Month: June 2013

Compensation for Accidents in Childcare Centres Approved in Court

Two settlements of compensation for accidents in childcare centres were approved on the same day at the High Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Michael Peart.

The first of the compensation claims for accidents in childcare centres concerned a claim brought by the father of Ella Rogerson from Navan in County Meath against the Sandy Childcare Centre in Dunshaughlin.

Ella´s father claimed that an accident in June 2010, in which his daughter had suffered a serious eye injury, was due to negligence and a breach of care by the childcare facility.

The owners of the Sandy Childcare facility had originally denied the compensation claim for an accident in a childcare centre – contesting that they were not at fault when Ella was hit in the face by a jet of water from a hose.

However, as Mr Justice Michael Peart was told, a settlement amounting to €122,000 had been agreed upon and, after hearing the circumstances of Ella´s accident, the settlement was approved.

Judge Peart was again sitting when the case of three-year-old Lauren Torpey was brought before him. Lauren – from Rathgar in Dublin – had tripped at the Giraffe Childcare Centre in June 2011 and suffered a terrible laceration to her face when she had fallen against a sharp skirting board.

On this occasion, liability for the accident had been admitted, and a negotiated settlement of compensation for accidents in childcare centres had been accepted by both parties. Again, after listening to how Lauren sustained her injury, Judge Peart approved the settlement of compensation.

Medical Negligence Claims

Medical negligence claims for compensation are acknowledged to be the most complex of all personal injury claims in Ireland and due to this the Injuries Board has no remit to process applications for assessment of medical negligence compensation.

The Injuries Board will return any assessments it receives in error, and potential plaintiffs who have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to the negligence of a medical practitioner will have to engage the service of a solicitor to pursue their claim.

Seeking legal advice about medical negligence claims can be disconcerting for a patient who is still suffering an injury from the negligent treatment – or lack of treatment – they received, but plaintiffs should not be discouraged from speaking with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

The process for claiming compensation for medical negligence usually starts with the patient (or a family member representing the patient) having an informal discussion with a solicitor about the circumstances of the injury and what the consequences of the injury have been.

If the solicitor feels that there is a claim for medical negligence compensation which has a high probability of success, he or she will ask the patient for permission to access their medical notes and these will be reviewed by an independent medical expert.

If the medical expert agrees that “under the circumstances and at the time” the loss, injury or deterioration of an existing condition could have been avoided with greater care, the expert will provide the solicitor with the evidence of negligence that the solicitor needs to support a “Letter of Claim”.

The “Letter of Claim“ is then sent to the negligent medical practitioner, hospital or private medical facility, advising them that a compensation claim for medical negligence is being made against them and, depending on the strength of evidence collected, inviting the negligent party to make an offer to settle.

Medical negligence claims in Ireland are often rigorously defended, and it may take some time before a claim for medical negligence compensation is resolved. However, court action is rarely required when there is sufficient evidence of negligence, as the party responsible for causing the injury is unlikely to want court costs added to the settlement of a claim made against them.

It is important to note that no two medical negligence claims are identical – even when the nature of the injury or its cause has happened many times before. Each claim for medical negligence compensation should be assessed on its individual merits and in relation to the personal circumstances of the plaintiff.

There are many different ways in which an injury due to medical negligence can affect a plaintiff – from the physical and emotional trauma they experience to the non-financial changes they have to make to their lives.

Any settlement of compensation for medical negligence should also take into account all the financial implications of an injury including the cost of care to look after the injured party and any income they may have lost due to the avoidable mistake made by a medical practitioner.

Therefore, it is important that an assessment of a plaintiff´s right to claim compensation for medical negligence is conducted at the earliest possible opportunity and why you should speak with an experienced medical negligence solicitor if you or a loved one have suffered an injury, a loss or the deterioration of an existing condition due to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner.

Injury Compensation due to Faulty Home Renovations Approved in Court

Two sisters, who suffered from breathing problems after a shower drain was incorrectly fitted in their family home, have had settlements of injury compensation due to faulty home renovations approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Twins Abby and Chloe Croke from Raheny in Dublin both developed respiratory difficulties following renovations to their family home in 2008. The source of the problem – fumes from the negligently fitted shower drain – was not discovered for three years, during which time Chloe (now eleven years of age) was diagnosed with asthma.

