Personal Injury Compensation

Archive for May, 2015

Claim for an Injury due to Glass on a Playing Field Resolved in Court

May 25th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A teenager´s claim for an injury due to glass on a playing field has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court with the approval of a revised settlement.

In June 2012, fifteen year-old Rhian Holohan from Kentstown in County Meath was playing in goal for Kentstown Rovers FC in a Dublin Women´s Soccer League match against Ayrfield United FC. As she dived to attempt a save, Rhian cut her knee on a piece of broken glass that was on the surface of the playing field.

The game was stopped in order that Rhian could receive first aid treatment, and she was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where her knee injury was cleaned professionally and sutured under anaesthetic. Because of the depth of the cut, Rhian experienced several months of pain and swelling, and had to use crutches for support.

Rhian was also unable to play football for several months, and she now has a visible 1.5 cm circular scar on her knee to remind her of her injury. Through her mother, Rhian made a claim for an injury due to glass on a playing field against Dublin City Council, the Trustees of Ayrfield United FC and the Trustees of Dublin Women´s Soccer League.

Liability for Rhian´s injury was accepted by the three defendants and a settlement of €22,000 was negotiated. As the claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the settlement of the claim for an injury due to glass on a playing field first had to be approved by the court; and consequently the circumstances of Rhian´s accident and injury were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge Groarke considered the negotiated settlement settlement inappropriate to the level of Rhian´s injury, and he asked the parties to consider a higher settlement. Following further negotiations between the parties, the offer of settlement was increased to €30,000. Judge Groarke approved the revised settlement on Rhian´s claim for an injury due to glass on a playing field.

New Inspections for Childcare Facilities to be Introduced

May 18th, 2015. By Compensation News.

New inspections for childcare facilities are to be introduced later this year according to a report in the Sunday Business Post.

The four new inspections for childcare facilities are being introduced by the government following the May 2013 broadcast of “A Breach of Trust” – a documentary shown on RTE´s Prime Time which exposed the alleged abuse of young children in crèches and pre-school facilities in Dublin and Wicklow.

The government was prompted to act due to the controversy that was generated by the program and to address concerns of the European Commission regarding the qualification levels of staff in childcare facilities, who also commented on the varying compliance with minimum standards and regulations.

No fixed date has yet been announced for the new inspections for childcare facilities to be introduced, but the measures implemented by the government are understood to include:

  • The Department of Education will hire extra inspectors to review the delivery of the early years curriculum for children.
  • On behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, inspectors from Pobal will check the delivery of the free pre-school year.
  • Inspectors from the child and family agency Tusla will inspect the standards of health and welfare in childcare facilities.
  • Education specialists from the Better Start program will check on the delivery of play-based learning for young children.

The new inspections for childcare facilities has raised fears in the childcare sector that operators will be swamped by red tape. The Chief Executive of Early Childhood Ireland – Teresa Heeney – told the Sunday Business Post that the level of bureaucracy was overwhelming.

Early Childhood Ireland represents the interests of 3,500 childcare facilities in Ireland, and Ms Heeney was reported as saying: “What operators cannot tolerate is that these people want it in blue, these people want it in red, and these people want it in white. They all have to agree that green will do for all of them.”

In response to criticism over the new inspections for childcare facilities, children´s minister James Reilly said that a robust inspection service was critical. The minister told the Sunday Business Post that inspectors from the four different agencies would share an IT system so that each would all have access to the same data on childcare facilities.

As a result of Prime Time´s documentary, there are fifty cases on their way to the High Court. All concern alleged abuse of children or breach of contract, and all made against the Links Crèche in Abingdon, Dublin – one of the three childcare facilities featured in the documentary. According to the solicitor heading the legal action – Kathrin Coleman – the cases are at an advanced stage of proceedings.

Claim for a Fitness Club Swimming Pool Accident Settled at Hearing

May 13th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident has been settled at a Civil Circuit Court hearing, after which the plaintiff was awarded €30,000 compensation.

