Personal Injury Compensation

Personal Injury Compensation

No two claims for personal injury compensation are identical – even when the injuries that have been sustained are the same – because of the way in which an injury affects an individual and their quality of life. Therefore, when you are making a compensation claim for a personal injury you have sustained in an accident for which you were not wholly to blame, it is in your best interests to seek professional legal advice. There are many advantages to engaging the services of a solicitor when making a claim for personal injury compensation – not least that you will have somebody with experience helping you with your claim when you may otherwise be daunted by the procedures that have to be completed and especially at a time when you may still be recovering from your injuries. If you would like to receive professional legal advice without any obligation to proceed with a personal injury compensation claim, you are invited to call our freephone Legal Advice Centre and speak directly with an experienced Irish solicitor.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”


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.”

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.

Holiday Sun Lounger Injury Claim Resolved in Court

June 19th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A holiday sun lounger injury claim, made by a man who booked his Italian vacation through a Dublin travel agent, has been resolved for €40,796 at the High Court.

Vincent Reid and his wife were on the fourth day of a week-long vacation at the Hotel Savoy Palace in Lake Garda, Italy, when on 29 August 2012, seventy-two year old Vincent from Lisburn in County Antrim sat on a sun lounger by the hotel pool to read his newspaper.

Vincent – a retired construction manager – started to recline on the sun lounger, but as he did so, the arm mechanism of the sun lounger caught the middle finger of his right hand and sliced off the top of the finger. Vincent was taken to a local hospital in Lake Garda to receive treatment, but had to protect the injury with a splint for twelve weeks after his return to Northern Ireland.

As the Italian vacation had been booked through a travel agent in Dublin – Topflight Ltd – Vincent made a holiday sun lounger injury claim through the Injuries Board Ireland. Topflight denied that it was responsible for Vincent´s accident and, unable to assess the holiday sun lounger injury claim, the Injuries Board issued Vincent with an authorisation to pursue compensation through the courts.

Last week the case was heard by Mr Justice Michael Hanna at the High Court in Dublin. Judge Hanna was told by representatives of Topflight Ltd that the arm mechanism on the poolside sun lounger should have been locked into place before Vincent leaned back on it and that Vincent´s accident could not have been foreseen.

However, the judge also heard that a similar sun lounger accident had happened just a few days before – also to an Irish guest staying at the hotel. This prompted the judge to dismiss the travel agent´s defence, saying that somebody at the hotel must have been aware that the sun lounger would collapse if the arm mechanism was not fully engaged.

Judge Hanna ruled that Topflight Ltd – as organisers of the vacation package – was in breach of the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act of 1995. After being told that Vincent still experienced pain from his accident and limited movement in the middle finger of his right hand that prevented him from pursuing his hobbies of gardening and DIY, the judge awarded Vincent €40,796 compensation in settlement of his holiday sun lounger injury claim.

Claim for a Fitness Club Swimming Pool Accident Settled at Hearing

May 13th, 2015. By Compensation News.

A claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident has been settled at a Civil Circuit Court hearing, after which the plaintiff was awarded €30,000 compensation.

Timea Babos (30) – a hotel supervisor from Dublin – was on her second visit to the West Wood Club on 13th November 2011, when she decided to go for a swim after coming out of the sauna. A competent swimmer, Timea dived straight into the fitness club´s swimming pool. However, the depth of the pool was only 1 metre 35 centimetres and Timea hit her face on the bottom of the pool when she dived in – breaking her two upper front teeth.

As there was nobody around the swimming pool area to help her, Timea completed an accident report form at the reception of the fitness club and – her mouth still bleeding from the accident – sought medical treatment for her injuries. Her doctor stopped the bleeding and prescribed painkillers, and – two weeks later – Timea flew to Hungary to have crowns fitted to her broken teeth.

On her return to Ireland, Timea consulted with a solicitor and made a claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident, alleging that the West Wood Club had breached its duty of care by having no signs displayed warning her of the depth of the pool or a lifeguard on duty to prevent her from diving in. Her solicitor also arranged for a forensic engineer to inspect the safety of the fitness club swimming pool.

The West Wood Club contested the claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident. It argued that Timea was liable for the cause of her accident because she had dived into the pool without checking the depth of the water. With liability denied, the Injuries Board issued Timea with an authorisation to pursue her claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident through the courts.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told by the forensic engineer that there were inadequate markings around the perimeter of the pool to warn guests of the shallow depth of water. He also commented that the swimming pool was unusual in design as it had no deep end and was a constant depth throughout.

The judge dismissed the West Wood Club´s argument that Timea had contributed to her accident and injury through her own lack of care and awarded her €30,000 compensation in settlement of her claim for a fitness club swimming pool accident.

Judge Awards Compensation for a Fall on the Escalator at Dublin Airport

May 1st, 2015. By Compensation News.

A pensioner from Kilcullen in County Kildare has been awarded €40,000 compensation for a fall on the escalator at Dublin Airport after a hearing at the High Court.

On 2nd November 2011, Elizabeth Lavin had taken the escalator to the upper level of Dublin Airport´s Terminal 2. As she was ascending on the escalator, the moving stairs made a sudden judder. Due to what was later described as “an unfortunate neophyte in the ways of escalators,” Elizabeth lost her balance and fell forwards over her hand luggage – landing face-down on the metal stairs.

Sixty-nine year old Elizabeth was taken to Dublin´s Beaumont Hospital, where she was treated for minor lacerations and a head injury. Following her accident, Elizabeth was unable to perform everyday tasks due to pains in her head, arm, hip and knee. She tried managing the pain with painkillers, but eventually had to be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon.

Elizabeth sent an application for assessment to the Injuries Board – claiming compensation for a fall on the escalator at Dublin Airport. However, Dublin Airport Authority PLC denied liability for Elizabeth´s injuries and the Injuries Board issued Elizabeth with an authorisation to pursue the claim through the courts. Her case was heard this past week at the High Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Michael Hanna heard claims that Dublin Airport had failed to ensure the safety of passengers by designing the airport in such a way that the escalator on which Elizabeth fell was the only apparent access to the upper level of Terminal 2 for passengers with luggage. Although a lift existed, it was not until 2013 that signs were erected directing passengers to the lift – two years after Elizabeth´s accident.

