Personal Injury Compensation

Archive for August, 2015

Ombudsman Concerned over Standards of Care in Children´s Residential Homes

August 7th, 2015. By Compensation News.

The Ombudsman for Children has expressed concerns on the standards of care in children´s residential homes and has called for HIQA to take over monitoring.

Niall Muldoon was speaking on RTE´s “Morning Ireland” radio program when he commented that the standards of care in children´s residential homes – particularly voluntarily and privately run homes – may not be being met because of “inconsistencies and discrepancies” in monitoring standards.

It was explained on the broadcast that there are two agencies responsible for monitoring the standards of care in children´s residential homes – the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), which monitors state run homes, and TUSLA (the HSE´s Child and Family Service) which monitors voluntarily and privately run homes.

Mr Muldoon´s primary concerns were that the ten monitoring standards of care in children´s residential homes – including management, staffing levels, children´s rights and environment – had not been met in a number of locations, and the reason for this was that staff shortages had led to delays in the assessment of children´s residential homes.

An investigation conducted by the Ombudsman between January 2012 and August 2013 found that it often took up to fourteen months after the registration of a children´s residential home for an inspection to be carried out. The statutory period within which an inspection is supposed to be conducted is six months.

Mr Muldoon said that the delay in monitoring the standards of care in children´s residential homes was leaving the children in a “vulnerable situation”. He added that his office has engaged with TUSLA to create a “solid action plan” that would amalgamate the monitoring of standards of care in children´s residential homes under one national quality control mechanism run by HIQA.

The 2009 Ryan Report – which recommended that all children´s residential homes were inspected by HIQA – was also mentioned on the broadcast. “We know why the Ryan report was set up” the Ombudsman commented. “We wanted to make sure that children in our care have been looked after to the highest level of standard.” Mr Muldoon added he hoped negotiations with HIQA would result in “independence and proper standards being clearly implemented” in the inspection of care homes.

A spokesperson from TUSLA said the organisation supports the transfer of inspections of voluntarily and privately run children’s residential homes to HIQA, but warned this could take up to two years.

Claim for an Injury from Eating Food at Dublin Airport Resolved at Court

August 4th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A claim for an injury from eating food at Dublin Airport has been resolved at a hearing of the Swords District Court in favour of the plaintiff.

On 23rd March 2013, Shane McQuillan (32) from Swords in Dublin went to the Gate Clock Bar in Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport and purchased the ingredients for a sausage and bacon sandwich. Shane constructed the sandwich and then bit into it, fracturing his upper right back molar on a crispy piece of bacon rind.

Shane alleged that the rasher of bacon should not have been sold to him as it had been allowed to get stale due to it being left on display for a number of hours. He made a claim for an injury from eating food at Dublin Airport, liability for which was denied by the owners of the Gate Clock Bar.

As the Injuries Board did not receive the consent it needed to process Shane´s application for an assessment of compensation, Shane was issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim for an injury from eating food at Dublin Airport through the court system. The case was heard last week by Judge Patricia McNamara at the Swords District Court.

At the hearing, the manager of the Gate Clock Bar gave evidence that the food is changed every ninety minutes, but she was unable to support her claim with documentary evidence. It was also argued by the bar´s legal representatives that, if Shane believed the food to be inedible, he should not have put it in his sandwich. Shane told the judge that he believed the food had been allowed to become stale due to being left on display for a number of hours.

Judge McNamara found in Shane´s favour on the grounds that there was no evidence to contradict his argument. After hearing that he still suffers occasional pain from the fractured tooth and experiences discomfort from drinking cold drinks, the judge initially awarded Shane €6,500 general damages and €2,500 special damages in settlement of his claim for an injury from eating food at Dublin Airport.

However, the judge then said that she was attributing Shane 50 percent contributory negligence and – commenting that he “should have been careful of a crispy rasher rind” – reduced the award of compensation by half to €4,500.


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