Personal Injury Compensation

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Jogger awarded €60,000 for trip and fall injury on Dublin City Council Land

June 13th, 2017. By Compensation News.

In September 2011, the jogger tripped who was running in Clondalkin, Dublin. As he turned into a caravan site, he tripped on a hole in the surface of a footpath. He fell to the ground, and as he put his hands up to protect himself, he fractured a knuckle on his right hand. He subsequently had to undergo surgery for and has since been left with a scar.

The man sought legal counsel, and as the caravan site is owned and managed by South Dublin County Council, he claimed compensation for a trip and fall injury on council land. The council disputed liability and argued the man-who also participated in boxing matches–had injured his knuckle in a fight.
The case went to the High Court due to the disagreement over liability. It was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. During the hearing, it was disclosed that the man had been involved in a car accident the previous day in which he had suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck and back.

The defendants used this information to express doubts that the man would have gone jogging the day after an accident. They repeated their suspicion that the injury had been sustained in a boxing match, and was not a result of the fall on their land. However, a medical witness testified that the man was just trying to run off his soft tissue injury.

The judge accepted this evidence, and concluded this was a “credible explanation” for why the man had been jogging on the morning after a car accident. The judge awarded him €55,000 compensation for a trip and fall injury on council land. The judge had increased the award by €5,000 to account for the aggressive manner in which the council had pursued their argument the claim was fraudulent.

Judge Barr said in his closing remarks that the evidence suggested the plaintiff was injured in the manner in which he had claimed, on account of the evidence provided by the medical expect. He added there was no credible reason to suggest the jogger was making a fraudulent claim, and further stated that the jogger was entitled to the additional compensation for the upset caused to him by the nature of the unsuccessful defence put forward by South Dublin County Council.

Exposure to Toxic Chemicals in an Air Corps Airbase

June 8th, 2017. By Compensation News.

Concerns have been raised about the exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase causing illnesses – some fatal – to servicemen, their partners and their children.

According to an article published today in thejournal.ie, a former Air Corps mechanic has claimed the exposure to toxic chemicals at an Air Corps airbase is causing servicemen, their partners and their children to suffer illnesses and development issues. In some cases, the whistle-blower claims, the illnesses have resulted in death.

The allegations relate to the Casement Airbase in Baldonnel, County Dublin, where it is claimed the Defence Forces failed to protect workers from exposure to known carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals. The exposure to the chemicals has not only resulted in the alleged untimely death of twenty servicemen, but also life-changing illnesses to their partners and children.

In an address to senior Ministers, TDs, senators and a member of the Defence Forces, the whistle-blower said he knew of many serving and retired personnel who had developed fertility issues. He claimed that one retired serviceman´s wife had eight successive miscarriages and that the wives of three personnel in the engineering wing suffered miscarriages within six months of each other.

The unprotected exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals, the former mechanic claimed, had resulted in the death of five servicemen´s children – two from cancer-related illnesses, and two from serious birth defects. He also gave details of further children who have been born with development issues suspected to be linked to their parent´s exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase.

Claims that the Defence Forces failed to protect Irish servicemen against exposure to toxic chemicals go back more than a decade, but these allegations have raised fresh concerns. Speaking to thejournal.ie, Sinn Féín TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh accused junior Justice Minister Paul Kehoe of indifference to the “severe mental and physical side effects on serving and retired soldiers”.

TD Ó Snodaigh expressed concerns that the issue of exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase had not been addressed despite a Health and Safety Authority inspection of the Casement Airbase identifying several health and safety issues in need of immediate attention. Currently the State Claims Agency is defending six personal injury claims made due illnesses attributed to exposure to toxic chemicals at an Air Corps airbase.

Judge Adjourns Case of Girl Injured on Dublin Bus

May 21st, 2017. By Compensation News.

A judge has adjourned the case of a girl who sustained an injury to her eyebrow while travelling on Dublin bus so that further medical reports can be made.

A girl (who was twenty-two months old at the time of the incident) was travelling on a bus in Dublin with her mother in 2015 when the bus driver braked suddenly to avoid an unmarked garda car that had pulled out into a bus lane. Although strapped into her buggy, the girl hit her head on one of the poles in the bus.

