Personal Injury Compensation

Archive for March, 2015

Boy Awarded Compensation for an Injury Caused by a Dog Bite

March 24th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A boy has been awarded €7,500 compensation for an injury caused by a dog bite after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Rhys Loy from Clongriffin in Dublin was twelve years of age when he was cycling home from school in November 2011. As he mounted a pavement in Raheny, he was attacked and bitten by a five-year-old Collie named Charlie, who was out for a walk on a lead with his temporary carer – Anecy Sholling.

 Rhys was taken suffering from shock to the Children´s University Hospital in Temple Street, where he received treatment for a superficial laceration on his left calf. After being discharged from hospital with his injury cleaned and sutured, Rhys returned on several more occasions to have the dressing changed and his injury examined to ensure it was healing properly.

On her son´s behalf, Rhys´ mother – Sinead Byrne – claimed compensation for an injury caused by a dog bite against the registered owners of the dog – the PAWS animal rescue centre in Mullinahone, County Tipperary, which was run by Deidre and Gina Hetherington. Ms Byrne also applied to the Gardai to have the dog put down.

Deidre and Gina Hetherington denied their responsibility for Rhys´ dog bite injuries, and said that the Collie had been adopted by Ms Sholling several months before the attack on Rhys. The Hetheringtons claimed that they did not know the whereabouts of the Collie when Garda officers attempted to collect the dog to have him put down.

With there being a dispute over liability, the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the case to be heard in court. The claim for compensation for an injury caused by a dog bite subsequently went to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

At the hearing, Judge Groarke was informed by a Garda officer that she had seen paperwork confirming PAWS as the registered owners of the Collie at the time of the attack. The officer testified that the dog was only being fostered by Ms Sholling when it attacked Rhys and that it had been returned to the animal rescue centre shortly afterwards.

As the Collie had been the property of the animal rescue centre at the time of the attack, Judge Groarke said that Deidre and Gina Hetherington were the legal owners and subsequently liable for the dog´s actions. He ordered them to pay Rhys €7,500 compensation for an injury caused by a dog bite and commented he did not believe it was a coincidence that the Collie had escaped his punishment.

Claim for a Brain Injury Caused by Hydrocephalus Resolved in Court

March 5th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A claim for a brain injury caused by hydrocephalus has been resolved in the High Court after the Health Service Executive was found guilty of medical negligence.

At the age of three months, Ava Kiernan started developing the symptoms of hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”). The condition was caused by spinal fluid “pooling” in Ava´s skull because it has failed to drain from the brain and is most commonly identified in children under the age of one year by a rapid expansion of the head´s circumference or bulges appearing as “soft spots” around the skull.

In April 2008, a public health nurse examined Ava and measured her head. However – despite the concern´s of Ava´s mother – no recall for a second examination was arranged. A subsequent measurement of Ava´s head in September, which could have identified the hydrocephalus condition, was conducted incorrectly.

Due to the nurse´s failure to act and the subsequent errors in the measurement of her head, the pressure from the spinal fluid pooling in her skull resulted in Ava suffering brain damage. Ava´s mother – Ruth Kiernan from Duleek in County Meath – made a claim for a brain injury caused by hydrocephalus against the Health Service Executive (HSE), claiming that her daughter´s mental and physical disabilities were attributable to medical negligence.

The claim for a brain injury due to hydrocephalus was contested by the HSE, and the case went to the High Court where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. After hearing evidence for three weeks, Judge Cross found in Ava´s favour. He said that if Ava had been recalled for a second examination four weeks after the initial head measurement in April 2008, or the subsequent measurement of her head in September had been conducted correctly, Ava´s hydrocephalus would likely have been identified.

The judge continued to say that Ava´s hydrocephalus would have been diagnosed after a scan and treated by a shunt before it resulted in permanent brain damage. Judge Cross said that the public health nurse´s failure to act on Ruth´s concerns was “materially causative” to Ava´s brain injury and he adjourned the claim for a brain injury caused by hydrocephalus in order that an assessment can be conducted to determine an appropriate settlement of damages.


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