The airport authority defended against the claim for compensation for a fall on the escalator at Dublin Airport by producing CCTV footage which showed Elizabeth failing to use the handrail of the escalator before she fell. It was also claimed that her injuries were exacerbated because she had placed her hand luggage in front of her and not behind.

Judge Hanna dismissed the airport authority´s defence and said the Elizabeth could not be held responsible for “an unfortunate neophyte in the ways of escalators”, for failing to use the handrail of the escalator or placing her hand luggage in front of her. However, the judge commented that Elizabeth could have asked an airport assistant if a lift was available had she been apprehensive about using the escalator.

The judge reduced the settlement of compensation Elizabeth´s claim for compensation for a fall on the escalator at Dublin Airport from €60,000 to €40,000, saying that she would have to accept one-third contributory negligence towards her injuries. He also gave Dunlin Airport Authority PLC leave to appeal his verdict provided that they paid €25,000 of the settlement to Elizabeth immediately.

Judge Orders Charitable Donation Settlement after Animal Injured Child at Zoo

October 16th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A judge at the Dublin District Court has ordered the Zoological Society of Ireland to make two charitable donations after an animal injured a child at the zoo in Phoenix Park.

On 8th August 2013, a party of adults and children were allowed into the Brazilian tapir enclosure in Phoenix Park Zoo under the supervision of a zoo-keeper. Unfortunately, while the party were inside the enclosure, one of the tapir´s became agitated and attacked a two-year-old toddler and her mother when she tried to defend her daughter.

The young girl was taken to Temple Street children´s hospital, where she was treated for stomach and arm injuries. Her mother also received medical treatment for injuries she sustained while trying to defend the toddler from the animal which injured her child at the zoo.

An investigation into the incident was launched by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) which revealed that the visit to the tapir enclosure should not have been allowed according to a risk assessment conducted in 2006.

The HSA prosecuted the Zoological Society of Ireland with a breach of the 2005 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, to which the Society pleaded guilty when the case came before Judge John O´Nell at the Dublin District Court.

The judge heard a statement read out in court by a representative of the Zoological Society of Ireland, in which the zoo apologised for the injuries sustained by the toddler and her mother, and which informed the judge of health and safety measures that had been implemented to prevent a repeat of when the animal injured the child at the zoo.

Judge O´Neill said that he would put the Zoological Society of Ireland on probation, provided that it made two charitable donations to LauraLynn Children’s Hospital and the Jack and Jill Foundation of €2,500 each. Subject to the payments being made by December 8th, the judge said that no conviction would be recorded against the Zoological Society of Ireland.

It is understood that the parents of girl hurt in the incident do not intend to make a claim for injury compensation against the Zoological Society of Ireland.

Irish Times Article Warns of Offers of Compensation Settlements from Insurance Companies

September 18th, 2014. By Compensation News.

An article in the Irish Times has warned accident victims to be wary of offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies.

The author of the article – Brian Byrne – provided an interesting analysis of injury compensation settlements, and reported a 22 percent increase in the value of compensation claims settled in the first 6 months of the year – up to €144 million from the same period in 2013.

Byrne´s analysis shows that, although the average compensation settlement of a personal injury claim made to the Injuries Board remained practically unchanged at €22,000, the number of claims increased significantly within the categories of claims handled by the independent body.

According to the figures from the Injuries Board ´s six-month report which were used to compile the article, motor liability claims increased by 24 percent, the number of public liability claims rose by 30 percent, and claims made against an employer for an injury at work were up 10 percent on 2013.

The large increases were attributed to a spike in claims made during last year which were resolved within the first six months of 2014. However, despite the higher number of claims being resolved through the Injuries Board process, Byrne warns accident victims to be wary of offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies.

According to the article, an estimated 40 percent of personal injury claims which could be resolved through the Injuries Board process claims are settled “behind closed doors”. He says that private agreements made between plaintiffs and insurance companies have the potential to result in a lack of competitiveness, higher insurance premiums, and the potential for false or exaggerated claims to be settled without a proper investigation of the claim.

However, the Irish Times article omits to comment on the growing trend for “third party capture” – an industry term for when an insurance company talks an injury victim into a compensation settlement lower than what they might have been entitled to in return for a fast settlement.

Offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies can result in financial hardship for the injured victim if they is accepted and subsequently too low to cover medical expenses and living costs. Meanwhile the insurance company may have made a significant saving in its financial liability and can enjoy higher profits.

One potential solution for this situation is to construct a register of settled personal injury claims based on figures coming from the government´s new “Recovery of Certain Benefits and Assistance Scheme”. As insurance companies now have to obtain a certificate of benefits from the Department of Social Protection before settlements of personal injury claims can be paid, it should be possible for the Department of Social Protection to record the value of the claim and start to compile a register.

In this way, there would be visibility of how much compensation each claim is settled for, so that concerns about a lack of competitiveness, higher insurance premiums, and the potential for false or exaggerated claims could be eliminated. Accident victims would also have a point of reference if they receive offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies.

While such a register does not exist, it is advisable for plaintiffs who receive offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies speak with a solicitor to ascertain whether the offer being made to them represents a fair and accurate settlement of their claim.

Injury Compensation for Refuse Lorry Accident Awarded in Court

August 22nd, 2014. By Compensation News.

A County Wicklow man has been awarded almost €5 million injury compensation for a refuse lorry accident which left him with a fractured skull.

Padraig Hearns (39) – a former Mr Ireland – was having a night out in Dublin on 23rd April 2007, when he was attacked in the city´s Temple Bar area and left lying in the road on Sycamore Street. As Padraig lay on the cobbled street, he was run over by a Dublin City Council refuse lorry and suffered a fractured skull, broken arm and eye injuries.

Padraig from Hollywood in County Wicklow was taken to hospital by ambulance, where he was put into an induced coma. He remained in hospital for several months and underwent several surgeries for his injuries; however, due to the brain damage he suffered in the accident, Padraig – who used to work for British Airways as a first class air steward – will never be able live an independent life or work again.

On Padraig´s behalf, his parents made a claim against Dublin City Council for injury compensation for the refuse lorry accident. Dublin City Council denied its liability for Padraig´s injuries and said that the refuse lorry operators could not be held responsible for Padraig being attacked or lying in the road in front of their lorry.