The girl was taken to Temple Street Children´s Hospital by her mother to receive medical attention. The girl had sustained a cut on her foreheard, which was cleaned and sealed with seristrips. It is possible that the girl´s eyebrow hair will not develop normally as she gets older, and a very faint scar remains in the area.

As she was a minor at the time of the incident, her mother made a claim for compensation for an eyebrow injury on the girl’s behalf. The defendants-Dublin Bus and the Garda Commissioner-accepted liability for the injury, and a settlement of compensation amounting to €10,000 was offered to the family.

As the claim for compensation for an eyebrow injury had been made on behalf of a minor, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to deem it fair before it could be finalised. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court last week, by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was told the circumstances of the accident and the consequences of the injury.

Judge Groarke inspected the young girl´s eyebrow and said he could still see a visible scar. He commented that, as it was difficult to tell if the girl had made a complete recovery, he was reluctant to approve the settlement at this stage. He adjourned the approval hearing for six weeks in order that a medical report could be prepared on how the injury may interfere with the growth of the girl´s eyebrow hair in the future. The case is thus ongoing.

Sanofi Acknowledges Class Action Against Them

April 13th, 2017. By Compensation News.

Drug manufacturer Sanofi has issued a statement acknowledging the valproate birth defect claims being made against the company in a French class action.

The drug responsible for prompting the valproate birth defects claims is sold as Depakine in France (since 1967), and as Epilim in Ireland (since 1983). It is commonly known as an anti-epilepsy drug, but is also used to treat bipolar disorder, migraine and other chronic pain conditions. Epilim contains an active ingredient – sodium valproate – that stabilises electrical activity in the brain.

When taken by pregnant mothers, the risk exists that the sodium valproate will be converted to valproic acid. This is then absorbed into bloodstream and adversely affects the health of their unborn child. In Ireland, children born after being exposed to valproic acid have been known to suffer from spina bifida, autism and a range of congenital and development issues under the umbrella term “foetal valproate syndrome”.

The risks were first identified in France in the 1980s, over a decade after the drug was introduced. However, no conclusive evidence was found linking the drug to the children born with defects, so no formal announcement was made to the medical profession. After further investigations, Sanofi informed medical authorities of the risks of the drug in 2006. In spite of the announcement, very few medical professionals were made aware of the side effects until France´s social affairs inspectorate – IGAS – investigated valproate birth defect claims in a case study the Rhone-Alpes region last year.

IGAS´s research revealed just under 500 children born in the region had congenital defects exposed to valproic acid during the period between 2006 and 2014 after being. The report called for a warning to be printed on the outside of each box of Epilim advising pregnant women not to take the drug due to the serious risks to the foetus.
A much deeper study of the risks was conducted by France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM). The results of that study were recently released following an investigation into the health of 8,701 children, born to women known to have taken Depakine while pregnant between 2007 and 2014. The results revealed that up to 4,100 children had been born with “severe malformations” and many hundreds more had died in the womb or been delivered stillborn.

Following the release of the study, Sanofi issued a statement in which the company said: “We are aware of the painful situation confronting the families of children showing difficulties that may have a link with the anti-epileptic treatment of their mother during pregnancy.” However, the statement has not satisfied parents of the children affected by the side effects of Epilim. They sought legal counsel, and together have started a class action of valproate birth defect claims to recover compensation for their children.
In Ireland, Epilim is still sold without a warning in large type on the front of the packet, and it is not known how many children have been born with birth defects due to being exposed to valproic acid. If a member of your family has been affected by this tragic situation, and you would like to know more about valproate birth defect claims, you should speak with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Compensation for a Spanish Swimming Pool Accident Approved in Court

March 28th, 2017. By Compensation News.

A judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident after an initial offer of settlement was more than doubled.

In August 2012, the twelve-year-old plaintiff and her family visited the Sol Principe Hotel in Torremolinos on the Costa Del Sol. While the girl – who was eight years of age at the time – was swimming in the hotel´s pool, another holidaymaker dived into the pool, landing on top of her and pushing her to the bottom of the pool, where she cut her chin on the tiles.

The girl was taken to a local medical centre, where her cut chin was cleaned and seristrips applied to the wound. Due to the accident, the girl suffered pain, distress and discomfort, and now has a pale 1cm scar on her chin. Through her father she claimed compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident against the hotel and the travel agent through whom the holiday had been booked.

