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.

Fingal Co Council Sued by Motorcyclist Who Crashed into Crowd-Control Barrier

January 20th, 2022. By Compensation News.

Fingal County Council is being sued in the High Court by a motorcycle driver who crashed into a crowd-control barrier, sustaining injuries, which he claims was placed on a road as part of a community festival by the event organisers.

57-year-old motorcyclist Des Kearns with an address at Wooddale Road, Rush, Co Dublin, is taking a legal action for compensation against Fingal County Council, event management company ALA Markets and Events Ltd, of Glasnevin, Dublin, and by order of the court, CFTB Rush Harbour Festival, the locally based volunteer organisers of the event.

In his action he claims that he sustained his injuries due to the negligence of the above named defendants. However, the defendants are refuting these claims and are arguing that Mr Kearns was guilty of contributory negligence as he was travelling at too great a speed and failed to maintain an adequate amount of caution.

When the accident occurred Mr Kearns was employed as a baggage handler at Dublin Airport. He sustained injuries including a fractured his elbow when he was thrown from his motorcycle in the collision with the 90cm high barrier as his was travelling to work on July 31 2016 at approximately 5am.

The plaintiff is alleging that the barrier, which was in place as part of the
Harbour Festival at Rush Co Dublin, was positioned in an oblique angle at the top of Kilbush Lane. Representing Mr Kearns in the High Court Declan Doyle SC, instructed by Stuart Gilhooly, informed Judge Justice Mary Rose Gearty that his client sustained serious and traumatic physical and psychological injury due to the accident.

Mr Doyle added that one of the consequences of the accident was that he was forced to leave his employment at Dublin Airport as a baggage handler due to the physical exertion involved.

His private life wa also impacted as he could no longer drive his motorcycle due to the pain his injuries caused when using the clutch. In addition he had been an enthusiastic amateur guitar player before the incident but now plays very little due to the pain he suffers from. Mr Kearns is married with a teenage daughter.

During the hearing Mr Kearns described how the accident unfolded. He said he clipped the barrier, which was placed on the road was at an angle, as he tried to to avoid it when he was navigating a bend. He was thrown into the air from his 600cc Kawasaki motorcycle. He added that he believed he was travelling at a speed of approximately 35kph when he appear to have struck the legs of the barrier.

Following the incident Mr Kearns was brought by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital for medical attention. He was was diagnosed with a fractured elbow which was placed in a plaster. He was advised to attend the hospital a few days later for a surgical procedure on his injured elbow.

Mr Kearns informed the Court that the pain in his elbow persisted and caused him sleep difficulties and anxiety. He attended a counsellor due to this psychological impact.

Due to the injuries he sustained he was unable to attend his job for 11 months. Upon returning to work he found his duties now involved heavy lifting which caused him great stress. When he made this clear to his employers, Swissport, they told him that they could only treat him the sames as his co-workers. Due to this he applied for, and was hired to, a role with Aer Lingus in airplane catering. He remained employed in this position until the advent of the COVID19 pandemic when his employment contract came to and end. He felt he was unable to return to the role, due to his injuries, when the role became available again in 2020.

When he was cross examined by Micheál Ó’Scanaill SC, represented Final Co Council, Mr Kearns said he did not accept that he was speeding or failing to maintain an adequate look out. He said he did not agree that the road barrier was clearly visible. He (Mr Kearns) also disagreed with David Nolan SC, legally representing Rush Harbour Festival defendant who put to him that, as suggested by the damage to the barrier shown in a photograph provided to the court, Mr Kearns must have been driving at “one hell of a speed” and “hit it at some whack”.

Mr Kearns responded saying: “I can guarantee you I was not speeding, you are trying to suggest I was speeding and I was not”.

The case continues.

Rugby Fan Awarded in €6,000 Compensation Following Level Crossing Accident

September 20th, 2020. By Compensation News.

A €6,000 personal injury compensation has been awarded to a rugby fan who was struck on the head after a level crossing barrier collided with him as he was walking towards the Aviva Stadium in 2018.

Dublin Fire Brigade paramedic Rod Hayden walking among a crowd of supporters on his way to the Leinster v Munster match on October 6, 2018. When he was waiting for the the automated barrier gates of the Dart crossing at Serpentine Avenue, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, to rise and open.

When the gates opened he had proceeded to walk forward but, before he got completely across the gap, he was struck on the head and he he fell to the ground in pain.

Mr Hayden, despite feeling dizzy, became aware that there were some other individuals still standing on the tracks between the shut barriers and that there was someone in a high-vis coat at the level crossing. Due to the dizziness he could not remember anything that was said by anyone present at the time of the accident.

Mr Hayden he attended his local GP as he was experiencing headaches following the incident. His GP diagnosed him with whiplash and prescribed him a course of pain killing medication. Following two further check up appointments, Mr Hayden’s symptoms were not longer noticeable during January 2019.

Brendan Savage, legal counsel for Iarnród Éireann questioned Mr Hayden to ascertain if he had been aware of the warning buzzer or lights as he was crossing the tracks as the barriers went up. Mr hayden said he had not been conscious of this at the time. Video footage captured by CCTV was presented to to the judge.

Expert witness engineer Neil O’Carroll investigate the area that the incident took place. In his findings he said that there was a six second gaps between the first barrier going up and the second barrier coming back down but that the crowd had been moving moved slower than this. He added that the loudness of the warning signal was low and possibly inadequate for a match day crowd.

