Month: November 2015

Girl´s Claim for the Loss of Sight in a Car Crash Resolved at Court

A teenage girl´s claim for the loss of sight in a car crash has been resolved at the High Court with the approval of a €1.3 million settlement.

On 26th November 2005, Beth Cullen lost the sight in her left eye as a result of being injured in a car crash on the “Nine Bends” stretch of the N11 near Ballinameesda. In addition to suffering an eye injury, Beth – from Kilmacanogue in County Wicklow – lost her hearing in her left ear and her sense of smell.

On behalf of his daughter, William Cullen made a compensation claim for the loss of sight in a car crash against Beth´s mother – Caroline Barrett – who had been driving Beth and who was considered responsible for causing the crash through a lack of care and attention.

The claim alleged that Beth´s mother had failed to steer, stop, swerve or manage the car prior to the crash. It was also claimed that, through her lack of care and attention, Barrett had demonstrated a lack of adequate regard for the safety of her daughter.

Liability was conceded by Barrett´s insurers, and a €1.3 million settlement was agreed. As the claim for the loss of sight in a car crash had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Beth´s best interests.

The approval hearing at the High Court took place recently before Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross was told the circumstances of the accident and the injuries that Beth – who was six years old at the time – had sustained.

After hearing that Beth was doing well at school despite her difficulties, Judge Cross approved the settlement and wished Beth well for the future. The settlement will now be paid into an interest-bearing account and managed by the High Court until Beth turns eighteen years of age in 2017.

Dublin Man Awarded Compensation for Back Injury in Factory Accident

A man from Stoneybatter in Dublin has been awarded €46,000 compensation for a back injury in a factory accident after a hearing at the High Court.

Daniel Hanley (24) made his claim for compensation for a back injury in a factory accident after slipping of small pieces of granite that had been spilled onto the floor and falling at the Castolin Eutectic manufacturing plant in the Magna Business Park.

Daniel – who had been pushing a pallet truck at the time – was taken to hospital, where he received treatment for soft tissue damage. His injury caused him to have six weeks off from work, and his back still troubles him and prevents him from leading a fully active life.

Daniel applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation for a back injury in a factory accident. However, Castolin Eutectic declined to give its consent for an assessment to proceed, and Daniel was given an Authorisation to pursue his claim through the court system.

The case was heard earlier this week by Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who listened to allegations that the floor surface at the Magna Business Park plant was not fit and suitable for purpose, and that Castolin Eutectic had been negligent by failing to implement a safe system of work.

Representatives of Castolin Eutectic argued that Daniel´s accident was due to his own negligence, but the judge also heard there had been a number of slip and fall accidents due to graphite spills in the period leading up to Daniel´s accident.

The judge ruled in Daniel´s favour – commenting that the company´s management had failed to implement safety measures that could have prevented Daniel´s accident. Judge Cross commented there was no suggestion that Daniel had been doing anything wrong or had contributed to the cause of his accident.

He added that, based on the testimonies he had heard, it was likely that there was at least a small amount of graphite on the floor at the time Daniel slipped and fell. Judge Cross awarded Daniel €46,000 compensation for a back injury in a factory accident.

Dunnes Slip and Fall Injury Claim Resolved in Circuit Civil Court

A shopper, who aggravated an existing condition when she slipped on a potato wedge, has resolved her Dunnes slip and fall injury claim at the Circuit Civil Court.

Sixty-year-old Anna Manning was shopping in her local Dunnes Stores in Clondalkin, Dublin, when she slipped on a discarded potato wedge and fell. As she initially believed she had suffered no injury, she allowed staff members help her to her feet. However the following day she attended her GP complaining of pains in her back and neck.

Following the November 2011 accident, Anna made a Dunnes slip and fall injury claim, alleging that the store had been negligent in failing to clear up an earlier spill of potato wedges. Dunnes Stores denied its liability for Anna´s injuries, and the Injuries Board issued her with an Authorisation after consent to process Anna´s application for assessment was denied.

The Dunnes slip and fall injury claim was heard recently at the Circuit Civil Court. At the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that Anna had a history of back and neck pain, and that her pre-existing condition had been aggravated by the accident. The judge also heard that, as a result of the accident, Anna had developed wrist pain that affected her quality of life.

Dunnes Stores prepared a full defence against Anna´s claim and argued that she had contributed to her injuries by her own lack of care. The judge dismissed the claim of contributory negligence and said that Anna was a “very poor candidate” for a slip and fall in Dunnes Stores due to her previous medical history.

Judge Groarke found in Anna´s favour and awarded her €22,900 in settlement of her Dunnes slip and fall injury claim. He commented that, on the balance of probabilities, the potato wedge on which Anna had slipped and fallen had been a “brother or sister” of the wedges that had been cleared up earlier, and that Dunnes Stores was responsible for Anna´s injuries due to the failure to perform a thorough clear up of the spill.

Flight Attendant Brings Claim for Injuries due to a Bumpy Plane Landing

An Aer Lingus flight attendant has brought a claim for injuries due to a bumpy plane landing in respect of a November 2009 flight from Malaga to Dublin.

