Personal Injury Compensation

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Social Media Moderator Employees Entitled to Compensation as Rights Not Respected

August 20th, 2019. By Compensation News.

A BBC documentary has unveiled the working duties of social media moderators that results in psychological trauma and may lead to a barrage of social media moderator compensation awards.

The Storyville report spoke with Shawn Speaglem in relation to his time working as a Facebook content moderator. Shawn was employed by Cognizant, a third party contractor located in Florida. He (Shawn) advised the documentary makers, despite his non-disclosure agreement, about the traumatic video and picture material that he had to review in line with Facebook’s moderation policies and processes.

He commented: “One of my first videos that I remember looking at was two teenagers grabbing an iguana by the tail and they smashed it onto the pavement while a third person was recording it. And the iguana was screaming and the kids just would not stop until the iguana was just pasted on the ground. I’ve seen people put fireworks in a dog’s mouth and duct tape it shut. I’ve seen cannibalism videos, I’ve seen terrorism propaganda videos.”

Shawn described how he experienced massive stress, gained considerable weight and suffered from psychological injuries as a result of the material he was expected to moderate and the absence of any support from his company or Facebook. He said: “I felt like I was a zombie in my seat. It really gets to you because I don’t have that bystander syndrome where I’m OK just watching this suffering and not contributing any way to deter it.”

This is not the first time Facebook has been the subject of a documentary in relation to staff working conditions. In March this year a report titled The Internet’s Dirtiest Secrets: The Cleaners showed how staff based in the Philippines had to make themselves familiar with everything from terrorist logos to sex toys so that they could fulfill their daily moderation goals.

A legal action is expected to be submitted soon in Ireland, where the European Union headquarters of many social media platforms are based, in relation to their the working conditions of social media content moderators.

This is not the first legal action to be registered in relation to this issue.
Selena Scola, a former content moderator with Facebook in California, initiated a lawsuit against the social media giant in September 2018 as a result of the traumatic online content that she had to view and the lack of support provided to her. She claimed, as part of the action, that she began suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during the time that she was working with Facebook. Since she began her case, she has been joined in her action by two more former Facebook content moderators who had similar claims.

Ongoing and constant viewing of traumatic content is part of a moderator’s daily duties and can lead to psychological injury and traumatic mental impact. It can be a massive toll for an individual to take on board depending on what the content seen contained, what support they were given by their employer and what the level of output was expected to be carried out on a daily basis. The employer is legally obliged to have a duty of care to allow for a safe place of work, a safe system of work and to avoid unnecessary suffering being felt by their staff.

Anyone who believes that they may have experienced trauma as a result of their working duties should tend to after their own health and seek help as soon as they can. Following this it is important to get in touch with a knowledgeable solicitor to consider all legal options available.

Compensation for Creche Mistreatment following RTE Hyde & Seek Expose

July 25th, 2019. By Compensation News.

An RTÉ Investigates’ expose has revealed a number of significant shortcomings in the management and supervision of crèches are still prevalent despite a previous investigation highlighting creché mismanagement two years ago.

‘RTÉ Investigates’ sent in two undercover childcare workers to crèches managed by the Hyde and Seek chain and showed serious violations breaches of good practice and safety procedures. Despite 11 inspections being conducted by Tusla since September 2017, children in various facilities in Dublin belonging to the company were being ill-treated and left at serious risk in the event of fire.

Footage in the documentary showed babies being left in high chairs for lengthy periods of time, causing them to become highly traumatised and being left alone in a room with the door closed for misbehaving. There were also some concerns raised in relation to food quality, and staff to child ratios.

Some of the other serious issues encountered by the undercover reporters included:

  • Workers not being Garda vetted prior to taking up employment.
  • Babies being left to sleep on bouncers, despite Tusla warning against this practice in previous reviews.
  • Insufficient space being allowed between cots to allow staff to check sleeping babies

Child protection agency Tusla has committed to completing an investigation and taking the necessary action, up to and including criminal prosecutions and removing Hyde & Seek creches from the register so they can no longer do business. A statement released by the agency said: “We recognise and share the serious concerns the programme raises about the quality of care within these crèches, but more importantly the impact of concerning adult behaviours on children.”

A representative for the Hyde & Seek group said: “We know we need to work to rebuild, retain and enhance the trust our parents have in us. We have spoken to many of them in recent days and would urge others with concerns to contact us. We are available to talk to and meet parents at any time. We note that while the programme made criticisms of aspects of our service, it praised our childcare staff whose dedication, professionalism and kindness are central to the care we provide.”