Iarnród Éireann, according to Judge Deirdre Gearty, had failed in its duty of care and was liable for the injuries Mr Hayden experienced. At Dublin District Court she awarded €6,000 plus legal costs, medical and witness expenses to Mr Hayden.

Compensation Claims Likely for Scouting Ireland Fear Child Abuse Incidents

June 7th, 2020. By Compensation News.

Recent reports have indicated that Scouting Ireland was aware, as far back as 2018, that it could face financial ruin due to compensation claims linked to the sexual abuses cases that were detailed in the publication of a report last month.

Aisling Kelly, who was chair of Scouting Ireland board on December 10 2018 informed a room of senior volunteers that there was a chance that legal actions submitted against the organisation linked to “extensive, prolonged, and at times organised child sexual abuse”. In addition to this she said that such legal actions could “sink the organisation” if large numbers of abuse victims sought compensation from Scouting Ireland.

She based this claims on the likelihood of huge compensation settlements in other countries that were linked to child abuse in scouting organisations.

It has recently been revealed that Scouting Ireland has set aside a fund of €2.5 million to cover the costs of legal claims and cases from abuse survivors. This comes in the aftermath of a report being published in which child protection expert Ian Elliott revealed the outcomes and recommendations following the review he was commissioned to complete by Scouting Ireland. It brought to public attention the extent of the historic abuse at the scouting groups and described how the act to protect the interests of the young members.

In addition to the publication of the report, Scouting Ireland released a public apology to the victims. Scouting Ireland ChairAdrian Tennant claimed that since learning of the abuse scandal Scouting Ireland had attempted to “own” responsibility for facing up to the past failings.

The report made reference to the culture of the scouting groups in Ireland showed widespread “cronyism” and a lack of appropriate governance. This, it claimed, resulted in instances of child abuse not being reported to the proper bodies. Scouting Ireland was labelled a “seriously dysfunctional organisation”, with “sex offenders dominating the leadership for decades”. The report said that there was a “systematic failure” of the organisations to maintain appropriate records of reports of alleged child abuse allegations.

There are also reports that the Government is now reviewing the situation to see if a statutory inquiry into the past abuse is required.

Work Trauma Preliminary Settlement of $52m for US-based Facebook Content Moderators

May 14th, 2020. By Compensation News.

In a ruling that could have a huge impact for some Irish-based social media content moderators Facebook has agreed, in a preliminary settlement filed in California), to pay $52 million to current and former moderators as a result of the psychological trauma that they endured arising from the content that they were expected to view and the lack of an adequate support system to help them deal with it.

In addition to the compensation, Facebook has announced that if will be setting up additional counselling for those employed to complete content moderation tasks. The preliminary settlement will be available for class members who have been employed at locations in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida since 2015. Final approval will be considered later in 2020, following a period of time for class members to review the preliminary settlement sufficiently.

Some of the amendments to the work change practices for content moderation going forward include audio being muted by default and videos will be displayed in black and white. In addition to this support systems will be enhanced and one-on-one sessions with a mental health professional will be an option. Access to workers suffering extreme mental health issues as a result of the work will be given access to a counsellor in less than 24 hours.

A similar action is currently being taken in Ireland has been submitted for Facebook content moderators employed in Ireland. claiming that they (the moderators) suffered from “psychological trauma” due to unacceptable work conditions and lack of an adequate support system to assist them in dealing with the strain of the role.

There are 11,250 moderators included in the class action in the US. Each moderator may be entitled for extra compensation of up to $50,000 based on the suffering they experienced. The legal action was initially submitted by former Facebook moderator Selena Scola in a California in September 2018. After it was submitted numerous other former Facebook content moderators joined the action. This led a number of reports in different media outlets of the severe conditions and lack of support that the employees had to endure during their time working with Facebook.

Facebook released a statement which said: “We are grateful to the people who do this important work to make Facebook a safe environment for everyone. We’re committed to providing them additional support through this settlement and in the future.” Last July Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially dismissed the multiple stories of moderators developing PTSD, referring to them as “a little overdramatic”.

In a statement, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Steve Williams said: “The harm that can be suffered from this work is real and severe. So the fact that we got some real, meaningful relief going forward just feels really good.”

Accenture Asks Social Media Moderators to Sign Disclosure Agreements

January 26th, 2020. By Compensation News.

Accenture, a professional services company that provides external professional services around the world, has issued disclosure forms to new hires and existing staff  which state that they are completely aware that the content they must view as part of the duties may lead to them suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to reports in the US and the UK.

The Financial Time and The Verge have both revealed that the disclosure statement reads: “I understand the content I will be reviewing may be disturbing. It is possible that reviewing such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

Accenture contractors are employed as outside moderators for social media sites. These moderators take over the tasks that include deleting any inappropriate content from the platform. In order to do so they must view and listen to disturbing posts of a violent or sexual in nature. A normal day’s work would involve these moderators looking over the inappropriate nature of objectionable materials and review disturbing images.

This step, to send out the disclosure statement, comes as Facebook is braced for legal actions taken by former content moderators that were initiated due to the PTSD they are experiencing as a result of the content they had to view. Legal actions have been initiated in California and Ireland.

Disclosure statements were sent out to Accenture employees in the United States and Europe to sign and return. Current staff members sent the disclosure statement in the form of an update. Accenture has three content moderation offices for Facebook in Europe based in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin. As these offices are located in the European Union they are subject to some of the stricest workplace safety rules possible.

