Category: Claims

Personal Injury Award Award for Woman Who Fell on Muffin in Shop Injury Claim after Woman Slipped on Muffin

A personal injury award was recently approved at the High Court in favour of a woman who claimed that slipping on a muffin in a shop left her invalided.

The slip occurred at McGoldrick’s Londis, Main Street, Dromahair, Co Leitrim n August 23, 2012. Ms  Olivia Harte Lynch, with an address at 46 Skreeney, Manorhamiliton Co Leitrim, alleged that, have trodden on a disregarded muffin on the shop floor she fell and sustained injuries. Shoe took the personal injury compensation claim against shop owners JNF McGoldrick Ltd.

Via her legal counsel Ms Harte Lynch informed the Judge that she “has been rendered an invalid” as a result of the unfortunate incident that tool place eight years ago. She alleged that she landed on her back on the floor of the Londis shop after her legs gave way. It was further claims that the accident occurred as the muffin had been left in a dangerous position for customers and shop staff on the shop floor. Furthermore there neglect on behalf of the shop management as no attempt had been made to clear up the muffin or put warning signs in place.

The shop management denied all of these claims and countered that there was a degree of contributory negligence involved on Ms Harte Lynch’s behalf.  refutes all of these claims and that Ms Harte Lynch’s fall took place due to any negligence on their part. Counsel for representing Londis, Jonathan Kilfeather SC, advised presiding Judge Bernard Barton that there is no question that Ms Harte Lynch slipped and fell in the shop.

Mr Kilfeather went on to say that his client is not alleging that the accident was in any way staged. However, he made reference to the fact the both sides had presented medical testimony that was “diametrically opposed” during the hearing. While the defendants were anxious that the hearing proceed and the case be brought to a close he informed the judge that there was a lack of agreement in relation to the extent of the injuries sustained by Ms Harte Lynch.

The hearing was adjourned a number of weeks before returning and Justice Bernard Barton informed that a settlement agreement had been reached for an undisclosed figure.

$10.9bn Roundup Compensation Settlement Agreed by Bayer

Bayer, the German drugs and pesticides maker which purchased Monsanto during 2018, has agreed to pay as much as $10.9bn to settle thousands of US-based legal actions taken in relation to users of weed killer Roundup developing cancer.

Three cases that have already gone to trial are not included in the settlement. $5bn of the settlement is due to be paid before the end of 2020, with the same amount being paid the following year. The settlement will be financed using the the company’s existing free cash flow and the proceeds of the recent sale of its Animal Health business.

This settlement represents around three quarters of the claims taken in relation to Roundup and is the result of talks that have lasted more than one year. The claims, almost 125,000 filed and unfiled, were inherited by Bayer when they purchased Monsanto in 2018.

The allegations that were made by former Roundup users included that glyphosate is to blame for their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. However, Bayer, denies glyphosate is a carcinogen and this contention is backed up by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In relation to the settlement Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann commented: “The Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end.” The settled cases connected with Roundup use and other glyphosate-based weedkillers account for about 95% of those currently set for trial.

The settlement figure includes $1.25 billion to support another class agreement in relation to possible future litigation and another allowance that makes provision for unresolved claims.

Bayer has consistently denied allegations that Roundup or its active ingredient glyphosate can lead to cancer based on the many years of independent research which say that the product is safe for human use. In April Bayer regained shareholder approval for its handling of the litigation.

Settlement mediator Ken Feinberg revealed that 25,000 claims remain unsettled and, due to this, there will be more trials as cases settle in coming months. He commented: “Bayer wisely decided to settle the litigation rather than roll the dice in American court.”

Monsanto put Roundup on the market during the 1970s. Bayer also said that they will not be adding a cancer warning label on the product.

Healthcare Volunteer Admits Drugging & Sexually Assaulting Teenagers

A Kildare Man, who cannot be identified, has pleaded guilty to oral rape of one boy and abusing another boy during 2018

The 29-year-old man was a member of a voluntary paramedic organisation and was accused of drugging the boys with a strong pain relief medication. In addition to this admitted to arranging a get together with the child with the aim of sexual exploitation and aiding and facilitating the production of child pornography.

The man is due to be sentenced next Wednesday. He has been suspended from his volunteer position since the accusations were initially made. He was also suspended from a nursing course he was studying at the time which included a placement at a National Children’s Hospital.

The Judge was told that, on one occasion, he assaulted a 15-year-old boy by forcing him to use an oxygen mask to inhale the drug before abusing him. On a different occasion he assaulted the boy and allowed him to be filmed with a camera phone.

He was also accused of assaulting another child on May 18th, 2018 at a place in south Dublin and in the Wicklow mountains. As part of his guilty plea he admitted stealing medicinal items, including a vial of Penthrox and a carbon dioxide chamber from Naas racecourse during 2018. Penthrox is an analgesic normally prescribed by medical practitioners, the Defence Forces, ambulance paramedics, sports clubs and surf lifesavers to alleviate the effects of pain. Administration takes place by using a green whistle to inhale the contents of a vial. Penthrox includes an active ingredient known as Methoxyflurane.

In court medical experts said that Penthrox should not be administered to those who are not yet 18 years of age. There was further evidence who show that the accused removed a filter from the device, something that would cause the drug to be four times stronger and lead to cases of memory loss. The Judge was informed that the defendant’s Internet search history included terms like “nitrous oxide side effects”, “Penthrox and knock out”, and “how much Methoxyflurane does it take to knock you out”.

Counsel for the defence, James Dwyer SC, submitted  plea for mitigation on behalf of his client, saying that the individual regrets his actions and the hurt he caused the boys.

€9,500 Awarded to Woman Fired by her Ex-Husband

The Workplace Relations Commission was directed a publican, retailer and post office operator to pay his ex-wife €9,500 for her unfair dismissal from the family business.

The woman was relieved of her position in the family business during June 2019 after an investigation into her ‘top-up’ withdrawals of €1,000 at a time from the business to the couple’s personal joint account.

The woman – who was also a director of the business – took a legal action for unfair dismissal to the Workplace Relations Commission as a result of this.

Ms McElduff told the hearing that the manner of her termination from her position had fallen “far short of the requirements of any fair disciplinary procedure” and added that she was not forewarned that she may be dismissed.

The hearing was told that an independent investigator discovered that, from February 5, 2018, and February 14, 2019, €25,160 was transferred online to the joint personal bank account of the husband and wife in 19 separate transactions.

In addition to this, from August 31, 2017, and November 30, 2018, a total of €30,250 in 29 separate transactions was also lodged into the joint personal bank account of the husband and wife as cash lodgements. The husband said he exercised no control over the joint account.

She was informed, in a letter of dismissal that this was “totally unacceptable”. The complainant told the hearing that she had been advised by an accountant in the company’s accountancy practice that she could top up her wages by withdrawals of €1,000. She added that she was certain that she had transferred the money in a transparent manner.

The married couple split up during September 2017 and the woman has issued judicial separation proceedings.

Presifing WRC adjudication officer Anne McElduff ruled the woman’s claim was well founded.

 

 

Compensation Claim Filed Against Aer Lingus in Relation to Passenger Treatment

In the United States an Aer Lingus passenger has filed a legal action after she was allegedly injured in an incident where flight attendants removed her from aeroplane toilet just before take off.

The women in question, American citizen Mary Oshana is claiming that she was forcibly taken to her seat while her pants were still below her knees, exposing her buttocks and genitalia to other passengers. In addition to this she is claiming that she sustained an injury to her hip was injured during the incident.

Ms Oshana, from Skokie, Illinois, submitted her legal action seeking compensation in relation to the Aer Lingus flight crew who behaved “unreasonably, carelessly, and negligently”.

The complaint, which was submitted in District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, stated that the incident occurred shortly before a flight from Chicago to Dublin took off on April 26, 2018. It said that the flight taxied from the departure gate at O’Hare International Airport. However, it came to a halt and remained stopped on the tarmac for around 30 minutes before it taxied on towards the runway for take-off. It was during this time that Ms Oshana decided to leave her seat to go to the toilet.

She claims that about 20 seconds after entering the toilet she became aware that one or more persons were banging on the door, informing her she needed to return to her seat. However, by this stage she was seated on the toilet with her pants down. She informed these people that she would do as they requested “in just a minute”.

The filing states that two Aer Lingus flight attendants “broke through the lavatory door, grabbed the plaintiff under her arms, dragged her to her seat while her pants were below her knees, and threw her with great force into the arm rest and seat. In the process of being thrown with great force into the arm rest and seat, the plaintiff, Mary Oshana, suffered pain and bruising in her hip, thighs and buttocks.

Her lawyers claim the incident falls within the terms of the Montreal Convention, a treaty covering damages for victims of incidents on airlines. Aer Lingus did no comment on the claims.this.”

The court has scheduled a status hearing in early June.

 

Creche Assault Case Adjourned Until June

A jury in the trial of a childcare worker accused of sexually assaulting four girls in a Leinster crèche has requested additional time to continue deliberations on the outstanding charges in the case.

The jury on Monday failed to reach a number of verdicts, despite acquitted the man on three charges relating to the first girl, and acquitted of both charges in relation to the fourth girl.

However the jury then asked Judge Elma Sheahan for more time to consider the remaining charges against the 29-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children.

The man had pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of sexually assaulting the girls at the crèche on dates between August 2014 and December 2016, when they were aged between five and eight years old. The prosecution alleged the accused man had sexually assaulted the girls, who were all part of a “small circle of friends”.

However, legal representatives for the defence claimed that the case was “marked by its failure to listen to the children” and that the man had been left “utterly devastated” by the false allegations made against him.

In Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday the trial jury informed the presiding Judge that it was could not come to a unanimous verdict in relation to the remaining 18 counts of sexual assault after deliberating for 21 hours and 41 minutes.

Judge Sheahan adjourned the matter to June 16 and thanked the jury for their service while remanding the man on continuing bail,

 

 

Child Injury Compensation Award of €55,000 Due to Tree Stump Accident

10-year-old  Diarmuid O’Connor from Knocklyon has been has a €55,000 school camp compensation settlement agreed at the High Court in relation to an accident where he cut his knee on a tree stump when he was left unsupervised at a mid-term camp in Dundrum.

Diarmuid, now 15 years old, was just 10 years of age when the incident took place. He was exploring, with friends, among some bushes during the morning break at the art camp. No one was supervising him at the time. It was during this time that accident took place. He cut his leg quite badly in the incident and presiding Judge Garrett Simon was informed that he (Diarmuid) is now too self conscious about the wound to wear shorts during warm weather.

The claim was settled with the proprietors of the camp Artzone Ltd. The Court was informed that Artzone Ltd was responsible for the operation of art camps during February 19, 2016 when the accident took place. The venue for the camp that Diarmuid was attending was Taney Parish Hall, Dundrum, Dublin.

Diarmuid , the judge was informed, had gone for an unsupervised walk with some of his peers during the break time at the camp. As a group, they entered a region of the camp that was particularly bushy. At this time his fell across a tree stump, cutting his leg severely. Camp staff came to his aid and called an ambulance to bring him for further medical attention. They brought the other young boys away from the camp before the ambulance attended the scene.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons gave his approval for the school camps compensation settlement, saying it was a good settlement as Diarmuid had been left with a scar which clearer had a psychological impact upon him.