In the claim for compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident it was alleged the hotel – and, by association, the travel agent – had been negligent and failed in its breach of duty by failing to take adequate precautions while guests were using the swimming pool. It was also alleged there was a lack of adequate supervision that would have prevented the accident from occurring.

The allegations were denied and a full defence entered against the claim. It was also argued that the case should be heard in Spain, rather than in Ireland, because of the location in which it took place. However, at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond, heard that an offer of settlement amounting to €5,000 compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident had been made by the two defendants.

The offer of settlement was in line with what the girl would receive if the family were to successfully bring a claim in Spain. Judge Groarke heard that the offer had been since increased to €12,500 after initially being rejected by the family and, as liability might be an issue if the case were proceed to a full hearing, the family had agreed to accept it. The judge said, in the circumstances he was happy to approve the settlement of compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident.

Family of Baby with Erb’s Palsy Wins Compensation

February 17th, 2017. By Compensation News.

The family of a baby who was born with Erb’s palsy following negligence of the medical staff involved with his birth has been awarded compensation.

A baby boy was born via a natural delivery on 22nd March 2010 despite his mother having requested a birth by Caesarean section. She had requested such an operation because he had been identified as a large baby following an ultrasound, and she wished to avoid the medical complications which this could cause. As she feared, during the delivery process, the boy´s shoulder got trapped in the birth canal. Staff at the hospital-Kerry General Hospital-had to extract him with the assistance of a vacuum cup.

Due to the force applied to free his shoulder, the boy suffered a brachial plexus injury and has since been diagnosed with Erb´s palsy. As a result of this, the boy has a weak right arm that will permanently affect him for the rest of his life. The family sought legal counsel, and the boy´s father made a claim for an Erb´s palsy birth injury against the HSE on his son´s behalf.

The authority in charge of the hospital, the Health Service Executive (HSE) initially denied liability for the boy´s birth injury. period of negotiation agreed to a €530,000 settlement of the claim for an Erb´s palsy birth injury without an admission of liability. 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 the child´s best interests.

The case was recently heard at the High Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. The judge was informed that the boy had been identified as a very large baby approximately two months before his birth following an ultrasound scan. As a result of his size, his mother had requested a Caesarean section delivery on two consultations and again when she was admitted to Kerry General Hospital in labour to avoid potential complications with his birth. However, these requests were subsequently ignored by health authorities.

Judge Cross also heard details about the boy’s life. The child attends mainstream school, and has learned to write with his left hand. He is also very good at maths. An expert witness who examined the boy’s physical strength testified that the boy is unable to tie shoes or close buttons and will struggle at sports, after which the judge approved the settlement of the boy´s claim for an Erb´s palsy birth injury against the HSE and wished the family well for the future.

Seven-Figure Interim Settlement Awarded for Delayed Caesarean Section

January 21st, 2017. By Compensation News.

A young boy from Cork who sustained severe birth injuries after a failure to operate has been awarded a €1.35 million interim settlement of compensation.

The claim for compensation was made on behalf of a six-year-old child who was delivered by Caesarean section at the Cork University Maternity Hospital in March 2010. The claim alleged that the staff at the hospital failed to correctly interpret the results of a CTG scan that indicated the boy was suffering from foetal distress syndrome.

Due to this alleged negligence, the Caesarean section that was needed to prevent any injury was not carried out in a timely manner. Due to a lack of oxygen, the boy suffered from hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and was born with severe brain damage.

The boy’s birth injuries have left him blind, mute and suffering from daily seizures. He is reliant on constant care, which he receives from his parents and extended family. They receive additional home support from the Jack and Jill Foundation.

The boy’s mother consulted a medical negligence solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE contested the allegations of negligence, though they agreed to pay an interim settlement of compensation of €1.35 million without admitting liability. The boy’s case will then be assessed to evaluate the costs of his future care needs.

As the claim was made on behalf of a minor, the settlement had to be approved in the High Court of Dublin. At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told of how hard it was for the boy’s family to get compensation for the delayed Caesarean section, and of their relief that the process was over. Wishing the family the best for the future, Judge Cross approved the settlement and adjourned the case for three years.

Judge Awards Compensation for a Hotel Slip and Fall Injury

December 30th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A judge has awarded a woman €56,250 compensation for a hotel slip and fall injury after reducing the award by 25 percent to account for her own lack of care.