Remedial work has since been carried out on the family´s bathroom, and the health of the whole family has improved; however, the girls´ mother – Ita Croke – made claims for injury compensation due to faulty home renovations on behalf of both girls against Alpha Engineering Heat Providers Ltd of Finglas, Dublin.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that offers of settlement in both claims for injury compensation had been made by Alpha Engineering Heat Providers Ltd without admission of liability.

After hearing that the family were prepared to accept the offers of injury compensation amounting to €5,000 for each child, the judge approved the settlements.

Interim Settlement of Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Compensation Approved in Court

An interim settlement of cerebral palsy birth injury compensation relating to a thirteen-year-old boy who was born with irreversible brain damage has been approved in the High Court in Dublin.

The claim for cerebral palsy birth injury compensation was made on behalf of Ryan Brennan from Cahir, County Tipperary, by the boy´s parents following allegedly avoidable complications before and during Ryan´s birth in January 2000 at the St Joseph´s Hospital in Clonmel.

Several hours prior to his delivery, a foetal trace had identified abnormalities in Ryan´s heart rate and, after he was born, he had to be resuscitated and suffered seizures throughout the day. As a result of his delayed birth, Ryan now suffers from irreversible brain damage and cerebral palsy.

It was alleged by Ryan´s parents – Lorraine and Raymond Brennan – that Ryan´s injuries could have been avoided if the consultant obstetrician – Dr Brendan Powell – and staff at St Joseph´s Hospital had acted with greater care, and a cerebral palsy claim for birth injury compensation was made against Dr Powell and the HSE.

Both parties denied the allegations of a failure to act, negligence, a breach of duty by Dr Powell and a breach of contract by the hospital which lead to the brain damage suffered by Ryan but, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that an interim settlement of cerebral palsy birth injury compensation had been agreed upon without admission of liability.

The €1.7 million temporary payment is for two years to allow for the introduction of a structured payment system and a review of Ryan´s future requirements. Ms Justine Mary Irvine described the interim settlement as ‘in the upper parameters of these types of cases’ as she approved it.

Judge Approves Injury Compensation for an Accident in a Museum

Circuit Civil Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, has approved a settlement of injury compensation for an accident in a museum which left an eight-year-old boy with a permanent scar.

The judge heard how  Bradley Kavanagh from Dublin had been visiting the National Museum of Ireland in Benburb Street, Dublin, in 2011 with his grandfather when he tripped on what was described in court as a ‘defective floor surface’ and sustained a bad cut to his forehead just above the left eyebrow.

Bradley – who was just six-years-old at the time – was taken to the Children´s Hospital in Temple Street by ambulance, where five stitches were administered to the wound while Bradley was under a general anaesthetic.

Bradley made a claim for injury compensation for an accident in a museum through his parents and, in court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that the National Museum of Ireland had made an offer of settlement amounting to €17,000 plus €1,133 costs.

After hearing that the family were willing to accept the offer and witnessing the permanent scar on Bradley´s forehead, the judge approved the settlement.

Court Approves Assessment of Bouncy Castle Accident Compensation

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has approved an assessment of bouncy castle accident compensation for a seven-year-old-girl who was injured while visiting the Craggaunowen Living Past Experience.

The Injuries Board assessment had made in respect of a claim for bouncy castle accident compensation made on behalf of Aimee Turner from Kilmore in County Limerick by her mother – Rachel Cross – following the events of April 2010 when Aimee was struck in the face while playing on a bouncy castle situated in the grounds of the Craggaunowen Park.

A dental examination several days later revealed that damage to Aimee´s upper left central baby incisor tooth had caused bleeding in the crown of the tooth and Aimee was referred to consultant maxillofacial surgeon Michael Kilbride, who extracted the damaged tooth. It was determined that Aimee would be unlikely to suffer any permanent injury despite the tooth being removed eighteen months prematurely.

After seeking legal advice from a solicitor, Aimee´s mother made a claim for bouncy castle accident compensation against the owners of the Living Past Experience on the grounds that the activity area should have been supervised at the time of her daughter´s accident. The owners of the site acknowledged their liability for Aimee´s injury and an application for assessment of bouncy castle accident compensation was submitted to the Injuries Board.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke approved the assessment of the claim; which consisted of €5,000 compensation for pain and suffering Aimee experienced due to her tooth injury and €1,624 special damages for the costs incurred by Aimee´s mother in seeking dental treatment for her daughter and bringing the claim for bouncy castle accident compensation.