201811.20
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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.