Personal Injury Compensation

Workplace Injury Ireland

If you sustain a workplace injury in Ireland, you should be entitled to receive compensation for your employer´s negligence. Not all workplace accidents qualify for workplace injury compensation but, if the accident in which you or a loved one were injured could have been avoided had greater care been taken, compensation for a workplace injury in Ireland should be obtainable. As no two workplace accidents have the same effect on the injured individuals, you are invited to call our freephone Legal Advice Centre for advice without obligation on how to maximise the value of your claim for a workplace injury in Ireland. By speaking in confidence to an experienced Irish workplace injury solicitor, you will be able to establish that you are eligible for compensation for a workplace injury in Ireland and discover the best way of making a successful claim.

Waitress Awarded €50,000 Compensation for Broken Glass Injury

July 23rd, 2020. By Compensation News.

A woman who was working as a waitress when she sustained a hand injury as the glass she was polishing broke has been awarded €50,000 compensation at the Circuit Civil Court.

Daniela Tricolici (24) was, according to Judge John O’Connor, not given adequate safety training prior to polishing wine glasses for her then employer Ravellos Restaurant in Clonsilla in 2015.

Judge O’Connor deemed that the employer, ABE Restaurant Limited, Weaver’s Row, Clonsilla, had been negligent by not providing proper training for Ms Tricolici.

Ms Tricolici, with at an address at Ravenswood Road Clonsilla, is now employed in a bank. The court was informed that the woman punctured
er left little finger when the stem of the glass she was polishing broke. The incident took place on September 18, 2015.

Speaking in court, forensic engineer Conor Murphy advised the Judgethat Ms Tricolici had given him a demonstration of how she was polishing the glass with a towel when the accident occurred. He said that training should have been provided to show Ms Tricolici how to do so safely. Instead, according to Mr Murphy, Ms Tricolici had held the base of the wine glass in one hand while polishing the bowl with her other hand. She polished the glass in a twist and turn fashion when the stem had broken.

Barrister for the plaintiff, Conor Kearney, argued that the waitress had clearly been polishing the glass in the correct fashion and should have been stopped by her employer and shown how to do it correctly.  He said that if Ms Tricolici had been grasping the bowl of the glass in one hand while using the polishing cloth with her other hand it was more than probable that the glass would not have broken and injured her as it did on the day in question.

Legal counsel for the defendant claimed this that there is no dedicated provision in legislation or a manual focused on safe glass polishing. Along with this it was claimed that it would be placing a huge burden on an employer to ask them to train someone when there was no accepted official training regime or accepted pattern of training available on how a particular task should be completed.

After the incident the woman was taken to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, for the wound to be medically assessed and treated. Here it was found that she had been left with a small wound and that damage to a nerve in her finger had not properly rehabilitated. She still experiences hypersensitivity in the area of the injury.

Judge O’Connor awarded Ms Tricolici €25,000 personal injury compensation, saying: “I am satisfied on the balance of probability that the defendant in this case was negligent. There was no training provided and it should have been.”

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.

Facebook Moderator Court Case Submitted in Dublin

December 4th, 2019. By Compensation News.

A Facebook moderator court case has been submitted in Dublin by a former external contractor for Facebook who was employed, by an agency, to review ‘extremely disturbing, graphic and violent content’ on a daily basis.

The man, 53-year-old Chris Gray is seeking compensation to the psychological injuries he claims he suffered from due to his work duties. Mr Gray today filed submitted his legal action to the High Court against the Irish subsidiary of Facebook and the agency he was employed by, CPL Solutions.

He alleges that he suffered psychologically injuries as a direct result of the “very disturbing” photographs and videos, including executions, lethal beatings, stonings, whippings, the abuse of children, animal torture and extreme sexual content” that he had to view during his time moderating Facebook content. An example of the content given is video of the large-scale and coordinated abuse and murder of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, massacres in the Middle East and the torture of migrants in Libya.

Facebook’s network of content moderators includes 15,000 individual based around the globe. This network must filter through all content published on the platform in order to remove inappropriate graphic content. They are expected to achieve a 98% accuracy rating in relation to making the correct decision.

Representing by Coleman Legal Partners, and supported by UK not-for-profit group Foxglove, Mr Gray claims he identified a “slow creep” which involved “personal and political views were becoming increasingly influenced by the insidious content he was required to view.”

