Personal Injury Compensation

Irish Product Liability Claim

The vast majority of products manufactured in Ireland adhere to European safety standards and their proper use never results in an injury. However, if a manufacturing or design fault goes unnoticed, or a product becomes damaged while on display in a shop, and you sustain an injury as a result, you will be eligible to make an Irish product liability claim for compensation. Most Irish product liability claims occur after a product has been withdrawn from the market, but some instances can occur when an individual fault has led to an injury being sustained. As Irish product liability claims for compensation can also be resolved by class action suits, it is in your best interests to discuss the nature of your accident and injury with an Irish product liability solicitor on our freephone Legal Advice Centre.

Out-of-Court Settlement for Dunnes Stores Glass Injury

October 11th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A student has been awarded a settlement for compensation after negotiations settled a claim made for a injured hand.

The accident occurred on the 13th September 2013 as Amy Holden, aged twenty-two from Ballybrack in Co. Dublin, was eating pre-marinated pork chops that she had bought in the Cornelscourt branch of Dunnes Stores in Dublin. However, when she began chewing the meat she felt something hard and upon inspection found several shards of glass contained in the product.

As Amy had several cuts to her mouth, and a noted risk of internal injuries if she swallowed any of the glass, she was brought to St Colmcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown. After receiving a tetanus jab to prevent any possible infection, an x-ray was carried out that fortunately showed no evidence of internal damage. Though Amy was advised to seek medical attention if she started to vomit, the only later complication was a sore throat.

In light of her injuries and hospital visit, Amy made an application for assessment to the Injuries Board, but the retailer contested the allegations she made. The Injuries Board then gave Amy authorisation to proceed with her claim for her injuries through the courts.

Amy was seeking a compensation settlement of €60,000, and as such the case was scheduled to be heard in the High Courts in Dublin. However, just before the hearing was due to start, the judge was informed that an agreement had been reached between the parties regarding the injury compensation. Few details were released concerning the arrangement, though it was made public that Dunnes Stores never admitted liability.

Provisions for ATE Insurance in Ireland Given by Court of Appeal

June 4th, 2015. By Compensation News.

An opinion given by an appeal court judge is likely to increase the availability and use of After the Event (ATE) insurance in Ireland.

Due to the high costs of defending a court case, defendants who believe it is possible to successfully defend a claim made against them often apply to a judge to order a security of costs against the plaintiff. This is so that, if the plaintiff is unsuccessful in their court case, the defendants are assured of recovering their costs.

An application for a security of costs, if granted, can also be used as a strategy to force plaintiffs to abandon their court action due to not having sufficient assets to meet the demands for a security. Consequently many plaintiffs are being advised by their solicitors to consider ATE insurance in Ireland.

ATE insurance in Ireland is not, as yet, commonly used in litigation; but there are significant benefits to purchasing a policy when making a claim for compensation that is particularly complex or revolves around complicated legal arguments. Premiums are not charged for the policies until the outcome of the case is known and, if the plaintiff is successful, usually deducted from a settlement of compensation.

The use of ATE insurance in Ireland was challenged in a case heard at the High Court last year when a defendant claimed that a plaintiff should not be allowed to use after the event insurance as an alternative to security for costs, as ATE insurance in Ireland was contrary to the common law of champerty – a law that prohibits third parties (in this case an insurance company) from providing financial support in a court case when they have no direct interest in the outcome other than profit.

The judge hearing the court case conducted a review of how ATE insurance in Ireland operates, and ruled that the provision of insurance to plaintiffs by insurance companies did not constitute “trafficking in litigation” – the act of supporting a compensation claim in order to take a profit from the proceeds – because the insurance company´s role in the provision of insurance was not exclusively to derive a profit.

The ruling was appealed by the defendant, and arguments for and against ATE insurance in Ireland were heard last month by the Court of Appeal. In a recently-release written verdict from Judge Kelly, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court judge´s ruling due to the insurance policy offered as security of costs being “highly conditional” and containing a significant number of exclusions that meant the insurance company could have avoided payment of costs to the defendant.

However, Judge Kelly wrote in his judgement that after the event insurance is a factor for a court to give consideration to in exercising its discretion whether to order security for costs. Judge Kelly wrote that ATE insurance in Ireland could be used as a full or partial alternative to security for costs provided that it did not contain exclusions that would allow the insurance company to avoid the payment of the defendant´s costs.

Appeal Successful in Mortgage Interest Rate Increase Complaint

November 3rd, 2014. By Compensation News.

A mortgage interest rate increase complaint has resulted in a successful conclusion for a Dublin couple at the High Court.

Kenneth and Donna Millar of Portmarnock, County Dublin, made an appeal to the High Court after a mortgage interest rate increase complaint against their bank was rejected by the Financial Services Ombudsman. The Millars had complained to the Ombudsman that the Danske Bank (formerly the National Irish Bank) had increased the rate of interest on their six variable rate investment mortgages and on the personal mortgage for their family home.