The claim for compensation for a hotel slip and fall injury was made by a businesswoman from Kinsale in County Cork, who had been staying at the Herbert Park Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin, in August 2014. The woman had been attending the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS and, on the final day on the show, decided to leave early as it was raining and she had a long drive home.

However, as she tried to drive her car out of the hotel car park, the barrier failed to raise. The woman rushed back into the hotel lobby through the emergency doors to check with reception whether her parking ticket had been validated. However, as entered the reception area, she slipped on the wet floor and fell – sustaining a triple fracture of her left ankle.

The woman was taken by ambulance to St Vincent´s Hospital by ambulance, where she underwent surgery to set her ankle. The ankle was protected with a plaster cast when the woman was discharged, but she cannot now walk long distances without experiencing pain, and is more likely to develop arthritis in the fractured ankle on the years to come.

The woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation for a hotel slip and fall injury, but the two alleged negligent parties – the Herbert Park Hotel and its management company Sheelin McSharry (Ballsbridge) Ltd – declined to consent to an assessment being conducted. The woman was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court.

At the hearing at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Judge Groarke was told that the hotel floor was usually well maintained, but became slippery when guests walked over it with moisture on their shoes. An expert witness for the plaintiff testified there was no mat placed by the emergency doors to absorb any moisture and that a mat placed there would have prevented the accident from happening.

The Herbert Park Hotel and Sheelin McSharry (Ballsbridge) Ltd argued that, had the injured guest used the main hotel doors as she was supposed to, the accident would not have happened because the floor in that area was protected from moisture with a mat. They also alleged that she contributed to her accident and injury by rushing and not paying proper attention to her environment.

Ultimately Judge Groarke found in the woman´s favour. He said this was an accident waiting to happen and that the plaintiff had sustained “a very nasty and extremely serious injury”. The judge also agreed that the plaintiff had displayed an element of contributory negligence and, after initially awarding the woman €75,000 compensation for a hotel slip and fall injury, he reduced the award by 25 percent to account for her own lack of care.

Supermarket Knee Injury Claim Settled for Five Figures

November 21st, 2016. By Compensation News.

A nurse’s claim for personal injury compensation against Tesco Supermarkets has been settled by the Circuit Court in Dublin.

The accident occurred in January 2014 after a thirty-two-year-old nurse, whose anonymity has been preserved throughout proceedings, fell over an obstruction in her local branch of Tesco Metro. The obstruction – a six-pack of beer- had been left on the floor by a customer waiting to use the self-service checkouts.

The fall caused substantial damage to the woman’s knee, which had previously undergone reconstructive surgery. After an ambulance took the nurse to St James’ Hospital, an x-ray showed that the same knee had been fractured again. Two surgeries and three years of physiotherapy later, the woman still suffers from pains around the area of the fracture.

The woman consulted a personal injuries solicitor and proceeded to make a claim against Tesco for her fall. However, the supermarket denied permission to the Injuries Board for an assessment to take place and as such the woman was granted permission to pursue her claim through the courts.

Earlier this month, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard details of the case at the Circuit Court in Dublin. He was informed that Tesco were continuing to deny liability for the injury, claiming that by failing to avoid the brightly-coloured box of beer, the woman had caused her own fractured knee. They added that there was nothing they could have done to prevent the injury.

Representatives for the claimant argued that the woman was forced to go through the queue of people, as the cramped layout of the supermarket made it unavoidable if she wanted to access certain parts of the store. The judge noted that this was a bad design, commenting that if the “customer traffic” of the supermarket had been managed better, the woman’s injury may never have occurred.

Adding that the woman’s knee injury must have been severe to still cause her trouble, Judge Groarke found in the claimant’s favour. Initially awarding a sum of €60,000, 20% was then deducted for contributory negligence.

Young Girl Compensated for Fall from Window as Toddler

October 9th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A five year-old girl, who sustained severe injuries after falling from an insecure window, has received a five-figure settlement of compensation.

The accident occurred in August 2012, when Róisín Byrne – then aged fifteen months old – fell eleven feet from a window to a fire escape at her parent’s home in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. The little girl sustain fractures to her ribs, a punctured lung and injuries to her head. Now five years old, she has mostly recovered, though still has a visible scar on her head from the accident.