With no agreement reached, the case went to the High Court where it was heard before Mr Justice Michael Peart. Judge Peart was told that Dublin City Council had broken its own by-laws – implemented just three months earlier – by collecting rubbish in Temple Bar between the hours of 12:00pm and 6:00pm and that, had they not done so, Padraig would not have suffered such tragic injuries.

Judge Peart also noted that the operators of the refuse lorry had a duty of care to have one of their team outside of the lorry moved from premises to premises to ensure it was safe to do so. The judge considered that the refuse lorry operators had breached their duty of care by failing to do this and, if they had, they would have seen see Padraig lying in the path of their vehicle.

The judge awarded Padraig €4,885,888 injury compensation for the refuse lorry accident, which included €266,341 for loss of earnings, €350,000 for past and present pain and suffering, €155,230 for care expenses to date, and €3,485,000 for care expenses in the future. Legal costs were awarded against Dublin City Council.

Claim for Injury in Nightclub Accident Resolved after Court Hearing

June 26th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A woman´s claim for an injury in a nightclub accident has been resolved after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Rita Walsh (64) from Tallaght in Dublin made her claim for an injury in a nightclub accident after tripping over a step as she made her way to the toilets as the Level 4 Nightclub at the Abberley Court Hotel in Tallaght was closing at 2:00am on the morning of 4th April 2010.

Rita claimed in her action against White Bay Limited – which trades as the Abberley Court Hotel – that as soon as the DJ stopped playing music, all the lights had gone out and she could not see a dimly illuminated step. Rita tripped over the step and fell heavily – badly injuring her shoulder.

White Bay Limited denied their liability for Rita´s shoulder injury, and said that the club was adequately lit; however, a forensic engineer gave evidence at the court hearing that the overall lighting was inadequate to clearly identify the step in question, and that recessed lighting in the step only made it visible from the opposite direction in which Rita was walking.

Judge Alan Mahon accepted the forensic engineer´s evidence of the lighting as accurate, and although not agreeing with Rita´s allegations that the nightclub was “pitch black”, he said it was more likely that the management of the Abberley Court Hotel had only illuminated the nightclub after her accident and not while patrons were leaving as had previously been claimed.

The judge also said that Rita must take some of the responsibility for her accident, as she had been drinking alcohol with her daughters at the nightclub and previously at a local Chinese restaurant. He assigned Rita 20% contributory negligence and reduced the settlement of her claim for an injury in a nightclub accident from €22,000 to €17,600.

Girl´s Claim for a Head Injury in Tesco Resolved after Court Hearing

May 14th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A girl´s claim for a head injury in Tesco due to a slip and fall on a wet floor has been resolved after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Nine-year-old Angela Prendergast from Kilcoole in County Wicklow was shopping with her mother in the local branch of Tesco Express in September 2010, when she slipped on a wet floor and fell – banging her head against a metal freezer cabinet and sustaining a cut to her forehead.

Angela – who was only six years old at the time of the accident – received First Aid from a member of staff, before her mother – Ann Prendergast – took her to hospital where the wound was cleaned and stitched with glue. Despite the prompt attention to her head injury in Tesco, Angela still has a 2-centimetre scar on her forehead.

Through her mother, Angela made a compensation claim for a head injury in Tesco; and Tesco Ireland Ltd made an offer of €18,000 in settlement of the claim after admitting their liability for Angela´s accident. However, before the claim could be completely resolved, the settlement had to be approved in court as the claim had been made on behalf of a child.

Consequently, Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin heard the circumstances of Angela´s accident and the offer of compensation in settlement of Angela´s claim for a head injury in Tesco. After inspecting the scar on Angela´s forehead, Judge Deery approved the settlement.

Injury Compensation for Lacerated Finger Approved in Court

April 9th, 2014. By Compensation News.

The Circuit Civil Court has approved a settlement of injury compensation for a lacerated finger for a nine-year-old girl from Dublin.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard how Naoise Walsh from Bluebell in Dublin was shopping in the Debenhams store in Henry Street with her mother, when the two stopped in the store´s café for a drink and a rest.

Naoise (who was six-years-old at the time) went to take a drink from one of the fridges in the café but, as she did so, her finger became trapped in the wire mesh of the shelf on which the drink was stacked and as she tried to pull it away, she lacerated it badly.

An ambulance was summoned, and Naoise was taken to the Children´s Hospital in Temple Street, where her injury was cleaned and her finger dressed. The following day, Naoise underwent a general anaesthetic so that her injury could be examined for tendon damage; however none was found and Naoise was allowed home the same evening.

Through her mother – Amy – a claim for injury compensation for a lacerated finger was made on Naoise´s behalf against Debenhams Retail Ireland Ltd. The company acknowledged their part in Naoise´s injury, and the two parties agreed a settlement of €10,000 injury compensation for a lacerated finger.

However, before the claim for a lacerated finger injury could be concluded, the settlement had to be approved by a judge: and therefore Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of how Naoise sustained her finger injury – and that Debenhams was not contesting the claim – before approving the settlement of injury compensation for a lacerated finger.

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 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.

Woman Resolves Legal Action against Hairdresser Out of Court

January 16th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A woman, who needed medical attention for an allergic reaction to a hair treatment, has resolved her legal action against her hairdresser out of court.

Grainne Moynihan of Castleknock Park in Dublin took legal action against her hairdresser – Coiffeur Salons Ltd, trading as Dylan Bradshaw, located in William Street South, Dublin – following a haircut and colouring treatment she underwent on 11th November 2010.

Thirty-three year old Grainne claimed in her action that, following her visit to Dylan Bradshaw, she developed an allergic reaction to the hair treatment which manifested as an itchy rash on her neck, ears and scalp.

According to court documents, Grainne sought medical advice for the rash when it developed, and her doctor had prescribed antihistamine medication and a course of oral steroids.

Coiffeur Salons Ltd contested Grainne´s claim, and denied that the treatment she received had been negligent. The company entered a full defence against Grainne´s claim prior to when the case was scheduled to be heard by Judge Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court.

However, before the hearing commenced, Judge Deery was told that Grainne´s legal action against the hairdresser had been resolved out of court for an undisclosed amount. The Judge struck the case from the records.

Claim for Acupuncture Injury Settled in Court

December 10th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A claim for an acupuncture injury, made by a student at University College Dublin who had volunteered to assist in a Chinese medicine training course, has been settled after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

In April 2010, forty-five year old Bernadette Poleon from Dunboyne, County Meath, volunteered to assist in a clinical acupuncture training course that was being run by the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Dublin.