The wording of form says that “no job is worth sacrificing my mental or emotional health” and that “this job is not for everyone” and suggests that people who are prone to mental health struggles due to work might not be a good match for Accenture. There is no provision made, in that statement, to say that Accenture is prepared to, as required by federal law in the US, make reasonable accommodations to individual who become disabled due to their job targets and tasks.

Facebook and Google, YouTube’s parent company have both shared public statements which say that they were not asked to approve or review Accenture’s new disclosure statement. They did say that they direct their professional service partners to have in place psychological support for content moderators.

Accenture included details of support services that are provided on the disclosure forms, such as a hotline and a wellness coach. These services are not provided by professional trained staff and Accenture included the line in the disclosure agreement that they “cannot diagnose or treat mental disorders”.

On the statement Accenture has said that the wellbeing of its contractors is is a “top priority” and went on to say that only new joiners were being asked to sign the forms, whereas present members of staff employees were being sent the form as an update. The statement said: “We regularly update the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do”.

It is important that Social media moderators do not sign this statement until they consult with a lawyer familiar with with work injury law and employee rights.

Public Service Card Data Breach Could Result in Compensation Claims

September 4th, 2019. By Compensation News.

It appears probable that the State will face a number of compensation claims in the aftermath of revelations that the collection of data during the issuing of Public Services Cards (PSC) was not legal.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has released a report which ruled that the holding of information collected during the application process was not legal, in addition to the obligation on the general public to have the card in order to be in receipt of certain State services and benefits.

The card was first introduced in 2011 in order to help with the processing of social welfare payments. After this, it was required for a number of other services including first-time adult passport applicants, replacement of lost, stolen or unusable (due to condition) passports issued prior to January 2005, where the person is resident in the State, citizenship applications, driving test and driver licence appointments.

Already there have been a number of civil society groups who have said that they are considering filing a class-action style case. At the time that the card was introduced advocacy groups in including Digital Rights Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Age Action objected to its introduction.

After the DPC investigation concluded, it was deemed that the operation of the PSC scheme does not adhere with the transparency obligations of the data protection acts due to the inadequate manner of information handed over, by Department of Social Welfare, to those who were having their data processed. The result of this is that he data stored on more than three million card holders must now be deleted and data processing by the Department, rather that the public body providing the service, must be ended. These tasks must be finished by a specified date or some enforcement measures may be sanctioned against those to blame.

In a statement about the investigation the DPC revealed “Ultimately, we were struck by the extent to which the scheme, as implemented in practice, is far-removed from its original concept.

“Whereas the scheme was conceived as one that would make it easier to access (and deliver) public services, with chip-and-pin type cards being used for actual card-based transactions, the true position is that no public sector body has invested in the technology capable of reading the chip that contains the encrypted elements of the Public Sector Identity dataset. Instead, the card has been reduced to a limited form of photo-ID, for which alternative uses have then had to be found.”

This does not mean that the PSC is no longer a relevant form of identification and it will still be valid for a range of specific services. Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon stated: “Any cards that have been issued, their validity is not in question by anything we’ve found in this report. They can continue to be used in the context of availing of free travel or availing of benefits that a person is claiming from the department.”

She added that this does not mean that it will be impossible, in future, to issue a single card, or possibly a national identity card that can be used for all interactions with the State.  She commented: “No, we’re not saying that at all. We’re saying that if that’s what’s intended or required, there isn’t a lawful basis [as currently set up]. It can’t be the case that a national identity card automatically offends EU charter fundamental rights or EU data protection law because they exist all around Europe. It is a possibility, by carefully laying down the lawful basis for such a card.”

Social Media Moderator Employees Entitled to Compensation as Rights Not Respected

August 20th, 2019. By Compensation News.

A BBC documentary has unveiled the working duties of social media moderators that results in psychological trauma and may lead to a barrage of social media moderator compensation awards.

The Storyville report spoke with Shawn Speaglem in relation to his time working as a Facebook content moderator. Shawn was employed by Cognizant, a third party contractor located in Florida. He (Shawn) advised the documentary makers, despite his non-disclosure agreement, about the traumatic video and picture material that he had to review in line with Facebook’s moderation policies and processes.

He commented: “One of my first videos that I remember looking at was two teenagers grabbing an iguana by the tail and they smashed it onto the pavement while a third person was recording it. And the iguana was screaming and the kids just would not stop until the iguana was just pasted on the ground. I’ve seen people put fireworks in a dog’s mouth and duct tape it shut. I’ve seen cannibalism videos, I’ve seen terrorism propaganda videos.”

Shawn described how he experienced massive stress, gained considerable weight and suffered from psychological injuries as a result of the material he was expected to moderate and the absence of any support from his company or Facebook. He said: “I felt like I was a zombie in my seat. It really gets to you because I don’t have that bystander syndrome where I’m OK just watching this suffering and not contributing any way to deter it.”

This is not the first time Facebook has been the subject of a documentary in relation to staff working conditions. In March this year a report titled The Internet’s Dirtiest Secrets: The Cleaners showed how staff based in the Philippines had to make themselves familiar with everything from terrorist logos to sex toys so that they could fulfill their daily moderation goals.

A legal action is expected to be submitted soon in Ireland, where the European Union headquarters of many social media platforms are based, in relation to their the working conditions of social media content moderators.

