Category: Personal Injury Claims

There are many different reasons why personal injury claim in Ireland are made. Avoidable accidents on the roads, at work and in places of public access can result in serious injury which prevents the victim from working, completing day-to-day activities and enjoying leisure and social pursuits. In order for personal injury claims in Ireland to be successful, it also has to be shown that somebody who owed you a duty of care failed in their responsibility for your health and safety, and that you sustained an injury as a direct result. In order to establish whether you are entitled to make personal injury claims in Ireland, you are invited to call our freephone Solicitors Advisory Panel and speak directly with an experienced Irish solicitor to discuss the circumstance of your accident.

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.

 

Giraffe Creche Compensation of €35,000 for Young Girl

€35,000 Giraffe Creche Compensation has been awarded to seven-year-old Emily Martin who was filmed in an RTE documentary on creche mismanagement tied into a chair and left to cry during nap time when she was just 21 months old.

Presiding Judge Simons was that that n 2013 an RTE journalist took up a undercover role at the Giraffe Creche in Stepaside. She was employed as childcare worker and was able to secretly record the daily practices for a duration of six weeks. The footage she captured was broadcast on May 28, 2013 displaying many of the children being badly treated.

Emily Martin, via her father Jonathan Martin, was recorded as part of RTE’s first undercover creche expose. she took the Giraffe Creche Compensation action against Giraffe Childcare and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The court was told that Emily had been attending the Giraffe Creche at Belarmine Copse, Enniskerry Road, Stepaside, Dublin from the time that she was eight months old. Just after her first birthday she was moved into into the ‘wobbler room’. Her (Emily’s) parent’s informed Judge Simons that they had considered the claims of the creche brochure that the care given was of a ‘premium nature’ before enrolling Emily to attend.

They said that they became extremely distressed upon viewing the RTE Primetime documentary footage. The footage in question showed their child tied to a chair to prevent her from walking. There was more footage of Emily crying while holding her toy horse was she was having difficulty getting to sleep during nap time.

Counsel for Emily and her parents advised the judge that Emily was told to ‘go asleep’ repeatedly and a creche worker threatened to taken the toy horse away from her when she did not. The RTE reporter tried to comfort Emily as she was crying but was directed to ‘leave her cry’. Emily parent’s immediately took her away from the care of the creche upon viewing the documentary footage.

Her parents also told the Judge that, once she was moved into the wobbler room,Emily began to experience trouble sleeping and would regularly often become angry and would shout. After she was taken away from the the creche this behaviour came to an end.

The creche abuse compensation action alleged that Giraffe creche had failed to put in place proper precautions for Emily’s safety, had wrongly restrained children in chairs and had tried to put them to sleep in a cruel way. In addition to this it was claimed that supervision and training of staff it was not conducted properly.

A different claim was taken by the Nolan family against he Health Service Executive, stating that the body had not made sure that the creche complied with all childcare regulations.

A settlement was agreed between all parties involved and Judge Simons said he was happy to approve this Giraffe creche compensation settlement, which included meeting the costs of the legal action.

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.

Repaired Road Accident Compensation Award of €64,000 for Man Following Bike Accident

Joseph Kearney (47), who was inflicted with a serious back injury when his bike slipped on a recently repaired roadway where too much bitumen sealant had been applied, has been awarded €64,000 repaired road compensation at the High Court.

Portlaw, Co Waterford resident Mr Kearney took the repaired road compensation claim against Tipperary County Council, the body charged with the upkeep of the road, and Roadstone Wood Ltd, the business which carried out the repairs on the road in question.

Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon told the High Court that is easy to see that Mr Kearney had experienced significant pain and a loss of the amenities of life due to the accident that happened at Ballinaraha, Kilsheelan, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, on December 26 2011.

Judge O’Hanlon, who ruled that Tipperary Co Council and Roadstone Wood were both at fault in the incident, said that both parties appeared to accept the evidence given by Mr Kearney that there had been poor professionalism shown in relation to the work completed on the road repairs. A similar incident had occurred on another part of the same road and a witness to that accident provided evidence in this case.

Judge O’Hanlon said that that Roadstone Wood had completed the road repair works without making sure it had been finished to the proper standard. She added that Tipperary County Council was also at fault as the accident could have been avoided if corrective steps had been applied following the other accident that occured on the same stretch of road.