During a training exercise, one of the students inserted needles below both of Bernadette´s eyes – the one below her right eye later being repositioned by an Institute supervisor – but later that day, Bernadette´s left eye became tender and puffy, and within two days significant bruising developed around the eye.

Although the tenderness and puffiness diminished after a couple of days, the bruising remained for seven weeks – resulting in Bernadette suffering from severe embarrassment whenever she tried to explain to colleagues how the black eye injury had occurred.

Having sought legal advice, Bernadette – who is a psychology student at UCD -made a compensation claim for an acupuncture injury against Bellfield Consultants Ltd – the owners of the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Bellfield Consultants denied their responsibility for Bernadette´s eye injury and, when court proceedings were issued, delivered a full defence against the claim for an acupuncture injury. However, before the claim was to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told that – by consent – the case was before her for the assessment of acupuncture injury compensation only.

After hearing how Bernadette´s injury occurred and the embarrassment she had felt while the black eye was still visible, the judge awarded Bernadette €6,000 in settlement of her claim for an acupuncture injury and allowed costs at District Court level.

Man Resolves Injury Claim for Accident in Dublin Airport after Hearing

December 6th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A man, who suffered a broken nose and two black eyes when an electric door closed on him, has resolved his injury claim for an accident in Dublin Airport after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Sixty-three year old Thomas Smyth and his wife, Evelyn, were at Dublin Airport in January 2011 to catch a flight for a vacation in Tenerife, and were walking through the gate to board their plane, when an automatically-timed door shut suddenly on Thomas´ face.

Thomas, from County Cavan, was taken to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where he was diagnosed with a broken nose and received treatment for other facial injuries. Having missed their flight, the couple returned home to re-schedule their holiday for a few days later.

However, because of the injuries Thomas had sustained, the holiday was ruined; and, when the couple returned to Ireland, they sought legal advice and made an injury claim for an accident in Dublin Airport against Aer Lingus – the company they had flown with – and the Dublin Airport Authority.

Both defendants agreed that Thomas had sustained injuries due to negligence, but neither party was willing to admit liability. Damages were assessed for €19,000, but the case was heard by Judge Jacqueline Linnane to establish which of the two defendants – if not both – were liable for Thomas´ injuries.

Judge Linnane found that Aer Lingus had been negligent on the grounds that the door which had automatically closed on Thomas was working properly, but it had been timed to close 30 minutes after it had been opened by an Aer Lingus flight attendant.

The judge said that if Aer Lingus needed longer than 30 minutes to get their passengers boarded, they should have requested a time extension from Dublin Airport Authority. She ordered that Aer Lingus pay the €19,000 compensation in settlement of Thomas´ injury claim for an accident in Dublin Airport.

Couple found Liable in Dog Attack Compensation Claim

November 2nd, 2013. By Compensation News.

A Kilbeggan couple have been found liable in a dog attack compensation claim for the injuries sustained by a postman who was trying to delivering mail to the couple´s house.

Sixty-three year old Joseph Dunne from Kilbeggan in County Westmeath sustained his injuries while delivering letters to the home of Olive Dalton and Martin Maher of Dublin Road in Kilbeggan on 8th October 2008. As he was pushing the mail through the couple´s letterbox, their husky-type dog escaped from their garden through a hole in the hedge and attacked him.

Joseph was knocked to the floor by the dog, who continued to claw his face and bite him until a passer-by struck the dog across the back with a stick and saved the postman from worse injury. Joseph was taken to hospital where he received twenty-two stitches for lacerations to the right side of his face and treatment for nerve damage to the right side of his forehead.

After seeking legal advice from a solicitor, Joseph made a dog attack compensation claim against Ms Dalton and Mr Maher – alleging that they had been negligent in failing to enclose their garden securely and allowing their dog to escape from their garden, and for failing to inform An Post of the potential dangers of delivering mail to the property.

Despite putting their dog down on the day following the incident, the couple denied their liability for Joseph´s injuries, and the case was heard at the High Court in Dublin in front of Mr Justice Michael Moriarty. The judge heard evidence from both parties, including that Joseph had to undergo plastic surgery when the stitches were removed to remove some of the scarring from his face.

Finding in Joseph´s favour, the judge awarded him €55,000 in settlement of his dog attack compensation claim and commented that Joseph had been particularly brave to return to work so soon after such a frightening event.

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.

Airplane Crash Survivors offered Compensation for Psychological Injury

August 15th, 2013. By Compensation News.

Airplane crash survivors from the Asiana Flight 214 that crashed last month on its approach to San Francisco International Airport have been offered compensation for a psychological injury by the airline company responsible.

Three passengers died in the aftermath of the crash on July 6th, when it is believed that a Boeing 777 carrying passengers from Seoul in South Korea misjudged the height of a perimeter seawall and burst into flames on the runway.

181 of the 291 passengers that were on board the flight were admitted to hospital, where 49 remain in serious condition while the US National Transportation Safety Board continue with their investigation into how the accident occurred.

The offer of compensation for a psychological injury is being made to all the survivors of the accident – whether they sustained a physical injury or not – and is being made under US law which means that victims will not lose their right to claim further compensation once the investigation is completed.

How much compensation for an airplane crash passengers ultimately receive will depend on their nationality, whether they boarded the plane in a country which has ratified the Montreal Convention and whether their journey was one-way or a round trip – as well as the nature of their injuries.

Although the offer of compensation for a psychological injury is being made now by Asiana Airlines, it is unlikely to be the limit of their liability, as Post Traumatic Stress Disorders can manifest years after a trigger event.

Woman Awarded Compensation for Travelator Accident

December 19th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman who caught the heel of her shoe in a hole on a moving walkway in a Dublin shopping centre has been awarded €13.150 in compensation for a travelator accident after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

The compensation action was taken by Nuala Holloway Casey (60) from Blackrock in Dublin against company Secret Retail Holdings (trading as Superquinn Shopping Centre) and Kine (Ireland) Limited, escalator fitters, Dublin, after suffering an ankle injury at the end of 2007 at the Superquinn Shopping Centre.

The court was told that on December 21st 2007, the high heel of Nora’s shoe had become stuck at the entrance to a descending moving walkway and she then had fallen heavily – injuring her left ankle. Ms Holloway told the court that she still felt pain in the ankle and had been forced to give up playing tennis due to the damaged ankle.

