Month: February 2014

Woman Settles Injury Compensation Claim against Irish Rail

A woman who broke her ankle when she slipped on ice at Connolly Station in Dublin has settled her injury compensation claim against Irish Rail after a hearing at the High Court.

Ciara Morgan (32) from Kentstown in County Meath was returning from a Christmas shopping trip in Belfast on 10th December 2010, when the train she was travelling on arrived at Connolly Station in Dublin.

The platform at which the train stopped had been exposed to the elements throughout the day and, as she stepped down from the train carriage onto the platform, Ciara slipped on the icy surface and broke her ankle as she fell.

Ciara – who works as a clerical assistant for the Health Service Executive – was assisted at the scene of her accident by an Irish Rail employee, but spent the Christmas period with a plaster cast over her foot and was unable to return to work for eight weeks.

In her subsequent injury compensation claim against Irish Rail, Ciara alleged that she sustained a back injury in the accident which still troubles her now and prevents her from picking up her small child or wearing high-heeled shoes.

Irish Rails admitted that it was negligent for failing to grit the platform, clear the snow before it had compacted on it, or give any warning of ice on the platform, but contested the extent of Ciara´s injuries and the case went to the High Court for the assessment of damages.

At the High Court Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon heard how the Irish Rail worker had tried to assist Ciara by placing her in a shopping trolley while waiting for a wheelchair to be located. In a scenario described in court as “hapless and comical”, Ciara explained that her back injury was a result of falling from the shopping trolley.

Ciara told Judge O´Hanlon “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.” The judge subsequently awarded her €50,000 in settlement of her injury compensation claim against Irish Rail.

Compensation for High Speed Crash Injuries Approved in Court

A €10 million settlement of compensation for high speed crash injuries for a female passenger has been approved by the High Court after a hearing in Dublin.

Lydia Branley from Kinlough in Country Leitrim suffered life-changing injuries when a car she was travelling in as a passenger in September 2010 left the N4 at the Ballisodare slip road at a speed of 150km/hour, hit two crash barriers and a pole, and landed upside down in a stream.

The driver and a second male passenger were thrown clear from the BMW Coupe as it crashed; but twenty-eight year old Lydia – who had been wearing a seatbelt – had to be rescued from the wreckage of the car and was taken by ambulance to Sligo General Hospital.

When the extent of her injuries became clear, Lydia was transferred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where she remained in a coma for nine months. When she woke from the coma, Lydia found that she was unable to use her arms and legs, communicate by speech or feed herself.

Martin Kearney from Balinoo in County Mayo – himself hospitalised for seven weeks – was charged with dangerous driving causing serious harm, and in June 2012, convicted of the charge, sent to prison for six years and banned from driving for twenty years.

Lydia claimed compensation for high speed crash injuries against Martin Kearney and his father Michael Kearney in the father´s capacity as owner of the car. Liability for Lydia´s injuries was accepted and a settlement of €10 million was negotiated.

Because of Lydia´s lack of communication, the settlement of compensation for high speed crash injuries had to be approved by a judge and Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court in Dublin heard the circumstances of the car accident and how Lydia´s injuries mean she will need full-time care for the rest of her life.

Describing the compensation settlement as “excellent”, Judge Irvine approved it, saying “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.”

Chef Injured in Work Team Building Activity Resolves Claim Out of Court

A hotel chef, injured in a work team building activity, has resolved his compensation claim for a broken wrist out of court.

Cathal Kavanagh (54) from Ongar in Dublin – an executive chef at the four star Carton House Spa and Golf Hotel in Maynooth, County Kildare – attended a team-building day in October 2006 organised by his employer at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge.

During the day, Cathal and other managers from the hotel were asked to participate in various activities; including a relay race in which the managers were divided into two teams and then asked to hop forwards and then run backwards to pass the baton to the next team member.

During the relay race, Cathal slipped and he broke his wrist when he fell. After speaking with a solicitor, Cathal made a compensation claim for being injured in a work team building activity against his employer, the Riverbank Arts Centre and the company that had organised the team building day – JikiJela Ltd of Tubbercurry, County Sligo.

Cathal alleged in his compensation claim for being injured in a work team building activity that the three defendants had been negligent by failing to ensure that the activities were safe or that there was any risk on an injury occurring. The three allegedly negligent parties denied their liability for Cathal´s slip and fall injury and an Authorisation was issued by the Injuries Board for Cathal´s claim to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court.

However, when re-convening after the lunch break on the first day of the hearing, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that Cathal had resolved his claim for being injured in a work team building activity and that the case could now be struck out.

Judge Awards Compensation for Injuries Sustained at a Birthday Party

A judge has awarded compensation for injuries sustained at a birthday party to a young boy who was hit on the head by a toy brick during his own birthday celebrations.

The accident occurred to the unnamed child as he was celebrating his sixth birthday at the Malin Head Community Centre in Donegal on November 6th 2012. According to his family´s solicitor, the child had been left unsupervised during the birthday celebrations and had been hit on the head by another child with a toy brick.

Judge Keenan Johnson was told that the child has sustained serious head injuries and been scarred for life. The family´s solicitor produced a report from a consultant plastic surgeon in which the consultant confirmed “the boy suffered a 2cm scar, which is narrow and of a pale nature but it is permanent and has led to a minor degree of disfigurement.”

The judge heard that the Malin head Community Centre had offered the boy´s family €15,000 compensation for the injuries sustained at the birthday party, but the judge was not satisfied that the settlement was sufficient. After examining the boy´s injuries in his private chambers, the judge suggested that a settlement of €20,000 was more appropriate.

Representatives of the Malin Head Community Centre immediately contacted their insurers, who agreed to the revised settlement. Judge Johnson subsequently approved the settlement and the case was closed.