The court was told that Mr Kearney’s bike accident happened when he was cycling as part of a group of 17 people, cycling two abreast on the hard shoulder of the road in question. Mr Kearney was wearing his helmet and, as he approached a curve on the road, he fell from his bicycle. Judge O’Hanlon said that she believed Mr Kearney had provided his evidence honestly and did not seek to exaggerate accident or his injuries.

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.

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.

 

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.”

Thalidomide Compensation Cases Adjourned by High Court until November

The High Court has adjourned, for further case management,  26 personal injury compensation claims in relation to the use of the drug Thalidomide until November 7.

Teh legal actions are being brought against the producers of the drug, German firm Grunenthal GmbH, the Irish distributors, TP Whelehan Son & Co, and also the Ministers for Health and Environment.

The claimed wrongdoing, the High Court was told, dates back to the 1960s. Thalidomide was launched  in Germany in 1957 as a sedative and is alleged to have inflicted deformities on unborn children when it was prescribed to their pregnant mothers. The defendants in the case deny all the claims that the plaintiffs submitted.

The adjournment was issue as it is yet to be determined is whether the cases are statute barred . To date the actions have been case managed on their way to trial over the course of the last few years.

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, in hearing the cases on Wednesday, stated that he is unhappy with “the slow pace” of the proceedings. However, Justice Noonan did rule that certain information reagrding particulars of the claims must be provided by the plaintiff to legal counsel for the defendents prior to the November 7 hearing. This is information that the defendants claims they required in order to address the claim being made against them. He added that the plaintiffs had a right to request to discover documents from the State as part of the compensation claims that they are taking.

John Stack, chairman of Thalidomide Ireland, which supports the claims, said the group was pleased to learn that the plaintiffs had a right to discover State documents as part of their case.

He said “Unfortunately, two of our members have not survived to conclude their court actions against the Irish State. Our members are ageing, becoming more decrepit and suffering the adverse effects of their physical deterioration. Our litigation has been the mother of all battles over decades and Thalidomide victims have to keep themselves alive to get justice for both their families and themselves.

“That is fundamentally wrong and shows that the State’s moral compass in respect of catastrophic injury litigation is incorrectly set for the purpose of minimisation of costs rather than doing the correct thing by its injured citizens”.

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.”

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.

Former Supermarket Worker Awarded €105,000 Workplace Compensation for Cold Room Accident

A workplace accident award of €105,000 has been upheld by the Court of Appeal (CoA)    for a former part-time supermarket staff member who sustained an injury when she fell while operating a pallet truck moving wares.

37-year-old Pamela Phoenix, who now lives in Canada, and formerly of McDonnell Drive, Athy, Co Kildare, took the workplace compensation against Dunnes Stores due to the accident that she had on September 18, 2006. Ms Phoenix was trying to shift the pallet truck in reverse through a cold room when she suddenly slipped and fell heavily, injuring her bottom and back. 

A workplace accident compensation award of €105,929 was approved for Ms Phoenix in the High Court in 2016. The court agreed that she suffered chronic back pain and depressive symptomatology due to the supermarket workplace incident. By October 2007 she had gained a lot of weight. The judge said that he felt Ms Phoenix was a credible witness who did not exaggerate the suffering she experienced.

Dunnes Stores appealed the workplace compensation as, they argued, that the supermarket worker compensation award was excessive and disproportionately high.

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan, representing the three-judge Court of Appeal, upheld the supermarket workplace compensation award saying while it was probably in the upper range of what is normal, given the role of an appeallate court in other case law, the Court of Appeal cannot take any additional action in relation to this.

After the supermarket staff member accident Ms Phoenix was brought by ambulance to St Lukes’ hospital in Kilkenny. Her X-rays showed no serious damage and she was sent home with some pain-killing tablets. In the immediate aftermath of the the accident she had to use crutches to get around for a few days

She had difficulty returning to work with the same workload that she had tackled before the accident and changed jobs to a position with Elverys. In 2007, still experiencing a considerable amount of back pain, she departed that role. She also has difficulty in maintaining her studies at Maynooth University and became psychologically weak, eventually suffering from depression when she suffered a miscarriage n 2008. Following this Ms Phoenix moved to Canada to start a new life in 2013 where she married and had a baby in 2016.

€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.

Trapeze artist (53) sues Fossett Brothers Circus over Work Injury

A circus Trapeze artist has had her workplace compensation action struck out after she injured her back when a piece of equipment hit her during a big top grand finale.

Ms Bratby said she had finished her trapeze act and was standing with the other circus performers behind the main circus stage, waiting on the start the grand finale when the accident occurred.