This is not the first legal action to be registered in relation to this issue.
Selena Scola, a former content moderator with Facebook in California, initiated a lawsuit against the social media giant in September 2018 as a result of the traumatic online content that she had to view and the lack of support provided to her. She claimed, as part of the action, that she began suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during the time that she was working with Facebook. Since she began her case, she has been joined in her action by two more former Facebook content moderators who had similar claims.

Ongoing and constant viewing of traumatic content is part of a moderator’s daily duties and can lead to psychological injury and traumatic mental impact. It can be a massive toll for an individual to take on board depending on what the content seen contained, what support they were given by their employer and what the level of output was expected to be carried out on a daily basis. The employer is legally obliged to have a duty of care to allow for a safe place of work, a safe system of work and to avoid unnecessary suffering being felt by their staff.

Anyone who believes that they may have experienced trauma as a result of their working duties should tend to after their own health and seek help as soon as they can. Following this it is important to get in touch with a knowledgeable solicitor to consider all legal options available.

Cork Co & City Council hit for €15m in Personal Injury Compensation Payments made since 2016

May 23rd, 2019. By Compensation News.

The local authority bodies for Cork City and Cork County Councils have paid out personal injury compensation settlements to the tune of €15m for slips, trips and falls since 2016. Details uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act request has also shown that are many
slips, trips and falls compensation claims that have not yet been steeled by these bodies.

As of March 31, a sum of €1,144,594 in slips, trips and falls compensation claims has been paid out by Cork City Council for accidents that happened in public areas, including parks and public areas in council-owned residential estates. When compared alongside the same Jan 1-Mar 31 in the last recents years it paints a grim picture.

The figures were as follows:

  • €129,626 in 2018
  • €667,754 in 2017
  • €782,035 in 2016

At present there are 455 unfinished personal injury compensation claims as of March 31, 2019 on the books with Cork City Council. However, Cork County Council registered 230 uncompleted personal injury compensation claimed during the same time period of time.

Terry Shannon, Fianna Fáil’s Cork City Councillor, a former Lord Mayor of Cork, says that the unusually high level of claims are due to a lack of spending in the public realm over the last few years.

He stated: “It is a direct result of the decline of the condition of the public realm: potholes, cracked footpaths, and so on. The issue is getting worse and the amount paid each year is getting bigger, because we haven’t been able to fix long-standing issues, because national government hasn’t invested the money.”

In addition to this Mr Shannon said that Cork City Council has set aside €5m in 2019 to deal with possible slips, trips and falls compensation settlements.

Along with this budgetary measure the Council has also marked a separate €200,000 to “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”.

Clr. Shannon referred to this figure as inadequate and said that is will be “used to patch up areas that have been the result of multiple claims but, ultimately, it won’t go far enough to make a real difference.”

Council House Injury Compensation Award of €35,000 Girl Who Broke Ankle at Own Home

April 13th, 2019. By Compensation News.

€35,000 council house injury compensation has been awarded a 17-year-old Maria Collins who fractured her ankle when she fell over a pothole in her own backyard.

The compensation award was made against the owners of the property Dublin City Council. Maria’s mother, Caroline Collins, informed the court that previous complaints had been submitted to the council prior to the accident about the danger of the potholes in the backyard on the property.

Legal representative for Maria Collins, of Avila Park, Cappagh Drive, Finglas, Dublin Esther Earley, informed the Circuit Civil Court that the fall occurred just over 18 months ago when Maria aged 14. Ms Earley, appearing with Niamh O’Brien of O’Brien Murphy Solicitors, informed the court that the girl’s ankle twisted in a hole in the tarmacadam surface in the yard to the rear of the local authority home.

Ms Earley stated: “She (Maria) suffered a non-­displaced intra-articular fracture which has a higher risk of developing post-traumatic osteoarthritis.”

She went on to say that the girl had been rushed to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she received treatment  from consultant orthopaedic surgeon Conor Hurson. X-rays indicated that a fracture of the right ankle bone had occurred. Maria waseen placed in a temporary backslab immobilising cast and further treatment was scheduled for her with to the fracture clinic.

Not long after this Maria had shortly had been moved from a temporary immobilising backslab to a full fibreglass case. This remained in place for five weeks, during which time Maria was prescribed with a course of paracetamol for pain relief.

Dublin City Council, Ms Earley informed the court, was not only the sole local authority responsible for the area. However as landlords for the development they had an inspection and maintenance duty in relation to the property.

Judge Groarke app­roved the settlement offer of €35,000  after he was advised that maria is unlikely to suffer post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Gully Accident Compensation Damages Award to Five-year-old Boy

March 16th, 2019. By Compensation News.

A personal injury compensation award of €20,000 has been granted to a 5-year-old boy after he tripped and fell in a gully near his home in Dungloe, Co Donegal.

The young boy hit the ground and broke his arm in two places. He was only five-years old at the time that the incident took place. The accident took place near his home in Dungloe, Co Donegal on July 3rd, 2015.

The boy, taking the legal action through his mother and father, sued Donegal County Council at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court for accident in a public place compensation.

Presiding Judge James O’Donoghue expressed the view that Irish Water should actually be body that holds the responsibility of maintain the integrity of the water service.

He commented: “I thought Irish water took over all that?”

However, Barrister Patricia McCallum, under the instructions of solicitor Cormac Hartnett, told the court that the safety of these gullies are still governed by Donegal County Council.

