Tag: public liability claims

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.

Judge Reluctant to Approve Compensation for an Eyebrow Injury

A judge has said he is reluctant to approve a settlement of compensation for an eyebrow injury until the impact of the injury in later life is known.

The proposed settlement of compensation for an eyebrow injury was in a relation to a claim made on behalf of a four-year-old girl, who was injured in an accident while travelling with her mother on a Dublin bus in 2015.

The accident occurred when the bus driver braked suddenly to avoid an unmarked garda car that had pulled out into a bus lane. Although strapped into her buggy, the girl – who was twenty-two months old at the time – hit her head on an upright support of the bus.

Following the accident, the girl was taken to Temple Street Children´s Hospital, where a cut on the girl´s forehead was cleaned and sealed with seristrips. Although a barely visible scar remains, it is possible that the girl´s eyebrow hair will not develop normally as she gets older.

A claim for compensation for an eyebrow injury was made by the girl´s mother on her daughter´s behalf. Dublin Bus and the Garda Commissioner accepted liability for the injury, and a settlement of compensation amounting to €10,000 was offered to the family.

As the claim for compensation for an eyebrow injury had been made on behalf of a minor, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be finalised. Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court last week, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident and the consequences of the injury.

Judge Groarke inspected the young girl´s eyebrow and said he could still see a visible scar. He commented that, as it was difficult to tell if the girl had made a complete recovery, he was reluctant to approve the settlement at this stage. He adjourned the approval hearing for six weeks in order that a medical report could be prepared on how the injury may interfere with the growth of the girl´s eyebrow hair in the future.

Judge Approves Settlement of Spanish Holiday Injury Claim

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has approved the settlement of a Spanish holiday injury claim after being told there may be a doubt over liability.

The Spanish holiday injury claim resulted from an accident in the swimming pool of the Sol Principe Hotel in Torremolinos in which an eight-year-old girl was injured. The girl had been swimming in the pool when another holidaymaker dived in. Unfortunately the holidaymaker landed on top of the girl and pushed her to the bottom of the pool, where she cut her chin on the tiles.

The girl´s father took her to a local medical centre, where the injury was treated. On the family´s return to Ireland, the girl´s father sought legal advice and – on his daughter´s behalf – made a Spanish holiday injury claim against the owners of the Sol Principe Hotel and the Irish travel agent through whom the family holiday had been booked.

In the Spanish holiday injury claim, it was alleged there had been a failure by the hotel to take adequate safety precautions while guests were using the pool. It was claimed that the accident could have been prevented with adequate supervision and, that as a result of the accident, the girl had suffered pain and discomfort and experienced a disturbance of her social and recreational life.

The allegations were denied by the defendants and a full defence entered against the Spanish holiday injury claim. An offer of compensation based on what the family would receive if the claim was successfully heard in Spain was declined, and a second offer of settlement was forthcoming – the offer of €12,500 being accepted by the family on advisement of their solicitor.

As the Spanish holiday injury claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the settlement had to be approved by a judge. Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, the circumstances of the accident and details of the offer were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. After hearing that the girl had a 1cm scar on her chin as a result of the accident, but liability may be in doubt if the case went to a full hearing, Judge Groarke said he was happy to approve the settlement in the circumstances.

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.

Offer of Compensation for a Scar from a Creche Accident Approved

An offer of €45,000 compensation for a scar from a creche accident has been approved by the Circuit Civil Court in favour of a twelve-year-old boy.

Calum Lawless from Dunshaughlin in County Meath was just three years old when, in July 2007, he tripped over an uneven floor surface at the Happy Days Creche in Clonee, Dublin, and fell – hitting his face on the floor and sustaining a cut close to his right eye.

Calum was taken to the VH1 Swiftcare Clinic at Dublin City University, where a three-centimetre laceration was cleaned and closed with steri-strips. Calum´s right eye remained closed for a week after his accident and he had significant bruising for almost a month.

Now twelve years of age, Calum has a permanent visible scar by his right eye that – due to its location – cannot be concealed with plastic surgery.

As the two-year Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims does not apply to children, Calum´s mother – Lorraine Lawless – claimed compensation for a scar from a creche accident on her son´s behalf against the owner of the creche – Hansfield Company Ltd, of Castleknock, Dublin.

In her legal action, Lorraine alleged that Hansfield Company Ltd had been negligent for failing to provide a safe environment and was thereby liable for Calum´s accident and injury. The owners of the Happy Days Creche admitted liability and made an offer of €45,000 compensation for a scar from a creche accident.