Taking the legal action via his mother Jacinta O’Connor, Diarmuid now currently lives at Ashton Avenue, Knocklyon, Dublin,

As a full trial hearing may have had issues relating to supervision, Justice Simons said that he was happy with the agreed settlement.

Catholic Church Facing Compensation Cases in Relation to Illegal Adoptions

The first of many expected compensation claims in relation to illegal adoptions, arranged by the Catholic Church of children born in the Republic of Ireland, has been registered at the High Court. 

148 people are now involved in the cases about the adoptions which involved forging birth certificates and other baptismal records. This number has grown since it was first revealed as 126 by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar 20 months in May 2018. The Taoiseach, speaking at the time, told the Dáil that the disclosures of the adoptions amounted to “another chapter from the very dark history of our country” which had “robbed children – our fellow citizens – of their identity”

The plaintiff in this particular case is well known Belfast actor Patrick FitzSymons, who was born to an unmarried couple in Co Clare in the 1960s. His parents, trying to avoid the stigma of having a child out of wedlock permitted the Catholic church agency St Patrick’s Guild to have him adopted to a married couple in Co Antrim. 

Mr FitzSymons said that his adoptive parents, who are now both deceased had “loved me and provided for me as best they could’ and that his “natural parents, my birth mother in particular, had endured the institutional shaming and disapproval of Ireland at that time to do what she thought to be the right thing”.

During summer 2018, Mr FitzSymons was told by Tusla his births was mistakenly registered between 1946 and 1969 by the Dublin-based St Patrick’s Guild.

He has previously spoken about the emotional suffering of both sets of parents to the incident. He remarked: “My natural parents, my birth mother in particular, had endured the institutional shaming and disapproval of Ireland at that time to do what she thought to be the right thing.”

He also spoke about how he discovered that he was adopted. He said: “My adopted mother and I were forever falling out, partly about religion. She possibly felt she had not properly fulfilled her promise to bring me up as a Catholic – because that had been the only stipulation. Rather cryptically, in a letter, I had written something along the lines ‘if you want to talk to kids you should talk to people who have had kids of their own’. I can’t remember what the context of that was. But one evening I was just having a regular visit with her and she asked if I had ever had the intuition that I was adopted. I just said ‘no’ and she said: ‘There’s something I need to tell you’. Well, the bottom fell out of my world. She said it was only fair that I did know. Perhaps she had been planning to tell me anyway.”

The legal firm handling Mr FitzSymon’s case, Dublin-based Coleman Legal Partners, are handling 25 similar cases, at present, and are expecting that number to grow even more. .

Mr FitzSymons solicitor, Norman Spicer of Coleman Legal Partners. said that the firm is handling a number of cases like this but admitted that there are no plans to apply for a “class action” order because of the complexity of the individual cases.

He said: “There is no provision for the North American-style of ‘class action’ under Irish law. However, a court has discretion to grant an order which may mirror to some extent the other system for a specific case or set of cases. We do not envisage making such an application. These are complex cases involving many different defendants, as a result it is difficult to say how long these cases will take as it depends on all of the parties involved and how quickly responses, replies and motions, and so on, can be turned around. Three years (the estimated time the case will take to process) would not be an unreasonable time frame but this is dependent upon many factors and is really only a ‘ballpark’ estimate.”

 

 

 

 

 

School Door Accident Compensation of €10,000 Awarded to Young Girl

A girl from Dublin, who suffered a slightly stunted finger injury after her hand was caught in in a door in her primary school, has been awarded school door accident compensation of €10,000 at Dublin District Court.

The second class pupil took the personal injury compensation action via her mother against Knockmore Junior School, located in Tallaght, in relation to the injuries she sustained in 2017.

The district court was informed that the young girl got her little finger caught in a doorway. In an attempt to settle the case an offer of €10,000 was made. In court medical reports and pictures of the hand injury were provided to Judge Michael Coghlan.

The judge was advised that medical reports indicated the girl’s hand was completely rehabilitated within three months. Her finger was slightly stunted, by 20pc, in comparison the same finger on her other hand,  and there was slight disfigurement in that finger. She experienced pain when getting nails cut had been an issue but this has not subsided in the intervening two and a half years, counsel said.

The judge asked that the girl be brought close to the judge so he could look at her hands. Judge Coghlan said that they were right to bring it to his attention. However, he was not happy it was a major injury deformity and not going to inflict embarrassment.

In relation to it looking different to the same finger on her other hand, he said, it was unlucky it happened. He said: “If you can find a person with identical hands you could put them in the Guinness Book of Records, no one has identical hands.”

Judge Coghlan gave his approval for a €10,000 school injury compensation award. He said that the money was to be paid into court funds on behalf of the girl until she comes of age.

He dismissed an application by her lawyer to make available €500 for immediate payment because her first holy communion was coming up. In addition to this he awarded €1,422 in special damages or expenses.

Facebook & YouTube Moderators Asked to Complete PTSD disclosure

In a somewhat concerning move content moderators for social media platforms, both new hires and existing staff, are being issued with a disclosure statement to complete which states that they are fully aware of the possibility that the content they must view as part of their duties may result in them suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It has been reported by both The Financial Times and The Verge that Accenture – a professional services firm which is often used by Google, Facebook and Twitter – issued the forms to existing members of staff as an update and to new hires taking up moderator positions.

Accenture contractors are employed as external outside monitors for social media sites. They are typically given duties including deleting any inappropriate content. In order to accomplish this task they must view and hear disturbing posts of a violent or sexual nature. A normal day’s work would include these moderators considering the inappropriate nature of objectionable materials and looking over hundreds of disturbing images.

“I understand the content I will be reviewing may be disturbing. It is possible that reviewing such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” the statement read.

The notices were sent to Accenture employees in the United States and Europe. Accenture operates at least three content moderation offices for Facebook in Europe, including centres in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin, where workplace safety rules are some of the most stringent globally and include protections for mental health issues.

This is particularly worrying as it comes at a time when Facebook is preparing to face legal actions from former content moderators in relation to a variety of different mental health issues experienced in California and Ireland.

Reacting to the move made by Accenture, Facebook has issued a statement claiming that it was not asked to approve or review Accenture’s new form. However the statement did say that Facebook partners are required to provide psychological support for content moderators. Google – YouTube’s parent company – also moved to advise the public that it was not given the opportunity to look over the  documents in question and also directs its partners to have in place mental health supports.

The forms were sent to the moderators and included details of support services that are provided by Accenture such as a hotline and a wellness coach. However these services are not managed by professionally trained experts as, according to Accenture they “cannot diagnose or treat mental disorders”.

Accenture issued a statement which said that the health and said the wellbeing of its contractors is was a “top priority”. It also said that only new joiners were being asked to sign the forms, whereas current employees were being sent the form as an update. The statement read: “We regularly update the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do”.

It is of the utmost importance that social media moderators who are in receipt of this form should not sign any form like this without first consulting with a legal representative who is experienced in these matters.

€56,000 Radiator Accident Compensation Awarded to Girl (10)

Just over €56,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court has been awarded to a 10-year-old girl who suffered a fracture to her left foot when a heavy radiator dropped from off the wall in her school.

Keira Kuts, of Carlough Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, told Judge John O’Connor, through her barrister Eileen McAuley, that the accident had occurred in October 2016 when the girl was only seven.

Appearing with Synnott Lawline Solicitors ,Ms McAuley informed the court that Keira had been with her class in the library of St Catherine’s Senior School, Cabra, when the heavy iron radiator parted from the from the wall and struck Keira heavily on the foot.

Counsel said Keira, who took the school compensation action via her father Roman Kuts, had been rushed taken by car to the accident and emergency department of Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

A team of medic x-rayed her foot and it had been found that a metatarsal bone in her foot had been fractured. Keira had to wear a a cast for four weeks to allow her bone to bone. She then had to use a boot for an additional four weeks. Following a check up appointment in 2018, it was found that her foot was now back to normal having fully rehabilitated. Ms McAuley said the fracture had fully healed and doctors were entirely satisfied there would be no long term effects.

Judge O’Connor approved a school accident compensation offer of €55,000 together with €1,168 special damages for Keira.

€192,000 for Woman Struck by Minibus Wing Mirror

At the High Court €192,000 car accident compensation has been awarded to a woman who was injured when she was hit by the wing mirror of a minibus as she crossed a road.

Ms O’Kelly, a medical representative living in Killester, Dublin, had taken the legal action against Bus Éireann in relation to the accident when she was knocked to the ground at Lough Atalia Road in the Galway harbour area on December 16, 2015.

Ms O’Kelly had informed the court she was crossing the road after 6pm when she saw the minibus just before she was struck on the right shoulder by the wing mirror of the bus which was turning in to the road.

To have her injuries properly treated Ms O’Kelly had to have surgery and don a neck brace for 12 weeks and is left with a scar on her neck.

Bus Éireann accepted liability during the hearing of the case and argued that Ms O’Kelly was also allegedly negligent for the injuries she suffered.

The judge ruled that Bus Éireann driver was “entirely negligent” in that he failed to keep an adequate lookout and did not stay close enough to the left hand side in his own lane and he simply did not see Ms O’Kelly.

Justice O’Hanlon said Ms O’Kelly was lawfully present on the road having taken all correct precautions as she crossed the road. As such he found that no liability was attached to her in relation to the incident.

The judge remarked that there had been “a stark transformation” in Aideen O’Kelly’s working and social life since the accident and the 54-year-old woman’s lifestyle is now “vastly different”.

Ms O’Kelly, she said, was an experienced sailor who took part at a very high competitive level three to four days a week during the sailing season. Sadly she can no longer do so.

The judge said: “Despite her stoicism, her daily living is not of the same quality as it was. She has to put up with imbalance, difficulty reaching items in her kitchen and difficulty in the normal day-to-day tasks.”

In awarding a total of €192,573 car accident compensation, Ms Justice O’Hanlon said while Ms O’Kelly had managed to return to work, she reported a lack of dexterity and feeling in her hands which causes issues putting on jewellery or opening jars.

 

RTÉ Documentary Featured Creché Settled €30,000 Compensation Claim with Family of Young Boy

Yesterday, approval was given in the High Court for a €30,000 creche abuse compensation settlement for an eight-year-old boy who attended a creche featured in an RTE exposé on the treatment of pre-school children when he was just a young baby.

Lucas Doyle was only two years old when video of him allegedly being tied down in a chair for a period of two hours at the Giraffe creche, Belarmine, Stepaside, Co Dublin was aired publicly on the RTÉ programme ‘A Breach of Trust’.

The Belarmine Giraffe creche was one of three premises selected by the RTE PrimeTime Investigates exposé on the standard of care provided by pre school services within the State in 2013.

In the High Court the Judge Garret Simons was informed that, ten days prior to the RTE documentary being aired, the producer and cameraman of the documentary went to the boy’s home with footage of the incident. The young boy’s parents were shown the footage from the Belarmine creche which allegedly showed Lucas were tied into chairs and were also being shouted at.