In the hearing at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court, the boy’s mother and fathers were in attendance and told the Judge that their son, who is now 9-years-old, had made a perfect recovery from accident. Judge O’Donoghue gave his approval for the €20,000 gully accident compensation offer. He also awarded the expenses to the young boy’s legal representatives.

€250k Personal Injury Compensation for Woman Severely Injured in Bus Accident

January 23rd, 2019. By Compensation News.

Shu Zhang, a 36-year-old woman who suffered a severe head injury when she was struck by a bus as she was crossing a street when the red light was displaying for pedestrians, has agreed to a personal injury compensation settlement of €250,000 in the High Court.

Ms Zhang, who can walk now but needs full time care, suffered the brain injury when a Bus Eireann bus struck her at Aston Quay Dublin in 2004. She took the legal action through her aunt Shao Ze.

She was knocked unconscious after she was flung in the air and landed on the ground near the back wheels of the bus. Following the incident Ms Zhang was in a coma for around eight or nine days.

Ms Zhang alleged that the driver made no effort to avoid the collision and also that the bus was being driven without any adequate regard for the presence and position of other vehicles or pedestrians. These were allegations that Bus Eireann denied.

Bus Eireann argued that the claimant walked out from the crowd suddenly and into the path of the bus despite the pedestrian light at the Aston Quay crossing being red.

Jerry Healy SC said Ms Zhang was 22 years of age when the accident occurred. He said another man who had crossed the road before the student made it across ahead of her when he heard the impact. Ms Zhang had come to Ireland in 2003 and was a student and a part time care assistant.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross explained to her family, who travelled from China to care for their daughter after the accident, that had the case gone to trial she may have lost and she could end up with nothing at all.

A number of eyewitnesses said that they had viewed the woman push her way past bystanders before stepping out onto the road. The Judge told Ms Zhang’s family that the eyewitnesses were prepared to testify and their possible evidence suggested that the claimant could lose the case.

€80k Personal Injury Compensation Awarded for Ankle Injury at Copper Face Jacks

December 6th, 2018. By Compensation News.

A Limerick man, Colin McNamara, has had a nightclub injury compensation settlement of €80,000 approved in relation to a legal action he pursued following at High Court following an accident that occurred at Dublin nightclub Copper Face Jacks.

Mr McNamara, who works as a bar manager, fractured his ankle in two places following a slip and fall on a wet floor slip at the disco on October 9, 2015. He was staying in Dublin to attend a Republic of Ireland soccer match at the Aviva Stadium.

Mr McNamara (36), who lives in Rathbane Co Limerick, submitted the personal injury compensation claim against Breanagh Catering Ltd and the owners of Copper Face Jacks due to the injuries he suffered at the venue. Mr McNamara informed the High Court that he slipped on a floor which was wet and treacherous to patrons on the evening. He said: “the wet floor caused me to slip and fall. I turned to walk but I ended up on the floor.”

Justice Michael Hanna was informed by Mr McNamara that security workers in attendance lifted him up from the ground and took him out to a back alley where another staff member looked at his leg and ankle before informing him that it was not broken. The security workers informed him that they could not call an ambulance. Mr McNamara advised Justice Hanna that he “hobbled away” from the nightclub before hailing a taxi in order to return to his hotel. As he (Mr McNamara) was still in a considerable amount of pain when he returned to Limerick, he went to hospital where he discovered that he had fractured his ankle in two different places. Mr McNamara underwent surgery and had his movement restricted in the aftermath as he had to use crutches. He was unable to work in his role as a bar manager for five months due to the surgery

Presiding Judge Justice Hanna told the Court that the correct figure of personal injury compensation was €80,000 along with an additional €7,116 ‘special damages’ to pay for medical and other expenses incurred by Mr McNamara.

€550,000 Brain Injury Compensation Settlement for Tram-Surfing Girl

October 22nd, 2018. By Compensation News.

A 20-year-old Dublin girl has been awarded €550,000 brain injury compensation in relation to an accident that occurred when she was ‘tram-surfing’.

In the legal action before the High Court, Ms Kelly had her settlement with Luas operators Veolia approved in relation to the accident which took place when she was 13-years-old.

Ms Kelly’s accident occurred at the Fatima Luas station on the Red Line in 2010 when, accompanied by a friend, she tried to jump on and hold onto the outside of Luas tram doors as it left the platform. Ms Kelly fell off the tram onto the tracks, striking her head on the ground. Her friends had to drag her out of the path of an approaching tram.

Ms Kelly, who recently gave birth to her first child, was legally represented by Bruce Antoniotti SC who told the High Court that the young lady admitted she was to blame for the accident and she confirmed she should not have been tram surfing. She went on to say that she knew that this was a very unsafe thing to do. The High Court was advised that Ms Kelly wished for no liability to be charged to the the Luas driver who was on duty at the time of the accident.

Via her mother Elizabeth Kelly, Ms Kelly (20) took the Luas injury compensation action against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd and Veolia Transport Ireland Ltd of St John Rogerson’s Quay, in relation to the accident that happened on September 3, 2010.

As part of the personal injury compensation action Ms Kelly claimed that there was a failure to have adequate visual systems implemented on the tram and that the driver had no clear vision of the non-platform side of the tram before leaving the station. The tram, it was claimed, left the platform without first observing the non-platform side of the tram.

Mr Justice Cross, in giving his approval to the Luas accident compensation settlement stated that Ms Kelly did not need to be informed that she had done something silly. However, he praised her for her honesty.