Despite liability being accepted there are an argument over the final settlement amount as Nuala had failed to visit her doctor for 10 days after the accident and exacerbated her injury caused due to a different fall in 2009.

Upon reviewing the testimony made by medical experts in support of Nuala´s compensation case, Judge Hickson awarded the former Miss Ireland €12,000 compensation for travelator accident plus an additional €1,250 to account for the expenses related to her accident.

Assault Victim Settlement Approved in Court

November 12th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A man, who was left brain damaged and in need of 24-hour care following an assault by his girlfriend, has had an assault victim settlement of 3.84 million Euros approved at the High Court.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told how Jason Clarke (now 43) from Glencullen, Dublin, had been attacked by his then girlfriend – Jennifer Mayberry (33) of Foxrock, Dublin – after an argument had started between the two at the Blue Light pub on New Year´s Eve 2000.

The court was told that Ms Mayberry had thrown a bottle at Jason´s head; the impact of which caused a blood vessel to burst in his brain and initiate three strokes in quick succession. Jason lost consciousness in the third stroke – from which he did not recover for three months – and is now restricted to a wheelchair, requiring 24-hour care which is currently provided by his family.

Ms Mayberry was arrested after the event and charged with assault – to which she pleaded guilty and was handed a suspended jail sentence – and, in 2002, Jason filed a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal who awarded him 3.84 million Euros from which to date his family have received just over 1 million Euros in interim compensation payments.

At the High Court, Jason´s father Frank Clarke – through whom the claim for criminal injuries compensation had been made – asked Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns to approve the full award and make Jason a ward of court as he believed the settlement was insufficient to provide Jason with the care he needed when his family were no longer able to look after him.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns stated it was a sensible decision as, if the case was to go before a new tribunal, there would be no guarantee that the award would be so high. The judge approved the settlement of assault victim compensation and noted that Jason may require more money to provide for his care in the future.

Assault Compensation Made Following Neighbour Attack

November 5th, 2012. By Compensation News.

The Circuit Civil Court has awarded a man, who was struck in the face by his neighbour, assault compensation for a scar following an assault in the amount of 9,000 Euros.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery was told that Andrew McDermott (48) of Walkinstown, Dublin, had answered the front door to his neighbour – Barry Matthews – in July 2009; only for Matthews to punch Andrew McDermott in the face in response to allegations McDermott had made relating to bullying between their two sons.

The court was informed that McDermott was detained in hospital overnight and had six stitches inserted into a 1.5cm laceration on his lip. When the stitches weretaken out, a scar had developed which was visible to the casual onlooker and which – it was claimed in court – had made a significant difference to McDermott´s quality of life.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery was also informed that liability had been accepted in the claim and that the case was before him for the assessment of compensation for a scar following an assault. Stating that it had been a very unfortunate incident, the judge awarded McDermott 9,000 Euros assault compensation against his neighbour.

Hen Weekend Accident Compensation Awarded to Karting Accident Victim

November 5th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman, who sustained neck injuries after a crash on a go-karting track, has been awarded more than 9,000 Euros in go-karting accident compensation at the Circuit Civil Court.

Karen Wimpory (31) from Maidenhead in Berkshire was visiting Dublin in March 2009 with friends on a hen weekend celebration whenshe and her friends decided to try their hand at go-kart racing at Kylemore Indoor Karting racetrack.

Having agreed to a disclaimer which carried a warning that motor sport could be dangerous and “in the absence of any negligence on the part of the company” she was participating entirely at her own risk, Karen watched a safety video before climbing into her go-kart for a four-circuit warm-up.

It was at the end of this warm-up, Karen stated, that she and other racers had been forced to brake abruptly because a race marshal had stepped on to the track. Although Karen was able to stop in time, another driver bumped into the back of her kart, pushing her neck and shoulders backwards and leaving with neck injuries similar to whiplash.

After seeking legal counsel, Karen made a claim for go-karting accident compensation against Grovepark Services Ltd., which trades as Kylemore Karting, alleging that her neck injuries were attributable to the negligence of the company. Grovepark Services denied that they were liable and the claim went to court.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery was informed that although Karen had watch the safety video and signed the disclaimer before commencing her warm-up, there had been no instruction given about what to do when traffic warning lights on the racetrack were illuminated.

Judge Deery was also informed by racetrack designer Stewart Cosgrave and race controller Denis Gaffney that, although it was improbable that a race marshal would walk onto the circuit in front of karts travelling in excess of 20 miles per hour, the marshal in question had since died in a road traffic accident and would be unable to provide evidence.

After hearing evidence from forensic engineer Pat Cullerton that the karts did not have sufficent headrests or neck restraints fitted, and that novice karters should have also been instructed to sit at full extension when driving, Mr Justice Matthew Deery found in Karen´s favour and awarded her 9,064 Euros in go-karting accident compensation plus costs.

Child’s Compensation Fund Access Denied by Judge

November 2nd, 2012. By Compensation News.

A District Court judge has turned down  a request to access court-held injury compensation, insisting that a child’s compensation funds should not be used for family expenses.

Judge Mary Collins decreed that funds held by the court on behalf of four-year-old Oluwatimileyin Olaleye, who was awarded 4,500 Euros following a traffic accident in 2010, should not be released in order that the family could purchase a new car.

The boy’s father, Ibrahim Olaleye, from Lucan, County Dublin, had asked for the court for the release of 1,500 Euros from his son’s award in order to buy a car for the family. However, Judge Mary Collins refused to free any money from the boy’s court account, saying that child’s compensation fund had never been meant for the purchase of a car or any other family expense.

Oluwatimileyin had been awarded the compensation last year for injuries he sustained in a car crash in which his mother, Veronica, had been the driver. The award of 4,500 Euros had been approved in court after a compensation claim had been filed by Oluwatimileyin through his father, but Judge Mary Collins said the money was to remain in court until Oluwatimileyin was 18; at which time it would be released to him with any interest gained.

Newsagents Accident Compensation Claim Settled in Court

October 29th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman, who sustained facial injuries when she walked into a shop shutter, has had her compensation claim for an accident in a newsagents settled at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Yvonne McEvoy (42) from Clondalkin, Dublin, had been at Tuthill´s Newsagents in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre when, in October 2010, she was distracted by a Halloween display as she was leaving the shop and walked into a partly closed shutter.