The Georgian window from which Róisín fell had been identified as a hazard by her parents, Ronan Byrne and Chloe Murphy, as it is very close to the ground. As such, they asked the caretaker of the property to install a security mechanism so that a fall could be prevented.

Yet the request was not undertaken, and acting on her daughter’s behalf, Chloe sought legal counsel and proceeded to file for assessment wth the Injuries Board. The owner of the Blackrock property, Enda Woods, allowed an investigation to be carried out, which resulted in an estimate of compensation worth €46,000.

Though the assessment was agreed by both parties to be fair, as it was made on behalf of a child, the claim had to be approved by a judge. The case proceeded to the Circuit Court, as the value of the claim was in excess of €15,000.

At the court, after hearing details of Róisín’s accident, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke approved the settlement. It will now be paid into court funds until Róisín’s eighteenth birthday.

Consistency Restored to Compensation Settlements by New Book of Quantum

September 24th, 2016. By Compensation News.

In the coming weeks, a new Book of Quantum will be published that will enable to courts and others settling personal injury claims to make the process fairer.

First published in 2004, the Book of Quantum is a reference text that lists a broad range of injuries and provides estimates of compensation settlements for those who suffered said injuries through accidents that were not their fault. To make the awards fairer, subcategories were created to allow settlements to be based upon severity and permanence of the injuries.

However, as the book has not been updated in twelve years, many claim that it is out of date and no longer facilitates the fair awarding of compensation settlements. Many judges and solicitors have ignored the estimates provided, whilst others still use them but only use the highest sum provided. This means that there is an inequality across the system.

Dissatisfied with current affairs, some of Ireland’s senior judges engaged the Courts Services and Injuries Board Ireland to write a new, updated Book of Quantum. The new data comes from the study of over 52,000 claims for personal injury compensation made in Ireland between 2013 and 2014. The new publication hopes to resolve current inconsistencies in the system.

Amongst other things, the estimates have been adjusted to account for inflation and the increase in cost of living over the years since its first publication. Additionally, more subdivisions in the categories of severity and permanence were added to make the settlements awarded more appropriate.

Potential claimants should note that, whilst the Book of Quantum only advises on physical injuries, one can also claim for consequences such as emotional trauma or financial loss. To investigate these possibilities, consult an experienced personal injuries solicitor.

Compensation Approved for Childhood Holiday Accident

July 10th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A judge in Dublin’s High Court have approved a six-figure settlement of compensation for a teenage girl who was scarred in an accident whilst on holiday as a child.

The teenager in question, Shauna Burke, was aged just ten years old when the accident occurred. Shauna was staying at the Slattery Caravan Park, Co. Clare, with her family when she was out playing in a popular area of the park with her friends. However, as she was running, Shauna lacerated her leg on a nail that was jutting from a pole.

Though Shauna received both quick first-aid and then medical attention from a nearby hospital, she was left with a large scar just above her knee. Shauna’s father, John, decided to make a claim for holiday injury compensation on his daughter’s behalf against the owner of the caravan park, Austin Francis Slattery.

In the claim, John alleged that Slattery was aware of the risk the nail posed yet failed to act. The park owner denied these allegations, though still proceeded to offer Shauna a compensation settlement worth €106,000 for her suffering and cost of medical care.

However, as the claim was made on behalf of a minor, the case had to proceed to the High Court of Dublin for approval of the claim. Mr Justice Anthony Barr oversaw proceedings for the approval hearing, where he heard details of the accident and subsequent scar.

Judge Barr proceeded to inspect the scar, after which he said that he believed the settlement of compensation to be adequate. As Shauna is not yet eighteen, the settlement will be paid into court funds until her eighteenth birthday.

UN Calls for Reform of Eighth Amendment

June 18th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A recent ruling by the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee has determined that the current laws in Ireland preventing medical terminations are endangering the wellbeing of Irish women.

This criticism comes in spite of a recent change to the Eighth Amendment – the part of the Irish constitution that protects the right of the unborn foetus – in 2013. This change loosened strict laws preventing abortions, now allowing them in cases where it is seen that the pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk. However, terminations are still prohibited in cases of rape, incest, or if the foetus has abnormalities that will result in death either later in the pregnancy or shortly after birth.