The statement said that the RTE investigation that highlighted “some real issues for us and we will deal with them quickly” but that it “does not reflect who we are”. It committed to the group reviewing the matter and addressing all issues quickly.

This controversy comes less than three years following a tightening of the laws governing 4,500 childcare facilities following a previous RTÉ expose on the management of crechés called ‘A Breach of Trust’. The economically successful Hyde and Seek chain of crechés is family-run and consists of four crèches in the Dublin area.

Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs released a statement to say how saddened she was at the treatment of the children in the creches featured while Alan Farrell , Fine Gael TD and chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Children said: “I am absolutely appalled by the mistreatment of children and clear lack of standards revealed on Primetime’s investigation last night.”

He went on to say: “The disregard of fire safety, the prioritisation of staffing needs over children and the wanton disregard for child:adult ratios have deeply shocked the nation. The documentary revealed a complete failure to adhere to Tusla guidelines and instructions, poor management and unbelievable mishandling of children.”

It is likely that the Hyde and Seek group will now be facing a number of personal injury compensation actions from parents of the unfortunate children.

Man Injured in Car Accident Awarded €40,000 Road Traffic Accident Compensation

June 29th, 2019. By Compensation News.

A individual has been awarded just under €40,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court in relation to a road traffic accident that happened as he had been driving to his place of work along the M50 on December 21 2015

The Court was informed that Kieran Brennan of Monastery Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, had come to a halt at the Northwood exit when he was struck from behind by a car driven by Dylan Duffy.

He informed his barrister, Fiona Pekaar that he had, initially, experienced shoulder and neck pain but this had soon improved. Brennan said he had been left with constant lower back pain that had stopped him from taking part in the same standard of active lifestyle he had previously, including being unable to train for and enter a similar amount of marathon running and soccer matches as he had before the accident took place.

Medical testimony was presented in court to indicate that Brennan had a pre-accident degenerative condition. However Judge Groarke said that that condition had not been an problem prior to the accident and he believed it had been caused by the M50 incident.

In delivering his ruling, the Judge stated that Mr Brennan had been suffering with a bulging disk in his back and although most medical reports had suggested this had not been due to the accident, he could not ignore the report. He said that it had clearly been one of the outcomes of the accident.

Legal counsel for the defendant pointed to the fact that Mr Brennan had taken part in the ‘Hell and Back’ obstacle course in Bray, Co Wicklow in October 2016 which was a difficult assault course involving various activities and obstacles to be tackled.

However, Judge Groarke said Mr Brennan still trains for and enters a number of marathons and plays soccer once a week and the court did not believe his level of physical activity was at the same level as it had been before the accident happened.

Judge Groarke said he was sympathetic to Mr Brennan and awarded him road traffic accident compensation of €35,000 and special damages of €4,424.82 against Mr Dylan Duffy, however a stay was granted on his award on condition Mr Brennan was paid out  €20,000.

Cork Co & City Council hit for €15m in Personal Injury Compensation Payments made since 2016

May 23rd, 2019. By Compensation News.

The local authority bodies for Cork City and Cork County Councils have paid out personal injury compensation settlements to the tune of €15m for slips, trips and falls since 2016. Details uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act request has also shown that are many
slips, trips and falls compensation claims that have not yet been steeled by these bodies.

As of March 31, a sum of €1,144,594 in slips, trips and falls compensation claims has been paid out by Cork City Council for accidents that happened in public areas, including parks and public areas in council-owned residential estates. When compared alongside the same Jan 1-Mar 31 in the last recents years it paints a grim picture.

The figures were as follows:

  • €129,626 in 2018
  • €667,754 in 2017
  • €782,035 in 2016

At present there are 455 unfinished personal injury compensation claims as of March 31, 2019 on the books with Cork City Council. However, Cork County Council registered 230 uncompleted personal injury compensation claimed during the same time period of time.


Terry Shannon, Fianna Fáil’s Cork City Councillor, a former Lord Mayor of Cork, says that the unusually high level of claims are due to a lack of spending in the public realm over the last few years.

He stated: “It is a direct result of the decline of the condition of the public realm: potholes, cracked footpaths, and so on. The issue is getting worse and the amount paid each year is getting bigger, because we haven’t been able to fix long-standing issues, because national government hasn’t invested the money.”

In addition to this Mr Shannon said that Cork City Council has set aside €5m in 2019 to deal with possible slips, trips and falls compensation settlements.

Along with this budgetary measure the Council has also marked a separate €200,000 to “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”.

Clr. Shannon referred to this figure as inadequate and said that is will be “used to patch up areas that have been the result of multiple claims but, ultimately, it won’t go far enough to make a real difference.”