Part of the suffering he experienced included trouble with sleeping resulting from the nature of what he had views as part of his working day and the pressure to make the correct decision regarding the suitability of the content for publication. He said he would often wake during the night “with a fright, concerned not by the content, but by whether or not he had marked it correctly during his shift”.

The lack of appropriate training was criticised as inadequate and compounded by the lack of support to help moderators deal with “what seemed like a relentless flow of extreme and graphic material”. Mr Gray said that he was unable to communicate his distress to his superiors due to he irrational mood, caused by viewing the content.

Lawyer Cori Crider, a director of Foxglove said: “In a few years’ time we are going to look back on these conditions and see them the way that we now see early unsafe factory work in a steel mill or a meat-packing plant in the early 20th century.”

CPL was unavailable for comment today but a spokeswoman for Facebook said that the social media giant are providing training and support but remain conscious of the fact that moderating “certain types of content can sometimes be difficult”. They are, she said, allowing for thorough training and full-time support to moderators along with technical solutions to restrict the amount of graphic material they must view.

€30,000 Sexual Harassment Compensation Award made to Catering Company Employee

October 16th, 2019. By Compensation News.

A facilities group has been ordered to pay €30,000 compensation to a female catering assistant who had her bottom touched by a chef/manager in a number of sexual harassment incidents involving the senior male member of staff.

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudication Officer, Catherine Byrne, revealed in her ruling: “As an instance of sexual harassment, a pinch on the bottom may not be at the extreme end of the scale, but it is well within the definition of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. It was also at the end of a continuum of incidents including a punch in the ribs, being sniffed at, constant unwanted touching and making offensive sexual remarks about the complainant to her husband.”

The €30,000 award is the equivalent of 18 months income for the employee. The company supplies catering services at the offices of a government department.

The Polish worker filed an official complaint of sexual harassment in relation to the bottom pinch to her employer on the day the incident took place, February 1 2018.  The chef/manager denied the allegations and explained that he was holding a sanitiser bottle in his hand and that the bottle brushed up against the female.

After an official investigation by the employer the chef’s claims were accepted, along with his explanation of  other issues filed by the female worker and by the entire team in the group.

As part of her ruling, Byrne stated that she believed the catering assistant when she claimed that the chef/manager pinched her bottom. She commented: “It is my view that the effect of the sexual harassment suffered by the complainant was compounded by the failure of the respondent to give any credence to her evidence and I find that, of itself, this demonstrated a lack of respect for her. To compensate for this treatment, I decide that the respondent is to pay the complainant compensation of €30,000, which is equivalent to 18 months’ wages.”

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.

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.


Exposure to Toxic Chemicals in an Air Corps Airbase

August 8th, 2017. By Compensation News.

Concerns have been raised about the exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase causing illnesses – some fatal – to servicemen, their partners and their children.

According to an article published today in, a former Air Corps mechanic has claimed the exposure to toxic chemicals at an Air Corps airbase is causing servicemen, their partners and their children to suffer illnesses and development issues. In some cases, the whistle-blower claims, the illnesses have resulted in death.

The allegations relate to the Casement Airbase in Baldonnel, County Dublin, where it is claimed the Defence Forces failed to protect workers from exposure to known carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals. The exposure to the chemicals has not only resulted in the alleged untimely death of twenty servicemen, but also life-changing illnesses to their partners and children.

In an address to senior Ministers, TDs, senators and a member of the Defence Forces, the whistle-blower said he knew of many serving and retired personnel who had developed fertility issues. He claimed that one retired serviceman´s wife had eight successive miscarriages and that the wives of three personnel in the engineering wing suffered miscarriages within six months of each other.

The unprotected exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals, the former mechanic claimed, had resulted in the death of five servicemen´s children – two from cancer-related illnesses, and two from serious birth defects. He also gave details of further children who have been born with development issues suspected to be linked to their parent´s exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase.

Claims that the Defence Forces failed to protect Irish servicemen against exposure to toxic chemicals go back more than a decade, but these allegations have raised fresh concerns. Speaking to, Sinn Féín TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh accused junior Justice Minister Paul Kehoe of indifference to the “severe mental and physical side effects on serving and retired soldiers”.

TD Ó Snodaigh expressed concerns that the issue of exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase had not been addressed despite a Health and Safety Authority inspection of the Casement Airbase identifying several health and safety issues in need of immediate attention. Currently the State Claims Agency is defending six personal injury claims made due illnesses attributed to exposure to toxic chemicals at an Air Corps airbase.

