had dived into the pool straight after coming out of the sauna. As the pool was a full-length 50 metre pool, she had assumed that – like most pools of that size – the depth of the water would be 2 metres. However, the pool had a single depth of just 1.35 metres.

The judge also heard there were no signs erected to warn guests at the club not to jump or dive into the pool. According to the plaintiff´s counsel, there was no reason for the plaintiff to believe that the pool was not safe. The club´s assertion that a lifeguard was present at all times was refuted by the plaintiff´s own testimony that she had to go to the reception area of the club to report her accident and seek medical assistance as there was nobody by the poolside to help her.

Dismissing the allegations of contributory negligence, Judge Noonan also dismissed the appeal. On hearing that the plaintiff had flown to Hungary to have crowns fitted to her two broken teeth, and that she would require replacement crowns every five to ten years, the judge increase t original award of health club injury compensation to €38,097, and commented the West Wood Club should consider itself fortunate that the plaintiff´s claim was not originally heard in a court of higher jurisdiction.

201610.12
1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201609.23
1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201607.14
0

Judge Awards Maximum Circuit Civil Court Compensation to Pensioner

A pensioner has been awarded the maximum possible Civil Circuit Court compensation for an injury she sustained in a pallet trolley accident at Dunnes Stores.

In the summer of 2014, Christina O´Reilly (88) from Dublin was shopping at Dunnes Stores in the city´s Northside Shopping Centre, when an employee of the store accidently pushed a pallet trolley into her back due to the trolley being stacked above eye level.

Although Christina was not knocked to the floor, the accident aggravated an existing back condition – leaving the pensioner in constant pain and now unable to take part in many of the social pursuits she previously enjoyed.

Christina made a claim for injury compensation against Dunnes Stores. However the store declined to consent to an Injuries Board assessment and Christina was issued with an authorisation to seek Circuit Civil Court compensation. The hearing recently went ahead after a long delay caused by Dunnes Stores compiling its defence.

At the hearing, Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard that Dunnes Stores was willing to admit liability for Christina´s injury. In assessing the amount of Circuit Civil court compensation Christina was entitled to, the judge heard from members of her family, who testified that Christina was now unable to do her own shopping and relied on the family for support.

Judge Linnane awarded Christina the maximum amount of Circuit Civil Court compensation possible – €60,000 – allowing a stay on the award subject to an appeal. As a condition of the stay, Judge Linnane stipulated that Dunnes Stores should pay Christina €45,000 compensation immediately and decide upon an appeal quickly because of Christina´s age.

The maximum Circuit Civil Court compensation award for personal injury was increased in 2014 to €60,000 from €38,092 to relieve the pressure on the number of cases being heard by the High Court. The change was also intended to resolve personal injury claims in a shorter timeframe when a resolution could not be found through the Injuries Board process.