Lucas attended the creche in Belarmine between August 2012 and May 2013, initially when he was 11-and-a-half months’ old until he was a around 1 year and eight months old. He (Lucas), via his mother Aisling Emmet, took the creche abuse compensation action against managing director Simon Dowling and Giraffe Childcare Unlimited Company in relation to the abuse he suffered.

It was claimed in the legal action that the footage showed that Lucas being tied in a chair for two hours on one day. Giraffe Childcare has advised Lucas’s parents that new safeguards had been implemented following the incident that was filmed. Despite this, his parents had sourced different childcare providers and Lucas was reported to have recovered well from any suffering he experienced.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons gave his approval for a child creche negligence compensation settlement of €30,000.

Compensation Claims likely Following Confirmation of Public Service Card Data Breach

It is extremely likely the State will face a barrage of compensation claims following revelations that the gathering of data during the issuing of Public Services Cards (PSC) was illegal.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has published a report which found that the storing of information gathered during the application process was illegal, along with the obligation on the general public to have the card in order to avail of the provision of certain State services and benefits.

There are already several civil society groups who have revealed that they are considering submitting a class-action style case. At the time that the card was introduced advocacy groups in including Digital Rights Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Age Action objected to it.

Following the DPC investigation it was deemed that the operation of the PSC scheme does not comply with the transparency requirements of the data protection acts due to the inadequate nature of information provided, by Department of Social Welfare, to those who were having their data processed. The result of this is that he data held on more than three million card holders must now be deleted and data processing by the Department, rather that the public body providing the service, must be discontinued. These tasks must be completed within the specified timeline or some enforcement measures may be sanctioned against those responsible.

In a statement regarding the investigation the DPC said “Ultimately, we were struck by the extent to which the scheme, as implemented in practice, is far-removed from its original concept,” the DPC said in a statement published on its website.

“Whereas the scheme was conceived as one that would make it easier to access (and deliver) public services, with chip-and-pin type cards being used for actual card-based transactions, the true position is that no public sector body has invested in the technology capable of reading the chip that contains the encrypted elements of the Public Sector Identity dataset. Instead, the card has been reduced to a limited form of photo-ID, for which alternative uses have then had to be found.”

There have been some calls for the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to resign from her position due to the controversy. Sinn Fein have revealed that they are considering tabling a motion of no confidence prior to the Dáil returning from summer recess in September. Reacting to the investigation findings, Minister Doherty said: “We only received the report yesterday. It’s a very comprehensive report. We are going to consider the report and issue a full response as soon as we can.”

The card was launched initially in 2011 in order to assist with the processing of social welfare payments. Following this, it was required for a number of other services including first-time adult passport applicants, replacement of lost, stolen or damaged passports issued prior to January 2005, where the person is resident in the State, citizenship applications, driving test and driver licence appointments.

This does not mean that the PSC is now a redundant form of identification and it will continue to be valid for a range of specific services. Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said: “Any cards that have been issued, their validity is not in question by anything we’ve found in this report,” she said. “They can continue to be used in the context of availing of free travel or availing of benefits that a person is claiming from the department.”

She went on to say that this does not mean that it is impossible to issue a single card, or possibly a national identity card that can be used for all interactions with the state.  She said: “No, we’re not saying that at all. We’re saying that if that’s what’s intended or required, there isn’t a lawful basis [as currently set up]. It can’t be the case that a national identity card automatically offends EU charter fundamental rights or EU data protection law because they exist all around Europe. It is a possibility, by carefully laying down the lawful basis for such a card.”

Ms Dixon has asked the Department to publish the report of the investigation in the Public Services Card.

 

Garda and Tusla Take Action in Creche Scandal

Tusla, Ireland’s Child Protection Agency, is linking up with the Garda Child Protection Unit at Mountjoy Garda to initiate an official investigation into poor and illegal standards of care at the Hyde & Seek Childcare chain that were uncovered by an RTÉ Investigates documentary that was aired last night.

The Tusla Social Work Unit has obtained, and handed over to the Gardai, a copy of RTE’s secretly filming of what was taking place at the creches operated by the Hyde and Seek company. This videotape includes footage of children being emotionally abused and badly treated staff at the creches included. Some of the breaches of legislation and required standards included:

  • Inadequate staff to children ratios
  • Garda vetting not completed prior to employment starting,
  • Poor food
  • Not enough space allowed between cots where children were sleeping

Gardaí in two Dublin stations are seeking all concerned parents to contact them at Mountjoy Garda Station as they seek to investigate operations at the Hyde and Seek crechés. Concerned parents are asked to contact Mountjoy Garda Station on 01 666 8600.

A group representing parents of the children that attended Hyde & Seek creches revealed their devastation and sorrow at what was revealed in the RTE programme and criticised Tusla for not providing the framework within which regulation breaches could not occur. It read: “Our trust has been betrayed. We call on all parties concerned to immediately address how this happened, and to credibly explain how they will make amends. It appears the current oversight system, even when it detects breaches, is inadequate to ensure the same, similar, or more serious breaches do not occur again.”

In a separate statement released yesterday Tusla said: “We recognise and share the serious concerns the programme raises about the quality of care within these crèches, but more importantly the impact of concerning adult behaviours on children. We have been proactively addressing areas of non-compliance with regulations in these crèches since 2018.”

Hyde & Seek Childcare, owned and run by Anne and Peter Davy their daughter Siobhan Davy, has four creches across Dublin City catering for children from three months up to 12 years of age. Prior to the documentary being aired Anne Davy was removed by the company from all activity involved the immediate supervision of children.

In a separate enquiry, Gardaí based in Mountjoy are investigating an alleged assault on a young girl at one of the crèches which is thought to have occurred earlier this month. No arrests have yet been made in this case.

Speaking in relation to the worrying revelations uncovered by RTE Investigates, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “I think I speak for everybody in the country when I say that I was really appalled by what we saw on Prime Time in relation to the way that children were treated. And I know that a lot of parents dropping their kids off to crèche or to preschool this morning must have been that little bit more worried or that little bit more nervous than they would be normally.”

Hyde and Seek will be facing a number of official investigations, many of which have already commenced, and possibly soome creché scandal compensation claims.

 

 

 

 

Wrongful Death Compensation Award of €170,000 for Widow

The widow of pensioner Martin Flannery, who died due to carbon monoxide poisoning has settled a wrongful death compensation action €170,000.

Mr Flannery has gone to check if the petrol generators were switched on to effectively heat a newly constructed building for his niece. The house was being heated in advance of a first fix airtight test.

However, Mr Flannery was discovered unconscious in the house, which was next door to his own hosue in Mayo, in 2015. An official inquest into the death of Martin Flannery (66)  recorded a verdict of accidental death.

At the time the coroner John O’Dwyer said Mr Flannery was merely helping his brother and his niece by checking on the house when the tragic incident occurred. Martin Flannery was found unconscious in a room at the rear of the property and despite efforts to revive him, he was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.

In the High Court this week Mr Flannery’s widow Eileen, his wife of 42 years , took the wrongful death compensation action against her husband’s niece Laura Costello and her husband Declan Costello also of Kilkeeran, Ballinarobe, Co Mayo in relation to the accident that took place on September 11, 2015.

In the legal action if was claimed there was a failure to have any proper or adequate system of ventilation in place in the building. In addition to this it was claimed the house has been allegedly allowed to become toxic with carbon monoxide fumes and to constitute a serious hazard for those entering the premises. Finally it was also claimed there was an alleged failure to cordon off the house while the generators were in use and until the place had been made safe for those entering the house. The legal representatives for the defence refuted all of these claims.

The High Court was informed that, when the accident occurred, the house was at first fix stage in construction and had an air tight test scheduled for later that day. Prior to that test the house had to be heated and two fan heaters and an oil heater were put in place. These heaters were powered by two petrol generators as electricity had not yet been connected to the house. Both generators had been running for about an hour the night before. They had been powered off overnight.

On  September 11, 2015 the generators were turned and checked on again. Mr Martin Flannery had checked in the generators at 10.30am and was due to check on them again after bringing his wife to the local town. However, when the air tight specialist called to the house to complete the test at approximately 12.30pm he switched off one of the generators.

At this point in time he noticed a strange smell and became dizzy as he went upstairs in the building. Due to this he left the house but when he went back in he found Mr Flannery unconscious in a room at the back. He dragged him (Mr Flannery) outside to try and revive him. However, Mr.Flannery was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Justice Tom Cross approved the €170,000 settlement in the wrongful death compensation.

€40,000 Personal Injury Insurance for Man Injured in Car Accident

A man has been awarded just under €40,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court in relation to a car accident that occurred as he had been driving to work via the M50 on December 21 2015

Kieran Brennan of Monastery Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that he was stopped at the Northwood exit when he was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by Dylan Duffy.

He told his barrister, Fiona Pekaar that he had, a first, sustained shoulder and neck pain but this had soon resolved. Brennan said he had been left with constant lower back pain that had prevented him from taking part in the same standard of active lifestyle he once had, including being unable to participate in a similar amount of marathon running and soccer matches as he had before the accident occurred.

Medical evidence was presented to show that Brennan had a pre-accident degenerative condition. However Judge Groarke said that that condition had not been an issue before the accident and he believed it had been triggered by the M50 incident.

The Judge, in delivering his ruling, said Mr Brennan had been suffering with a bulging disk in his back and although most medical reports had indicated this had not been due to the accident, he could not ignore the report that suggested it had been a one of the outcomes of the accident.

Legal representative for the defendant referred to the fact that Mr Brennan had taken part in the ‘Hell and Back’ adventure race in Bray, Co Wicklow in October 2016 which was a difficult assault course involving various activities and obstacles to be overcome.

However, Judge Groarke said Mr Brennan still participates in a number of marathons and plays soccer once a week and the court did not believe his level of physical activity was at the same level as it had been prior to the accident occurring.

Judge Groarke said he was sympathetic to Mr Brennan and awarded him general damages of €35,000 and special damages of €4,424.82 against Mr Dylan Duffy, however a stay was granted on his award on condition Mr Brennan was paid out  €20,000.

Personal Injury Compensation Award of €30,000 Awarded to Daughter of Man who Died after being Expelled from Pub

€30,000 personal injury compensation High Court settlement has been awarded to the daughter of a man sadly passed away following a heart attack. Prior to suffering from the heart attack he had been thrown out of a late night bar.

The man in question, 39-year-old Paraic O’Donnell with an address at St Finian’s Close, Achill Sound, Achill, Co Mayo, had an underlying health problem before the episode. He had the heart attack as he was being brought to a Garda Station following being expelled from from Cox’s Latebar in Castlebar, Co Mayo, on June 6, 2012 for alleged threatening behaviour.

The man’s daughter, 12-year-old Edel O’Donnell took the legal action through her mother Claire Scahill, against the licensee of Cox’s, two security staff who threw him out ejected him, the Garda Commissioner and the Ministers for Justice and Finance.

Legal counsel for Edel, Conall MacCarthy BL, said it was a very sad and tragic case in which Mr O’Donnell was a patron of the bar and suffered from a chronic underlying condition when he was ejected from the premises and later had a heart attack which he died from.

During the case it was alleged that when he arrived at Castlebar Garda Station, Mr O’Donnell was not responsive. He was then rushed to hospital for treatment but sadly before this could happen he had died.