Fine for Company after Supervisor Dies in Accident

May 10th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A storage company has been issued a €200,000 by a Dublin court after one of its employees died in a work accident in one of their warehouses.

The tragic accident happened on the 28th November 2015 at a Dublin warehouse owned by VF Coldstores Ltd. The victim, Robert Ceremuga – then aged thirty-two – was killed when a scaffold that was supporting over thirty six tonnes of food products collapsed on top of him. A report conducted after the incident concluded that the collapse was the result of an errant forklift that collided with the structure. An additional investigation uncovered that the employee operating the vehicle had been working at the factory for just three weeks and lacked the approbate license to operate the machine.

VH Coldstores Ltd was subsequently prosecuted by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) prosecuted VF Coldstores Ltd for serious breaches of health and safety laws. At a hearing conducted earlier this year in the Circuit Criminal Court, Dublin, a representative  for the storage company plead guilty to the charges. Maria – Robert’s widow – also gave a victim impact statement during the same hearing. After this, Judge Melanie Greally adjourned the session so that could take a “scientific approach” to calculating the fine.

Judge Greally reconvened the hearing earlier this month She the proceeded to fine VF Coldstores Ltd €200,000 for breaching health and safety laws. After the announcement of the fine, Brian Higgisson – the Assistant Chief Executive of the HSA – commented that “It is important that employers adequately manage and conduct work activities, in particular carrying out risk assessments before any major works, such as alterations to racking. These assessments should ensure that everyone has the necessary training, knowledge and experience to complete the work in a safe manner.”


Compensation Awarded for Waitress Workplace Injury

April 12th, 2016. By Compensation News.

The High Court of Dublin has awarded a six-figure settlement of compensation for a waitress who suffered a hand injury whilst using jugs that were deemed unfit for purpose.

The waitress in question, Sophie Caillaud (forty-two) sustained an injury to her hand when a glass jug she was filling shattered, causing a deep cut to her thumb. At the time, Sophie was working in the Lough Rynn Hotel in Mohill, Co. Leitrim.

Sophie was brought to hospital, where surgery was carried out to help repair the soft tissue damage to her thumb. However, since the accident Sophie has never been able to regain full strength in the digit and as such has had difficulty carrying out normal, daily tasks.

Sophie sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against her former employer, the Lough Rynn Hotel, as well as the manufacturers and suppliers of the glass jug – Bunzl Outsourcing Ltd and Utopia Tableware Ltd..

The defendants disputed Sophie’s claim for compensation for a waitress hand injury, as they believed the amount being sought was too high. They also argued that it was Sophie’s own negligence that caused her injuries.

Neither negotiations nor the Injuries Board could resolve the case, so it proceeded to the High Court in Dublin where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. There, the judge heard of how other staff members had previously sustained injuries from shattering glass jugs.

An expert witness explained to the court of how the rapid heating and cooling of the jugs in the dishwasher weaker the joint between the handle and the body, concluding they were unfit for purpose.

Sophie also gave evidence at the hearing, after which the judge dismissed any claims by the defendants that she had acted negligently or exaggerated the extent of her injuries. After commenting that he found Sophie to be “entirely genuine”, she was awarded €500,000 compensation.

Five-Figure Compensation Settlement for Chef

March 14th, 2016. By Compensation News.

A man, who was injured whilst working as a chef, has been awarded compensated after a hearing in the Circuit Civil Court.

When Shijun Liu, an ordinary chef in the Howards Way Restaurant, Rathgar, was working at the restaurant’s sister establishment in Churchtown in March 2013, he noticed that a cleaner was struggling to use a domestic power hose. The hose had become tangled, and as Shijun and the cleaner were attempting to fix it, it suddenly started to spray Shijun with scalding water.

The water caused severe burns to Shijun’s ankle, and though he was brought to the VHI clinic in Dundrum after the accident, he had to take two weeks off of work in the kitchens. Shijun sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for compensation against Declan Howard, his employer at the restaurant. The Injuries Board requested permission to investigate the circumstances of the accident, but consent was denied.

The claim was heard earlier this month in the Circuit Civil Court by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was told of the unsuitability of the powerhose for the cleaning of the kitchen, after which Shijun was awarded €15,000. Judge Groarke added that he found Shijun’s story quite compelling.

Provisions for ATE Insurance in Ireland Given by Court of Appeal

June 4th, 2015. By Compensation News.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daughters Share Six-Figure Settlement of Claim for Mesothelioma Compensation

November 18th, 2014. By Compensation News.