Council House Injury Compensation Award of €35,000 Girl Who Broke Ankle at Own Home

April 13th, 2019. By Compensation News.

€35,000 council house injury compensation has been awarded a 17-year-old Maria Collins who fractured her ankle when she fell over a pothole in her own backyard.

The compensation award was made against the owners of the property Dublin City Council. Maria’s mother, Caroline Collins, informed the court that previous complaints had been submitted to the council prior to the accident about the danger of the potholes in the backyard on the property.

Legal representative for Maria Collins, of Avila Park, Cappagh Drive, Finglas, Dublin Esther Earley, informed the Circuit Civil Court that the fall occurred just over 18 months ago when Maria aged 14. Ms Earley, appearing with Niamh O’Brien of O’Brien Murphy Solicitors, informed the court that the girl’s ankle twisted in a hole in the tarmacadam surface in the yard to the rear of the local authority home.

Ms Earley stated: “She (Maria) suffered a non-­displaced intra-articular fracture which has a higher risk of developing post-traumatic osteoarthritis.”

She went on to say that the girl had been rushed to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she received treatment  from consultant orthopaedic surgeon Conor Hurson. X-rays indicated that a fracture of the right ankle bone had occurred. Maria waseen placed in a temporary backslab immobilising cast and further treatment was scheduled for her with to the fracture clinic.

Not long after this Maria had shortly had been moved from a temporary immobilising backslab to a full fibreglass case. This remained in place for five weeks, during which time Maria was prescribed with a course of paracetamol for pain relief.

Dublin City Council, Ms Earley informed the court, was not only the sole local authority responsible for the area. However as landlords for the development they had an inspection and maintenance duty in relation to the property.

Judge Groarke app­roved the settlement offer of €35,000  after he was advised that maria is unlikely to suffer post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Gully Accident Compensation Damages Award to Five-year-old Boy

March 16th, 2019. By Compensation News.

A personal injury compensation award of €20,000 has been granted to a 5-year-old boy after he tripped and fell in a gully near his home in Dungloe, Co Donegal.

The young boy hit the ground and broke his arm in two places. He was only five-years old at the time that the incident took place. The accident took place near his home in Dungloe, Co Donegal on July 3rd, 2015.

The boy, taking the legal action through his mother and father, sued Donegal County Council at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court for accident in a public place compensation.

Presiding Judge James O’Donoghue expressed the view that Irish Water should actually be body that holds the responsibility of maintain the integrity of the water service.

He commented: “I thought Irish water took over all that?”

However, Barrister Patricia McCallum, under the instructions of solicitor Cormac Hartnett, told the court that the safety of these gullies are still governed by Donegal County Council.

In the hearing at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court, the boy’s mother and fathers were in attendance and told the Judge that their son, who is now 9-years-old, had made a perfect recovery from accident. Judge O’Donoghue gave his approval for the €20,000 gully accident compensation offer. He also awarded the expenses to the young boy’s legal representatives.

Pre-Birth Accident Injury Compensation of €45,000 Awarded to Child (4) for Shopping Trolley Collision

February 23rd, 2019. By Compensation News.

€45,000 compensation for personal injury resulting from an accident in a Tesco store when only at 20 weeks gestation in her mother’s womb as been awarded to a four-year-old child.

Legal Counsel for Siwan Stewart, barrister David K. McGrath told Judge Eoin Garavan in the Circuit Civil Court that the unborn baby girl, who is now just three months short of her fifth birthday, suffered injuries when her mother collided with her shopping trolley that came to a halt suddenly on a Tesco travelator.

Mr McGrath told the court that Siwan’s mother, Elaine Stewart, hit off her own shopping trolley when it stopped with no warning on the travelator in Tesco’s at the Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Lower George’s Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, in February 2013.

Presiding Judge Garavan referred to the injury of an unborn child in a shopping accident as a unique case and one which he had not been aware of having previously come before the court.

Mr McGrath informed the judge  that when Siwan was born in May 2013 it was discovered that she was suffering from haemolytic disease of the newborn, a type of jaundice and had to be treated in a special unit for just under a week. A medical expert had linked Siwan’s condition to the travelator accident in Tesco’s.

After Ms Elaine Stewart, of Claremont Road, Sandymount, Dublin submitted the personal injury compensation action on her daughter’s behalf, the Tesco store made a settlement offer of €45,000 to Siwan.

In addition to this, the court was informed, Ms Stewart’s daughter Adelaide, who was three at the time and had fallen and injured her head on the travelator in the same incident, had been offered a settlement by Tescos of €28,000. Mr McGrath was recommending acceptance of both offers to the court. The girls’ mother had not made any claim against Tescos on her own behalf but only on behalf of her children.  Judge Garavan said the offers in both cases were very good and he approved both settlements.