The shutter, Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court was told, was often partially closed as the shop was about to shut to dissuade new customers from entering, but Yvonne failed to hear the warning shouted to her by a shop assistant and walked straight into it – sustaining an injury to the left side of her face.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard from forensic engineer Alan Conlon that CCTV video of the incident showed a previous customer ducking underneath the shutter as he exited the shop, but that Yvonne was looking to her right as she walked towards the exit. The judge was also told that Yvonne had fallen pregnant in 2011 and was unable to take painkillers to ease the pain.

Finding Tuthill’s Newsagents negligent by lowering the shutter while there were still customers inside the shop, Judge Jacqueline Linnane found in favour of Yvonne and awarded her 17,500 Euros in settlement of her compensation claim for an accident in a newsagents.

Hotel Worker Back Injury Claim Heard in High Court

October 26th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A former waiter at the Slieve Russell Hotel has been giving testimony at the High Court in support of his hotel staff injury claim for compensation.

Robert Miloch, from Ballyconnell, County Cavan, filed his claim for hotel staff injury compensation against the Slieve Russell Hotel and its parent company – Quinn Hotels Limited – due to suffering a back injury while loading trays onto a trolley in April 2010.

The High Court was told that while he was squatting down to replace breakfast trays on a trolley, Mr Miloch heard a crack in his back and suffered a pain from his back going down to his leg. The pain stopped him from walking and he was told by the hotel to go home and see his doctor.

In support of his hotel worker back injury claim, Mr Miloch showed the court an MRI scan from the time of the accident, revealing that two discs in his back had crushed a nerve. His injury, he alleged, had resulted in his doctor advising him not to return to work and despite extensive physiotherapy had not improved.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan was advised that both the defendants denied their liability for Mr Miloch´s injury and claimed not only that a car accident in which Mr Miloch was involved in later that year could have been responsible for his back injury, but that the injury had been described as “paradoxical” by Mr Miloch´s doctor as his patient could move in one direction but not another.

The case will go on at the High Court.

Compensation Claims against the State Forecast Expected to Rise

October 15th, 2012. By Compensation News.

The State Claims Agency has predicted that compensation claims against the State for hospital negligence could increase by more than a quarter in 2012.

Commenting in the Clinical Indemnity Scheme newsletter, Ciaran Breen – Director of the State Claims Agency – said that “It appears that people, injured as a result of a medical negligence event, are more likely to sue doctors, dentists and hospitals in these more difficult economic times” after attributing the increase on the economic downturn.

Mr Breen´s remarks were in complete contrast to those made by Patricia Byron – Chief Executive of -after the Injuries Board Interim Report was released last month, which saw only a 4.1 percent increase in claims over the first six months and not the “recessionary spike” that had been predicted. However, both public officials referred to the fact that there had been a significant increase in claims related to the DePuy hip replacement recall.

As 345 compensation claims were filed against the State in the first six months of 2012 (as opposed to 542 in the whole of 2011), and the Statute of Limitations expired in August 2012 for many victims of the DePuy hip replacement recall, Mr Breen´s outlook may appear unjustifiably depressing. However, some compensation claims filed against the State are finding their way to court long after they might previously have been time-barred.

In July this year, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court judgement in favour of Olivia Kearney who, forty-three years beforehand, had went throufh a symphysiotomy procedure which the High Court determined was “entirely unjustified and unwarranted”. Should the remaining two hundred survivors of the symphysiotomy procedure be permitted to make compensation claims against the State, Mr Breen´s forecast could be very conservative indeed.

Compensation claims against the State for hospital negligence account for a small number of claims managed by the State Claims Agency – the majority are for public liability and employer liability – but account for almost 90 percent of the value of claims each year. In 2011, the value of the 542 compensation claims against the State for medical negligence amounted to 860 million Euros.

Football Injury Compensation Approved in High Court

October 10th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A young girl, who sustained a serious neck injury after the crossbar of a goal fell on her head, has had her settlement of compensation for a football injury approved in the High Court.

Jessica Fidgeon Cush (17) from Lusk, County Dublin, was just eleven years old when her accident happened in October 2006. While playing as goalkeeper for Round Towers Lusk GAA in a Gaelic football game at the at the Starlights GAA Club in Collinstown, North Dublin, the crossbar fell from the goalposts and hit Jessica on head.

X-rays taken on her arrival at hospital showed that Jessica had a lucky escape. Her sixth vertebrae was broken but, had the crossbar had hit her once inch either side of her injury, she could have been killed or paralysed. Jessica has to wear a neck brace while her injury healed, but also suffered from headaches, nightmares and flashbacks, and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after developing a fear of dying.

Through her father – Philip – Jessica filed a claim for compensation for a football injury against the Gaelic Athletic Association, as the GAA are responsible for the organisation, control and supervision of Gaelic games in the State. In the action it was alleged that the goalposts had been allowed to remain in an unsafe condition, that no inspection of the goalposts had been undertaken and that there was a failure to ensure that the crossbar was adequately secured to the goalposts.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was informed that the case before him was only for the approval of damages, as a compensation settlement of 50,000 Euros had been agreed between the two parties. After being told all the details of the case, Mr Justice Kearns approved the settlement of compensation for a football injury which will be paid into court for one year until Jessica reaches the age of eighteen.

Compensation Claim Against Ryanair Settled Before Hearing

October 6th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A female, who suffered cuts and bruises after falling down the steps of a Ryanair airplane, has settled her Ryanair injury compensation claim shortly before a hearing into her case was about to commence.

Malgorzata Jeneralczyk (57), from Poznan, Poland, fell on the mobile steps due to wet weather as she was disembarking from her flight at Dublin airport and fell to the tarmac below.

She was treated by an airport paramedic who recorded her injuries as a laceration to her left eyebrow and bruising to her left shoulder and ribs and her right hand and fingers.

After seeking legal counsel, Malgorzata made a claim for injury compensation against Ryanair – alleging that the company had failed in its duty of care to provide passengers with safe transit. Ryanair argued her claim for 38,000 Euros and were prepared to defend the company´s position in a court hearing.

However, just before the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin heard that Malgorzata had settled her Ryanair injury compensation claim for an undisclosed amount and that costs were to be charged to Ryanair.

Woman Awarded Compensation for Falling in Office Elevator

September 20th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman from Jacksonville, Florida, has been awarded 13 million dollars in compensation for an elevator fall thirteen years after her accident occurred.