Two daughters of a man, who died from exposure to asbestos, are to share in a settlement of his claim for mesothelioma compensation almost a year after his death.

73-year-old Peter McCormack from Whickham in Tyne and Wear passed away last December after fighting mesothelioma cancer for eighteen months – mesothelioma cancer being a cancer for which there is no known cure that is caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust and fibres and develops in the lining of the lungs.

Before his death, Peter had started a claim for mesothelioma compensation against two of his former employers who had failed to protect him from exposure to asbestos and, after he died, the claim was continued by his daughter Elke (41) on her behalf and on behalf of her sister Natalie.

In the claim for mesothelioma compensation, it was alleged that EON UK – for whom Peter worked from 1957 to 1962 as an apprentice and mechanical fitter – had allowed Peter to work alongside laggers whose role it was to mix and apply asbestos to new pipes and other mechanical fittings.

From 1965 – 1997, Peter had worked at OSG Ship Management (formerly W A Souter Ltd), where it was alleged he had to repair pipes containing asbestos lagging without protection against the deadly fibres. It was also claimed that asbestos dust was left on surfaces until it was disturbed and entered the atmosphere to be inhaled by employees of the company.

Eventually the claim for mesothelioma compensation was resolved without the need for court action. An undisclosed six-figure settlement of the claim was negotiated, after which Elke commented: “Hopefully, this settlement will highlight to employers the need to protect people from exposure to asbestos, so other families do not have to watch their loved ones deteriorate so quickly.”

She continued “It was heartbreaking to see my dad suffering with mesothelioma for 18 months and the effect the chemotherapy he underwent had on him. He lost all his appetite, was often exhausted, and was suffering with nerve pain in his shoulder. The diagnosis also caused him severe distress and anxiety for his future.”

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.

Woman to Receive Compensation for Soft Tissue Knee Injury at Work

June 9th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A kitchen assistant who was formally employed by Dunnes Stores in Clonmel has been awarded compensation for a soft tissue knee injury at work.

29- year-old Dorota Michalowska from Clonmel in County Tipperary had been clearing tables in the canteen of her local Dunnes Store, when – on 14 July 2011 – as she was returning to the kitchen with a trolley stacked up dirty dishes, she slipped on a frozen chip that had fallen to the floor and fell heavily – suffering a soft tissue knee injury.

Dorota´s injury was so severe that she was immobilised for six months and unable to work for a further three months. After undergoing physical therapy to ease the pain in her knee, Dorota took legal advice from a solicitor and made a claim for compensation for a soft tissue knee injury at work against her employers – Dunnes Stores – alleging that the company had not provided her with a safe environment in which to work.

Dunnes Stores contested Dorota´s claim for a soft tissue injury at work, and denied its responsibility for her slip and fall accident – arguing that she had been preparing food in the kitchen throughout the day and she was most likely the author of her own misfortune as it was most likely that she had dropped the frozen chip on the floor and failed to notice the hazard,

Dorota´s compensation claim for a soft tissue knee injury at work proceeded to the High Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine. After hearing evidence from both parties, Judge Irvine found in Dorota´s favour on the grounds that, if Dorota had dropped the frozen chip herself – and then performed a circuit of the canteen to clear away the dirty dishes – the chip on the floor would have defrosted and no longer have been frozen by the time Dorota slipped on it and sustained her injury.

The judge commented in her summing up that two other employees were working in the canteen on the day of Dorota´s accident, and that “on the balance of probabilities” it was likely that one of Dorota´s co-workers had dropped the frozen chip, and either neglected to pick it up or not seen the hazard at all. Judge Irvine ruled that Dunnes Stores were therefore the liable party in Dorota claim due to the negligence of its employees.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine awarded Dorota €82,750 compensation for a soft tissue knee injury at work – a sum which included €20,000 for future pain and suffering, as the judge believed there would be a strong likelihood of Dorota suffering from arthritis as she grew older.

Judge Approves Compensation for Fall from Height at Work

May 6th, 2014. By Compensation News.

The High Court has approved a settlement of brain injury compensation after a fall from the roof of a house left a fifty-year-old man with permanent brain damage.

Paul O´Brien was working on the roof of a house in Bray on 18th July 2012 – his first paid employment since he lost his construction job in 2008 – when he went to descend from the roof as it started raining.