€250k Personal Injury Compensation for Woman Severely Injured in Bus Accident

January 23rd, 2019. By Compensation News.

Shu Zhang, a 36-year-old woman who suffered a severe head injury when she was struck by a bus as she was crossing a street when the red light was displaying for pedestrians, has agreed to a personal injury compensation settlement of €250,000 in the High Court.

Ms Zhang, who can walk now but needs full time care, suffered the brain injury when a Bus Eireann bus struck her at Aston Quay Dublin in 2004. She took the legal action through her aunt Shao Ze.

She was knocked unconscious after she was flung in the air and landed on the ground near the back wheels of the bus. Following the incident Ms Zhang was in a coma for around eight or nine days.

Ms Zhang alleged that the driver made no effort to avoid the collision and also that the bus was being driven without any adequate regard for the presence and position of other vehicles or pedestrians. These were allegations that Bus Eireann denied.

Bus Eireann argued that the claimant walked out from the crowd suddenly and into the path of the bus despite the pedestrian light at the Aston Quay crossing being red.

Jerry Healy SC said Ms Zhang was 22 years of age when the accident occurred. He said another man who had crossed the road before the student made it across ahead of her when he heard the impact. Ms Zhang had come to Ireland in 2003 and was a student and a part time care assistant.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross explained to her family, who travelled from China to care for their daughter after the accident, that had the case gone to trial she may have lost and she could end up with nothing at all.

A number of eyewitnesses said that they had viewed the woman push her way past bystanders before stepping out onto the road. The Judge told Ms Zhang’s family that the eyewitnesses were prepared to testify and their possible evidence suggested that the claimant could lose the case.

€80k Personal Injury Compensation Awarded for Ankle Injury at Copper Face Jacks

December 6th, 2018. By Compensation News.

A Limerick man, Colin McNamara, has had a nightclub injury compensation settlement of €80,000 approved in relation to a legal action he pursued following at High Court following an accident that occurred at Dublin nightclub Copper Face Jacks.

Mr McNamara, who works as a bar manager, fractured his ankle in two places following a slip and fall on a wet floor slip at the disco on October 9, 2015. He was staying in Dublin to attend a Republic of Ireland soccer match at the Aviva Stadium.

Mr McNamara (36), who lives in Rathbane Co Limerick, submitted the personal injury compensation claim against Breanagh Catering Ltd and the owners of Copper Face Jacks due to the injuries he suffered at the venue. Mr McNamara informed the High Court that he slipped on a floor which was wet and treacherous to patrons on the evening. He said: “the wet floor caused me to slip and fall. I turned to walk but I ended up on the floor.”

Justice Michael Hanna was informed by Mr McNamara that security workers in attendance lifted him up from the ground and took him out to a back alley where another staff member looked at his leg and ankle before informing him that it was not broken. The security workers informed him that they could not call an ambulance. Mr McNamara advised Justice Hanna that he “hobbled away” from the nightclub before hailing a taxi in order to return to his hotel. As he (Mr McNamara) was still in a considerable amount of pain when he returned to Limerick, he went to hospital where he discovered that he had fractured his ankle in two different places. Mr McNamara underwent surgery and had his movement restricted in the aftermath as he had to use crutches. He was unable to work in his role as a bar manager for five months due to the surgery

Presiding Judge Justice Hanna told the Court that the correct figure of personal injury compensation was €80,000 along with an additional €7,116 ‘special damages’ to pay for medical and other expenses incurred by Mr McNamara.

€550,000 Brain Injury Compensation Settlement for Tram-Surfing Girl

October 22nd, 2018. By Compensation News.

A 20-year-old Dublin girl has been awarded €550,000 brain injury compensation in relation to an accident that occurred when she was ‘tram-surfing’.

In the legal action before the High Court, Ms Kelly had her settlement with Luas operators Veolia approved in relation to the accident which took place when she was 13-years-old.

Ms Kelly’s accident occurred at the Fatima Luas station on the Red Line in 2010 when, accompanied by a friend, she tried to jump on and hold onto the outside of Luas tram doors as it left the platform. Ms Kelly fell off the tram onto the tracks, striking her head on the ground. Her friends had to drag her out of the path of an approaching tram.

Ms Kelly, who recently gave birth to her first child, was legally represented by Bruce Antoniotti SC who told the High Court that the young lady admitted she was to blame for the accident and she confirmed she should not have been tram surfing. She went on to say that she knew that this was a very unsafe thing to do. The High Court was advised that Ms Kelly wished for no liability to be charged to the the Luas driver who was on duty at the time of the accident.