The claim for injuries due to a bumpy plane landing was brought by Cassandra Reddin (33) from Ratoath in County Meath who, on 19th November 2009, was a member of the flight crew on Aer Lingus flight EI582 flying into Dublin Airport from Malaga in Spain.

According to information provided in the claim, the Airbus 320 began to sway as it approached Dublin Airport and descended much faster than normal. When the plane landed on the runway, it bounced three times and did not stop as quickly as it normally would.

Due to the impact of the plane on the runway, Cassandra brought a claim for injuries due to a bumpy plane landing for whiplash-like injuries to her neck and back. She also alleges she feared that the plane would not stop before the end of the runway and that it was going to crash.

Cassandra applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim for injuries due to a bumpy plane landing, but Aer Lingus denied consent for the assessment to proceed. The Injuries Board subsequently issued Cassandra with an authorisation to pursue her claim through the courts.

The High Court hearing started earlier this week with Cassandra explaining to Mr Justice Michael Hanna that the bumpy landing caused the overhead luggage lockers to open and luggage to fall on top of passengers. Cassandra told the judge “There was a degree of chaos and stress on board.”

Cassandra also gave evidence that, in addition to her soft tissue injuries, she had suffered shock due to the bumpy landing and had cried the whole evening when she had got home. She told the court that in her opinion the cause of the bumpy landing was the co-pilot´s negligence in failing to adequately supervise the landing of the plane. The High Court hearing continues today.

Plaintiffs Awarded Compensation for being Rear-Ended by a Van

Four plaintiffs have been awarded compensation for being rear-ended by a van despite the defendants questioning the circumstances of the accident.

On 18th October 2011, Mary O´Reilly from Charleville in County Cork was driving her husband´s SUV to Rathkeale. Travelling as passengers in the SUV were Lisa O´Reilly, Caitriona McDonagh and Breda McCarthy.

As the vehicle was approaching Rathkeale, Mary slowed on the approach to a roundabout. Just then she was rear-ended by a hire van driven by Jeremiah O´Brien. Mary and her three passengers all suffered injuries in the accident – but none were injured seriously enough to require immediate medical attention.

Mary later started to experience pains in her back and up her arms and neck. She attended Mallow Hospital, where she received treatment to relieve the pain and help her sleep at night. Lisa, Catriona and Breda all developed similar back pain symptoms within a short period of time.

All four women in the SUV claimed compensation for being rear-ended in a van from O´Brien, from Enterprise Rent a Car and from the Motors Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Mary´s husband – William – also claimed compensation for the material damage to his vehicle.

The car rental company and MIBI contested the validity of the claim. They argued that the circumstances of the accident were questionable and that two of the plaintiffs had received personal injury awards for similar accidents in the past. They also alleged that William O´Reilly and Jeremiah O´Brien were known to each other.

The claim for compensation for being rear-ended by a van went to the Circuit Court in Limerick, where it was heard by Judge Karen Fergus. Counsel for the defendants argued that the circumstances of the accident did not stand up to scrutiny, and Garda William McElligott gave evidence that, when he got to the scene of the accident, he did not note any damage to either vehicle.

However, after hearing evidence from four of the five plaintiffs – Lisa O´Reilly had settled her claim out of court – the judge found in their favour. She awarded Mary O´Reilly €7,500 compensation for being rear-ended by a van, Caitriona McDonagh €10,000 and Breda McCarthy €12,000. William O´Reilly was also awarded €4,800 for the material damage to his vehicle.

Settlement of Compensation for a Severed Fingertip Approved in Court

A Circuit Civil Court judge has approved a €40,000 settlement of compensation for a severed fingertip accident in favour of a nine-year-old girl.

Julia Roman from Lucan in County Dublin severed her fingertip and lost a nail in November 2012, when she caught her finger between the doors of the local Doc Morris Pharmacy. Julia – who was just six years old at the time of her accident – was taken to the Emergency Department of Our Lady´s Children´s Hospital in Crumlin by her father.

Doctors were able to reattach the severed fingertip while Julia was under a general anaesthetic and the little girl had to attend the hospital several more times so that doctors could check on how she was recovering from her injury. Now nine years of age, Julia has a small scar on the bulb of her finger.

On her daughter’s behalf, Elena Roman made a claim for compensation for a severed fingertip against the owners of the Doc Morris Pharmacy – Unicare Pharmacy Ltd – and Lovco Cleaning and Building Services of Tallaght in Dublin – the company that had installed the doors between which Julia had caught her finger.

Liability for Julia’s injury was conceded by the two defendants, and an offer of compensation for a severed fingertip was proposed to the family amounting to €40,000. The family agreed to the settlement but, before Julia’s claim could be resolved, the proposal had to be approved by a judge to ensure that it was appropriate for the degree of her injury.

Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard how Julia’s accident happened, and heard from Julia that she had to give up playing the piano because of the pain in her finger. Judge Groarke approved the settlement of compensation for a severed fingertip and closed the case.