201804.13
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Woman Who Fell in Marks & Spencer Settles Personal Injury Compensation Claim

A woman has settled her personal injury claim got a fall in Marks and Spencer after she slipped on an alleged grease like substance in the food hall at the Dublin city centre-based shop.

Ms. Flynn, bride to be who was bridesmaid dress shopping with one of the friends when the accident occurred, claimed in the High Court that she fell to the ground when she was walking through the food hall at the Marks and Spencers branch on Mary Street on February 6, 2016.

Ms Flynn, aged 49, said that the incident resulted in her was crying and greatly embarrassed and as she could not get up from the ground. When they could not find a member of staff to assist her another customer in the shop came to her aid.

Additionally, it is claimed that, as a consequence of the fall, her wrist and hip were sore and she still experiences challenges in completing domestic activities including hoovering and ironing and she could not blow dry her hair.

She has claimed there was a failure to take any reasonable steps or precautions for her safety and an alleged failure to provide and maintain a safe and adequate system of cleaning of the premises. Along with this the retail group has also denied that there was contributory negligence on the part of Ms Flynn who it was argued did not keep a proper lookout for any possible dangers.

After falling Ms Flynn said she saw a skid mark about a foot long on the ground which looked like a cream or grease like substance.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr was advised that the woman was embarrassed and suffering a lot of pain in the immediate aftermath of the incident. This was even worsened due to the fact that already experiences a arthritic condition and was at the time in the middle of a rehabilitation programme for rheumatoid arthritis.

Rather than meet up with friends for a pre-arranged lunch, she this and got a taxi home and phoned the Marks & Spencer store and told them what had happened at the Mary St store.

She said she got married a later that year but had been unable to keep up a gym exercise plan, devised for the run up to the wedding, due to the injuries that she suffered.

The case was settled on day two of the hearing.

201802.07
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Work Assault Injury Compensation of €25k awarded to Garda After Head-Butt Injury

A head-butt injury to the nose of a garda sergeant, who experienced sever snoring issues as we result, has led to a Work Assault Injury Compensation of €25,000.

The injury was sustained by Sergeant Noel McSweeney while he was on duty. The Court was advised that, following the injury, his snoring impacted his wife’s sleep so badly that he had to move into the spare room several times.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey was advised by Barrister Ellen Gleeson that Sergeant McSweeney, based at Enniscorthy Garda Station had been taking part in a missing person search in May 2012 when the incident happened.

Appearing with her solicitor Ernest Cantillon, Mr McSweeney told Ms Gleeson that the woman had been located in a car where she was extremely intoxicated and acting aggressively in a vehicle. There were also drugs found and she was taken into custody.

Sergeant McSweeney stated: “She jumped back and threw her head backwards, hitting me in the nose and upper teeth”. He went on to say that he experienced cuts to four of his upper front teeth and the line of his nose had been altered. He also experienced a restriction of the airflow through his nose as he suffered a deviated septum in the incident.

He added: “The appearance of my nose wasn’t upsetting to me so I decided not to have surgery correcting it.  Perhaps if I was a model it would be different”.

Sergeant McSweeney also admitted that he was unaware of the issue but had to sleep in his house’s spare room to his snoring problems. He (Sgt McSweeney) also stated that he only experienced slight discomfort and, hence, he had decided against surgery.

In assessing the amount of compensation to be awarded Judge Twomey, referred to the Book of Quantum and recommended damages of €7,500 be paid in relation to the minor dental damage along with an additional €18,000 in Garda nose injury compensation.

201712.04
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€30,000 Garda Injury Compensation for Cut to Mouth

A garda has been awarded €30,000 compensation for an injury to his mouth that he suffered while attending to a reported incident at a house in Finglas.

The young garda, Sean Kelly (31), stated that he remains sensitive about a scar on his upper lip and told Mr Justice Bernard Barton he was still conscious of the star-shaped scar. However, he joked with the presiding judge that he might have to wear make-up when he gets married next weekend.

The incident occurred just under five years ago when he was on duty on 7th January 2012. Barrister Fiona Gallagher, counsel for Garda Kelly, told the High Court that Garda Kelly had been called to a house in Finglas to deal with a man who, had just been released from a psychiatric institution, and was threatening self harm.

Garda Kelly, who was accompanied by two colleagues, said the man, who had ingested large amounts of non-prescriptive medication, had locked himself in his bathroom. He was threatening to jump from the bathroom window. When they made efforts to apprehend the man he (Garda Kelly) was struck on his mouth with a toilet brush holder which lacerated his lip.

Garda Kelly told Ms Gallagher that this resulted in serious bleeding and he had to be taken to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown to be treat immediately. Here, on examination, a piece of porcelain was found to be still embedded in his upper lip. X-rays revealed he had not suffered any major fractures.

He had been given an anaesthetic injection and received seven stitches, several of them on the inside of his mouth. When the scar later became infected, he had been put on a course of antibiotics until the infection cleared up. He said he could still feel the inside scar with his tongue.  The scar on the outside of his lip was noticeable at conversational distance and he was still very conscious of it.

Counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure, Barrister Derek Ryan told the court that, based no conflicting medical reports, he did not think that Garda Kelly has suffered Post Traumatic Stress to the the extent that it warranted an exceptional compensation award.

201710.23
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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”.