Janice Beasley (41) was made the award by a jury at Duval County Courthouse after a two-week trial in which the court was told how, in May 1999, Janice was a passenger in an elevator at the office building in which she worked.

The jury were told how the elevator had malfunctioned and fallen from the twenty-third floor to the eighth and how, when an elevator engineer was summoned, rather than take Janice out of the elevator, he sent the elevator – with Janice inside of it – falling down to the basement of the building.

Due to her experience, Janice suffered multiple bruising which developed into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and left her wheelchair-bound with partial paralysis of her left leg. Janice was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression as a result of her accident.

Janice filed a claim for compensation for the elevator fall against the building´s owners Highwoods Properties Inc and Schindler Elevator Company – alleging that Highwoods were responsible for the initial malfunction and Schindler Elevator Company for her second accident.

Schindler Elevator Company did not accept liability and went to great lengths to avoid going to trial. However, after a ten-year delay in court proceedings, the case was eventually heard – leading to an award of compensation for an elevator fall against both defendants amounting to just over 13 million dollars.

Childrens Sport Injury Compensation Awarded

September 13th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A child, whose family claimed he suffered devastating injuries due to the type of bat used in a baseball game, has been awarded 14.5 million dollars in compensation for childrens sport injury in an out of court settlement.

Steven Domalewski was twelve years old when his tragic accident happened. Playing as a pitcher in a Police Athletic League baseball game in 2006, the player to who Steven pitched the ball hit it back with such force that it caused Steven to suffer a cardiac arrest when it hit him on the chest.

Despite the attentions of parents and officials, it was almost twenty minutes before Steven regained consciousness – during which time his brain was starved of oxygen, leading to him sustaining permanent and irreversible brain damage.

Steven´s family filed a claim for childrens sports injury compensation, based on the grounds that the baseball bat that was used was in the game was made of metal and, because of the additional power it provided in relation to wooden bats, should not have been used in a children´s game of baseball.

Liability wasnot accepted by Little League Baseball who sanctioned the bat as safe to use, Hillerich and Bradsby – the manufacturers of the “Louisville Slugger” metal baseball bat – and the national retailer of the bat, The Sports Authority.

However, solicitors acting on behalf of the Domalewski family claimed that – in 2008 – Little League Baseball limited the performance of metal bats used in children´s games of baseball to the same as that of wooden bats, with an eighty percent reduction in injuries to pitchers.

A trial date was set but, as opening statements were about to begin, the State Superior Court in Passaic County heard that an agreement of compensation for childrens sport injury had been negotiated between the parties and that Steven was to receive 14.5 million dollars to provide him with the care that he will need for the rest of his life.

Injury Compensation for Shop Accident Claim Approved

August 29th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A County Wicklow schoolgirl, who sustained cuts and abrasions after catching her leg on a faulty cake display in Dunnes Stores, is to receive 21,000 Euros in compensation after her injury compensation for a shop accident claim was approved in court.

Jade Earls (11) from Bray in County Wicklow had been shopping with her mother in the Dunnes Stores at Cornelscourt in Dublin when the accident occurred in July 2010. As Jade passed a stand displaying cakes, she snagged her leg on some rusty nails which were protruding from the support for the stand.

Judge Alan Mahon at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court heard that Jade suffered a 10 centimetre abrasion and a four centimetre laceration in the accident and, although both had healed successfully, Jade had been left with a permanent scar on her left leg.

After taking legal advice, Jade made a claim for dangerous shop display injury compensation against Dunnes Stores and ABF Grain Products, Grosvenor Street, London, through her mother – Fidelma. The court was told that the two defendants had accepted liability on a 60&40 basis and that an offer of compensation had been made.

Judge Mahon heard that the offer of injury compensation for a shop accident claim amounted to 12,000 Euros plus costs and, as the family were prepared to accept the offer, he approved the settlement.

Child Accident Compensation for Injury to Boy Approved in Court

July 1st, 2012. By Compensation News.

An eleven-year-old boy, who sustained a broken leg while playing football on council property, has had a settlement of child accident compensation for injury to a boy approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Kristin McMahon from Dublin was just eight years old when the accident occurred in June 2009 at the Dublin City Council owned site of the former fish market in St. Michan´s Street. While playing in a competition hosted by Bradog Youth Services Ltd, Kristin fell on the concrete surface and suffered injuries to his knee and leg.

Kirstin was taken to the Children´s University Hospital in Temple Street by ambulance where x-rays showed a fractured tibia and Kristin was fitted with a plaster cast which he had to wear for several weeks.

Through his mother, Carol Mooney, Kristin made a claim for child accident compensation for injury to a boy compensation against Bradog Youth Services Ltd and Dublin City Council and, in a negotiated settlement, the two defendant´s agreed to pay 20,000 Euros in compensation for child football injury.

As with all compensation claims for children, the settlement had to be approved in court and, after hearing the circumstances of Kristin´s accident and the consequences to his quality of life while he was recovering, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement of child accident compensation.

Fall in Argos Compensation Awarded in Court

June 22nd, 2012. By Compensation News.

A man, who slipped and fell on a discarded wet wipe in Argos, injuring his shoulder in the process, has been awarded 17,500 Euros fall in Argos compensation at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court.

Declan Conroy from Dublin had been shopping in the Ilac Centre branch of Argos in Henry Street in May 2008 when the accident occurred. While in the queue for the counter to order a lawnmower, he slipped on a wet wipe which had fallen on the floor and fell – severely damaging his shoulder.

After receiving medical treatment, Declan made a fall in Argos compensation claim against the store – alleging that their method of checking the floor for potential hazards was lacking and he had suffered an injury as a consequence.

Argos denied liability for Declan’s injury; contending that CCTV footage revealed the presence of the wet wipe just six minutes before Declan´s accident and insisting that staff could not be required to constantly monitor the condition of the floor surface in such a historically low-risk store.

However, a forensic engineer – testifying on Declan´’s behalf – told the court court that, due to the extra footfall in the queuing area where Declan´s accident occurred, a higher level of attention should be applied. It was also revealed that five minutes before the wet wipe first appeared on camera, CCTV footage showed a woman moving a baby buggy through the area.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court decided that, taking everything into account, it was the woman with the baby buggy who was responsible for discarding the wet wipe and, as more than ten minutes would have elapsed between the slipping hazard being present and Declan sustaining his injury, Argos was liable.  Declan was awarded 17,500 Euros fall in Argos compensation plus costs.