Rebecca’s sister Jennifer Kelly contacted 98FM’s Dublin earlier this week to say that Rebecca has become the victim of an online bullying campaign.

She said: “It’s unbelievable, the girl is afraid to leave her house. She has been getting threats and everything. Her Facebook has just been completely trolled. She hasn’t got a minute, to be completely honest. It is unbelievable the abuse she has gotten. The girl is constantly crying over this.”

Parliamentary Question Reveals Lengthening Delays for Violent Attack Compensation Hearings

September 11th, 2018. By Compensation News.

The response to a parliamentary question has shown that there is a lengthening backlog being experienced at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, leaving those affected by serious violent assaults waiting years to be awarded personal injury compensation.

A parliamentary question submitted by Fianna Fáil TD John Curran prompted the release of these details and Mr Curran has now called for an immediate audit of the scheme to investigate what is causing the delays.

From 2012 to present just 597 payments were have been completed in relation to the 1,357 claims have been filed. In 2017 a total of just 31 compensation payments were completed of the 181 new cases that came before the Tribunal. By the end of May 2018 just 10 victims were completed out of the 73 new cases that were filed during that time period.

Mr Curran TD said of the startling new details: “Despite the fact that the number of cases which settle in a pay-out is declining year on year, there are lengthy delays in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal assisting victims of crime in Ireland. As it stands, should this year’s applications be managed in the very same poor manner it’s likely that just 24 cases will be settled in 2018.

The TD added: “Victims should expect that they will receive their compensation in a prompt manner and in accordance with constitutional justice. In correspondence I received, the Tribunal itself cited its limited resources and “economic constraints” as contributing factors in the slow process of claims and victims obtaining their due compensation. The Tribunal receives roughly €4 million in budget each year, but it is uncertain how this budget is set considering the number of, and types of cases varies year on year. A thorough review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal must be carried out before next year’s figure of unsettled claims rises even more. This review could not come quick enough for very many victims of crime or their families.”

The full text of the statement by Mr Curran TD is available by clicking here.




Former Tipperary Hurler and Garda Awarded €1.16m Work Back Injury Compensation

August 3rd, 2018. By Compensation News.

A Garda Workplace injury compensation settlement of €1.16m has been approved by Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe for Aidan FLanagan, a garda and former captain of the Tipperary county hurling team.

Mr Flanagan suffered injuries while he was working and in the process of making an arrest. This comes following a previous decision by Mr Justice Bernard Barton to award the 44-year-old Garda part compensation of  €175,000 general damages and €45,000 for loss of opportunity.

Judge Barton had adjourned ruling a final outcome while he was awaiting a review of ongoing settlement negotiations between Micheál Ó Scanaill, SC, counsel for the Minister and barrister Alan Keating, Garda Flanagan’s legal representative.

Mr Ó Scanaill, who was appearing in court with barrister Rebecca Graydon for the Minister, informed Judge Barton that a consent order for €1.16m, a figure which factors into account Mr Flanagan’s past and present loss of earnings and a number of other factors, could be issued in Garda Flanagan’s favour.

In Judge Barton’s previous ruling at the High Court, he made reference to the strong force of a blow that Garda Flanagan had been hit on the base of his back with and the traumatic consequences he experienced. He went on to say that Garda Flanagan had sustained the injury when he was just 30-years-old and had made a substantial €1.47m claim for general damages and recurring pecuniary losses.

The incident took place when Garda Flanagan had arrested a youth who was suspected of carrying out a shop burglary in which alcohol had been illegally taken. The youth had consumed a bottle of vodka and swallowed a quantity of tablets before he was arrested by the Garda.

When the youth was being placed in the back of a squad car as a restraint, a kick had been directed at the small of Garda Flanagan’s back,  Judge Barton told the court. He also referred to the serious and significant impact on Garda Flanagan’s physical and mental capacity due toof ongoing chronic pain he experienced. He also said he had felt he could no longer fulfil his role as a garda despite being refused the opportunity the chance to retire on health grounds.

Garda Flanagan was formerly captain of the Tipperary senior county side during the National Hurling League campaign in 1997.

WRC Awards €2,461 to New Father Who Was Sacked During Paternity Leave

May 24th, 2018. By Compensation News.

Teh father of a new baby who had his employment terminated just 11 days after the birth of his new-born baby, while he was on paternity leave, has been awarded €2,461 in unfair dismissal compensation by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

At a work meeting on 12 January 2017 the man, who was working as a horticulturalist was advised he was being made redundant – straight after his boss congratulated him on the birth of his new baby. His boss then asked to clear his desk of his things and leave immediately.

The man took a legal action for unfair dismissal and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has upheld his claim and ordered his former employer to pay him a sum of €2,461 in wrongful dismissal compensation. WRC Adjudication Officer, Pat Brady has referred the employer’s conduct during the case as “seriously unacceptable”.

The unfair dismissal compensation amount awarded would have been much greater higher if the man had not found a new job so quickly. However as he was quick to find a new, better-paid, role it meant that his precious employer was not liable for as much compensation as may have been the case.

When appearing before the WRC, the man referred to the fact that any termination during on paternity leave is automatically found to be unfair as per section 20 of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act, 2016. The employer remarked that he was not conscious of the fact that that as employee being absent on paternity leave was an issue and the business decision to make the man redundant was due to a  restructuring of his company.

Pat Brady, the WRC Adjudication Officer,  said that the employer in the case had adopted a negligent attitude to the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act.