The licensee argued that reasonable force was used to eject him after Mr O’Donnell had engaged in violent and threatening behaviour towards the security staff.  The State parties denied the claims and said he caused and/or contributed to the matters which gave rise to his death.

The case against Cox’s and the security men was dismissed and the settlement offered was against the gardai and the ministers. Regarding liability legal advice provided was there may possibly be difficulties in proving liability as the licensee was acting within the law when Mr O’Donnell was ejected from the pub. The same issues were also in existence regarding liability against the State parties.

Mr Justice Simons said it was obvious from the case the public house discharged its duty of care and it was unclear what case would have been made against the State parties. He went on to say that he has no hesitation in approving the settlement sum of €30,000 negotiated.

 

€150,000 Hot Chocolate Ryanair Accident Compensation for Girl (8)

A personal injury compensation claim against Ryanair ,in relation to an eight-year-old girl who sustained second-degree scald burns when a cup of hot chocolate fell on her, has been settled for an approved award of €150,000.

The girl, American Sriya Venkata Neti was on a flight from Rome to Krakow with her parents when the hot liquid and the paper cup slipped on top of her as she took a drink of the hot chocolate.

Taking the legal action through her father Srinivas Neti, Sriya sued Ryanair over the accident that happened on the Rome to Krakow flight on June 25, 2016.

The young girl suffered burns to her thighs and buttocks and as as well as some scarring, the court was informed. Srinivas Neti submitted an affidavit to the court, which said that the scarring has now substantially healed. He also informed the court that his daughter has made a good recovery and the condition of her injuries has greatly improved.

Sriya’s legal representative Hugh Mohan SC told the High Court the little girl suffered serious burns.  A medical report handed in to the court said the hot liquid gathered on the seat causing extreme burning pain and the child’s mother had to release the child from her safety belt on the seat and her clothing had to be removed. Her mother said that daughter’s skin was gone from where the liquid landed and blisters were forming in other places.

When they arrived in Krakow the girl was airlifted to hospital and was then sent to to Toronto, Canada where she spent eight days being treated as an outpatient before returning home to California.

As part of the legal action it was claimed that the failure of the cabin crew to take action lead to the burns suffered being worse than they initially would have been. In particular, it was claimed that there was no efforts made to try and provide any or any appropriate means of cooling the burns. Ryanair refuted the allegations that were made in the legal action.

Presiding Judge Justice Justice Kevin Cross approved the the settlement, telling the Court that it must have been very painful when Sriya was scalded and also pointed to the fact that the young girl has also been left with bad wounds scarring despite making a good recovery to date.

 

Man With Brain Injury Who Was Removed from Pub Awarded €3,500 Compensation

A settlement has been agreed to pay €3,500 compensation to a man with a brain tumour who was asked to leave a licensed premises in the mistaken belief that he was drunk.

The man had been in the pub celebrating the conclusion of rehabilitative treatment for a brain injury he had suffered. He was also experiencing a bad limp due to his condition at that time. However, employees in the licensed premises believed this to be a sign that he was drunk  and asked him to leave, despite the man’s best attempts at explaining the reasons for this.

The man, who had legal representation provided by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), said that the incident “caused him significant distress and embarrassment.” He submitted the action to the District Court for redress under the auspices of Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003.

Once an apology had been made the matter was settled with the need for a court hearing after the licensed premises agreed to pay the individual €3,500 compensation.

Along with this this, the management of the licensed premises have agreed to  to attending a yearly equality training course. No admission of liability was made.

An IHREC spokesman commented: “In addition, the licensed premises also agreed to provide a policy on treating all customers equally and making reasonable accommodation for customers with disabilities in line with obligations under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 and Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003,”

IHREC chief commissioner Emily Logan remarked: “As this case demonstrates, issues arising from brain injury should not mean you risk discrimination when out socialising. It is important that people providing services are trained and supported by employers in understanding the varied needs of their customers.”

Ms Logan went on to say that “the Intoxicating Liquor Act is acting as barrier for people in accessing justice when they face discrimination” as it states that claimants must take their case to the District Court. Ms Logan pleaded for these cases to be heard in the non-court setting of the Workplace Relations Commission going forward.

Store Room Accident Compensation Award of €24,000 for Shop Worker

A shop worker has been awarded in excess of €24,000 store room accident compensation against her employer after falling over the open flap of a clothes box in the store that she was working in.

Ms Smiths legal counsel, Barrister John Nolan appearing with Kent Carty Solicitors, told the Circuit Court that Ms Smith had damaged her shoulders and back in the accident that happened in the store during November 2015. His client said that the storeroom at the Vera Moda shop in the Pavilion Shopping Centre, Swords, had been over packed untidily with boxes. Ms Smith (28) said she had been moving stock from a store room when her knee hit off the flap of a box, causing her to suffer a big fall. She was inflicted with injuries to her neck and both shoulders and her back and had a soft tissue injury to her wrist after having made an attempt to break her fall with her hands.

Aisling Smith, of Woodlawn Way, Santry, Dublin 17 was informed by Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that, due to contributory negligence, he was reducing her personal injury compensation award to just over €19,000 as she had not been maintaining an adequate look-out in the Vera Moda store.

Judge Groarke awarded Ms Smith a total of €22,500 store room compensation but cut the personal injury compensation award to €19,125 due to the aforementioned contributory negligence. He remarked that she had been employed at the store for a long enough period of time that should have seen to it that she was aware of the importance of keeping a proper look-out and been more careful in relation to her own safety.

He said that proof provided by consultant forensic engineer Barry Tennyson, who had completed an examination of the stock room, indicated that the defendant had put a big effort into tidying up the store before the joint engineering inspection. Judge Groarke said the stock room had been kept in a rather messy manner.

Ms Smith told the court that a stock box had been moved out from a safe position against the wall and was left with one of its flaps lying open and causing an obstruction. A store room accident compensation award of €2,000 for loss of earnings was incorporated into her final compensation award.

€52,600 Creche Accident Compensation Awarded For Thigh Bone Break

A nine-year-old boy who broke his leg in a creche accident in 2014 was awarded €52,600 creche accident compensation against its the owners of the childcare centre.

Legal representative for the boy’s family, Barrister Ronan Quinn told the court that Cillian Geraghty was with a group of children who were brought to the bathroom to use the facilities on September 17, 2013, just days in the aftermath of his fourth birthday.

Mr Quinn, who was representing for Ms Andrea Geraghty and her Cillian, was appearing in court along with Joe Clancy Solicitors and advised the court that Cillian broke a thigh bone after a fall and was restricted in his movement for a number of weeks. He had to stay home from school in a right hip spica cast. Andrea informed Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that a light was switched off and on, without any warning, which startled Cillian and he fell in the bathroom at the creche.

Cillian was brought to Crumlin Hospital on the day of the accident for treatment. Medical staff at the children’s hospital chose to keep the boy in overnight before he underwent surgery the next day.

Mr Quinn told Judge Groarke that, following initial examinations and care, Dr Paula Kelly, consultant orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at the Beacon Consultants Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin, noted a 0.5mm length discrepancy between Cillian’s right leg and his left. However she said that this condition had resolved  itself when she reviewed in during later examinations.

Ms Geraghty informed the court, via an affidavit, that the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PAIB) had said a creche accident compensation award of €32,000 would be standard for an injury such as the one Cillian suffered. However, she was not satisfied with this. Additional settlement negotiations were conducted between all parties involved and RSA Insurance, who were representing the creche. Following this a new compensation offer of €50,000.

Ms Gerathy told Judge Groarke that the family had also had to repay a sum of €2,000 to their private health insurers.

Judge Groarke, who said he was satisfied from Ms Geraghty’s assurances to the court that Cillian had returned to full health after the accident. He approved the creche accident compensation settlement terms of €52,600.

Trauma Injury Compensation Settlement of €20,000 for 5-year-old Boy Who Witnessed Mother Glass Panel Injury Approved

A five-year-old boy has been awarded psychiatric injury compensation of €20,000 after he witnessed his mother being seriously injured and covered in blood after she walked into a pane of glass when he was just 15-months-old.

Legal Counsel for the boy, Jude Johnson-Rice told the Circuit Civil Court that in December 2014 the boy was at Terenure College Rugby Football Club with his mother, Jill, when he saw his mother’s injuries after she mistakenly walked into a clear glass pane that did not have adequate indications or warnings.

Despite not witnessing the accident or the glass shattering, Jude had been extremely distressed by seeing his mother covered in blood following the accident. The defendants, Panda Play Café Limited and Terenure College Rugby Football Club, had already agreed a personal injury compensation settlement with the Jude’s claim and had offered a compensation settlement of €20,000 to the five-year-old boy.

Legal Counsel for the rugby club had made a full defence in which it had claimed that the child had not sustained any recognised psychiatric injury. In addition to this they argued that the mother had waited for two years after the incident to take the child in question for medical treatment despite claiming that her son had remained very nervous and anxious for six months after the incident.

Following some correspondence between both legal teams, the family solicitor John Murphy told them after they denied liability that they could incur further serious costs arising out of inspections and the provision of cctv footage.  Following a settlement meeting an offer of had been made.

Judge Garavan, who said that while there was no recognised psychiatric illness diagnosed, nonetheless there were many cases that came before the court that did not measure up to post traumatic stress disorder. He approved the offer.

Garda Work Injury Compensation Award of €38,000 for Assault while on Duty

A €38,500 attack at work compensation award has been approved for a garda who was knocked out in a savage attack by a gang of thugs and left with significant injuries.

At the High Court today Judge Justice Tony O’Connor was informed that Detective Garda Brian Dunne was able to save a dislodged tooth by pushing it back up into his gum after he regained consciousness following the attack.

Garda Dunne told the Judge he will always carry the the pain of pushing his upper right front tooth back into his gum socket with him. He added that he was told by a dental consultant that this course of action saved his tooth.

The High Court was told that that attack happened prior to Christmas 2006 when the uniformed community garda, who was working out of Ballymun Garda Station, had been attacked by a group of six young men as they were going to a party.

Judge O’Connor said that the group in question could only be labelled as ‘thugs’ who had carried out a savage assault on Garda Dunne. The judge was told that the garda had been punched, pushed to the ground, and had a bottle smashed into his face. After this he had been kicked repeatedly in the head and body until he eventually was knocked out.

Co-workers of Detective Garda Dunne rushed to the scene and then brought him to the Mater Hospital by ambulance. Here he had his injuries treated. Garda Dunne stated: “I suffered a very bad gash to my mouth and to the back of my head and I learned that some of my teeth had been pushed backwards. At the scene when I recovered I had pushed a dislodged front tooth back into my gum. Another one of my teeth had been broken.”

He informed the court his underwent a procedure that included four stitches to one side of his mouth and five to the opposite side. On the interior of his mouth he had 14 stitches inserted. The gash on the back of his head had been repaired using glue.

In relation to the pain that he experienced, Detective Garda Dunne said his teeth had been very painful and he had to undergo root canal work. In addition to this, his body was bruised and he had a shoulder injury. After this  he was required to attend review appointments over the course of the following five years. These reviews indicated that that the dislodged tooth had never fully recovered its original position after the assault.