These strict criterion force many women seeking abortions to go abroad. Amanda Mallet was one such woman – during the twenty-first week of her pregnancy, Amanda was told that her foetus had severe deformities that would lead to an inevitable miscarriage. Amanda did not want to endure a miscarriage, and as such went to the United Kingdom for treatment.

However, the entire experience was upsetting: whilst in Ireland, Amanda was not easily able to access information concerning the procedure, and she was not entitled to any bereavement counselling. Based on her bad experience, Amanda set up the “Termination for Medical Reasons” campaign to lobby the government to change the restrictive legislation. The organisation proceeded to file a case with the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, alleging that the current ban on medical terminations was discriminative, cruel and degrading.

The Human Rights Committee agreed with Amanda’s claim, ruling that her wellbeing was put at great risk by her entire ordeal. The added their belief that Amanda should be compensated for the government’s inability to provide abortions “in the familiar environment of her own country and under the care of health professionals whom she knew and trusted.”

The committee found in Amanda’s favour, noting that her wellbeing was endangered by the law. They found that Amanda should be compensated for the State’s failure to allow her an abortion “in the familiar environment of her own country and under the care of health professionals whom she knew and trusted.”

The council added that they recommend a change of laws in Ireland to allow women to access“effective, timely and accessible procedures for pregnancy termination in Ireland, and take measures to ensure that healthcare providers are in a position to supply full information on safe abortion services without fearing being subjected to criminal sanctions.”

 

Fine for Company after Supervisor Dies in Accident

May 10th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A storage company has been issued a €200,000 by a Dublin court after one of its employees died in a work accident in one of their warehouses.

The tragic accident happened on the 28th November 2015 at a Dublin warehouse owned by VF Coldstores Ltd. The victim, Robert Ceremuga – then aged thirty-two – was killed when a scaffold that was supporting over thirty six tonnes of food products collapsed on top of him. A report conducted after the incident concluded that the collapse was the result of an errant forklift that collided with the structure. An additional investigation uncovered that the employee operating the vehicle had been working at the factory for just three weeks and lacked the approbate license to operate the machine.

VH Coldstores Ltd was subsequently prosecuted by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) prosecuted VF Coldstores Ltd for serious breaches of health and safety laws. At a hearing conducted earlier this year in the Circuit Criminal Court, Dublin, a representative  for the storage company plead guilty to the charges. Maria – Robert’s widow – also gave a victim impact statement during the same hearing. After this, Judge Melanie Greally adjourned the session so that could take a “scientific approach” to calculating the fine.

Judge Greally reconvened the hearing earlier this month She the proceeded to fine VF Coldstores Ltd €200,000 for breaching health and safety laws. After the announcement of the fine, Brian Higgisson – the Assistant Chief Executive of the HSA – commented that “It is important that employers adequately manage and conduct work activities, in particular carrying out risk assessments before any major works, such as alterations to racking. These assessments should ensure that everyone has the necessary training, knowledge and experience to complete the work in a safe manner.”

 

Compensation Awarded for Waitress Workplace Injury

April 12th, 2016. By Compensation News.

The High Court of Dublin has awarded a six-figure settlement of compensation for a waitress who suffered a hand injury whilst using jugs that were deemed unfit for purpose.

The waitress in question, Sophie Caillaud (forty-two) sustained an injury to her hand when a glass jug she was filling shattered, causing a deep cut to her thumb. At the time, Sophie was working in the Lough Rynn Hotel in Mohill, Co. Leitrim.

Sophie was brought to hospital, where surgery was carried out to help repair the soft tissue damage to her thumb. However, since the accident Sophie has never been able to regain full strength in the digit and as such has had difficulty carrying out normal, daily tasks.

Sophie sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against her former employer, the Lough Rynn Hotel, as well as the manufacturers and suppliers of the glass jug – Bunzl Outsourcing Ltd and Utopia Tableware Ltd..

The defendants disputed Sophie’s claim for compensation for a waitress hand injury, as they believed the amount being sought was too high. They also argued that it was Sophie’s own negligence that caused her injuries.

Neither negotiations nor the Injuries Board could resolve the case, so it proceeded to the High Court in Dublin where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. There, the judge heard of how other staff members had previously sustained injuries from shattering glass jugs.

An expert witness explained to the court of how the rapid heating and cooling of the jugs in the dishwasher weaker the joint between the handle and the body, concluding they were unfit for purpose.