Ms Bratby stated that she bent down low to put on her work shoes when a piece of steel tubing, normally used to secure the tight wire, struck her on the back after coming loose.

Aged 53, Ms Bratby with an address at Coolfore Road, Navan Co Meath sued Fossett Brothers Circus Ltd due to the accident that happened on October 11, 2012.
Liability had been accepted workplace accident legal action was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Following talks between the involved parties Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon was advised by John Mc Donagh SC, for Ms Bratby, the workplace compensation case could be struck out.

As she had alleged there had been a failure to make sure a heavy prop was adequately secured and a claimed failure to provide a safe place in which to work.

Ms Bratby’s legal representatives argued that she (Ms Bratby) was severely restricted in her work as a result of stiffness and pain and could not achieve an earning capacity similar to her pre-accident level. She could not continue with her trapeze act as confidently she had before the accident.

After initially having to spend the three days immediately after the accident in bed and she said she still experiences back pain in her current job at a petting farm.
Ms Bratby told the court that, prior to sustaining the injuries, she had aspiration to become a circus ring master.

On a circus tour in the Netherlands not long after the workplace accident she took part in nine performances. However, she was only able to complete basic tricks on the trapeze and could not in position to use the swing. During 2013 she had a limited schedule due to her injuries.

However, when the argument that she (Ms Bratby) earned two and a half times more after the accident that before it was made by legal representative for Fossetts, Ms Bratby said that she could not stand over her claims.

The judge allowed five minutes recess for the parties to consider their position and, following this, Ms Bratby’s legal team advised her that the case could be struck out.

Street Assault Compensation Award of €710k for Attacked Barman

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal has awarded a Dublin barman €710,000 for traumatic brain injuries sustained in a street assault.

The injuries were suffered by Stephen Plunkett, now aged 32, from Blackrock, Dublin around 12 years when he was involved in what was termed ‘horseplay’ with a group of people. In the action that followed Mr Plunkett was chased and suffered blows to his head due to a fall and subsequent kicks to the head.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross Court approved the tribunal award to Mr Plunkett in relation to the suffering he sustained in the street attack which occurred at Torquay Road, Foxrock, Dublin on August 21, 2006.

The Court was advised that, as a sole member of the tribunal had determined that Mr Plunkett was 50% to blame and a street assault compensation award of €634,000 was re-evaluated as to the figure €317,000.

An appeal was brought to the High Court on behalf of Mr Plunkett. At this time all the details of the case were considered at a full oral hearing in front of a three-member tribunal.

The three-member tribunal remarked that, after examining the Garda report of the case the details indicated that Mr Plunkett verbally attacked a separate group of people earlier on in the night this seemed to have been settled by the shaking of hands between the groups.

It was claimed that Mr Plunkett, in appeared to strike a member of the other group on the back of the head with a light bamboo type stick, prompting them to chase him.

During the chase Stephen fell and hit his head. Member of the group are believed to have kicked him while he was on the ground.

It was determined, by the tribunal that Mr Plunkett should be admitted to the compensation scheme. As he was the victim of an assault and that he suffered his injuries following a criminal act.

It was also ruled that Mr Plunkett was, at least partially to blame for the incident and a deduction of 40pc was applied to the final award.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the €710,000 street accident compensation award.

Almost €250m paid in Medical Negligence Claims during 2017

The State Claims Agency (SCA)  has revealed that a record figure of €248.88m was paid in medical negligence claims during 2017.

This figure is an increase of 20.6% on the amount paid out during 2016, €206.4m in total.

In the report released by the State Claims Agency, figures indicate that that the SCA has paid out €1.123bn since 2010 in relation to medical negligence compensation claims. The figures produced show that between clinical, and €32.87m in general claims awarded against the general health sector, the SCA has paid out €1.235bn in total in the last seven years.

These details were revealed to Fianna Fail Finance Spokesman Michael McGrath by the Minister for Finance Fine Gael TD Paschal Donohoe following a written request for the specific details of the figures paid out by the State in compensation claims.

There were also significant increases in compensation claims against other sectors since 2010 including:

  • €23.6m in personal injury claims awarded against the Defence Forces.
  • €19m out by the Irish Prison Service
  • €11m paid out the Child and Family Agency TUSLA since it was established in 2013
  • €111m paid out by state authorities since 2010.

The main finding of the report was that, by far, that largest portion of compensation pay outs by the SCA in 2017 was taken up by the public medical sector.