Garda Dunner informed the Court that he had missed work for about six weeks following the attack. He said that he went back to work very quickly as he was due for promotion to detective. He now believes he had probably returned to work ‘too early’.

Legal counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform barrister Joseph O’Sullivan was told by Detective Garda Dunne that he resumed full duties within three months of the incident occurring. His recovery has been good and he has is once again playing football for his local club, though he still suffers from an occasional niggle him while exerting himself physically.

Settlement Agreed in Fall in Marks and Spencer Compensation Action

A supermarket accident compensation case has been settled in the High Court between Marks and Spencer (Ireland) and a women who alleges that she fractured her leg when a Marks and Spencer employee collided with her while coming off a step ladder.

Loretta McSherry (64) from Cremore,Templeogue, Dublin informed the High Court that she was shopping in the Marks and Spencer store at Dundrum Shopping Centre for some ready-made meals when the accident occurred. Ms McSherry said was moving through the bakery section the accident happened.

Mc McSherry stated: “I looked at some scones but thought they looked stale and decided not to buy. I gave the step ladder a wide berth, I was not aware of anybody on the ladder. I was struck in the shoulder as I walked past. It was like my Superman moment, I flew forward.”

Ms McSherry told the Judge that the pain she felt following the accident was the worst she had ever experienced and left her writhing on the ground. The medical professionals that  treated her said that she had fractured her thigh bone in a manner consistent with a high speed vehicle accident.

Ms McSherry, who works as an IT systems analyst, had submitted the personal injury compensation action against Marks and Spencer (Ireland) Ltd, with offices at Mary Street, Dublin in relation to the accident that occurred on January 4, 2014 at the Dundrum Shopping Centre outlet.

She claimed that Mark and Spencer employees had not made sure that the shopping aisle was safe for customers and that there was an alleged failure to guarantee her safety. She added that a Marks and Spencer employee was allegedly permitted to use a step ladder for restocking without any assistance in doing so. Finally, she said there was a failure to cordon off or stop customers from coming too close to the step ladder.

Marks and Spencer denied the claims and contended there was contributory negligence on Ms McSherry’s part for allegedly failing pay adequate attention to the area that she was shopping in.

 

Family of Murdered Garda Awarded €1.3m Personal Injury Compensation

The family of a Garda who was murdered while on duty has been awarded €1.3million personal injury compensation in a legal action taken against the State in relation to his death.

Garda Caroline Deloughrey, the widow of deceased Garda Adrian Donohoe who was shot dead five years ago while on armed escort duty, took the legal action against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Ms Deloughrey has retired on health grounds from the force since the death of her husband.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey, who presides over Garda Compensation matters in the High Court, was asked to give his approval to the negotiated settlement due to involvement in the legal actions of Garda Donohoe’s son and daughter who are now aged 11 and 12.

Ms Deloughrey, a native of Co Clare, told the Court that she met her husband when the were training at the Garda Training Collegein Co Tipperary. Both of them had been working within the Garda National Immigration Bureau based in Dundalk Garda Station. Her husband had been on armed escort duty with a colleague at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013 when he was fatally shot.

Ms Deloughrey and her children were legally represented by former Attorney General Eoghan Fitzsimons SC and Barrister Eamonn M J Coffey, who appeared with the family solicitors James McGuill and Company.

Judge Twomey was informed that a settlement of  €970,000 had been agreed by the legal representatives of Garda Donohoe’s surviving family members for Ms Deloughrey with the remainder of the award being split almost equally between her two children, but slightly in favour of the younger child.

The Judge was told that the Minister had agreed that the formula of division of the overall personal injury compensation award was acceptable to the State. The children’s shares of the award are to be lodged in court funds until they are 18 years old and Ms Deloughrey will receive her €970,000 compensation award as soon as possible.

Student Settles Injury at Work Compensation following Hot Oil Accident

A student who took an injury at work compensation against the Chinese takeaway he worked in has settled his High Court action. The young man was burned by hot oil when he unknowingly sat on a bucket of freshly discarded bucket of it.

Umesh Maharjan, a fine arts student sustained devastating injuries when the oil splashed on his back and arm, the court was told. He was in significant pain and has been left with “grossly disfiguring” scars and wounds.

Originally from Kathmandu in Nepal, Mr Maharjan was employed in the Rathnew Chinese Takeaway in Wicklow to help fund his studies in Ireland. The 29-year-old Mr Maharjan, who has an address at Dock Road, Limerick, took his injury at work compensation action against Rathnew Restaurant and Takeaway Ltd due the accident that took place  on August 21, 2015.

His legal representative for Mr Maharjan, Declan Doyle SC, said he was taking a break at the rear of the takeaway where plastic buckets were stored. Another member of staff had placed hot cooking oil from a deep-fat fryer in a bucket there and when Mr Maharjan sat upon it, the lid shifted and he fell backwards when the oil spilled over his back and left arm.

Mr Maharjan sustained life-changing injuries and had significant burns. Co-workers assisted him and applied water to the areas of his body that were burned. He was then taken to hospital.

Presiding Judge, Justice Michael Hanna was informed the issue of liability had been withdrawn in the case and it was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Mr Doyle SC told that Judge that, following talks between all relevant parties yesterday, the case had been settled and could be dismissed.

Copper Face Jacks Injury Compensation of Over €80k awarded for Ankle Break

Colin McNamara, a bar manager from Limerick, has been awarded over €80,000 disco accident compensation by the High Court following a successful claim due to breaking his ankle in a wet floor slip at well known Dublin nightclub Copper Face Jacks nightclub and breaking his ankle in two places.

Mr McNamara was in the Dublin nightclub after he had visited the capital to view a Republic of Ireland soccer match at the Aviva Stadium in 2015 when he fell on the wet floor and broke his ankle in two different places.

Mr McNamara, now 36 years old, with an address at Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co Limerick had submitted the disco accident compensation action against Breanagh Catering Ltd and the owners of the nightclub Copper Face Jacks at Harcourt Street, Dublin, due to the injuries he sustained in the accident that took place on October 9, 2015. In his personal injury compensation action Mr McNamara said that he slipped on a floor which, he claimed, was wet and represented a slipping hazard to patrons.

Mr McNamara informed Mr Justice Michael Hanna that “the wet floor caused me to slip and fall. I turned to walk but I ended up on the floor.”

He claimed that there was a failure to implement any proper steps to clean and dry the floor surface before the accident happened. Additionally, he alleged that the floor had been allowed to remain wet and slippy and presenting a serious danger to patrons.

The defendants in the personal injury compensation action refuted these claims. Mr Justice Hanna told the High Court that he had been given an order of the court giving judgment against the defendant. Due to this, issues of liability were not an issue. As efforts to resolve the case were unsuccessful the defendant chose not intervene in court to challenge the medical evidence, as was their right, but instead chose to use a legal cost accountant.

In the testimony at the High Court, Mr McNamara told the Judge that security staff came and lifted him from the ground and brought him out to a back alley where a member of staff looked at his leg and ankle before advising him that it was not broken. They, the security staff, said that they could not call an ambulance. Mr McNamara said he “hobbled away” and used a taxi to return to his hotel. Due to the fact that he was still in a considerable amount of pain upon his return to Limerick, Mr McNamara went to hospital where he was told that he had broken his ankle in two places. He also had to have surgery and was on crutches for a period of time following this.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna, told the High Court that Mr McNamara has sustained a serious and significant injury when accounting for the fact that he would be required to be “fleet of foot” in job as a bar manager. He went on to say that Mr McNamara was absent from work for five months due to slipping on the wet floor of the disco.

Justice Hanna said that the appropriate figure of nite club compensation was €80,000 plus special damages of €7,116 to cover medical and other expenses of Mr McNamara.

Garda Shoulder Injury Compensation of €8,000 Awarded

A High Court judge has awarded €8,000 compensation to a garda for a soft tissue shoulder injury which he sustained while on duty.

This was far less than the €20,000 personal injury compensation originally sought in the action. Garda Ronan Leonard took the compensation action against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform over an injury he sustained while on duty he fell on July 11, 2014, while chasing a suspect.

Garda Leonard went to an out of hours doctor service and, following this, was tended to at an A&E hospital department. During this treatment X-rays were carried out which showed no fractures. He was  sent home with a course of pain-killers and anti-inflammatories. Garda Leonard was absent from work for five days on sick leave before returning.

As he was still suffering with constant pain, on July 21 Garda Leonard went to his family GP for ongoing pain. Here he was diagnosed with a sprain to the joint at the top of his left shoulder and given a steroid injection and anti-inflammatories. This course of treatment was repeated in October 2014.

The court was told that Garda Leonard has now made a full recovery from the soft tissue injury and there was no evidence of him making any previous claim under the Garda Compensation Acts.

Counsel for Garda Leonard argued that he should get €20,000 based on the Book of Quantum. However, the court ruled that the appropriate award was €8000, plus €60 agreed special damages.

The Judge remarked in his ruling that the award should be €8,000 due to the recent binding decisions of the Court of Appeal in relation to personal injury cases. This decision stated that a downwards recalibration of damages in certain personal injury actions of between 45-50 percent must take place.

The judge also said that he felt that €8,000 personal injury compensation was fair to Garda Leonard and proportionate to the injury suffered.

Nursing Home Fatal Accident Compensation of €54,000 Awarded Deceased Woman’s Family

€54,000 fatal injury in a nursing home accident compensation has been awarded to the family of a 90-year-old woman who died as a result of scald injuries she sustained from a burst hot water bottle .

The family, the court was told, were awarded compensation due to the trauma, suffering, funeral and travel expenses in the aftermath of death of their mother and granny at a nursing home in Dublin.

Legal counsel for the family Barrister Frank Crean informed Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that the late Olive Sheeran sustained serious scalding on her buttocks, left thigh and calf, heels and ankles when a hot water bottle burst in the bed that she was sleeping in.

The operators of the Deansgrange-based nursing home, SRCW Limited, had agreed to pay the family €54,406 nursing home injury compensation according to Mr Crean. The Court was told that Ms Carol Hayes, with an address at Corabally, Ardfield, Clonakilty, Co Cork, a daughter of the late Ms Sheeran, had initiated the injury compensation action against SRCW Limited on behalf of herself and her brothers Mark (57) and Conor Sheeran (55) and Ms Sheeran’s grandchildren Adam (18), Jennifer (17), Alexandra (26), and Thomas Sheeran (20) and Peter (28), Matthias (26) and Oisin (23) Hayes.

The court was informed by Ms Hayes through an affidavit that she was asking the court grant approval to the Injuries Board assessment “in respect of the fatal injuries” her mother, then aged 89, had suffered in an accident at Ferndene on January 6, 2017. Ms Hayes told the court that her mother had been residing in the home when the accident that led to her death occurred.

The accident took place when a nurse at the home had attended Ms Sheeran’s room and taken two water bottles away to refill them with fresh water. One of the refilled water bottles was then put next to Ms Sheeran’s feet and burst a little while later, inflicting significant burns on her.

Presiding Judge Groarke was informed that following an investigation all water bottles had been removed from use at the nursing home and the investigator had recommended that they be replaced with coded stock which should be inspected once a month and replaced with new bottles once per year.