Paul attempted to exit the roof from a ladder which had been propped up against the side of the building; but, as he stepped onto it, the ladder slipped on the wooden decking it had been placed on, and Paul fell to the ground.

As a result of his accident, Paul suffered a significant head trauma and now has limited short-term memory. Through his wife – Sandra O´Brien of Glenealy in County Wicklow – Paul made a claim for brain injury compensation after a fall from a roof against his employer – Sean Lyons of Clondalkin, Dublin.

Paul claimed in his action that Lyons had failed to provide a safe environment in which to work and had been negligent by failing to provide suitable scaffolding or fall protection to enable him to work safely.

It was also claimed that the ladder provided was unfit for the purpose of descending from the roof safely, that it had not been fastened to the building, and that the combination of an unsuitable, unfastened ladder and the wet wooden decking on which it had been placed resulted in a dangerous hazard.

An out-of-court settlement of brain injury compensation after a fall from a roof was negotiated by Sandra and Paul´s legal representatives; but, because of the nature of Paul´s injury, it had to be first approved by a judge.

Consequently, the details of the accident were related to Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court, who also heard that Sandra had taken a two-year sabbatical from her job to care for her husband.

The judge was told that the €1.5 million settlement of brain injury compensation after a fall from the roof of roofer´s fall from height injury compensation had been agreed out-of-court and that the family were willing to accept it.

Judge Irvine approved Paul´s settlement – commenting that had the case gone to court, Paul´s contributory negligence may have been a factor in the amount of the settlement. The judge then closed the hearing, saying that she sympathised with the O’Brien family.

Former Argos Employee Awarded Injury Compensation for a Storeroom Accident

January 31st, 2014. By Compensation News.

A former employee of Argos has been awarded €25,000 injury compensation for a storeroom accident in which she fell from a ladder and dislocated her wrist.

Nicola Starmer from Ballynakill Downs in Waterford was working at the Great George´s Street branch of Argos when, in February 2007, she went into the shop´s storeroom to collect a customer´s purchase.

As the box she needed to collect was located on a high shelf, Nicola (42) climbed a ladder in order to retrieve it. However, as Nicola was descending the ladder with the box under her arm, she fell backwards and landed on the storeroom floor.

Nicola was at first unaware that she had sustained an injury, but as the day progressed she started to experience a pain in her right forearm. She attended the Emergency department of the local hospital where she had an x-ray which revealed a dislocated wrist.

Doctors had to insert pins into Nicola´s wrist to stabilise the injury and Nicola was discharged from hospital in plaster cast. Unfortunately Nicola was unable to continue her temporary position as a front-of-house assistant in Argos because of her injury.

Nicola spoke with a solicitor about the circumstances of her injury and made a claim for injury compensation for a storeroom accident against Argos. The store contested its liability for Nicola´s injuries and the claim was heard before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Argos argued that Nicola had been shown how to use a ladder safely and that the company should not be held responsible for her injuries. However, Nicola´s solicitor informed the judge that the ladder safety training consisted of a DVD presentation rather than a practical demonstration and, furthermore, that she had never been informed of safety procedures in the storeroom as her position was front-of-house.

Judge Groarke found in Nicola´s favour after hearing that she had only attempted to collect the goods because the store was short-staffed and there was nobody else available to serve the customer. He awarded her €25,000 injury compensation for a storeroom accident against the Argos store in Waterford.

Claims for Burn Injuries at Work Rise by Fifty Percent

November 8th, 2013. By Compensation News.

Figures published in an Injuries Board fact sheet have revealed that claims for burn injuries at work have risen by 50 percent in the last year

According to Stephen Watkins – the Director of Corporate Services at the Injuries Board who compiled the fact sheet – compensation claims for burn injuries at work (which were submitted to the Injuries Board and the subsequent assessment accepted) increased from 28 in 2011 to 42 in 2012 (1).

Describing the 50 percent increase in claims for burn injuries at work as “worrying”, Mr Watkins wrote that €1.33 million had been awarded in compensation for burn injuries at work over the two years – adding that, during that period the average injury award had been €19,066.

The Injuries Board fact sheet also contained a selection of the most frequent reasons why burn injuries occur in the workplace:

  • Overflowing hot or boiling water
  • Burns from acids and chemicals
  • Electrical burns from faulty equipment
  • Clothes too close to a hear source catching fire
  • Burns due to splashes from hot sauces and liquids

The highest-value award of compensation for burn injuries at work (€106,949) was awarded to a chemical worker who had been badly injured in an accident involving an acid spill, but Mr Watkins stated in the fact sheet that the highest volume of claims for burn injuries at work were made by people working more with hot water – such as cleaners and kitchen staff (2).

