A judge at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin has resolved an acupuncture injury compensation claim, made by a UCD student who had volunteered to participate in a Chinese medicine training course.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard how, in April 2010, forty-five year old Bernadette Poleon from Dunboyne, County Meath, volunteered to participate in a training course in acupuncture that was being held at the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Dublin.
During the training course, one of the exercises involved a student inserting needles below each of Bernadette´s eyes. After being inspected by the course supervisor, the needle below Bernadette´s right eye was repositioned but later in the day, the skin surrounding Bernadette´s left eye became tender and swollen.
Within two days significant bruising developed around Bernadette´s left eye and, although the tenderness and swelling disappeared a few days later, the discolouring around Bernadette´s eye lasted a further seven weeks. Bernadette also developed a sinus problem, for which she is still receiving treatment from her GP.
After seeking legal advice, Bernadette made an acupuncture injury compensation claim against Bellfield Consultants Ltd who are the owners of the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Bellfield Consultants Ltd denied their responsibility for Bernadette´s eye injury and made a full defence against the acupuncture injury compensation claim when court proceedings were issued.
However, before the case was to be heard before Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court, the judge was informed that – by consent – the case was now before her for the assessment of acupuncture injury compensation only.
After hearing how Bernadette´s injury was acquired, and the embarrassment she had felt when explaining how her injury was sustained while the black eye was still visible, the judge awarded Bernadette €6,000 in settlement of her acupuncture injury compensation claim and costs.