Sophie also gave evidence at the hearing, after which the judge dismissed any claims by the defendants that she had acted negligently or exaggerated the extent of her injuries. After commenting that he found Sophie to be “entirely genuine”, she was awarded €500,000 compensation.

Five-Figure Compensation Settlement for Chef

March 14th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A man, who was injured whilst working as a chef, has been awarded compensated after a hearing in the Circuit Civil Court.

When Shijun Liu, an ordinary chef in the Howards Way Restaurant, Rathgar, was working at the restaurant’s sister establishment in Churchtown in March 2013, he noticed that a cleaner was struggling to use a domestic power hose. The hose had become tangled, and as Shijun and the cleaner were attempting to fix it, it suddenly started to spray Shijun with scalding water.

The water caused severe burns to Shijun’s ankle, and though he was brought to the VHI clinic in Dundrum after the accident, he had to take two weeks off of work in the kitchens. Shijun sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for compensation against Declan Howard, his employer at the restaurant. The Injuries Board requested permission to investigate the circumstances of the accident, but consent was denied.

The claim was heard earlier this month in the Circuit Civil Court by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was told of the unsuitability of the powerhose for the cleaning of the kitchen, after which Shijun was awarded €15,000. Judge Groarke added that he found Shijun’s story quite compelling.

Five-figure Settlement for Bar Injury

February 7th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A woman who dislocated her thumb in an accident in a bar has been awarded a compensation settlement of €90,000 when the case was heard in Dublin’s High Court.

Sharon Kelly was attending a 30th birthday celebration in the Atc Café Bar on the Fonthill Road, Dublin on the 28th May 2011 when the accident occurred. As Ms Kelly – aged forty-four – was trying to cross the lobby to access the bathrooms, she slipped on some liquid and disclosed her thumb.

Ms Kelly’s injury resulted in a loss of sensation in her thumb, as well as affecting her ability to grip objects. Ms Kelly sought legal counsel and subsequently made a claim for her bar injury against Lackabeg Limited, who trade as the Arc Café Bar. The claim alleged that there was no proper monitoring system in place to ensure that there was no liquid on the floor, and this caused her injury.

Lackabeg Limited refused to admit any liability for Ms Kelly’s injury, and countered her claims by saying that Arc Café Bar used a comprehensive cleaning system to prevent such accidents. They argued that Ms Kelly had already been drinking for several hours that evening, and that combined with the high heels she was wearing actually caused her fall.

The Injuries Board told Ms Kelly that she could proceed to the courts with her injury claim, as liability was being contested. The case was subsequently heard in Dublin’s High Court, by Mr Justice Anthony Barr.

Judge Barr was told that there were two possible sources of the liquid on the ground: either a customer had spilled their drink or someone walked it out of the ladies’ toilet. Two other women testified to the substandard conditions in the ladies’ bathrooms that night confirmed that complaints had been made to the staff.

CCTV footage of the bar that night showed that there area was quite crowded as there was a two-for-one drinks promotion and a Champions League match being shown. Judge Barr confirmed his belief that there was liquid on the floor where Ms Kelly fell.

Before awarding Ms Kelly the €90,000 compensation, Judge Barr commented “People cannot be expected to look at the floor when walking across a bar. She was entitled to expect that the floor was dry and it was safe for her to walk across it.”

Court Awards Compensation for Car Accident Brain Injury

January 31st, 2016. By Compensation News.

A young man from Longford has been awarded a settlement of compensation for brain injuries he sustained in a car accident when he was a just eighteen.

The car crash occurred on the 27th January 2009, when Francis Smith – of Edgeworthstown in County Longford was driving along a road undergoing roadworks. Yet when he was driving, a vehicle was coming directly towards him and in order to avoid a collision, Mr Smith had to swerve out of the way. However, though this action avoided that crash, it caused Mr Smith to collide with a parked lorry just ahead of him. This crash left him with severe and extensive physical and cognitive injuries.