Via her mother Elizabeth Kelly, Ms Kelly (20) took the Luas injury compensation action against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd and Veolia Transport Ireland Ltd of St John Rogerson’s Quay, in relation to the accident that happened on September 3, 2010.

As part of the personal injury compensation action Ms Kelly claimed that there was a failure to have adequate visual systems implemented on the tram and that the driver had no clear vision of the non-platform side of the tram before leaving the station. The tram, it was claimed, left the platform without first observing the non-platform side of the tram.

Mr Justice Cross, in giving his approval to the Luas accident compensation settlement stated that Ms Kelly did not need to be informed that she had done something silly. However, he praised her for her honesty.

Rebecca’s sister Jennifer Kelly contacted 98FM’s Dublin earlier this week to say that Rebecca has become the victim of an online bullying campaign.

She said: “It’s unbelievable, the girl is afraid to leave her house. She has been getting threats and everything. Her Facebook has just been completely trolled. She hasn’t got a minute, to be completely honest. It is unbelievable the abuse she has gotten. The girl is constantly crying over this.”

Parliamentary Question Reveals Lengthening Delays for Violent Attack Compensation Hearings

September 11th, 2018. By Compensation News.

The response to a parliamentary question has shown that there is a lengthening backlog being experienced at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, leaving those affected by serious violent assaults waiting years to be awarded personal injury compensation.

A parliamentary question submitted by Fianna Fáil TD John Curran prompted the release of these details and Mr Curran has now called for an immediate audit of the scheme to investigate what is causing the delays.

From 2012 to present just 597 payments were have been completed in relation to the 1,357 claims have been filed. In 2017 a total of just 31 compensation payments were completed of the 181 new cases that came before the Tribunal. By the end of May 2018 just 10 victims were completed out of the 73 new cases that were filed during that time period.

Mr Curran TD said of the startling new details: “Despite the fact that the number of cases which settle in a pay-out is declining year on year, there are lengthy delays in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal assisting victims of crime in Ireland. As it stands, should this year’s applications be managed in the very same poor manner it’s likely that just 24 cases will be settled in 2018.

The TD added: “Victims should expect that they will receive their compensation in a prompt manner and in accordance with constitutional justice. In correspondence I received, the Tribunal itself cited its limited resources and “economic constraints” as contributing factors in the slow process of claims and victims obtaining their due compensation. The Tribunal receives roughly €4 million in budget each year, but it is uncertain how this budget is set considering the number of, and types of cases varies year on year. A thorough review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal must be carried out before next year’s figure of unsettled claims rises even more. This review could not come quick enough for very many victims of crime or their families.”

The full text of the statement by Mr Curran TD is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

Former Tipperary Hurler and Garda Awarded €1.16m Work Back Injury Compensation

August 3rd, 2018. By Compensation News.

A Garda Workplace injury compensation settlement of €1.16m has been approved by Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe for Aidan FLanagan, a garda and former captain of the Tipperary county hurling team.

Mr Flanagan suffered injuries while he was working and in the process of making an arrest. This comes following a previous decision by Mr Justice Bernard Barton to award the 44-year-old Garda part compensation of  €175,000 general damages and €45,000 for loss of opportunity.

Judge Barton had adjourned ruling a final outcome while he was awaiting a review of ongoing settlement negotiations between Micheál Ó Scanaill, SC, counsel for the Minister and barrister Alan Keating, Garda Flanagan’s legal representative.

Mr Ó Scanaill, who was appearing in court with barrister Rebecca Graydon for the Minister, informed Judge Barton that a consent order for €1.16m, a figure which factors into account Mr Flanagan’s past and present loss of earnings and a number of other factors, could be issued in Garda Flanagan’s favour.

In Judge Barton’s previous ruling at the High Court, he made reference to the strong force of a blow that Garda Flanagan had been hit on the base of his back with and the traumatic consequences he experienced. He went on to say that Garda Flanagan had sustained the injury when he was just 30-years-old and had made a substantial €1.47m claim for general damages and recurring pecuniary losses.

The incident took place when Garda Flanagan had arrested a youth who was suspected of carrying out a shop burglary in which alcohol had been illegally taken. The youth had consumed a bottle of vodka and swallowed a quantity of tablets before he was arrested by the Garda.

When the youth was being placed in the back of a squad car as a restraint, a kick had been directed at the small of Garda Flanagan’s back,  Judge Barton told the court. He also referred to the serious and significant impact on Garda Flanagan’s physical and mental capacity due toof ongoing chronic pain he experienced. He also said he had felt he could no longer fulfil his role as a garda despite being refused the opportunity the chance to retire on health grounds.