Another significant point to note from compensation claims made against the state in 2017 were as follows:

  • €1.38m was last year paid out by the SCA on behalf of Comprehensive and Community Schools with €296,673 paid out by the Dept of Health.
  • €261,569 was paid out by the Deptartment of Justice while €574,632 was paid out on behalf of Day Schools.
  • €196,090 was paid out by Childrens’ Detention Schools.

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.”

 

 

Mouth Injury Compensation of €30,000 for Garda Injured While at Work

A garda, Sean Kelly aged 31 who is due to be married next weekend, has been awarded €30,000 mouth injury compensation after he was assaulted while at work on January 7 2012.

Garda Kelly,  said that he is still sensitive about a scar on his upper lip and advised Mr Justice Bernard Barton he was still paranoid about the star-shaped scar. Despite this he was still able to joke to the the judge that he may have to don some make-up when he gets married next Saturday.

The incident happened just under five years ago when he was on duty. Counsel for Garda Kelly, Barrister Fiona Gallagher, advised the High Court that he had been called to a house in Finglas regarding a man who, had just been released from a psychiatric institution where he had been treated. He was threatening to self harm. Garda Kelly was accompanied by two colleagues.

Garda Kelly stated that the individual, who had swallowed large amounts of non-prescriptive medication, had shut himself in his bathroom. From there he was threatening to jump from the bathroom window. When they tried to apprehend the man Garda Kelly was struck on his mouth with a toilet brush holder, which lacerated his lip, in the resulting melee.

Garda Kelly had to be taken to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown to be treated immediately due to the major bleeding that followed. When he was treated, a piece of porcelain was found to be still stuck in his upper lip. X-rays showed he had not been inflicted with any major fractures.

After this he was given an anaesthetic injection and received seven stitches, many of them on the inside of his mouth. Later, when the scar later became infected, he had to follow a course of antibiotics until the infection was cured. The scar on the outside of his lip was noticeable at close distance and he was still very paranoid about it.

Barrister Derek Ryan, Counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure, advised the High Court that, due to the results of conflicting medical reports, he did not feel Garda Kelly had suffered Post Traumatic Stress to the degree that there should be an exceptional compensation award.

State Healthcare Employees Make Five Sexual Harassment Claims Against Patients

Five employees working in the State healthcare system filed sexual harassment claims over the last number of years, believing they were assaulted by patients, according to details in a recent media report.

The State Claims Agency has not published specific details about where the claimed abuse took place in these or any other separate cases.

The claims are in connection to incidents that took place between 2012 and 2016 and encompass almost half of all sexual harassment claims being managed by the State Claims Agency for the State.

Up until recently, the State Claims Agency had declined to release any further information on such claims.

There have been calls from political party Fianna Fail and the Oireachtas Justice Committee for the State Claims Agency to release a detailed breakdown of all sexual harassment claims made against individual public sector bodies. This comes after the original refusal by the State Claims Agency to release such a breakdown, by employer and sector, of all the sexual harassment claims which it manages for the State.

The Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee made contact with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan during November to ask him to back a call for the data to be published. After this the State Claims Agency published a small amount of information on the number of such sexual harassment claims. However, it did not state where the claims originated from specifically.

In an official statement published it said that the State Claims Agency has managed 11 individual claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, which it stated was “referable to three State Authorities, inclusive of all Delegated Healthcare Agencies, in the years 2012 to 2016”.

It also stated that in six of the cases they’ve managed the claimed assailant and victim are both employees. In the other five cases they said the person allegedly responsible for the assault was a service user in the healthcare sector and the victim was a employee.

The State Claims Agency (SCA) stated “The claims that the SCA handle, of this nature, are claims which are wholly or mainly ones seeking compensation for injury (mental or physical).”

 

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.

Cost of Compensation Claims taken Against the State Increase to €2.2bn

Following another busy year for personal injury claims the overall amount of money paid out in compensation claims against the State increased by almost a fifth to €2.2 billion by the end of 2016.

In a report released by the State Claims Agency at the end of September there is more evidence that the cost of the compensation claims taken against the State has continued to increase. The State Claims Agency is the body is responsible for managing legal cases brought against the State.

By the end of last year the approximate cost of outstanding compensation actions against the State had grown by €400m to €2.2 billion, an increase of 22 per cent, during the 12 months of 2016.

