Settlement of Claim for a Scar from an Accident in a Creche Approved

A boy, who cut his eye in a fall in 2007, has had the settlement of his claim for a scar from an accident in a creche approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

In July 2007, three-year-old Calum Lawless was playing at the Happy Days Creche in Clonee, Dublin, when he tripped on an uneven floor surface and landed on his face. Bleeding heavily from a cut close to his right eye, Calum was taken to the VH1 Swiftcare Clinic at Dublin City University, where he was treated for a three-centimetre laceration with glue and steri-strips.

Calum´s eye remained closed for a week after his accident, and the area around his eye remained bruised for almost a month. Now twelve years of age, Calum has a permanent visible scar by his eye that – due to its location – cannot be resolved by plastic surgery.

Calum´s mother – Lorraine Lawless from Dunshaughlin in County Meath – made a claim for a scar for an accident in a creche on her son´s behalf against the owners of the Happy Days facility. In her legal action, Lorraine alleged that the creche had failed in its duty of care to provide Calum with a safe environment in which to play.

Liability for Calum´s injury was admitted, and an offer was made to settle the claim for a scar from an accident in a creche for €45,000. As the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Calum´s best interests.

The case went to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where Judge James O´Donohoe was told the circumstances of Calum´s accident and its consequences. After hearing that the family were happy to accept the creche´s offer of €45,000 compensation, Judge O´Donohoe approved the settlement of the claim.


Judge Adjourns Approval Hearing due to Too Low Offer of Compensation

A judge has adjourned a second approval hearing on the grounds that the injury settlement he had been asked to approve was a too low offer of compensation.

In November 2012, Harry Ryan (12) from Swords in County Dublin had been playing on a local green, when he slipped and badly cut his lower right leg on a piece of broken glass. Harry was taken to the local VHI Swift Care Clinic, where he had eight stitches under a local anaesthetic, and steri-strips applied to help his cut heal.

Through his mother – Ita – Harry made an injury compensation claim against Fingal County Council and a settlement of injury compensation was agreed amounting to €3,000 without an admission of liability. As the claim was made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to be approved before the claim could be closed.

However, at the Circuit Civil Court last week, Judge James O´Donohoe refused to approve the settlement as he considered it too low an offer of compensation in relation to Harry´s injury. He adjourned the case for a week so that the two parties could reconsider the settlement, and a second approval hearing was scheduled for yesterday.

At the second approval hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that the offer of compensation had been increased to €3,500. Harry´s barrister told Judge Groarke that he was conscious of the recent dismissal of a similar claim in the High Court and that Fingal County Council had prepared a full defence if the claim went to a full hearing.

Having inspected the scar on Harry´s leg, Judge Groarke said that the value of the proposed settlement was still a too low offer of compensation. The judge said that an appropriate settlement should amount to €30,000 and he adjourned the case for another week so that Harry´s solicitor could assess the risk of taking the claim to a full court hearing.

Judges refusing to approve settlements when a too low offer of compensation has been made is happening more frequently. Insurance companies often encourage plaintiffs to accept inappropriate offers for their own financial gain. If you have received an offer of settlement, which you believe may be a too low offer of compensation, you should seek professional legal advice.


Compensation for a Bouncy Castle Injury Approved in Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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 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.


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.