Mr Watkins was keen not to dismiss other potential hazards in the workplace which could cause a burn injury – noting that tasks as apparently straightforward as making a hot drink could result in injury when safety precautions were ignored – and he urged employers to ensure that all safety precautions were taken to prevent burn injuries in the workplace.

Footnote (1) in 2012, the percentage of accepted assessments  made by the Injuries Board fell from 37.2 percent to 32.7 percent – implying that there may have been a further 80+ workplace burn injury claims in Ireland that were settled outside of the Injuries Board process.

Footnote (2) Because of the higher percentage of women working as cleaners and kitchen staff, female employees are three times more likely to sustain burn injuries at work (source “Summary of Workplace Injuries” published by the Health and Safety Authority).

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.

Woman Awarded Injury Compensation for an Office Accident

September 14th, 2013. By Compensation News.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compensation for a Workplace Burn Injury Resolved in Court

July 25th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A binman, who suffered an extensive eye injury when a hydraulic cable on his garbage truck split and sprayed its contents into his face, is to receive compensation for a workplace burn injury after his claim was heard in the Circuit Civil Court.

Kamil Kozlowski (30) was working in the Sandyford Road in Dublin in July 2011 when a hydraulic cable on the back of the garbage truck he was emptying bins into burst, spraying hot oil into his eyes.

An ambulance was immediately summoned, and Kamil received first aid at the scene for the burns he had received, before being taken to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital where the oil was rinsed out of his eyes and Kamil was prescribed a course of eye drops.

Kamil´s initial fears that he would be permanently blinded were fortunately unfounded, but he suffered for a month from the pain ofhis burn injury and was unable to drive until his vision fully recovered.

After seeking legal advice, Kamil – from Part West Point in Dublin – made a claim for compensation for a workplace burn injury against his employers, alleging that they had not maintained the garbage truck in a safe condition and were in breach of their duty of care.

Kamil´s employers – Panda Waste Services Ltd of Navan, County Meath – admitted their liability for his injury, but no agreement could be reached about how much compensation for the workplace burn injury Kamil was entitled to.

Eventually, the claim was resolved at the Circuit Civil Court in front of Judge Alison Lindsay who, after hearing the circumstances of Kamil´s accident and injury, awarded him €15,565 in compensation.

Hotel Worker Back Injury Claim Heard in High Court

October 26th, 2012. By Compensation News.

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

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

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

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

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

The case will go on at the High Court.

Compensation Claims against the State Forecast Expected to Rise

October 15th, 2012. By Compensation News.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man Awarded Workplace Injury Compensation for Fall from Scaffolding

June 28th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A man who fell three metres from a scaffolding tower while helping his brother make repairs to the roof of his house has been awarded 750,000 Euros in workplace injury compensation for fall from scaffolding after the settlement of his claim was approved in the High Court.

Patrick Rayner from Mitchelstown, County Cork, was helping to replace slates on his brother´s roof in Killmallock, County Limerick when the accident occurred during heavy rain in December 2008. As he leaned over the top of the scaffolding tower erected to provide access to the roof, Patrick fell three metres to the ground, sustaining a fractured skull injury.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that as a consequence of his injury Patrick has lost his hearing, has a deficit of his taste and smell senses and still suffers from frequent headaches. The judge was also told that through his spouse, Julia, Patrick made a claim for fall from scaffolding compensation; alleging that the scaffolding tower had not been secured to a permanent structure and that his brother had failed to make adequate provision for Patrick´s health and safety.

As liability for Patrick´s injuries had not been argued, and a settlement of 750,000 Euros had been agreed, the case was before Ms Justice Mary Irvine for final approval of damages only. After hearing the full details of how the accident occurred, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of workplace compensation for fall from scaffolding, stating that this was a case of the deeds of a Good Samaritan concluding in tragedy.

Work Injury Claims for Slips, Trips and Falls Most Common in Ireland

May 8th, 2012. By Compensation News.

Figures from the Injuries Board, released to coincide with “World Day for Health and Safety at Work” have revealed that work injury claims for slips, trips and falls are among the most common in Ireland.