The couple complained that their lender had raised the rate of interest to 4 percent in November 2011 at a time when the Central European Bank´s rates of interest were at a historic low. They believed that, under the terms of their mortgage agreements, the bank was only entitled to increase or decrease the rates of interest on their mortgages “in line with general market interest rates”.

However, when the Millars made a mortgage interest rate increase complaint to the Danske Bank, they were told that European Central Bank had no influence over what the bank could charge. The couple escalated their mortgage interest rate increase complaint to the Ombudsman, who rejected it on the grounds that their mortgage agreements stated the bank would alter the rate “in response to market conditions” and not “in line with general market interest rates”.

The Ombudsman said that the distinction in the phrasing of the clause was significant and indicated that the Danske Bank did not have to maintain rates of interest in line with those charged by the European Central Bank. The Ombudsman also agreed with Danske Bank that it did not have to release details of how risk assessments were conducted on Kenneth and Donna Millar.

The Millars were not prepared to give up on their mortgage interest rate increase complaint and appealed the Ombudsman´s decision to the High Court. There, before Mr Justice Gerard Hogan, they argued that the information given to them when they took out the first of their variable rate mortgages in 2009 was that “When interest rates go down your monthly payments do likewise. However, when interest rates rise, your monthly payments will increase too”.

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan agreed with the Millars mortgage interest rate increase complaint and said that the text of the clause was ambiguous in the “general factual background against which the contract was entered into”. The Judge dismissed the Ombudsman´s decision on the complaint and instructed the Ombudsman to review it again “in a manner not inconsistent with this judgement”.

What the Case Means to Other Variable Rate Mortgage Holders

Approximately 207,000 mortgages in Ireland are variable interest rate mortgages like the Millar´s – and although Mr Justice Gerard Hogan did not rule that Danske Bank were in breach of contract, his verdict in the case offers the opportunity for other variable rate mortgage holders in Ireland to complain about any unjustifiable increases in the rate of interest, knowing that there is a precedent to support the complaint.

If you are one of the 30 percent of the Irish mortgage market that has a variable interest rate mortgage, and you would like to know more about making a mortgage interest rate increase complaint, contact our 24 hour helpline and speak with a solicitor in confidence. We cannot guarantee every mortgage interest rate interest complaint will have a successful conclusion, but we will be able to advise you of your options and whether you have a complaint which is worth your while to pursue.

Injuries Board Compensation Settlements Increase by 8 Percent

October 5th, 2013. By Compensation News.

The value of Injuries Board compensation settlements has increased by more than 8 percent according to the six-month analysis published on the Injuries Board website.

Figures recently published on the Injuries Board website have shown an increase of more than 8 percent in the value of Injuries Board compensation settlements awarded during the first six months of 2013 in comparison with the corresponding period last year.

More than €118 million was awarded in Injuries Board compensation settlement up to June 2013, compared with €109 million in 2012, with the average settlement value also increasing (by 4 percent) to €22,349 from €21,049.

The analysis also showed a major increase in the number of applications for assessment received by the Injuries Board (16,162 – up from 14,685) and the length of time it now takes for Injuries Board compensation settlements to be processed.

Explaining the increase in Injuries Board compensation settlements, Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board – said that there had been a higher than usual volume of claims for road traffic injury compensation and a few small exceptional awards – including one for €976,000.

The proportion of Injuries Board compensation settlements awarded for road traffic accidents accounted for more than three-quarters of the accepted settlements, while less than a fifth were for public liability claims, and compensation awards for injuries at work fell once again to just under a twelfth of all applications for assessment received by the Injuries Board.

One statistic that might be of concern to Ms Byron is that the number of accepted assessments made by the Injuries Board fell once again. In the first six months of 2012, 37.2 percent of proposed Injuries Board compensation settlements were accepted by plaintiffs whereas, up to June 213, that figure had declined to 32.7 percent.

Despite more than two-thirds of personal injury claims for compensation now being resolved outside of the Injuries Board process, plaintiffs are still advised to submit applications for assessment to the Injuries Board with the assistance of a solicitor to ensure that your full entitlement to personal injury compensation is accounted for.

MDL DePuy Court Cases Delayed for Two More Weeks

September 18th, 2013. By Compensation News.

The start of the MultiDistrict Litigation (MDL) DePuy court cases into the company´s faulty ASR hip replacement systems has been delayed for two more weeks.

U.S. District Judge David A. Katz rescheduled the start of the first case to be heard, which was originally due to begin on September 9th, to allow additional time for discovery and the consideration of other legal matters after the substitution of the original plaintiff – Faye Dorney-Madgitz – with Ann McCracken.