Ms Sheeran had been rushed by ambulance to the emergency department of St Vincent’s Hospital where she had been tended to before being brought to the burns unit of St James’s Hospital. Her burns were then been treated with antiseptic dressings, antibiotics and analgesia. However, Ms Sheeran had contracted pneumonia and a urinary tract infection and prescribed a course of intravenous antibiotics. Ms Sheeran died before her wounds had completely healed.

Judge Groarke approved the nursing home accident compensation settlement.

€4,000 Police Injury Compensation for Garda Attacked by Girlfriend’s Brother

Garda Fintan Smith has been awarded €4,000 policeman injury compensation after being assaulted by his girlfriend’s brother while he was assisting in restraining him during the course of his work outside a Letterkenny nightclub.

Garda Smith advised High Court Judge Justice Michael Twomey that he was struck to the head by his now brother-in-law at first, resulting in a black eye and nose bleed. Not long after this he was again attacked by the same individual who, despite being restrained with handcuffs in the back of a garda car, managed to kick him to the head when he was sitting in the front passenger seat.

Judge Twomey was told that Garda Smith now has very little to do with this individual. He was invited to his wedding just this summer but was not in attendance on the day. Garda Smith does his best to avoid any family events if he is aware that his brother-in-law will be there. Despite this he maintains an excellent relationship with the other members of his wife’s family.

Ms Fiona Crawford, legal counsel for Garda Smith, told the court the Garda Smith had sustained a badly injured nose during the attack. However, she added that subsequent x-rays revealed, thankfully that he  (Garda Smith) had not suffered a bone injury.

Garda Smith said in the High Court that he had suffered a serious amount of stress following the assault and it led to a considerable amount of tension between him and his partner, the sister of the assailant. He was absent from work for a period of one month after the attack as his came to terms with the embarrassment he was suffering from. He added that the attack had resulted in him feeling a lot of anger at how things had worked out.

Later, Garda Smith put in a request, which was eventually granted, to be transferred from Letterkenny to Ballybofey Garda Station.

Garda Smith, speaking in the High Court, advised Justice Twomey that his attacker was, at the time of the attack, a known troublemaker who did not hold any respect for the gardai.

Judge Twomey awarded €4,000 policeman workplace compensation to Garda Smith for the injuries he experienced while he was working.

Injury Compensation Settlement After Hotel Wedding Dance Fall

A hotel wedding slipping compensation settlement has been agreed at the High Court between a Tipperary hotel and a woman from Clonmel who slipped on the dance floor at a wedding she was attending. The woman in question slipped on petals that fell when the bride threw her bouquet two hours earlier.

The exact details of the wedding fall compensation settlement are not being made public as part of the terms of the settlement. At the High Court Judge Kevin Cross was informed that the case had been settled and could now be dismissed.

Ms Ann White, a native of Clonmel, stated in Court that she had been attending the afters of a work colleague’s wedding at the Aherlow House Hotel in September 2012. Late in the evening she fell after slipping on some petals on the dance floor, breaking her wrist and arm.

The 53-year-old child care worker advised told the High Court that a “serious scrum” of about 20 “very enthusiastic” women occurred when the bride threw her bouquet at 12.30am. Following a number of those involved pulling at the bridal bouquet of pink and white roses, petals came off and were scattered all over the dance floor. Ms White said she went to dance at roughly 2.30am and her right foot slipped on on the scattered rose petals. She (Ms White) informed the Judge that she was wearing stilettos but is is used to them.

As a result of the injuries she sustained, Ms White had to undergo surgery and added that she still suffers from pain in her arm everyday. The Aherlow House Hotel denied Ms White’s claims, stating that it was an unlucky accident which could not have been predicted by the hotel management or staff.

Mr Justice Cross praised the parties involved on coming together and agreeing to a hotel fall compensation settlement.

Former Specsavers Workers Awarded €12,000 after Wrongful Discriminatory Sacking

A branch of Specsavers located in Letterkenny, Co Donegal has been ordered to pay €12,000 by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) as wrongful dismissal compensation to a Muslim woman who was terminated from her position the day after the Manchester terror attack in 2017.

The WRC ruled that Letterkenny Specsavers Ltd discriminated against Amina Ferrah, using her religion as a basis for doing so. The presiding Adjudication Officer, Ms Emer O’Shea, said she was satisfied on the basis of the proof shown to her that Ms Ferrah’s sacking prior to the standard three-month review constituted less favourable treatment on the grounds of religious discrimination.

Ms Ferrah told the WRC she was let go from her job on discriminatory grounds “as a knee-jerk reaction” to the fact that she was clearly identifiable as a Muslim. She added that her employer “may have been overly concerned about public sentiment following the Manchester terror attack and the impact it might have on their business”.

The Letterkenny branch of Specsavers vehemently denied the discrimination claim and claimed, at the hearing, that the decision to terminate Ms Ferrah’s employment on the spot was purely down to her professional performance in the role.

Adjudication Officers of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) are statutorily independent in their decision making duties as they relate to adjudicating on complaints referred to them by the WRC Director General.

Adjudicating Officer Ms O’Shea commented, in finding that the Specsavers branch did discriminate against Ms Ferrah, that it was accepted by the company that reviews of new employees would take place after an initial period of three months employment.

In this instance, however, there was no official records of any professional reviews taking place to support the company’s contention of ongoing reviews taking place. Neither were there any recorded accounts of any performance deficits registered during the period that Ms Ferrah was employed at Specsavers Letterkenny present to the WRC.

 

Lengthening Delays For Violent Attack Compensation Claims Being Heard

The Irish Examiner newspaper has reported that there is an increasing backlog in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, leaving victims of serious violent attacks waiting years to be compensated.

Since 2012 only 597 payments were made from the 1,357 claims have been submitted. More recently, in 2017 only 31 payments were made to the 181 new applications. In 2018 only 10 victims were compensated by the end of May this year when 73 new cases were registered during that time period.

The details were revealed in the answer to a parliamentary question submitted by Fianna Fáil TD John Curran has now called for an immediate review of the scheme to find out what is causing the hold-ups.

In response to this the Mr Curran TD released a statement which said: “Despite the fact that the number of cases which settle in a pay-out is declining year on year, there are lengthy delays in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal assisting victims of crime in Ireland. As it stands, should this year’s applications be managed in the very same poor manner it’s likely that just 24 cases will be settled in 2018.”

He added: “Victims should expect that they will receive their compensation in a prompt manner and in accordance with constitutional justice. In correspondence I received, the Tribunal itself cited its limited resources and “economic constraints” as contributing factors in the slow process of claims and victims obtaining their due compensation.

“The Tribunal receives roughly €4 million in budget each year, but it is uncertain how this budget is set considering the number of, and types of cases varies year on year.

The TD concluded saying: “A thorough review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal must be carried out before next year’s figure of unsettled claims rises even more. This review could not come quick enough for very many victims of crime or their families.”

You can read the full text of his statement by clicking here.

 

 

 

WRC Awards €5k to Autistic Boy Who Was Told not to Eat Toast in his School Taxi

An autistic teenager who was stopped from eating toast in his taxi to school has been awarded €5,000 from Bus Eireann by The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

The WRC ruled that the company had discriminated against the 16-year-old on the grounds of his disability. As a result of this Adjudication officer Gerry Rooney ordered Bus Eireann to pay €5,000 to the boy. Additionally he directed the operator to make contact with his family without delay.

It was explained to the WRC, in a submission from the boy’s parents, that their son’s dietary requirements meant that he would eat his breakfast of a slice of toast, a banana and fruit juice in the taxi while travelling to school. They added that any changes in the teen’s routine could cause difficulty and serious issues for his development. Bus Eireann denied that it discriminated against the boy.

Bus Eireann contracted a taxi driver from 2015 to transport him to a special needs school. The routine of the teen eating his breakfast in transit was accommodated without no issue. However, on January 27, 2017, the then taxi driver advised the boy and his family that he was buying a new car worth €60,000 and asked that the boy no longer consumed his toast in it.

When advised of this the boy’s father told the taxi driver that such a change would be very distressing change to his teenager’s routine. At this point the parents’ offered to buy the taxi driver a cordless vacuum cleaner but he (the taxi driver) maintained his opposition despite and told the parent that it was a Bus Eireann policy for pupils not to eat on school transport. He said that this was due to health and safety issues.

In response to this the parents communicated Bus Eireann and were ad ised by an inspector that the taxi driver was being reasonable. The inspector advised the parents that the boy would be affored one week to stop eating the toast in the taxi.

In his findings, Adjudicator for the WRC Mr Rooney said: “There was no evidence provided that when the complainant was being reasonably accommodated previously that any soiling of the taxi occurred, or if soiling had occurred in the past that it presented an unreasonable cost to the taxi driver, or the respondent.”

Former Garda Awarded €9,000 for Injuries Sustained During 2013 Workplace Assault

A former Garda has been awarded just €9,000 workplace accident compensation by a High Court judge for injuries he suffered to his lower back and right leg, when he was assisting the arrest of a violent drunk in Cavan during 2013.

Barrister Esther Earley told the Judge Michael Twomey that Garda Gary Tobin, a renowned former rugby player and current junior rugby coach, that Garda Tobin had been on duty in Bailieborough at 3am on 31 January 2013 when he and a colleague arrested a violent drunk and possible drugs user on the town’s Main Street.

While the arrest was taking place he (Tobin) he had been knocked to the ground, injuring his lower back and right leg. He was absent from work for four months off work due to severe back pain before returning to light station duties for a number of months. Upon his return to work his right leg had continued paining him and he still experienced symptoms and still had difficulty putting his socks.

Counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Barrister Kevin Dinneen was advised by that his back had fully recovered after four months but he still experienced intermittent pain in his leg. He said that although his doctor had advised he get physiotherapy he had neglected to do so.

Garda TObin told the Court that, from his experience as a rugby coach, he was aware of how to deal with injuries and had undertaken a self-treatment regime for himself involving exercise after initially having been prescribed anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants.

Judge Twomey, awarding Tobin €9,000 workplace injury compensation and costs for what he described as soft tissue injuries, told the Court that he (Tobin) had undergone an MRI scan at the time which had shown degenerative symptoms in his back.

 

Girl with Diabetes Awarded €2,260 Compensation due to Concert Staff Confiscating Lucozade

A young Belfast woman with Type 1 diabetes has been awarded €2,260 after security staff at a music concert confiscated her fizzy drink.

Kayla Hanna, 20, had been walking into a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Belfast in August 2016 when the incident happened.

The student always carries Lucozade for her blood sugar levels, as she suffers from Type 1 diabetes, but Eventsec Ltd staff removed it, despite her showing them her diabetes tattoo and insulin pack. Miss Hanna said suffered from anxiety and upset during the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.

She told the court “I stood away from the area near the stage where my friends were because I was afraid something would happen to me and I would not have the Lucozade. This had never happened me at other concerts I went to. I really hope that, now this issue has been brought to light, it won’t happen again to me or other people who live with diabetes.”

Miss Hanna took a case under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland supported her.

The court made ruled that discrimination had occurred and Judge Gilpin stated that Eventsec did not give a reasonable adjustment to its policy of not allowing liquids to be brought into the concert.

Mary Kitson, senior legal officer for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, said the Act is there to ensure people with disabilities are not denied access to services under any circumstances.