As the claim for compensation for a scar from a creche accident had been made on behalf of a children, the offer had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Calum´s best interest. Consequently the circumstances of Calum´s accident and injury were related to Judge James O´Donohoe at the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge O´Donohoe approved the settlement after inspecting the scar and ensuring that the family agreed to the settlement. The settlement of compensation for a scar from a creche accident will now be paid into court funds until Calum becomes a legal adult at age eighteen.

Settlement of Claim for Cycling Pothole Injuries Approved

The Injuries Board-assessed settlement of a claim for a cycling pothole injuries has been approved in the High Court in favour of a sixteen-year-old boy.

In July 2013, Dillon O´Reilly was giving his cousin a “backer” while cycling along the road between Killard and Blarney in County Cork, when the front wheel of his bicycle hit a pothole. Dillon – who had been riding on the pedals of his bicycle – was thrown onto the road surface and suffered a fractured wrist and injuries to his knee and shoulder.

Through his father, Dillon made a claim for cycling pothole injuries against Cork County Council. The Council consented to the Injuries Board request to assess Dillon´s injuries, before agreeing to the proposed settlement figure of €61,500. As the claim for cycling pothole injuries had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Dillon´s best interests.

Consequently an approval hearing took place before Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court, who heard that – in addition to his fractured wrist, knee and shoulder injuries – Dillon also suffered several lacerations that have now left permanent scars. The judge was also told that Dillon recognises that giving his cousin a ride on the back of his bike was a dangerous thing to do.

Judge Cross commented that Dylan had not done anything that any other child of his age would have done, but said it was inevitable that – if the case had been resolved in a full hearing – the settlement of the claim for cycling pothole injuries would have been reduced by 30 to 50 percent to account for his contributory negligence.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said that in the circumstances it was prudent to accept the Injuries Board´s assessment and the judge approved the €61,500 settlement of the claim for cycling pothole injuries -advising Dillon that his scars would likely be susceptible to sunlight and he should keep out of the sun to prevent them deteriorating.

Liability in Dunnes Back Injury Claim Determined in Court

A High Court judge has awarded a woman €64,300 compensation after determining liability in a Dunnes back injury claim for slipping on milk and falling.

Thirty-two year old Rachel Prior, from Cratloe in County Clare, made her Dunnes back injury claim after slipping on spilt milk in the Limerick branch of Dunnes Stores. Rachel – who is a professional singer – claimed to have suffered injuries to her cervical spine and lower back due to the stores negligence in failing to identify the hazard and remove it before her accident.

Dunnes Stores contested the allegations of negligence and denied its consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment of Rachel´s claim. Rachel was issued with an authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue her Dunnes back injury claim in court. The hearing to determine liability was heard earlier this week by Mr Justice Anthony Barr at the High Court.

At the hearing, Judge Barr was told that Rachel performs under the stage name of “Rachy P” and that her act involves energetic dance moves. He also heard that Rachel is in constant pain after a gig because of her injury, and that she has had to adjust her lifestyle as a result of her accident in Dunnes Stores.

It was argued by the defendant that Rachel´s performances after her accident implied her injuries were not as bad as she had alleged in her Dunnes back injury claim. Dunnes Stores also claimed that Rachel had contributed to her accident by failing to look where she was going in the Henry Street store.

Judge Barr found in Rachel´s favour after dismissing the allegations of contributory negligence. The judge commented that Rachel was a truthful witness, who had established liability and not overstated her injuries. He also dismissed the claims of contributory negligence on the grounds that it would have been difficult to see milk on a shiny floor under bright lighting.

The judge awarded Rachel €64,300 compensation in settlement of her Dunnes back injury claim, conceding to Dunnes Stores for a stay on the settlement pending an appeal, provided that the company immediately pay Rachel €30,000 of the compensation award plus €20,000 towards her legal costs.

Settlement of Hotel Pool Injury Claim Approved in Court

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has approved the settlement of a hotel pool injury claim made on behalf of a six-year-old schoolgirl by her father.

Emma Olteanu was just four years old when her father, Marius, took her swimming at the Clarion Hotel in Clondalkin in October 2014. Emma had been given special swimming socks to prevent her from slipping, but despite this precaution, Emma tripped on the worn edge of a pool mat and fell – hitting her chin against the side of the pool and sustaining a deep cut.