Mr Brady stated: “Then, in circumstances which could scarcely have been more insensitive, he was given one day’s notice of a meeting at which his employment is terminated and he is told to leave the premises and not to return.”

He went on to say: “However, it is the total absence of any procedures which is of more concern; the lack of proper or any notice, the lack of a selection procedure or consideration of alternatives.”

Workplace Injury Award of €15,000 for Garda Who Suffered Thumb Injury

April 16th, 2018. By Compensation News.

Garda Barry Hennessy has been awarded €15,000 in workplace injury compensation after he suffered a thumb injury while on a house call in relation to a party at Clonard Village, Wexford town.

The Wexford-based garda commented to the court that, as a regular golfer, he now has to use painkilling medication in cold weather.

Garda Hennessy, who was appearing before a Garda Compensation hearing, remarked that to Mr Justice Michael Twomey that the injury he suffered does have any real negative affect on his life apart from a small degree of pain and stiffness.

Garda Hennessy (36) told the court that he attended the house in Clonard Village, Wexford, on June 2009 as music blaring from the house was disturbing locals.

Upon reaching the house he entered through the open front door. it was here that he found an individual lying on a sofa. A second person entered and started to roar and shout at the garda. He, Garda Hennessy, was jostled and struck in the face at this point. When he attempted to make an arrest his left thumb was pushed back and dislocated.

Garda Hennessy withdrew at this point and returned to the garda station. Another garda took him to Wexford Hospital. His thumb was treated for dislocation here. Follwoing this his thumb was in a cast for several week during which time Garda Hennessy was absent from work.

The Court was told by Garda Hennessy that “there is nothing I cannot now do with my thumb but when it involves lifting something or gripping something it can still be painful. I have had to take pain killers before playing golf”.

He went on to say that he had been told that he should have surgery to help the injury. Despite this he opted not to do this.

Garda Hennessy was awarded €15,000 Judge Twomey awarded who revealed in the announcement that Garda Hennessy had not been in receipt of physiotherapy or opted for the other measures that were available to him.


€30k Toddler Injury Compensation Settlement For Bowling Alley Injury

March 22nd, 2018. By Compensation News.

A eight-year-old boy who injured his finger as a toddler when he was using a bowling ball has settled his personal injury compensation action for €30,000 at the High Court.

The young boy, Kaylum Devitt now has a 2cm scar on his right hand index finger. The personal injury compensation claim was settled with a full denial of liability, the High Court was told.

Taking the legal action though Natalie Devitt, mother of Kaylum, of Buirg an Ri, Balgaddy, Lucan, Co Dublin, sued XL Bowl Limited operating as Superdome, Kennelsfort Road, Palmerstown, Dublin, due to the bowling alley accident that happened on March 18 2012.

it was alleged in the High Court that the young boy’s right index finger was l by a cut by bowling ball and he suffered a fracture to the finger which required a surgery.

There was a further allegation that was a failure to put in place the proper measure to ensure the safety of the child. It was claimed that the bowling ball was permitted to remain a danger or hazard at the bowling alley. Legal representatives for Mr Devitt also alleged that appropriate children’s equipment was not provided in order for the bowling alley to be made safe for young children.

XL Bowl refuted  the allegations were and said it would be stated in a court action that the toddler was not being adequately supervised when the accident occurred.

Philip Sheahan SC, acting on behalf of Kaylum Devitt, told the High Court the toddler was in the bowling alley with his family and that there may be two different accounts of what took place on the day and a claim that people were looking elsewhere at the time that the accident took place.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr, who reviewed the scar, said the personal injury settlement was for an adequate sum given the extent of the injuries suffered by the toddler.

Finger Injury Compensation of €25,000 Awarded After Water Meter Accident

January 30th, 2018. By Compensation News.

A woman has been awarded €25,000 in damages in finger injury compensation following a accident involving on a water meter cover outside her Limerick home in 2012.

Kirdwin Johnson, aged 30 said that she is unable to properly extend her thumb since the accident. She was cleaning when she broke her wrist in the incident on August 4, 2012.

Ms Johnson advised Judge Gerald Keys that her foot became stuck and, as a result, she “fell back on my (her) arm”. The injured arm remained in a cast for a period of approximately six weeks.

Mr Jack Nicholas BL, representing Ms Johnson , asked her show the Court the extent her injury by extending both thumbs. Mr Nicholas also commented that: “The right thumb doesn’t extend as far back as the left thumb.”

The Court also heard that Ms Johnson has a detailed history submitting  personal injury claims in the Circuit Court.

When questioned the legal representatives of Limerick City County if she had seen the stopcock on the footpath before falling, she replied: “I have seen it but I never paid attention to it before.”

The orthopaedic consultant who treated Ms Johnson after the accident happened did not “make an issue” of the injured thumb in his official accident report. Ms Johnson stated that she she began to feel a “weakness in her thumbs” while attending her son’s graduation ceremony in 2015.

Ms Johnson’s ailments injuries were examined by Dr Jim Fehily on two occasions, once in September 2016 and another time in December 2017. Dr Fehily said that he felt, after the examination that Ms Johnson’s thumb injury was “unlikely” to be as a result of the accident with the water meter cover in 2012.

While no record of any other complaints about the stopcock/meter involved in the accident, Judge Keys remarked that there were no dates included on the original photographs of the water meter cover presented in court.

