Personal Injury Compensation

Archive for February, 2014

Judge Approves Settlement of Compensation for Passenger in Car Accident

February 13th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a passenger in a car accident for thirty-two year old woman who was left with devastating injuries from a crash in 2010.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard how Lydia Branley from Kinlough, Country Leitrim, suffered devastating injuries when the driver of a BMW Coupe she was travelling in as a passenger lost control of the car, which then went through two crash barriers, hit a telegraph pole, and landed upside down in a stream.

The accident – which happened on the N4 at the Ballisodare slip road – occurred at a speed of 150km/hour in September 2010; and, due to the impact with the telegraph pole, the driver and a second male passenger were thrown clear from the car.

However Lydia – who had been wearing a seatbelt – had to be cut free from the wreckage of the car and was taken unconscious by ambulance to Sligo General Hospital; from where she was later transferred in a coma to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

When Lydia woke from the coma nine months later, she was horrified to discover that she was unable to use her arms and legs, speak or feed herself. She now needs constant assistance with everyday tasks, despite her brain still being completely active.

The driver of the BMW – Martin Kearney from Balinoo in County Mayo – was subsequently convicted of dangerous driving causing serious harm, given a six-year prison sentence and banned from driving for twenty years.

Through her father, Lydia claimed injury compensation for a passenger in a car accident from Kearney and the owner of the car – Kearney´s father – and a settlement of €10 million was agreed between the parties.

Due to Lydia´s inability to communicate, the settlement of compensation for a passenger in a car accident had to be approved by a judge – which is how Ms Justice Mary Irvine came to be told of the circumstances of the accident and Lydia´s injuries.

The judge approved the settlement, adding “It does not give back Lydia her life. Nothing will, but it will provide her with the best care and hopefully bring back a degree of normality.”

Claim for Fatal Organ Failure due to Dehydration Resolved after Court Hearing

February 12th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A family´s compensation claim for fatal organ failure due to dehydration has been resolved at the High Court after a statement was read out apologising for medical negligence at Cavan General Hospital.

The claim for fatal organ failure due to dehydration was made after Eileen Brady from Crosskeys in County Cavan died on 6th January 2010 – one day after being admitted to the Cavan General Hospital suffering from poor fluid intake.

Eileen (65) had been referred to the hospital by her GP after consulting him about a mouth ulcer issue. She was admitted into the hospital to be treated for dehydration but, due to ongoing chemotherapy treatment for stomach cancer, her veins collapsed when the intravenous drip was applied.

Without a source of fluids, Eileen suffered multiple organ failure and died – a death which medical experts concluded could have been avoided if medical staff had paid better attention to Eileen´s medical charts, consulted senior doctors when her condition began to deteriorate or spoken with the doctors who were treating Eileen for cancer.

Following the disclosure of a “catalogue of errors”, Martin Brady – Eileen´s son – made a compensation claim for fatal organ failure due to dehydration; stating that he and other members of the Brady family had suffered emotional distress following the tragic and preventable death of his mother.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) acknowledged that there had been a failing of care in Eileen´s case, and an undisclosed compensation settlement was agreed out of court.

A condition of the settlement was that a public apology be read to the family at the High Court, and before Ms Justice Mary Irvine, representatives of the HSE read a statement in which the HSE and Cavan General Hospital apologised for medical negligence which led to Eileen´s death, and the subsequent distress that had been experienced by Eileen´s family and friends.

Before closing the hearing, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard Aidan Brady read a statement on behalf of the family – in which it was hoped that the negligent parties had learned from the grave mistakes that had resulted in the death of his mother – before the judge extended her own sympathy to the bereaved family.

Claim for an Accident on Public Transport Premises Resolved in Court

February 5th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A woman´s claim for an accident on public transport premises has been resolved after a hearing at the High Court in Dublin.

Ciara Morgan from Kentstown in County Meath claimed to have sustained a broken ankle and a back injury due to slipping on ice at Connolly Station in Dublin on 10th December 2010, when she was returning from a Christmas shopping trip in Belfast with her mother.

In her action against Irish Rail, Ciara said that the platform at which the train stopped had been exposed to the elements throughout the day and the railway company had failed to grit the platform, clear the snow before it had compacted, or give any warning of ice on the platform.

Irish Rail acknowledged its liability for Ciara´s broken ankle, but contested the amount that was being claimed – arguing that the back problems Ciara claimed to have developed as a result of her accident were unrelated to her accident on public transport premises.

Consequently, the Injuries Board issued thirty-two year old Ciara with an Authorisation to pursue her claim in court, and the compensation claim for an accident on public transport premises was heard at the High Court before Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon for the assessment of damages only.

At the High Court the judge heard how, after the slip and fall accident, an Irish Rail worker had tried to assist Ciara by placing her in a shopping trolley – which had subsequently toppled over as he tried to manoeuvre it on the icy conditions.

Judge O´Hanlon also heard evidence that Ciara´s broken ankle prevented her from returning to her job as a clerical assistant at the Health Service Executive work for eight weeks, but that her ongoing back injury prevented her from wearing high heels or being able to pick up her young child.

The judge awarded Ciara €50,000 in settlement of her compensation claim for an accident on public transport premises after Ciara told her “I will never get that Christmas back when my first child was three years of age. It was a horrible time for all my family.”

CAA Intervenes in Flight Delay Claim against Virgin Atlantic

February 5th, 2014. By Compensation News.

The Civil Aviation Authority has intervened to resolve a flight delay claim against Virgin Atlantic on behalf of a couple who lost a day of their Caribbean holiday.

In October 2012, Martin Offer and his partner were intending to fly to Saint Lucia for a wonderful Caribbean holiday. However, due to a fault being detected in a fire detector on their Virgin Atlantic flight, the couple´s departure from Heathrow was delayed by twenty-four hours while a replacement part was ordered and installed.

After returning to the UK, Martin made a flight delay claim against Virgin Atlantic as he believed he was entitled to do under EU regulation 261/2004. The airline rejected Martin´s claim on the grounds that the fault in the fire detector was an “exceptional circumstance”, and this meant that the company was excused from paying delayed flight compensation.

Martin appealed his flight delay claim against Virgin Atlantic Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – the UK´s flight regulator. The CAA discovered that fault in the fire detector had originally been identified three days previously; but, due to the high cost of having a replacement part installed in the United States, Virgin Atlantic had waited until the plane returned to the UK to deal with the problem.

The timing of the CAA´s discovery coincided with new guidelines regarding the interpretation of EU regulation 261/2004 that had been agreed in Luxembourg. The new guidelines said that technical problems attributable to an airline´s failure to maintain its aircraft adequately should not be considered as “exceptional circumstances”.

The CAA said that the delay at Heathrow Airport was unnecessary because it could reasonably be expected for Virgin Atlantic to have a distribution network for spare parts for such circumstances. The CAA found that the airline had acted negligently and upheld Martin´s flight delay claim against Virgin Atlantic – ordering the airline to pay Martin and his partner €1,200 compensation.

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