Along with injuries suffered due to defective equipment and poor manual handling of goods, slips trips and falls in the workplace – especially in the manufacturing and production sectors – contributed substantially towards the total of 22,500,000 Euros assessed by the Injuries Board throughout 2011 in relation to work injury claims in Ireland.

Although the total value of Ireland work injuries claims decreased significantly from 2010, chief executive Patricia Byron was quick to dismiss claims that workplace health and safety in Ireland was improving by comparing work injury claims in Ireland with a smaller work force.

“While our figures point to a downward trend in the number of claims for workplace accidents,” she said “the main driver for this is a contracting workforce rather than any notable advances in workplace health and safety programmes. We understand that businesses today are under constant pressure to drive efficiencies, often operating with scarce resources, but cutting corners on employee safety is a cut too far. We are continually surprised by the volume of such foreseeable and preventable claims.”

Compensation Awarded to RTE Employee for Work Fall

February 28th, 2012. By Compensation News.

An employee of RTE, who fell and injured his elbow while trying to unsnag a curtain during a show rehearsal for The Saturday Night Show, has been awarded 18,500 Euros in work fall compensation at the Circuit Civil Court.

Arthur McMullan (59) of Goatstown, Dublin, was working for the national broadcaster as a props assistant when the incident occurred in the RTE Donnybrook studios in February 2010. While trying to unsnag the stage curtain from a mirror ball, Arthur fell over a studio floor lamp and injured his left elbow.

In his claim for work fall compensation, Arthur alleged that RTE were aware of the curtain consistently presenting a problem and, in support of his claim, the court was shown a video clip of a broadcast show in which presenter Brendan O´Connor had to hold back the curtains during a performance by doo-wop band The Overtones.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court also heard Arthur´s compensation claim for work falls support by a colleague at the RTE studios, who claimed that the curtains had been an ongoing problem for a number of years. Arthur´s legal advisors also advised the judge that Arthur still felt pain in his elbow two years after the injury had been sustained.

After hearing the evidence in relation to Arthur´s fall at work compensation claim, Judge Jacqueline Linnane awarded Arthur 18,500 Euros in compensation.

Toe Work Injury Postal Worker Awarded 16,000

October 13th, 2011. By Compensation News.

A postal worker, who damaged the big toe on his right foot when a package of floorboards fell onto it, has won his claim for toe work injury at the Circuit Court in Dublin.

Edward Pyne (61) of Balbriggan, County Dublin, brought his claim against An Post after the accident in November 2006 left him needing many operations for an ingrown toenail which had resulted from the injury. He also claimed that he had suffered from several infections which had developed in the damaged toe.

Circuit Court president, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard how An Post should have supplied steel toe-capped boots as part of a postal worker´s uniform, but Edward had long worn out the pair that had been most recently given to him three years beforehand. Consequently the shoes he was wearing on the day of the accident offered insufficient protection against such an accident occurring.

An Post denied liability for Edward´s claim, but Mr Matthew Deery heard evidence that many of Edward´s colleagues at the Balbriggan Post Office also neglected to wear the obligatory steel toe-capped footwear, and had An Post provided better supervision of their staff, the accident could have been avoided.

Upholding Edward´s claim for toe work injury, Mr Justice Matthew Deery stated that he was satisfied that An Post had failed to provide adequate protective footwear for their staff, and awarded Edward 16,000 Euros in personal injury compensation.

Fatal Farm Workplace Injuries Continue to Rise

August 27th, 2011. By Compensation News.

A conference in Dublin, organised by the Health and Safety Authority, Teagasc and the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee has heard that the number of fatal farm workplace injuries has already reached 16 this year, and is on its way to passing the twenty year high of 26 farm-related deaths in 2010.

Key speaker at the event, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, was told that the largest proportion of deaths on farms was due to accidents with machinery, but that other hazards – such as the handling of livestock and the prevention of falls – also had to be tackled.

The Minister replied by stating that “People working on farms need to be more conscious of safety requirements, in particular since in many instances they are working on their own. A significant change in mindset is required if we are to prevent further serious farm accidents”.

Mr Conveney continued by commenting “By continuously talking about and being aware of farm safety we can together bring about a change of culture and farmer thinking in this area”, and concluded his speech by saying “changing farmers´ attitudes is ultimately about self-regulation”.

The conference, which was hosted in Castleknock marked the first time that an international meeting on agricultural occupational health and safety had been held in Ireland, and speakers from the United States, Norway, Denmark, Italy and Great Britain were also in attendance.

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