Notable Increases Shown in Stage Claims Agency Release

  • 8,900 legal compensation actions were classified as pending against the State at the end of 2016. This figure was just 6,000 in 2011.
  • A 24% increase, from the 2015 figures, in legal actions was experienced.
  • There were approximately 2,300 legal actions against the State during 2016..

Other reasons for the increase include a recent Supreme Court ruling. This ruling stated that compensation sums paid to anyone who successfully sues for damages should be higher as the returns on the cash they are due to receive have fallen. This resulted in increased amounts awarded in compensation.

The State Claims Agency, established in 2001 handles personal injury, clinical negligence and property damage claims taken against State bodies. It is part of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

The NTMA is responsible for the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) and New Era, which oversees commercial State companies.

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.

Woman Awarded Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

A woman has been awarded more than €234,000 compensation for dog bite injuries she sustained in a terrifying attack by two powerful boxer dogs.

The unnamed woman was enjoying an evening walk along a rural lane when the attack happened. Two boxer dogs, who had been standing in the driveway of their owner´s home, started to approach her. The woman told them to go home, but they jumped up at her, knocked her to the ground, and started attacking her.

The woman´s first thoughts were to protect her face by covering it with her arms, but the dogs managed to get through her defences – biting her face, head, forearms and body, and causing multiple puncture wounds and lacerations that have now developed into visible and permanent scars.

The attack was stopped by a passing lady motorist, who sounded the horn of her car and frightened the dogs away. The boxer dogs have since been destroyed and their owners admitted liability when the woman made a claim for compensation for dog bite injuries. In order to settle the claim, the case went to the High Court for an assessment of damages.

At the assessment hearing, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told the details of the attack. The judge also heard evidence from medical experts who attested to her physical and emotional injuries. When the woman gave her evidence, she told the judge who she had been devastated by the change in her appearance and how her young children had been frightened to get close to her.

Judge Barr was shown photographs of the woman taken shortly before and after the attack, and he accepted she had undergone a profound change in her appearance, personality and mental state as a result. The judge also acknowledge she had suffered a moderate level of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Awarding the woman €234,557 compensation for dog bite injuries, the judge said he was confident she had had not exaggerated the injuries she had sustained nor embellished the details of the terrifying attack.

Jogger Awarded Compensation for a Trip and Fall Injury on Council Land

A jogger has been awarded €60,000 compensation for a trip and fall injury on council land after the council attempted to argue that the claim was fraudulent.

On September 18th, 2011, the male jogger tripped on a hole in the surface of a footpath in the Clondalkin caravan site in Dublin. When he fell, he fractured a knuckle on his right hand which he subsequently had to undergo surgery for and has since been left with a scar.

As the caravan site is owned and managed by South Dublin County Council, the jogger claimed compensation for a trip and fall injury on council land. The council disputed liability and argued the man – who was a keen boxer – had injured his knuckle in a fight.

Due to the dispute over liability, the case went to the High Court where it was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. During the hearing, it was disclosed that the man had been involved in a car accident the previous day in which he had suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck and back.

The council used this information to express doubts that the man would have gone jogging the day after an accident, and repeated its argument that the injury had been sustained in a boxing match. However, judge Barr accepted the evidence of a medical witness, who testified that the man was just trying to run off his soft tissue injury.

The judge concluded this was a “credible explanation” for why the man had been jogging on the morning after a car accident, and awarded him €55,000 compensation for a trip and fall injury on council land – increasing the award by €5,000 to account for the aggressive manner in which the council had pursued their argument the claim was fraudulent.

Judge Barr said in his closing remarks that the evidence suggested the plaintiff was injured in the manner in which he had claimed. He added there was no evidence to suggest the jogger was making a fraudulent claim, and he was entitled to the additional compensation for the upset caused to him by the nature of the unsuccessful defence put forward by South Dublin County Council.

Claim for an Injury in a Train Station Accident Resolved at Court

A claim for an injury in a train station accident has been resolved at a hearing of the Circuit Civil Court in which the passenger was found 50% at fault.

The claim for an injury in a train station accident was made following the events of 2nd August 2012, when the plaintiff – a fisherman from Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin – mistakenly alighted from an Irish Rail commuter train at Tara Street instead of his intended destination of Connolly Street.

On realising his mistake, the plaintiff tried to re-board the train, but slipped and fell through the gap between the platform and the train. Although he was able to extricate himself and continue his journey, an x-ray taken the following day revealed that he had fractured his right shoulder in three places.