The reason for the substitution is still unclear. McCracken -v- DePuy was originally scheduled to be the second of the ‘bellwether’ court cases to be heard in a series of Federal cases which will determine how juries will respond to the relative strengths and weaknesses of each case. It is not yet known whether Dorney-Madgitz -v- DePuy is to be rescheduled at a later date or indeed heard at all.

Ann McCracken originally made her claim for DePuy injury compensation in March 2011; alleging that she received a DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system in August 2009 which had to be removed by January 2011. The 57-year-old single mother from Rochester in New York claims that when her surgeon removed the DePuy ASR hip implant he saw evidence of metallosis which had killed healthy tissue around the implant and resulted in a painful hip dislocation.

McCracken´s case is to be decided without reference to the DePuy hip replacement recall of August 2010, after Judge Katz ruled that the injury “began with the initial implementation” and agreed with DePuy´s solicitors that, to reference the recall at trial, might deter other companies from voluntarily withdrawing potentially harmful medical devices because of the financial consequences.

Once verdicts are delivered on the first ‘bellwether´ MDL DePuy court cases – and a benchmark has been set for the value of compensation settlements –  Johnson & Johnson (DePuy Orthopaedics´ parent company) are likely to make offers of settlement for the 7,800 outstanding MDL DePuy court cases consolidated within the multidistrict litigation.

If settlements are not reached following the series of ´bellwether´ MDL DePuy court cases, the 7,800 outstanding claims will be remanded back to the U.S. District Courts where they were originally filed to be heard individually. This would have serious implications for the DePuy court cases in Ireland, where notice of cases has been served against Johnson & Johnson, DePuy Orthopaedics and the Health Service Executive.

Woman Awarded Injury Compensation for an Office Accident

September 14th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A woman, who injured her back when the chair she was sitting on broke, has been awarded more than Au$1million in injury compensation for an office accident by a judge in Australia.

Fifty-one year old Terry Anne Downie from Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory worked as a team leader for the Community Information and Referral Service when, on behalf of her employers, she purchased office furniture – including a chair for her own use in the office – from the furniture outlet store Fyshwick.

Several months later, Terry Anne was talking on the telephone in the office, when two of the spokes on the plastic moulding at the base of her chair snapped, causing her to fall to the floor and land on her back. Unable to move, Terry Anne was taken to hospital, where it was discovered that the accident had caused a disc to swell and that Terry Anne´s immobility was caused by the disc touching a nerve root in her spine.

Doctors were unable to repair the damage to Terry Anne´s spine, and she now suffers from a permanent tingling sensation under the skin of her legs which has prevented her from maintaining a job since her accident. Her doctors believe that the formerly active Terry Anne has suffered a mental illness and sexual dysfunction as a direct result of her office accident.

Terry Anne received injury compensation for an office accident from her employer amounting to Au$190,000 in 2005 but, backed by the Community Information and Referral Service, she also made a private claim for injury compensation for an office accident against the company that imported the faulty chair from China in kit form – Jantom – and their insurers, claiming that the product was faulty when it was brought into the country in kit form.

Jantom and their insurers denied their responsibility for Terry Anne´s injuries but Judge Master David Harper, at the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court, found in favour of the plaintiff after hearing an expert testify that the plastic moulding on the base of the chair had “failed catastrophically” and had been responsible for two of the five supporting spokes breaking.

The judge awarded Terry Anne Au$933,030 injury compensation for an office accident to reflect the pain she experienced at the time of her accident and thereafter, and a further Au$112,000 to cover past medical expenses and those she is likely to incur in the present. Janton´s insurers were also ordered to repay the Community Information and Referral Service the injury compensation for an office accident that had been paid to Terry Anne in 2005.

Speaking after making the award, Judge Master David Harper said “Terry Anne has many years ahead of pain and depression. Her life is very different to the life she could have expected if it had not been for her injury. Her enjoyment of life, and the kind of life she is able to lead, have been altered immeasurably.”

First DePuy Hip Replacement Compensation Settlement Awarded

March 10th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A former prison officer has been awarded $8.3 million in the first DePuy hip replacement compensation claim to be heard in court in the US.

The DePuy compensation claim made by Loren Kransky (65) from South Dakota was moved forward ahead of the Multi District Litigation (MDL) due to be heard in Ohio next May, as the claimant is terminally ill and dying from diabetes, heart disease and kidney cancer.

According to solicitors at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Kransky had to undergo a second hip replacement operation – causing him pain and suffering – as a result of high levels of chromium and cobalt in his bloodstream caused by metal-on-metal friction within his DePuy ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement system.

It was also claimed that Johnson and Johnson – the parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics – marketed the faulty hip replacement products knowing that the ASR systems were defective, pracitcally accusing them of fraud in addition to negligence which would have entitled Kransky to claim significant punitive damages.