Garda Flanagan was formerly captain of the Tipperary senior county side during the National Hurling League campaign in 1997.

Birth Injury Case Against Health Service Executive Settled for €17.2m

July 7th, 2018. By Compensation News.

A four-year-old disabled boy who sued in relation to the events that took place during birth has settled his High Court action against the Health Service Executive with a final lump sum payment of €15.5m.

The total amount being paid to the young boy, Charlie Enright, who has cerebral palsy and is physically disabled, is now €17.2.

President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly, approved the total award on Friday. It is thought to be the highest ever for a catastrophically injured person who sued over care at birth.

Charlie’s parents Caitriona and Anthony Enright, from Limerick, released a statement saying that they could now get on with their lives.

It read: “What Charlie lost in August 2013 is priceless. No amount of money can replace it. We are happy with the settlement.”

Mr Justice Kelly, as he was approving the settlement, praised the Enrights and said Charlie’s treatment was a ’family affair’ and the whole extended family had got together to care for “a remarkable boy.”

In 2016 Charlie Enright’s case against the HSE – arising out of his birth at the Midwestern Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick – was settled with a first interim payment of €1.75m to cover his needs for two years.

Liability was  admitted early in the case, the court heard.

Charlie’s mother told the Court that in the last two years they have started to build a house specially adapted for Charlie beside the family home. She added that her son’s  physical ability had got much better and the difficulty for Charlie  was he was “locked in and communication is a big problem.”

Mrs Enright, who has taken a career break to care for her son, told the High Court that Charlie is starting at the local school in September.

Mrs Enright had been admitted to the hospital  at 37 weeks in to her pregnancy with Charlie on August 19, 2013. Physician took the decision to induce labour after several tests were completed.

In the birth injury compensation action, it was alleged in the events that followed there was a breach of duty with a failure to provide an acceptable standard of care during the labour and up to the time of Charlie’s birth.

 

10-Year-Old Girl Awarded €37,500 Takeaway Injury Compensation

July 2nd, 2018. By Compensation News.

A 10-year-old Wexford girl has been awarded €37,500 in personal injury compensation after she was burned by hot chocolate in a New Ross-based takeaway in 2014.

The girl, Kaya Caulfield, taking the compensation action via her mother Leann Kelly, of 21 Ard Mhicil, New Ross, sued Cillgarman Ltd, trading as O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar, South Street, New Ross. The Court was advised by Counsel Grainne Fahy, instructed by solicitor Martin Lawlor, that Leann Kelly had purchased the beverage for her daughter Kaya at O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar. Kaya, who was just six years old at the time, suffered burns when the hot chocolate spilled as she sat in her mother’s car.  Her legal counsel claimed that the spillage happened as the lid was not appropriately tightened on the hot chocolate cup.

Following the spillage Kaya was brought to the Care Doc and then referred to to Waterford Regional Hospital in Ardkeen. Medics decided to transfer the child to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin where it was found that she had experience 2% superficial scalding to the medial aspect of both thighs. Kaya’s wounds were treated and she was an in-patient at the hospital for two days.

The Court was advised that the wounds had now healed and are no longer visible which is not usually the case with burns injuries such as those experienced by Kaya.

Judge Alice Doyle, approved the €37,500 child injury compensation settlement offer with €900 special damages plus costs had been made by Cillgarman Ltd’s insurance company.

WRC Awards €2,461 to New Father Who Was Sacked During Paternity Leave

May 24th, 2018. By Compensation News.

Teh father of a new baby who had his employment terminated just 11 days after the birth of his new-born baby, while he was on paternity leave, has been awarded €2,461 in unfair dismissal compensation by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

At a work meeting on 12 January 2017 the man, who was working as a horticulturalist was advised he was being made redundant – straight after his boss congratulated him on the birth of his new baby. His boss then asked to clear his desk of his things and leave immediately.

The man took a legal action for unfair dismissal and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has upheld his claim and ordered his former employer to pay him a sum of €2,461 in wrongful dismissal compensation. WRC Adjudication Officer, Pat Brady has referred the employer’s conduct during the case as “seriously unacceptable”.

The unfair dismissal compensation amount awarded would have been much greater higher if the man had not found a new job so quickly. However as he was quick to find a new, better-paid, role it meant that his precious employer was not liable for as much compensation as may have been the case.

When appearing before the WRC, the man referred to the fact that any termination during on paternity leave is automatically found to be unfair as per section 20 of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act, 2016. The employer remarked that he was not conscious of the fact that that as employee being absent on paternity leave was an issue and the business decision to make the man redundant was due to a  restructuring of his company.