The plaintiff applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of his claim for an injury in a train station accident, but Irish Rail denied its consent for the assessment to be done. The Injuries Board subsequently issued the plaintiff with an authorisation to pursue his claim through court action.

The claim for an injury in a train station accident was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court last week. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told that, despite there being “probably more cameras at Tara Street Station than there are at Pinewood Studios,” the accident had not been captured by CCTV.

The judge heard that Irish Rail was contesting the claim for an injury in a train station accident because they felt the plaintiff was the architect of his misfortune by failing to look where he was going, although this argument was countered by the plaintiff´s counsel, who contested that Irish Rail had an obligation to provide safe transit and that obligation had not been met.

After hearing there had been eleven previous incidents of passengers falling between a platform and a train in the past five years, Judge Groarke commented that Irish Rail had an “absolute requirement” to warn passengers to mind the gap. The judge found in the plaintiff´s favour – although attributing him 50% contributory negligence – and awarded him €25,000 compensation in settlement of his claim for an injury in a train station accident.

Judge Increases Award of Compensation for a Swimming Pool Injury

A High Court judge has increased an award of compensation for a swimming pool injury and dismissed an appeal by the venue at which the injury was sustained.

On 13th November 2011, Timea Babos broke her two upper front teeth when diving into the swimming pool at the West Wood Club in Dublin and hitting her face on the bottom of the pool. After having crowns fitted to her broken teeth, Timea claimed compensation for a swimming pool injury on the grounds that there were no warning signs indicating that the 50 metre pool had a single depth of just 1.35 metres.

The West Wood Club denied liability for Timea´s injury and she was issued with an Authorisation to pursue her claim in court. In May 2015, Judge Jacqueline Linnane awarded Timea €30,000 compensation for a swimming pool injury at a hearing of the Circuit Civil Court. However, the West Wood Club appealed the decision, contesting the award on the grounds that Timea had contributed to her injury by failing to check the depth of the water before diving in.

At the appeal hearing this week, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan was told that Timea had never visited the venue before and, being a 50 metre pool, she had expected it to have a depth of two metres. The judge also heard there were no warning signs indicating the shallowness of the pool or any red indicators advising guests not to jump or dive into the pool. Timea´s counsel told Judge Noonan that there were no reasons at all to believe the pool was not safe.

Describing the signage as “woefully inadequate”, Judge Noonan said he did not accept West Wood´s claim that there was a lifeguard on duty at the time. The judge dismissed the appeal and increased the award of compensation for a swimming pool injury to €38,097 – commenting that it was a very modest award in the circumstances and that the West Wood Club was fortunate that the claim had not initially been brought in a court with a higher jurisdiction.

Emotional Trauma Compensation for a Shopping Centre Incident Awarded

A woman who suffered a psychological injury when she was trapped in a lift has been awarded emotional trauma compensation for a shopping centre incident.

On 31st August 2012, Marie Dicker – a fifty-four year old department store supervisor from Walkinstown in Dublin – was shopping with her son at the Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght, when the couple took the lift to travel down to the ground floor.

Shortly after the lift started to descend it came to a sudden halt. Trapped inside the lift, Marie tried to summon assistance by pressing the alarm button. When she was unable to reach anybody on the intercom, she banged on the lift doors and called for help.

After a few minutes of calling for help, the couple were rescued by a shopping centre security guard. However, despite the incident lasting less than five minutes, being trapped in the lift caused Marie to suffer a recurrence of childhood claustrophobia.

In the months following the shopping centre incident, Marie was unable to go into rooms without leaving the door open behind her. This made it difficult for her to use public toilets or shop fitting rooms, and in other situations Marie found that she became anxious unless she was close to the exit of any room she entered.

Marie sought professional medical help and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression. She then spoke with a solicitor and subsequently claimed emotional trauma compensation for a shopping centre incident against the shopping centre´s management company and the maintenance company responsible for the upkeep of the lift.

Square Management Ltd and Pickering Lifts Ltd acknowledged that there had been a breach in their duty of care, but disputed how much emotional trauma compensation for a shopping centre incident Marie was claiming. Unable to agree a negotiated settlement, the case went to the High Court for an assessment of damages.

At the hearing Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told that an independent psychiatrist commissioned by the defendants had found no evidence of an anxiety disorder when Marie was examined. However, the judge also heard that, since the incident, Marie has been under the care of a psychologist and has responded well to cognitive behaviour therapy that is expected to last for another eighteen months.