Timea Babos (30) – a hotel supervisor from Dublin – was on her second visit to the West Wood Club on 13th November 2011, when she decided to go for a swim after coming out of the sauna. A competent swimmer, Timea dived straight into the fitness club´s swimming pool. However, the depth of the pool was only 1 metre 35 centimetres and Timea hit her face on the bottom of the pool when she dived in – breaking her two upper front teeth.

As there was nobody around the swimming pool area to help her, Timea completed an accident report form at the reception of the fitness club and – her mouth still bleeding from the accident – sought medical treatment for her injuries. Her doctor stopped the bleeding and prescribed painkillers, and – two weeks later – Timea flew to Hungary to have crowns fitted to her broken teeth.

On her return to Ireland, Timea consulted with a solicitor and made a claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident, alleging that the West Wood Club had breached its duty of care by having no signs displayed warning her of the depth of the pool or a lifeguard on duty to prevent her from diving in. Her solicitor also arranged for a forensic engineer to inspect the safety of the fitness club swimming pool.

The West Wood Club contested the claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident. It argued that Timea was liable for the cause of her accident because she had dived into the pool without checking the depth of the water. With liability denied, the Injuries Board issued Timea with an authorisation to pursue her claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident through the courts.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told by the forensic engineer that there were inadequate markings around the perimeter of the pool to warn guests of the shallow depth of water. He also commented that the swimming pool was unusual in design as it had no deep end and was a constant depth throughout.

The judge dismissed the West Wood Club´s argument that Timea had contributed to her accident and injury through her own lack of care and awarded her €30,000 compensation in settlement of her claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident.

Judge Awards Compensation for a Fall on the Escalator at Dublin Airport

May 1st, 2015. By Compensation News.

A pensioner from Kilcullen in County Kildare has been awarded €40,000 compensation for a fall on the escalator at Dublin Airport after a hearing at the High Court.

On 2nd November 2011, Elizabeth Lavin had taken the escalator to the upper level of Dublin Airport´s Terminal 2. As she was ascending on the escalator, the moving stairs made a sudden judder. Due to what was later described as “an unfortunate neophyte in the ways of escalators,” Elizabeth lost her balance and fell forwards over her hand luggage – landing face-down on the metal stairs.

Sixty-nine year old Elizabeth was taken to Dublin´s Beaumont Hospital, where she was treated for minor lacerations and a head injury. Following her accident, Elizabeth was unable to perform everyday tasks due to pains in her head, arm, hip and knee. She tried managing the pain with painkillers, but eventually had to be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon.

Elizabeth sent an application for assessment to the Injuries Board – claiming compensation for a fall on the escalator at Dublin Airport. However, Dublin Airport Authority PLC denied liability for Elizabeth´s injuries and the Injuries Board issued Elizabeth with an authorisation to pursue the claim through the courts. Her case was heard this past week at the High Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Michael Hanna heard claims that Dublin Airport had failed to ensure the safety of passengers by designing the airport in such a way that the escalator on which Elizabeth fell was the only apparent access to the upper level of Terminal 2 for passengers with luggage. Although a lift existed, it was not until 2013 that signs were erected directing passengers to the lift – two years after Elizabeth´s accident.

The airport authority defended against the claim for compensation for a fall on the escalator at Dublin Airport by producing CCTV footage which showed Elizabeth failing to use the handrail of the escalator before she fell. It was also claimed that her injuries were exacerbated because she had placed her hand luggage in front of her and not behind.

Judge Hanna dismissed the airport authority´s defence and said the Elizabeth could not be held responsible for “an unfortunate neophyte in the ways of escalators”, for failing to use the handrail of the escalator or placing her hand luggage in front of her. However, the judge commented that Elizabeth could have asked an airport assistant if a lift was available had she been apprehensive about using the escalator.

The judge reduced the settlement of compensation Elizabeth´s claim for compensation for a fall on the escalator at Dublin Airport from €60,000 to €40,000, saying that she would have to accept one-third contributory negligence towards her injuries. He also gave Dunlin Airport Authority PLC leave to appeal his verdict provided that they paid €25,000 of the settlement to Elizabeth immediately.


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