She said “In this case, the company should have made arrangements to ensure that Kayla could have accessed Lucozade during the concert if needed; for example, by directing her to its own medical centre at the venue and providing her with a bottle of Lucozade. That would have been a simple adjustment and would have met her medical needs. The court has ruled that this was a breach of the law and awarded Kayla £2,000.”

€1.8m Wrongful Birth Compensation Awarded Following Incorrect Foetus Test Results

The first ever wrongful birth compensation case in the State has been settled for an interim payment of €1.8m after a mother, who suffers from a rare genetic condition, alleged she was deprived of her right to travel for an abortion.

Her baby was born with the same disabling condition after a prenatal test that was carried on the foetus for that condition came back showing no indication that it was present in the child.

The mother in question told the High Court that she had planned to use her constitutional right to travel to the England for an abortion if the test had shown results showing that her unborn baby had the same debilitating genetic condition. However, her child was deliverd with the this condition and now needs 24-hour care. The mother claims that, based on the test results, she was not allowed informed consent and to make an informed decision in respect of the continuance of her pregnancy.

Legal representative for the mother, Oonagh McCrann SC, advised the High Court that the parents went ahead happily and joyfully with the pregnancy after the normal result was returned on the test. Later, following the birth, they felt considerable shock and grief when they discovered that the rare genetic condition with very significant and profound disability.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross put a barring order in relation to reporting of details that may identify the mother and child publicly. The mother had taken the wrongful birth compensation legal action against the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dublin. Complete liability in the case was officially admitted on June 13 2018.

The admission stated that “in the particular circumstances of this case and in light of the outcome of the recent referendum repealing the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution”, liability was admitted and the public policy defence was withdrawn.

Mr Justice Cross, remarking that liability had been admitted, said he felt the result of the referendum was not relevant.

 

Woman Settles Compensation Action over Finger Injury in Dicey Reillys

A High Court action in which a 23-year-old woman claimed she broke her finger when she was ejected from a well-known Dublin bar by security personnel after her friend asked to use the toilets has been settled

Sophie Beardmore, Redford Park, Greystones, Co Wicklow, had taken the personal injury compensation action against Senture Security Ltd, Citywest, Dublin which is no longer in business, and Triglen Holdings Ltd trading as Dicey’s Garden Bar, Harcourt Street, Dublin, alleging she was illegally assaulted on May 19, 2015.

Her legal representatives claimed that the security staff had displayed “an unbelievable overreaction” when there was a “jostle’ with a security man at Dicey’s Garden Bar over using the toilets and Ms Beardmore was grabbed by the arm and flung out on to the street.

The business student suffered a nasty fracture and the index finger on her left hand was in a splint for weeks, while she had difficulty completing everyday tasks such as writing and washing her hair after suffering the injury.

There was an alleged failure to provide properly qualified or trained security personnel at the bar.

Triglen Holdings had denied the Mrs Beardmore’s claims that there was an alleged failure to take any or any reasonable care to see she was safe while lawfully a visitor and patron on the premises and that the security staff were not properly trained.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told the case had been settled.

The incident, which was captured on CCTV, happened after Ms Beardmore had gone to Dicey’s bar with a friend and had a pint of cider each and shared another pint. Her friend needed to use he toilet but they were not allowed use the toilet in the smoking area and went to another.

Ms Beardmore’s hand was grabbed by a security person and her friend was also dragged viciously, counsel said, before she was thrown out on to the street and her friend was thrown out following this.

Compensation Payment to Donegal Widow Under ‘Lost at Sea’ Scheme

A Donegal widow, Winifred Byrne, who had secured the Ombudsman’s support for State compensation over exclusion from a Government scheme has finally been sent a cheque for €245,570 in Lost at Sea compensation.

Bruckless resident Ms Byrne has been awarded an ex-gratia payment from Minister for Marine Michael Creed, after a 14-year dispute when she was left out og the “Lost at Sea scheme” to support families who died while working at sea.

Ms Byrne’s lost her husband Francis and her 16-year-old son Jimmy, when they were lost along with three other crewmen after their fishing boat Skifjord perished in 1981.

In 2001, then marine minister Frank Fahey initiated a limited scheme to encourage families who had lost vessels between 1980 and 1989 to stay in fishing, by awarding compensatory “tonnage” .

Despite there being 67 applications through the scheme, only six were selected and 75% of the funds paid were to constituents of the then Minister for the Marine Mr Frank Fahey.

As the scheme had not been widely advertised the Byrne family submitted a complaint in 2004 after their late application had been turned own. Ombudsman Ms Emily O’Reilly found in their favour in December 2009, stating the scheme had been improperly operated. Despite the report being presented to the Oireachtas committee on agriculture in 2010.

Danny Byrne said that his mother had received the payment, and paid tribute to Minister for the Marine Mr Michael Creed, and to former Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins who had championed the family’s cause over the years.

Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, “I want to extend my congratulations to the Byrne family for the sheer determination and perseverance they exhibited in seeing through their campaign against successive Irish Governments on the Lost at Sea scheme.  I am delighted that they have now finally received the compensation that was legislatively owed to them and hope that this will close what I am sure has been a difficult, and at times frustrating, case.

“The Byrnes, who tragically lost two members of their family, three crew members and their entire livelihood had been fighting against their exclusion from the scheme for over 3 decades.”

15-year-old Woodwork Student Awarded €42,500 Class Finger Injury

A €42,500 School Classroom Injury Compensation award has been made to a teenage boy who cut his finger on a saw during a woodwork class.

The student, Robin Reinplu who is now aged 17, took the legal action against Arklow CBS in Co. Wicklow, following the classroom accident that occurred on January 13, 2016.

Mr Reinplu’s legal representative Michael Byrne SC, said Robin had been using a band saw to cut a piece of wood when he was shoved by another student in the class. Mr Byrne advised the Court that Robin’s finger was cut by the blade of the saw.

Robin, from The Drive, Meadowvale, Arklow, was brought to his family doctor, who referred him for further treatment to to Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin. The injuries he sustained included a two to three centimetre cut on his index finger, and a fracture of his finger tip. Following surgery to repair his nail bed he was left with a six centimetre scar.

After the surgery, Robin was absent school for a number of weeks and underwent a course of hand therapy and, following further review, it was found that he was experiencing a loss of sensation and grip, and a difficulty playing basketball. Additionally, the scar became painful in cold weather, the court was told. 

Taking the legal action through his through his father, Reimo Reinplu, it was claimed that the school was negligent in not taking any safety precautions and did not maintain adequate supervision in the classroom. Due to this Robin was not prevented from being ‘jokingly’ knocked into by a classmate. Along with this the guard on the saw should have been set at a level which would have prevented the boy’s injury.

The case was taken against Edmund Rice Schools Trust, the owner and operator of the CBS school, who denied liability in the matter. 

Judge Kevin Cross approved the offer of €42,500 for school classroom injury compensation.

Injured Tesco Security Guard Awarded €32,000 for Workplace ‘Victimisation’

A Tesco Security Guard has had a €32,000 workplace bullying compensation pay out ordered due to be paid to him by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) overturned at the Labour Court.

The man was working with Noonan Services Group Limited at the Tesco store in Co Limerick, a retail unit 40,000 square feet big.

The initial payout was in relation to a complaint over a dispute the man entered into at the store as he recovered from knee surgery sustained in a workplace accident that occurred at a different place of work.

His work involved a period, during his shift at the Tesco store, sit in a chair at a bank of security cameras in order to oversee the activity in the store.

As part of store policy this chair was taken away in order to tackle ‘shrinkage’. This refers to the stealing of articles from the shop floor. The though was that this would force security staff to walk the aisles instead of sitting at the camera-station.

He complained about this and asked for the chair to be brought back, he says his request was refused. He also presented medical testimony that said standing for the duration of his ten-hour shift he would severely affect his recovery from the surgery on his knee.

In November 2015, he ceased working at the Tesco outlet and did not return to work there.

The WRC had initially awarded him €32,000, €16,000 for loss of wages due to going on extended leave, and another €16,000 due to his alleged victimisation.

Tesco had objected during the hearing on the basis that Noonan’s were employing the man and not Tesco. The initial decision by the WRC adjudication officer stated that it was correct to name Tesco as the respondent as the store exerted considerable command and control over the man, regarding annual leave applications and the delivery of security reports for example.

The retailer claimed argued that Noonan is not an employment agency per se, as had been argued earlier, but is ‘a provider of managed services’. It claimed, successfully, that neither the Temporary Agency Work Act 2012, nor the Employment Agency Act 1971, applied to such providers of managed services.

In line with this the court overturned the original decision to award the man €32,000 in personal injury compensation.

€30k Bowling Alley Injury Compensation Settlement for Boy who Injured his finger as a Toddler

A boy, now aged eight-years-old, who hurt his finger as a toddler when he was holding a bowling ball has settled his bowling alley injury compensation action for €30,000 at the High Court.

The boy, Kaylum Devitt now has a permanent 2cm scar on his right index finger. The bowling ball finger injury compensation settlement was agreed with a full denial of liability, the court heard.

Taking the compensation action though his Mother Natalie, Kaylum Devitt, of Buirg an Ri, Balgaddy, Lucan, Co Dublin, sued XL Bowl Limited trading as Superdome, Kennelsfort Road, Palmerstown, Dublin, due to the accident that occurred on March 18 2012.

In the High Court it was claimed the young boy’s right index finger was lacerated by a bowling ball and he sustained a fracture to the finger and had to have a surgical procedure to treat it.

Additionally, there was also an alleged failure to take any or any adequate precautions for the safety of the child. It was claimed that the bowling ball was allowed to be remain a danger or hazard on the premises. Counsel for Mr Devitt also stated that there was an alleged failure to provide appropriate children’s equipment in circumstances as the bowling alley was safe for children.

XL Bowl denied  the claims were and said it would be argued in court the toddler was not being properly supervised at the time of the incident.

Philip Sheahan SC, representing Kaylum, told the court the little boy was in the bowling alley with his family and that there may be two opposing accounts of what happened and a claim that people were distracted elsewhere at the time that the accident happened.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr, who examined the scar, said the settlement was for an appropriate sum given the extent of the injuries suffered by the young boy.

Playground Accident at Bettystown Caravan Park Results in €975,000 Settlement

A man, now aged 20, who was paralysed from the waist down after falling off a small child’s playground swing in a Bettystown. The judge, referring to the incident as a ‘silly act’ has approved a €975,000 personal injury settlement in relation to the accident.

Liam Daly (20) sustained suffered thea serious spine injury on July 24, 2013. when he fell and landed heavily on his back. Liam fell from the playground swing, designed for toddlers and young children, in the caravan park in Bettystown where the family’s mobile home was located.

John Daly, father of Liam Daly, Nephin Road, Dublin 7, took the compensation claim for the playground accident against Lynch’s Caravan Park, Bettystown.

Bruce Antoniotti SC, legal counsel for Mr Daly, told the court that the Daly family had been holidaying at the caravan park for 10 years with no incident prior to the accident occurring. It was claimed that the cradle seat of the swing rotated to the most extreme arc position and Liam was thrown in the air. Mr Antoiniotti stated that there was not enough done to prevent teenagers form using the swings. The Lynch’s denied these claims as and did not argued that there was contributory negligence as the plaintiff got on a swing which was designed for younger  and smaller children.