Pat Brady, the WRC Adjudication Officer,  said that the employer in the case had adopted a negligent attitude to the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act.

Mr Brady stated: “Then, in circumstances which could scarcely have been more insensitive, he was given one day’s notice of a meeting at which his employment is terminated and he is told to leave the premises and not to return.”

He went on to say: “However, it is the total absence of any procedures which is of more concern; the lack of proper or any notice, the lack of a selection procedure or consideration of alternatives.”

Workplace Injury Award of €15,000 for Garda Who Suffered Thumb Injury

April 16th, 2018. By Compensation News.

Garda Barry Hennessy has been awarded €15,000 in workplace injury compensation after he suffered a thumb injury while on a house call in relation to a party at Clonard Village, Wexford town.

The Wexford-based garda commented to the court that, as a regular golfer, he now has to use painkilling medication in cold weather.

Garda Hennessy, who was appearing before a Garda Compensation hearing, remarked that to Mr Justice Michael Twomey that the injury he suffered does have any real negative affect on his life apart from a small degree of pain and stiffness.

Garda Hennessy (36) told the court that he attended the house in Clonard Village, Wexford, on June 2009 as music blaring from the house was disturbing locals.

Upon reaching the house he entered through the open front door. it was here that he found an individual lying on a sofa. A second person entered and started to roar and shout at the garda. He, Garda Hennessy, was jostled and struck in the face at this point. When he attempted to make an arrest his left thumb was pushed back and dislocated.

Garda Hennessy withdrew at this point and returned to the garda station. Another garda took him to Wexford Hospital. His thumb was treated for dislocation here. Follwoing this his thumb was in a cast for several week during which time Garda Hennessy was absent from work.

The Court was told by Garda Hennessy that “there is nothing I cannot now do with my thumb but when it involves lifting something or gripping something it can still be painful. I have had to take pain killers before playing golf”.

He went on to say that he had been told that he should have surgery to help the injury. Despite this he opted not to do this.

Garda Hennessy was awarded €15,000 Judge Twomey awarded who revealed in the announcement that Garda Hennessy had not been in receipt of physiotherapy or opted for the other measures that were available to him.

 

€30k Toddler Injury Compensation Settlement For Bowling Alley Injury

March 22nd, 2018. By Compensation News.

A eight-year-old boy who injured his finger as a toddler when he was using a bowling ball has settled his personal injury compensation action for €30,000 at the High Court.

The young boy, Kaylum Devitt now has a 2cm scar on his right hand index finger. The personal injury compensation claim was settled with a full denial of liability, the High Court was told.

Taking the legal action though Natalie Devitt, mother of Kaylum, of Buirg an Ri, Balgaddy, Lucan, Co Dublin, sued XL Bowl Limited operating as Superdome, Kennelsfort Road, Palmerstown, Dublin, due to the bowling alley accident that happened on March 18 2012.

it was alleged in the High Court that the young boy’s right index finger was l by a cut by bowling ball and he suffered a fracture to the finger which required a surgery.

There was a further allegation that was a failure to put in place the proper measure to ensure the safety of the child. It was claimed that the bowling ball was permitted to remain a danger or hazard at the bowling alley. Legal representatives for Mr Devitt also alleged that appropriate children’s equipment was not provided in order for the bowling alley to be made safe for young children.

XL Bowl refuted  the allegations were and said it would be stated in a court action that the toddler was not being adequately supervised when the accident occurred.

Philip Sheahan SC, acting on behalf of Kaylum Devitt, told the High Court the toddler was in the bowling alley with his family and that there may be two different accounts of what took place on the day and a claim that people were looking elsewhere at the time that the accident took place.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr, who reviewed the scar, said the personal injury settlement was for an adequate sum given the extent of the injuries suffered by the toddler.

€65,000 Birth Injury Compensation Settlement Approved in Relation to Scaring Suffered by Boy (8)

February 12th, 2018. By Compensation News.

The High Court has approved a birth injury compensation settlement of €65,000 for a boy, now aged eight years old. Dara Brennan allegedly experienced a facial injury during his delivery at the Coombe Hospital on November 12, 2009.

It is thought that Dara, Brayton Park, Kilcock, Co Kildare, suffered the injury to his face as a result of an attempted forceps delivery at the hospital.

To this day resultant scarring and two indentations on the right side of his face remain visible when he smiles.

Lorraine Brennan, acting on behalf of her son, took the compensation action against the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital due to the alleged negligence Dara encountered during his birth.

Legal Counsel alleged that the incorrect use of forceps during the delivery inflicted the scars to right side of Dara Brennan’s face. Legal representatives for the boy claimed that there was an absence of the required level of care, competence, judgment and skill appropriate during the delivery of the boy.

