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.