He sat on the cradle of the swing in question but, as he swung, he fell back and sustained a very serious spinal injury. Counsel for Mr Daly said that the protective cover on the ground was not ‘state of the art’ but accepted that this was irrelevant as it would not have restricted the injuries suffered by him.

He (Liam) is now wheelchair bound. Despite his injuries Mr Daly has learned to drive a car and is looking for job.

In approving the playground accident compensation settlement Mr Justice Cross Mr Daly was just aged 15 at the time of the accident and the injuries he suffered were the result of a ‘silly act’.

Toxic Chemical Personal Injuries Lead to Death of Air Corps Members’ Children According to Whistleblower Allegations

A protected disclosure alleging that children of Air Corps workers lost their lives due to toxic chemical personal injury at Baldonnel Airfield has been made by a Defence Forces whistleblower.

Previously in 2017 a document was published to the public in which a worker employed by the Defence Forces claimed to have proof of the “the untimely deaths of at least 20 adults…of which I believe died of illness related to unprotected chemical exposure”.

Included in this dossier were evidence that the death of a newborn girl happened due to ventricular septal defect (heart defect), a five year old boy died while having surgery to address a ‘malrotated intestine’ and a girl aged 15 died after contracting Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of cancer and her father is suffering from leukaemia at present.

There have been claims made about the effects of chemical exposure on the wives of members of the defence forces. A mechanic, who previously worked with the Air Corps, noticed that a number of these women had experienced more than one miscarriages and in one particular case, a woman had eight consecutive miscarriages. An independent third party, former civil servant Christopher O’Toole, was appointed by the Minister for Defence in 2016, to investigate the allegations

Leader of Fianna Fáil Mr Micheál Martin said he believes a Commission of Investigation is now necessary. He stated “The situation is far from satisfactory because with his opening comments the report’s author is essentially saying he cannot fulfill the terms of reference. From the Government’s point of view they established this review, they must have known the terms of reference could not be fulfilled. It’s farcical.”

Although the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have advised that procedures into risk assessment need to be reviewed, a whistleblower has said that these steps are “too little, too late”,especially in the case of those who have lost family members or who have developed life-changing illnesses and injuries.

There have been allegations issued that these deaths are due to organizational failure on the part of the Defence Forces which meant that Air Corps personnel were exposed to toxic chemicals. The Defence Forces are now facing Toxic Chemical Personal Injuries compensation actions by some former employees. The Defence Forces have released a statement stating, “Given these matters are subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

 

 

Personal Injury Compensation of €1,000 Offered for Charleville Show Assault

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin judge issued a stark warning to a teenager accused of breaking another youth’s jaw in an assault that has resulted in an order to pay €1,000 personal injury compensation.

After no offer of compensation was made at the court heaing last week, Judge Ó Donnabháin advised the accused youth that he would want to “wakey wakey” in terms of compensation.

The youth returned to court yesterday and there was €1,000 offered by way of personal injury compensation according to Legal Counsel for the defendant, Dermot Sheehan. Subsequently the judge adjourned sentencing until November 20 with the accused remanded on bail.

The assault took place at Charleville Show on June 26, 2016 when one young man headbutted the victim to the left side of his jaw and walked away. He, (the defendant) then approached the victim and struck him with a closed fist on the same side of his face. As a result of this the victim suffered a serious injury to his jaw. In the treatment that followed he had to have two plates and splints inserted into his jaw and he also lost some teeth.

Mr Sheehan advised the Court that said the accused, who is not named as he is a juvenile, suffers from health issues. Having read the report produced Judge Ó Donnabháin commented that: “He has not got health issues, he has behavioural issues.”

At the original hearing last week, the judge believed that it was unreasonable for the accused to appear before Cork Circuit Criminal Court with no compensation offer prepared.

Compensation Settlement of €25,000 Aprroved Following Fall in Tayto Park

An injury compensation claim, resulting from a boy (8) falling from a playground tower at Tayto Park in 2012, has been settled for €25,000 in the High Court.

Now aged 13, Conor Bolger of Briarfield Road, Kilbarrack, sued Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd, Co Meath trading as Tayto Park, through his father Brian Bolger due the the injuries he suffered in the incident on March 25, 2012. Conor had to undergo surgery to have pins inserted in his lower arm which he fractured near his elbow

Mr Bolger’s Legal team argued that the playground tower was overcrowded and Conor fell due to this. Additionally, they said, the area on the ground surrounding the tower, one of the main attractions in the park at the time of the incident, was not adequately covered by protective wood chips when the fall occurred. It was also alleged that there was not a sufficient system of constant inspections and safety checks implemented at Tayto Park at the time of the incident. Had this been in place it would have been seen that the protection was not adequate at prior to the fall.

He (Conor) fractured his left elbow as a result in the fall and had his elbow was in a cast for a month. Pins were inserted below his elbow during an operation.

David McGrath SC stated that Ashbourne Visitor Centre (Tayto Park) denied the claims and argued that Mr Bolger was climbing the playground tower when he simply “just fell”. Mr McGrath SC claimed that there was no inadequacy with the structure of the tower itself.  Despite this Counsel advised the High Court that the Bolger family were satisfied with proposed settlement of €25,000 for playground accident compensation.

High Court Justice Kevin Cross approved the proposed compensation settlement, commenting that the scar on Mr Bolger’s elbow was not “too upsetting” and that Conor, a basketball player, could have had his enjoyment of the sport damaged due to the injuries experienced.

Advice about Compensation for Noise Induced Hearing Loss

A settlement of injury compensation for noise induced hearing loss should take into account the consequences of the injury on your quality of life.

If you have suffered damage to your hearing due to an employer´s failure to provide a safe environment for you to work in, you will be eligible to claim compensation for noise induced hearing loss. The usual process for this is to apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim and support your application with a report from your doctor explaining the extent of your injury.

It is also important you communicate the consequences of your injury as well. The Injuries Board can only assess your application based on the information provided. If you fail to mention your quality of life has deteriorated and you have less self-confidence than previously because of your injury, the Injuries Board will be unaware of these factors and not account for them in the assessment of your claim.

The consequences of your injury will have to be supported with documentary evidence wherever possible for the consequences of your injury to be considered in the assessment of compensation for noise induced hearing loss. In many cases this can be difficult, and is why you should seek legal advice from an injury solicitor with experience of submitting applications for assessment to the Injuries Board.

In order to get a full understanding of how your noise induced hearing loss has affected your quality of life, your solicitor will ask you to keep a diary and record the times when your loss of hearing has made a noticeable difference to your quality of life. This may be when you find it hard to watch a film on TV, follow a conversation in a pub, or enjoy an outing with your family.

Your solicitor will help you complete the application to the Injuries Board to ensure these factors are included in their assessment, and to ensure you receive an appropriate settlement of injury compensation for noise induced hearing loss. If you are unable to speak over the phone with a solicitor because of the extent of your injury, you can have somebody call on your behalf or arrange a home visit.

Toxic Chemical Exposure Claims at Casement Airbase

The Journal published an article about toxic chemical exposure claims at Casement Airbase and the effects chemicals had on servicemen and their families.

According to the article, a former Air Corps mechanic has made toxic chemical exposure claims at Casement Airbase to highlight a lack of health and safety procedures. The “whistle-blower” has alleged that servicemen, their partners and their children have suffered illnesses and development issues – and in some cases death – due to exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals.

The claims were made under a protected disclosure agreement in an address to Ministers, TDs, senators and a Defence Forces representative. They were supported by documentation claiming twenty former servicemen may have died due to the exposure to toxic chemicals. Five children born with cancer-related conditions or birth defects are also claimed to have died due to their parents´ exposure.

The former Air Corps mechanic told the assembly: “I have come across several personnel whose wives have had multiple miscarriages both in serving and in retired personnel. In one case, a retired member’s wife had eight miscarriages in succession. I am also aware of three personnel who shared in an office in Casement´s engineering wing whose wives all had a miscarriage in the same six-month timeframe.”

The latest toxic chemical exposure claims at Casement Airbase are in addition to six personal injury claims already being made against the Defence Forces by former air corps servicemen. In their claims the former servicemen claim they were exposed to high levels of the restricted substance dichloromethane for up to twelve years despite the Defence Forces being aware of the health risks.

The Defence Forces have also been threatened with prosecution by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) who last year conducted an inspection of the working conditions at Casement Airbase. Among a series of faults at the airbase, inspectors found a failure to conduct risk assessments or provide personal protective equipment to personnel working with hazardous substances.

When asked to comment on the latest toxic chemical exposure claims at Casement Airbase, a spokesperson for the Department of Defence told the Journal an independent investigator was reviewing the claims and there would be no comment until the final report was received and studied. A spokesperson for the Defence Forces told the Journal: “Given these matters are subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Revised Injuries Board Book of Quantum Soon to be Released

A revised Injuries Board Book of Quantum is due to be released in the next few weeks, with more detail included to assist the accurate assessment of claims.

The Injuries Board Book of Quantum – the guide to compensation for physical personal injuries in Ireland – was originally published in June 2004. Intended to assist with the assessment of personal injury claims in which negligence had been admitted, the Injuries Board Book of Quantum lists a range of injuries and assigns them a financial value according to their severity and permanence.

The guide is not solely used by the Injuries Board. Solicitors negotiate settlements based on the values listed in the Injuries Board Book of Quantum and courts use the guide as a means of determining compensation awards. However, in recent years the guide has been criticised by judges for falling behind the times. Judges have often compensated for the age of the Injuries Board Book of Quantum by increasing awards of personal injury compensation – for which they themselves have been criticised.

Economic factors – such as low interest rates – have not helped matters, especially in the settlement of catastrophic injury claims. Whereas previously, judges would factor in an interest rate of 3%-4% when awarding lump sum payments, most recently they has awarded higher amounts of compensation due to the lack of interest claimants will receive if the funds are deposited in an interest-yielding account.

Now, after months of discussion between the Injuries Board, the Courts Service and senior judges, a revised Injuries Board Book of Quantum is due to be released in the next few weeks. Those who have seen the work in progress say that the values for relatively minor injuries are being increased in line with the increased cost of living, while some reductions are being made in the values for more serious injuries. The values have been apparently calculated based on injury compensation awards in 52,000 cases between 2013 and 2014.

How the revised Injuries Board Book of Quantum will be received is not yet known. Insurance companies – struggling after years of reduced returns from their investments – will likely be dissatisfied with any increase in the value of personal injury claims. Judges might also be unhappy with awarding lump sum compensation awards that fail to ensure the financial security of a plaintiff who has suffered a catastrophic injury.

One thing that all parties should consider is that the Injuries Board Book of Quantum only addresses the personal injuries a plaintiff has suffered. Any verifiable psychological injury or any verifiable deterioration in the plaintiff´s quality of life should also be considered in the settlement of a personal injury claim in Ireland. Because of the likelihood of defendants and their insurance companies relying solely on the Injuries Board Book of Quantum to calculate their financial liabilities, it is advisable to speak with a personal injury solicitor if you have been injured in an accident in Ireland for which you were not to blame.