It was argued that a more senior or experienced doctor in obstetrics should have attended the birth of Dara Brennan. Counsel for the Coombe Hospital denied these claims.

The High Court was advised by Dara’s legal team that liability was fully contested in the case. In addition, medical experts could not agree on the specific circumstances of the delivery.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross remarked, while approving the birth scarring compensation settlement said that it was as close to complete  compensation as possible for Dara Brennan.

Finger Injury Compensation of €25,000 Awarded After Water Meter Accident

January 30th, 2018. By Compensation News.

A woman has been awarded €25,000 in damages in finger injury compensation following a accident involving on a water meter cover outside her Limerick home in 2012.

Kirdwin Johnson, aged 30 said that she is unable to properly extend her thumb since the accident. She was cleaning when she broke her wrist in the incident on August 4, 2012.

Ms Johnson advised Judge Gerald Keys that her foot became stuck and, as a result, she “fell back on my (her) arm”. The injured arm remained in a cast for a period of approximately six weeks.

Mr Jack Nicholas BL, representing Ms Johnson , asked her show the Court the extent her injury by extending both thumbs. Mr Nicholas also commented that: “The right thumb doesn’t extend as far back as the left thumb.”

The Court also heard that Ms Johnson has a detailed history submitting  personal injury claims in the Circuit Court.

When questioned the legal representatives of Limerick City County if she had seen the stopcock on the footpath before falling, she replied: “I have seen it but I never paid attention to it before.”

The orthopaedic consultant who treated Ms Johnson after the accident happened did not “make an issue” of the injured thumb in his official accident report. Ms Johnson stated that she she began to feel a “weakness in her thumbs” while attending her son’s graduation ceremony in 2015.

Ms Johnson’s ailments injuries were examined by Dr Jim Fehily on two occasions, once in September 2016 and another time in December 2017. Dr Fehily said that he felt, after the examination that Ms Johnson’s thumb injury was “unlikely” to be as a result of the accident with the water meter cover in 2012.

While no record of any other complaints about the stopcock/meter involved in the accident, Judge Keys remarked that there were no dates included on the original photographs of the water meter cover presented in court.

Judge Keys said: “I am not saying that this lady is making this up, but I have to be satisfied.” He added that the damaged water meter cover was “trap for anybody and anyone who walks by” and that “you can’t leave a situation like that unattended”.

Judge Keys ruled that he had “no choice but to conclude that the plaintiff succeeds” but was “not satisfied” Ms Johnson’s suffering was related to the fall in 2012.

He awarded Ms Johnson €25,000 in finger injury compensation.

Personal Injuries Commission Report Show Irish Whiplash Compensation Rates Higher than rest of Europe

December 19th, 2017. By Compensation News.

The rates of rate of whiplash injuries suffered in Ireland is, at present, much higher  than in most other European countries according a recent report from the Personal Injuries Commission (PIC).

The PIC was set up in early 2017 to look into personal injury compensation claims with a particular focus on the increases in soft tissue and whiplash compensation claims.

Car insurance costs went up by a staggering 70% in the three-year duration between 2013-16. It is though that fraudulent compensation claims to blame for this surge.

However, the PIC is of the opinion that establishing up an independent medical panel to review whiplash injuries would negatively affect a claimant’s rights, so it is steering clear from approving such a move.

Instead, it calls for the establishment of a uniform approach for medical staff treating whiplash injuries. There is, currently, no one accreditation required or benchmark standard for a doctor who wishes to complete a medico-legal report on a personal injury compensation claim in Ireland.  The report says that medics should adopt a standardised approach to diagnosing, treating and reporting on soft tissue injuries, of which the vast majority are connected to whiplash.

It recommended the implementation of the Quebec Task Force Whiplash Associated Disorder grading scale by medical professionals reporting on relevant injuries. This scales is formulated based on the severity of symptoms and associated physical factor. It says “Training and accreditation in soft tissue reporting is agreed as being the best practice requirement for those wishing to complete relevant reports”.

The thinking is that a self-testing factor by the injured party should also be implemented to review compensation claims.

The PIC is chaired by Judge Mr Nicholas Kearns who urged insurance companies to release some background details on the incidence of whiplash injuries in Ireland. This would form a key element of the National Claims Information Database that is  currently being put together by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Mr Justice Kearns also claimed that such dissemination of information on whiplash injuries would be for the betterment of the personal injuries compensation environment in Ireland by fostering ‘an objective standard’ for reviewing whiplash injuries. He went on to say that reports, in future, will look at comparative systems and bench marking compensation award levels from around the world.

 


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