Judge Keys said: “I am not saying that this lady is making this up, but I have to be satisfied.” He added that the damaged water meter cover was “trap for anybody and anyone who walks by” and that “you can’t leave a situation like that unattended”.

Judge Keys ruled that he had “no choice but to conclude that the plaintiff succeeds” but was “not satisfied” Ms Johnson’s suffering was related to the fall in 2012.

He awarded Ms Johnson €25,000 in finger injury compensation.

Personal Injuries Commission Report Show Irish Whiplash Compensation Rates Higher than rest of Europe

December 19th, 2017. By Compensation News.

The rates of rate of whiplash injuries suffered in Ireland is, at present, much higher  than in most other European countries according a recent report from the Personal Injuries Commission (PIC).

The PIC was set up in early 2017 to look into personal injury compensation claims with a particular focus on the increases in soft tissue and whiplash compensation claims.

Car insurance costs went up by a staggering 70% in the three-year duration between 2013-16. It is though that fraudulent compensation claims to blame for this surge.

However, the PIC is of the opinion that establishing up an independent medical panel to review whiplash injuries would negatively affect a claimant’s rights, so it is steering clear from approving such a move.

Instead, it calls for the establishment of a uniform approach for medical staff treating whiplash injuries. There is, currently, no one accreditation required or benchmark standard for a doctor who wishes to complete a medico-legal report on a personal injury compensation claim in Ireland.  The report says that medics should adopt a standardised approach to diagnosing, treating and reporting on soft tissue injuries, of which the vast majority are connected to whiplash.

It recommended the implementation of the Quebec Task Force Whiplash Associated Disorder grading scale by medical professionals reporting on relevant injuries. This scales is formulated based on the severity of symptoms and associated physical factor. It says “Training and accreditation in soft tissue reporting is agreed as being the best practice requirement for those wishing to complete relevant reports”.

The thinking is that a self-testing factor by the injured party should also be implemented to review compensation claims.

The PIC is chaired by Judge Mr Nicholas Kearns who urged insurance companies to release some background details on the incidence of whiplash injuries in Ireland. This would form a key element of the National Claims Information Database that is  currently being put together by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Mr Justice Kearns also claimed that such dissemination of information on whiplash injuries would be for the betterment of the personal injuries compensation environment in Ireland by fostering ‘an objective standard’ for reviewing whiplash injuries. He went on to say that reports, in future, will look at comparative systems and bench marking compensation award levels from around the world.


Youth Offers to Pay €1,000 Compensation for Breaking Another Youth’s Jaw

November 7th, 2017. By Compensation News.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin judge issued a serious warning to a teenager accused of assault and breaking another youth’s jaw. The warning has lead to an order to pay €1,000 injury compensation.

When no offer of personal injury compensation was made at the court hearing last week, Judge Ó Donnabháin warned the accused that he should “wakey wakey” in terms of compensation.

The youth was back at court yesterday and there was €1,000 offered by way of compensation according to Dermot Sheehan, Legal Counsel for the defendant. Following this the judge adjourned sentencing to November 20 with the accused remanded on bail until that date.

The assault happened at Charleville Show on June 26, 2016 when one youth headbutted the victim on his jaw and left the scene. He, (the defendant) then approached the victim again and punched him on the same side of his face that received the initial blow. The victim suffered a serious jaw injury. In order to remedy the injuries inflicted, the victim had to have two plates and splints inserted into his jaw and he also lost some teeth.

The accused Mr Sheehan advised the Court, suffers from some health issues. Having read the report produced Judge Ó Donnabháin commented that: “He has not got health issues, he has behavioural issues.”

At the initial hearing last week, the judge ruled that it was unreasonable for the accused, who is not named as he is a juvenile, to come before Cork Circuit Criminal Court with no compensation offer ready.

Tayto Park Fall Leads to €25k Compensation Settlement for Boy (13)

October 8th, 2017. By Compensation News.

Conor Bolger, aged 13, has been awarded €25,000 in personal injury compensation, for a Tayto Park fall that occurred on March 25 2012, following High Court approval for a proposed compensation settlement.

Mr Bolger, now 13 years old, of Briarfield Road, Kilbarrack, took the personal injury compensation action against Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd, Co Meath (trading as Tayto Park) through his father Brian Bolger. He underwent a surgical operation to insert pins in his lower arm to treat a fractured elbow, due the injuries he suffered in the fall.

The legal team acting on behalf of the Bolger family claimed that the tower where the accident occurred, one of the main children’s attractions in the Park in 2012, was overcrowded with people. It was also alleged that the ground surrounding the tower had insufficient protective wood mulch. They also argued that, as there was not an adequate system of safety inspections in place in the area, this went unnoticed by employees of Tayto Park, The added that if these inspections had been carried out Conor Bolger may have suffered less debilitating injuries.

Legal counsel for Ashbourne Visitor Centre (Tayto Park) David McGrath SC denied these allegations as, they believed, Mr Bolger “just fell” and there was no safety issue with the tower itself. The Bolger family, the court was told, were content with the proposed injury compensation settlement of €25,000.

The Tayto Park Fall compensation settlement was approved by High Court Justice Kevin Cross who stated that Mr Bolger’s scar, following the surgical procedure to insert pins, was not “too upsetting” and also commented that the boy would have suffered through being unable to play basketball for a period of time after the accident happened.

Jogger awarded €60,000 for trip and fall injury on Dublin City Council Land

September 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

July 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 medical negligence 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.

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