Month: February 2015

Compensation for a Broken Leg in a Pedestrian Accident Awarded at Court

A man who was run over by a car on the way to the pub for a quiet drink has been awarded €177,630 compensation for a broken leg in a pedestrian accident by a judge in Limerick.

Lightning struck twice for Edmund Quinlan (72) of Garryspillane in County Limerick when, on 5th March 2010, he was run down by a car while walking from his home to the local pub for a quiet drink with his friends and a game of cards.

In 2004 Edmund had been the victim of a similar accident on the same stretch of road and, for the second time in six years, his right leg suffered extensive fractures. Edmund spent several months in hospital recovering from his injuries, during which time he spent ten weeks with his leg placed in balanced suspension.

When he was released from hospital, Edmund sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a broken leg in a pedestrian accident from the negligent driver. Full liability for Edmund´s injuries was disputed by the driver, who acknowledged that he had failed to see the former council worker due to the setting sun, but who claimed that Edmund was swaying across the road as if he had been drinking.

As there was a doubt about Edmund´s contributory negligence, the Injuries Board declined to assess Edmund´s application for compensation for a broken leg in a pedestrian accident, and instead issued an authorisation for his claim to be heard in court.

However, the day prior to the scheduled hearing at the High Court in Limerick, the allegations that Edmund had been drinking were withdrawn, and the case went before Mr Justice Paul McDermott for the assessment of damages only.

At the hearing, evidence was presented by Edmund´s surgeon – Dr Thomas Burke – who said that his patient had made a near-miraculous recovery from his leg injuries, but due to Edmund´s increasing frailty he was now living in a nursing home.

Judge McDermott commented that Dr Burke should be proud of what he has achieved in his treatment of Edmund, and awarded Edmund €177,630 compensation for a broken leg in a car accident – which included €115,000 general damages for Edmund´s injury and suffering, and €62,630 special damages to pay for his ongoing medical and nursing home costs.

Claim for Passenger Injuries due to Whiplash Resolved at Court Hearing

A claim for passenger injuries due to whiplash has been resolved in a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Twenty-year-old John Connors from Saggart in County Dublin was a passenger in his aunt´s car when she inadvertently hit a wall alongside the Kiltipper Road in Tallaght on 2nd December 2010.

John, who was only fifteen-years-old at the time of the accident, was treated at the Tallaght Hospital in Dublin for neck and back soft tissue injuries, and he returned to the hospital on several more occasions for physiotherapy.

On behalf of his son, John´s father made a claim for passenger injuries due to whiplash against his aunt – Bridget Connors. Liability for John´s injuries was admitted, but the Injuries Board assessment of compensation was contested, and the case went to the Circuit Civil Court to be resolved.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that confusion existed over John´s claim for passenger injuries due to whiplash as a similar action being pursued in County Cork.

John told Judge Groarke that his father (now deceased) had previously taken him to see a firm of solicitors after the car accident, but he did not know who they were or where to find them.

As the claim for passenger injuries due to whiplash was before Judge Groarke for the assessment of damages only, the judge asked John whether he suffered any long-term consequences from the accident in his aunt´s car.

John replied that the injuries to the soft tissues in his back and neck had healed, but he suffered from an unrelated liver condition that stopped him from drinking alcohol and that would eventually lead to premature aging.

Judge Groarke awarded John €10,000 in settlement of his claim for passenger injuries due to whiplash. The judge also awarded John the costs of bringing his legal action and said that it had not been denied that John had suffered some level of soft tissue injuries as a result of the accident.

TUSLA Delaying Investigations into Residential Care Child Abuse Claims

The Irish Mirror has alleged that the HSE Child and Family Agency – TUSLA – is delaying investigations in to residential care child abuse claims.

The Irish Mirror´s allegations are based on details the newspaper has received relating to complaints made to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the length of time it has taken TUSLA to resolve them.

HIQA does not have the statutory authority to investigate allegations of poor standards in private and voluntarily run care home and foster homes, and consequently it is the role of TUSLA to investigate residential care child abuse claims in such cases.

The residential care child abuse claims published by the newspaper reveal an alarming catalogue of neglect and a failure in the duty of care owed to children by the homes in which they are placed. They also reveal how the HSE´s Child and Family Agency is also failing in its duty of care.

In one scenario published by the Irish Mirror, it took eighty days for the agency to respond to a series of communications initiated by a concerned grandparent. In another scenario it was only following the intervention of Gardai that a social worker was removed from her post.

Other examples of residential child abuse claims that were referred to HIQA after failing to be investigated by TUSLA included allegations of physical and sexual abuse of two children in foster care in Wexford and allegations of bullying and sexual abuse at a children´s residential centre in Waterford

HIQA received residential care child abuse claims at a rate of more than one a week between 2012 and 2014, prompting Fianna Fail’s spokesman for children – Robert Troy – to claim that TUSLA was in “dereliction of duty”.

A spokesperson for TUSLA told the Irish Mirror: “[TUSLA] takes complaints from every source very seriously. All complaints are looked into within 30 working days. In the event that it takes longer, TUSLA keeps the complainant updated on a regular basis”.