After the accident, Mr Smith was rendered reliant on his mother – Martine Dempsey – for round-the-clock care and assistance. At the time of the accident, he was employed in a local factory, but his injuries and inability to act independently meant that he had to leave this employment. Acting on behalf of now disabled son, Ms Dempsey filed a claim for compensation against the Longford County Council.The claim alleged the motorists driving along the road were not made sufficiently aware of the ongoing roadworks because of a lack f signposts and bollards. Additionally, there was no flagman at the site to make drivers aware of oncoming vehicles. In her claim, Ms Dempsey also stated that the lorry with which her son collided was parked too far out onto the road, and combined with the nearby road works was a serious risk to drivers.

Longford County Council denied any responsibility for Mr Smith’s injuries, counteracting Ms Dempsey’s claim by stating Mr Smith he had been negligent and driven too fast for the conditions of the road, and as such was largely accountable for his fate.

By the time the case was heard in Dublin’s High Court, the parties had negotiated a €750,000 settlement of compensation – which equates to approximately 25% of the original claim’s value. Mr Justice Kevin Cross oversaw proceedings in the High Court, and approved the settlement. In his closing remarks, Judge Cross said he wished Mr Smith well in his future.

Teenager Compensated for Emotional Trauma

December 22nd, 2015. By Compensation News.

A fourteen year old boy has been awarded a five-figure settlement of compensation for emotional trauma inflicted upon him when a fire broke out in his family home.

When a Hotpoint dishwasher caught fire in the evening of the 26th June 2010, the house owned by the Monds family in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath was destroyed. Luckily, each of the family’s four children were successfully and safely removed from the burning house by their parents, though they could not live in their family home until spring 2011

Aaron, the nine year old son of the couple, was severely unsettled by the fire. Already known to suffer from mild intellectual disabilities, the fire in his house caused him to develop a phobia of all fires and triggered obsessive compulsive disorder for years after the event, with symptoms including repeatedly checking that electrical appliances are unplugged.

As Aaron was not of legal age, he made a claim for compensation through his father Henry Monds for the emotional trauma he sustained in the house fire against the manufacturer of the dishwasher, Indesit UK Ltd.. An investigation into the circumstances of the blaze was attributed to the appliance, and as such liability was admitted by the company. The claim then proceeded to the High Court.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton oversaw proceedings at the hearing, and was given accounts of Aaron’s night terrors concerning fire and burning, years after the event occurred. The judge was also told that therapy was alleviating the condition, though he still suffered from anxiety attacks that it would happen again.

The judge accepted the evidence that Aaron was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the fire. Aaron was awarded a €51,244 settlement which the court ordered to be paid into court funds until Aaron reached eighteen.

Widow Compensated for Failure to Diagnose Husband’s Meningitis

November 24th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A woman, whose husband was told that he was constipated when he was infact suffering from meningitis, is going to be compensated for the misdiagnosis, which resulted in her husband’s death.

Philip Morrissey, aged thirty nine from Kilkenny, visited his general practitioner on the 26th May 2010 with symptoms including a high temperature, an earache and a headache. The GP referred him to the Accident and Emergency Department of St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. His symptoms progressed to include a high pulse rate and light intolerance.

A few hours after his admittance to the hospital, Mr Morrissey was confused and disoriented. Gail, Mr Morrissey’s wife, told medical staff attending her husband of her concerns, but was told that the symptoms her husband were presenting with were because he was constipated. However, the next morning, the patient was found slumped in his bed. He had had a cardiac arrest during the night, triggered by his undiagnosed streptococcal pneumonia meningitis.

Mrs Morrissey sought legal counsel, and proceeded to make a claim for compensation for her husband’s misdiagnosis – which resulted in his death – against the Health Service Executive (HSE). In her claim, Mrs Morrissey stated that her husband was not seen by any medical staff in the hospital since 3:40pm on the day before his cardiac arrest and death. She also alleged that there was a failure on the part of the hospital to properly consider her husband’s symptoms, which lead to the misdiagnosis and failure to treat the streptococcal pneumonia meningitis.

An investigation was launched by the HSE into the circumstances of Mr Morrissey’s death. After this, the HSE admitted liability for the misdiagnosis and the two parties negotiated a settlement of €455,000. However, before the case could be concluded, the case had to be presented in the High Court due to the nature of Mr Morrissey’s death.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna oversaw the proceedings in Dublin’s High Court, where the details of Mr Morrissey’s death were presented. He proceeded to approve the settlement of compensation, adding that it was a “huge tragedy” for the family, and that though no amount of money could compensate for their loss, it was the best that could be offered by the law.


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