Judge Barr commented he was satisfied that Marie had suffered a psychological injury when she was trapped in the lift caused by a recurrence of childhood claustrophobia. He awarded her €25,060 emotional trauma compensation for a shopping centre incident.

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.

Judge Awards Bicycle Courier Injury Compensation at High Court Hearing

A judge at the High Court has awarded bicycle courier injury compensation after dismissing claims that the plaintiff had contributed to causing the accident.

In March 2015, Rotimi Omotayo was cycling along Custom House Quay in Dublin when he was knocked from his bike by a taxi driven by Kenneth Griffin that had pulled out from a line of queuing traffic without indicating.

Fortunately, Rotimi did not suffer any serious injuries, but when he applied to the Injuries Board for bicycle courier injury compensation, consent for the Injuries Board to conduct the assessment was denied due to alleged contributory negligence.

Rotimi was issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim for bicycle courier injury compensation in court. Because of the potential value of the claim, the case was assigned to the High Court, where it was heard recently by Mr Justice Bernard Barton.

At the hearing, Judge Barton heard witnesses from both parties testify how the accident had occurred – the important issue being whether Rotimi had been in breach of Regulation 26 of the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997 by cycling in the hatched area.

After hearing that Rotimi had been cycling between carriageways as he was about to turn right to deliver a package on the river side of the Quay, the judge ruled that he had every entitlement to cycle in the outside lane before turning right.

Judge Barton dismissed the claim of contributory negligence and assigned full liability to the taxi driver – saying that Rotimi had the right of way and was sufficiently close to Kenneth Griffin to give the taxi driver a duty of care. Consequently the taxi driver had to accept full liability for the accident.

In relation to the settlement of bicycle courier injury compensation, Judge Barton applied the principals of Tort law to award Rotimi €30,000 bicycle courier injury compensation saying that the Book of Quantum was “hopelessly out of date and of little assistance”.

With regard to Rotimi´s claim for special damages, the judge commented there was insufficient evidence to support Rotimi´s alleged loss of earnings, but he allowed Rotimi´s “properly vouched and agreed” special damages – including his legal costs.

Woman Awarded Compensation for being Hit by a Wing Mirror While Jogging

A woman has been awarded €134,000 injury compensation for being hit by a wing mirror of a van while she was out jogging in Mullingar with a friend.

Donna Woods and her friend were jogging along the Ballynacarragy to Mullingar road in January 2013, when Donna was hit by the wing mirror of a passing van. Donna suffered a fractured wrist in the accident, and also injuries to her right hand, elbow, shoulder and jaw.

Donna applied for an Injuries Board assessment of her claim for compensation for being hit by a wing mirror, but the driver of the van – Joseph Tyrell – refused to give his consent, and Donna was given an authorisation to pursue her claim in court.

Due to the potential value of the claim, the hearing was held at the High Court before Mr Justice Kevin Cross. At the hearing, Judge Cross was told that Donna – a forty-seven year old teacher from Mullingar in County Westmeath – had previously been a “very active lady”.

The judge also heard that on 22nd January 2013, Donna and her friend were jogging in the opposite direction to the traffic. A tractor and trailer had just passed them on the far side of the road, and they had seen Tyrell pull over onto the grass verge to give the tractor a wide berth.

The two women continued running, as they believed that Tyrell would drive back onto the road once the tractor had passed. However, Tyrell continued to drive along the grass verge – catching Donna with the wing mirror of his van and causing her injuries.

Defending the claim for compensation for being hit by a wing mirror, Tyrell argued that Donna has been at least partly responsible for her injuries by her and her friend running along the road two abreast and for failing to wear high visibility clothing.

Tyrell´s defence was dismissed by Judge Cross. The judge said that, had Tyrell rejoined the road once the tractor had passed, there would have been sufficient room for him to pass Donna safely. The judge also found that Donna had been wearing bright-coloured clothing on the morning of the accident.

The judge awarded Donna €134,000 compensation for being hit by a wing mirror, stating that Donna had suffered quite significant injuries that would prevent her from competing in physically demanding sports activities for a long time.

Court Awards Compensation for Defamation on Facebook

A Monaghan court has awarded the National Director of the National Association of Regional Game Councils €75,000 compensation for defamation on Facebook.

On or around 22nd December 2015, John Gilsenan from Castleblayney in County Monaghan posted defamatory comments about Desmond Crofton –  the National Director of the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) – on his Facebook page, suggesting that the actions of the National Director had caused the NARGC to “go broke”.