Luas Accident Compensation Approved in Court

May 25th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A settlement of Luas accident compensation has been approved in court almost five years after the accident occurred.

Derek Cross, aged 52, of Clondalkin, Dublin, was crossing the Naas dual carriageway in order to catch a taxi home in the early hours of 15 September 2007, after drinking at the Bluebell United Football Club until 1.30am following a golf outing with friends.

As he crossed the road to reach the Red Cow Hotel taxi stop, Derek was struck by a Luas tram arriving from Kylemore. The impact with the tram left him with multiple rib fractures and a traumatic brain injury which has resulted in Derek only being able to walk with the help of crutches and unable to work.

Derek made a claim for Luas accident compensation against the Luas tram service operators, the Railway Procurement Agency and Veolia Transport – claiming that they had failed to take reasonable steps to provide appropriate signage and safe passage for pedestrians who were crossing the road lawfully.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court heard that the defendants had refuted the claims based on Derek´s significant contribution to his injuries due to his intoxicated state. However, an out-of-court settlement of 650,000 Euros had been negotiated which was before her for approval.

Approving the settlement for Luas accident compensation, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that it was an exceptionally good offer under the circumstances of the case, as if the claim for Luas accident compensation had gone to trial there was a risk of losing the case.

Child Compensation for a Fall in Toy Shop Approved in Court

May 21st, 2012. By Compensation News.

A girl of five, who will be left with a permanent scar after a fall in Hamleys, has had a settlement of child compensation for a fall in toy shop approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Brianna Healy (5) from Ballinteer, Dublin, was just two-years-old when she fell and banged her head at the Hamleys Store in Dundrum, Dublin, on 23rd February 2009. Due to the incident, Brianna will have a scar on her face for the rest of her life.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard that the store had accepted liability for Brianna´s injury, but the family had not been satisfied with the original offer of compensation for a fall in toy shop and had taken legal advice.

A revised offer of 27,500 Euros was settled upon, which the family were happy with, and after hearing that the case was before him for the approval of damages, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the settlement and wished Brianna well for the future.

Judge Orders CCTV Release in Dublin Bus Crash Compensation Claim

April 13th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A judge in Dublin´s High Court has ruled that Dublin´s bus company must release CCTV footage to solicitors representing a claimant in a Dublin Bus injury claim.

The judgement was made by Mr Justice John Hedigan after years of stalling by the bus company and decisions made in the claimant´s favour by the Data Protection Commissioner and Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court. The bus company had argued that the data they possessed about the claimant was privileged and, as potential evidence in litigation, they were not prepared to release it.

The Dublin Bus crash compensaton claim first started in October 2009, when a female claimant from Dublin alleged that she had sustained an injury aboard a Dublin Bus the previous year. Dublin Bus did not accept liability for the woman´s injuries and the Injuries Board Ireland declined to assess her application for Dublin Bus injury compensation.

While preparing for court proceedings, the claimant´s solicitors were advised of the existence of CCTV footage taken aboard the bus and were shown a video relating to their client´s claim for Dublin Bus injury compensation at Dublin Bus´s office. A request for a copy of the video was refused and, even after the claimant´s solicitors had complained to the Data Protection Commissioner, Dublin Bus continued to withhold the CCTV footage.

Dublin Bus appealed the Data Protection Commissioner´s decision to release the video and brought their case to the Circuit Civil Court. However, in July 2011, Judge Jacqueline Linnane ruled that the bus company should release the video to the solicitors on the grounds that the claimant had every right by law to request access to the CCTV footage in support of her Dublin Bus crash compsenation claim and that Dublin Bus had no right to withhold it.

Dublin Bus then opted to delay a resolution to the claim for Dublin Bus injury compensation by appealing Judge Linnane´s decision to the High Court, but Mr Justice John Hedigan found in favour of the claimant, stating that that Dublin Bus had “not raised a point of law giving rise to grounds for overturning Judge Linnane’s decision”.

Poster Injury Compensation Claim Settled

February 26th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman who walked into a Dublin advertising poster, and sustained head and neck injuries, has settled her poster injury compensation claim for 38,000 Euros.

Sandra Memery (48)  was leaving her local McDonald´s restaurant with her daughter on 16th September 2009 when the accident happened. Having turned back towards her daughter to give her a bag, she started walking forward again, and immediately hit her head on the corner of the poster campaigning on behalf of Fianna Fail for a “Yes” vote in the second Lisbon Treaty referendum.

After feeling unwell for almost a day, Sandra visited her doctor, where she was diagnosed with lacerations to her scalp, a swelling over her right temporal and soft tissue damage to her neck. Sandra, who is 5 ft 5 in tall (1.65m) made a compensation claim for low hanging poster injury, stating that the campaign poster should have a minimum of three metres clearance from the floor.

Contesting the poster injury compensation claim, Fianna Fail and Executive Posters Ltd jointly claimed that Sandra was responsible for her own injuries through contributory negligence and should have paid more attention to where she was walking. However, shortly before Sandra´s poster injury compensation claim case was about to be heard at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court, her legal representatives announced to the court that a compensation settlement had been agreed upon in the amount of 38,000 Euros.

Shop Car Park Injury Schoolboy Awarded 36,800

October 1st, 2011. By Compensation News.

A sixteen year old schoolboy, who sustained deep cuts in his thigh when climbing over a supermarket car park fence, has had a shop car park injury settlement of 36,800 Euros approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Michael Hogan of Firhouse, County Dublin, was just eleven years of age when the accident happened in 2006 as he was climbing over a supermarket car park fence at the Firhouse Shopping Centre. He caught his leg on a protruding and unprotected nail, which tore a deep V-shaped wound into the inside of his left thigh.

Michael´s injuries were so severe that he had to have a double layer of inner flesh stitched together under a general anaesthetic and, although he has recovered now, will be left with a permanent scar as a permanent reminder of his injury.

Liability for the shop car park injury was not contested by the owners of the Firhouse Shopping centre – Colverton Limited – and Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard that the defendants had made a settlement offer of 36,800 Euros. The judge approved the shop car park injury settlement offer, ordering that it should be invested in court funds until Michael´s 18th birthday in March 2015.

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