Johnson and Johnson disputed that they were aware ASR hip replacement devices were faulty in 2007 – the year in which Kransky underwent his original DePuy hip replacement operation – and contested Kransky’s claim for on the grounds that Kransky’s pain and suffering was due to his previously-existing medical conditions.

The jury at the Los Angeles Superior Court concluded that Johnson and Johnson had not operated “with malice” by marketing their hip replacement system in 2007, but agreed that the product was defective and awarded Kransky $8 million in settlement of his DePuy hip replacement compensation claim, with a further $338,000 to account for the medical expenses he has incurred to date.

Due to the potential for the precedent of $8 million in compensation for pain and suffering being greatly inflated when claims for claimants who do not have a terminal illness are heard in the MDL action in Ohi, ohnson and Johnson announced immediately after that the company intends to appeal the decision.

Baby Chair Recall Due to Injury Claims

August 28th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A baby chair recall due to injury claims has been issued following complaints and reports of injury made to the American Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The chairs – which are manufactured for babies aged from 3 months to 10 months – are sold in Ireland through a number of retail outlets and online stores for around 40 Euros, but have been found to be unstable when used by active children and have lead to several serious injuries when babies have rocked from side-to-side or leant backwards.

Marketed in Ireland as Bumbo Baby Sitters, Bumbo Baby Chairs and Bumbo Baby Chairs, the product was originally withdrawn in 2007 after it was found that parents in the US were placing their newly-born children at risk by leaving them unattended and unrestrained in the Bumbo chairs placed on a table. More than twenty reports of infants sustaining injuries due to falling from Bumbo Baby Chairs were received by the CPSC – including two of a fractured skull injury.

Since the product was re-introduced into the USA, more than four million sitters have been sold. However, the application of a label advising parents that the Bumbo baby Seats should not be used at height has not stopped the complaints from coming in. Between 2007 and 2011 the CPSC received more than 50 reports of injuries to children due to using the Bumbo Baby Sitters – with a further 19 skull fractures reported.

In November 2011, when it was discovered that a number of these skull fracture injuries were sustained by children seated on the floor, the CPSC issued a health warning advising parents to be vigilant whenever they placed their children into a Bumbo Baby Seat. This further warning failed to prevent Bumbo Baby Sitter incidents from occurring, and now the manufacturer has recalled the baby seats – with the CPSC issuing instructions that they should not be used until a repair kit which includes a safety harness has been obtained from Bumbo International.

In Ireland, parents should also stop sitting their children in the faulty chairs until a restraint has been received from the vendor from whom the Bumbo baby chair was purchased. Although the baby chair recall has not yet been extended to Ireland, parents of children who have sustained an injury due to a faulty chair should contact a solicitor to discuss their right to claim for Bumbo baby chair Injury Compensation.

Bumbo Baby Chairs Recalled due to Seat Injury

August 18th, 2012. By Compensation News.

In the aftermath of complaints and reports of injury made to the American Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) a popular series of baby chairs have been recalled due to claims of Bumbo seat injury.

The chairs – which are produced for babies aged from 3 months to 10 months – are sold in Ireland through various retail outlets and online stores for around 40 Euros, but have been found to be unstable when used by active children and have lead to several serious injuries when babies have rocked from side-to-side or leant backwards.

Sold in Ireland as Bumbo Baby Sitters, Bumbo Baby Chairs and Bumbo Baby Chairs, the product was originally withdrawn in 2007 after it was found that parents in the US were placing their new-born children at risk by leaving them unattended and unrestrained in the Bumbo chairs placed on a table. More than twenty reports of incidents of infants sustaining injuries due to falling out of Bumbo Baby Chairs were received by the CPSC – including two of a fractured skull injury.

Since the product was re-introduced into the States, more than four million seats have been sold. However, the application of a label advising parents that the Bumbo baby Seats should not be used at height has not prevented the complaints from continuing. Between 2007 and 2011 the CPSC received more than 50 reports of injuries to children due to using the Bumbo Baby Seats – with a further 19 skull fractures recorded.

In November 2011, when it was reported that a number of these skull fracture injuries were sustained by children seated on the floor, the CPSC issued a health warning advising parents to be vigilant whenever they placed their children into a Bumbo Baby Seat. This further warning did not stop Bumbo Baby Sitter accidents from occurring, and now the manufacturer has recalled the baby seats – with the CPSC issuing instructions that they should not be used until a repair kit which includes a safety harness has been obtained from Bumbo International.

In Ireland, parents should also cease sitting their children in the faulty chairs until a restraint has been received from the vendor from whom the sitter was purchased. Although the baby chair recall has not yet extended to Ireland, parents of children who have sustained an injury due to a faulty chair should contact a solicitor to discuss their right to claim for Bumbo Seat Injury Compensation.


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