The defamatory comments were seen by other NARGC members, who raised questions about the leadership of the National Director, the organisation´s finances and its legal costs. The questions resulted in an unnecessary confrontation, with the outcome that Crofton was suspended from his position of National Director on full pay.

After seeking legal advice, Crofton – from Stonestown in County Offaly – made a claim for compensation for defamation on Facebook against Gilsenan. According to Crofton´s solicitor, Gilsenan had engaged in communication with his client soon after the claim was made, but had since “abandoned the matter”.

With the claim for compensation for defamation on Facebook remaining uncontested, the case went to the Monaghan Circuit Criminal Court, where it was heard by Judge John O´Hagan for the assessment of damages only. After hearing of the personal injury Crofton had suffered because of the defamatory comments, Judge O´Hagan awarded him €75,000 compensation for defamation on Facebook.

In his summing up, Judge O´Hara said he was awarding Crofton the maximum award of compensation for defamation on Facebook to “teach people posting messages on the social media site to be very careful”.

Injured Rider Settles Compensation Claim for a Fall from a Pony

A dentist, who was injured in an accident on a pony trek, has settled her compensation claim for a fall from a pony during a hearing to establish liability.

Thirty-five year old mother-of-two Maria Gray – a dentist from Belfast – was among a group of friends celebrating a hen weekend in Galway when she joined her friends on a pony trek at Feeney’s Riding School in Thonabrocky. The trek started with a gentle trot through the countryside but, when the party started descending a steep incline, the legs of Maria´s pony buckled and Maria fell from the saddle.

Due to falling on hard tarmac, Maria sustained a deep cut on her chin and a wrist injury. The cut was cleaned and stitches were applied at hospital, but Maria now has a permanent scar that is visible to her patients. Maria had to undergo eight weeks of physiotherapy on her wrist injury – during which time she wore a splint on her arm and was unable to work.

Maria made a compensation claim for a fall from a pony against the owners of the riding school – Gerard and Siobhan Feeney. In her claim, Maria alleged that the pony was unsuitable for her 5 foot 8½ inches frame, that it was exhausted and hungry from participating in an earlier trek, and that the riding school had not given her adequate instruction before letting her ride the pony.

The Feeney´s denied the allegations and argued that – as well as having been given adequate instruction – Maria had been offered a larger pony to ride, but had declined the opportunity. Without the riding school´s consent to carry out an assessment, the Injuries Board issued Maria with an authorisation to pursue her compensation claim for a fall from a pony through the courts.

The hearing to establish liability opened at the High Court last week. Maria told Mr Justice Raymond Fullam that it had been a very hot day and, due to her pony having already been out on a trek earlier, it was hungry and tired. However, before the second day of the hearing, the Judge Fullam was told that the parties had negotiated a settlement of the compensation claim for a fall from a pony and the case could be struck.

Woman Awarded Compensation for a Slip and Fall in a Dublin Bar

A woman from County Offaly has been awarded €90,000 compensation for a slip and fall in a Dublin bar after a hearing into her claim at the High Court.

Sharon Kelly was a guest at a thirtieth birthday party being hosted at the Arc Café Bar on Fonthill Road, Dublin, on 28th May 2011 when – at around 1:00am in the morning – she left the rest of the party to visit the toilets.

As she walked across the wooden floor of the bar´s lobby, Sharon slipped on some liquid on the floor and fell – dislocating her thumb as she landed. As a result of her slip and fall accident, Sharon was in pain for several months and has lost some feeling in the top of her thumb.

Sharon claimed compensation for a slip and fall in a Dublin bar, but the bar´s owners – Lackabeg Limited – denied liability for her injuries on the grounds that the bar had a comprehensive cleaning system in place.

As consent to assess the claim for compensation for a slip and fall in a Dublin bar was denied, the Injuries Board issued Sharon with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court. The hearing was heard late last week by Mr Justice Anthony Barr.

At the hearing, the bar´s legal representatives argued that Sharon had been drinking for five hours before slipping and falling, and that she was wearing four-inch heels at the time of her accident.

However, after reviewing CCTV footage of Sharon´s accident and hearing from two witnesses that the toilets had been in poor condition that evening, Judge Barr found in Sharon´s favour.

Saying that he was convinced that there had been liquid on the floor of the bar´s lobby and that “people cannot be expected to look at the floor when walking across a bar”, the judge awarded Sharon €90,000 compensation for a slip and fall in a Dublin bar.