Emma´s father took her to the Emergency Department at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght, where the cut on Emma´s chin was cleaned and stitched. Due to the depth of the cut, Emma has a two-centimetre scar on her chin which – her parents from Lucan in County Dublin claim – she is very conscious of.

On his daughter´s behalf, Marius made a hotel pool injury claim against Kingsoak Taverns Ltd. trading as Clarion Hotels. In his legal action, Marius claimed that the hotel was negligent by equipping the pool with a worn pool mat. The hotel admitted liability and a €21,000 settlement of the hotel pool injury claim was negotiated.

As the hotel pool injury claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the settlement had to be officially approved to ensure it was in Emma´s best interests. Consequently, the facts of the case were presented to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court, who was also told about the consequences of Emma´s accident and her permanent scar.

The judge approved the settlement of the hotel pool injury claim and ordered that it was to be paid into court funds. The settlement will be placed into an interest-bearing account until Emma reaches the age of eighteen unless an application is made to the court by her parents to release funds for Emma´s education or for medical reasons.

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.

Waitress Awarded Compensation for an Injury Caused by Broken Glass

A former waitress has been awarded €500,000 compensation for an injury caused by broken glass after a hearing at the High Court in Dublin.

The claim for compensation for an injury caused by broken glass was made by Sophie Caillaud – a former waitress at the Lough Rynn Hotel in Mohill, County Leitrim. Sophie (42) – a French national with an address in Leitrim Village – suffered a deep cut in her right thumb when a glass jug she was filling during a breakfast shift in December 2007 shattered in her hand.

Sophie had to undergo surgery to repair the soft damage tissue in her thumb and, due to the thumb never regaining its strength, Sophie has been unable to return to waitressing since her accident. The injury has also restricted Sophie in her day-to-day activities. She is unable to wash her hair unaided and has had to buy a car with automatic transmission.

After seeking legal advice, Sophie claimed compensation for an injury caused by broken glass against her former employer – Lough Rynn Castle Ltd. – and the two companies that manufactured and supplied the jugs to the hotel – Bunzl Outsourcing Ltd and Utopia Tableware Ltd. Although accepting partial responsibility for the accident, the defendants questioned the amount of compensation that was being claimed and argued that she contributed to her injury through her own negligence.

With no resolution to the case achievable through the Injuries Board process or by negotiation, the claim for compensation for an injury caused by broken glass went to the High Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. At the hearing, Judge Cross was told that the hotel management knew of the risk of injury from the jugs as members of the restaurant staff had previously reported injuries from the jugs shattering.

The judge was also presented with expert evidence that showed the joint between the jug´s thick handle and its thinner body was liable to be fragile if subjected to rapid heating and cooling – such as when used in a dishwasher. As a result, the joint would break, the jug would fall and the glass shatter. The defendants were unable to provide any evidence disputing the expert´s testimony.

After hearing evidence from Sophie, Judge Cross dismissed suggestions that Sophie was exaggerating her injuries and claims of contributory negligence. Saying that he found Sophie to be “entirely genuine”, Judge Cross awarded her €500,000 compensation for an injury caused by broken glass – €170,000 for Sophie´s past and future pain and suffering, €135,000 for her loss of earnings and €195,000 special damages for costs Sophie has incurred.

Judge Increases Settlement of Crèche Scar Injury Compensation Claim

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has increased the settlement of a five-year-old´s crèche scar injury compensation claim from €40,000 to €55,000.

Ruth Reilly was just two years of age when, in October 2013, she was left unattended by staff at the Giraffe Childcare Crèche in Navan, County Meath. While she was alone, Ruth tripped and fell – banging her head against a wall of the facility and sustaining a deep cut to her forehead.

An ambulance was called, and Ruth received treatment for her injury at the crèche before being taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda to have the wound closed with stitches. As a result of her accident, Ruth has a permanent and visible scar on her forehead.

Through her father, Seamus Reilly, Ruth made a crèche scar injury compensation claim – alleging that her accident and injury was a result of the staff´s negligence. Liability was admitted by the crèche’s owners and a €40,000 offer of compensation was made.

Although acceptable to Ruth´s parents, as the crèche scar injury compensation claim had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be resolved. Consequently the case went to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

At the approval hearing, Judge Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident and that Ruth is very conscious of the scar on her forehead. Judge Groarke agreed that it was “nasty and noticeable at a conversational distance”. The judge then said that the €40,000 offer of settlement did not reflect the full value of Ruth´s crèche scar injury compensation claim.

The judge increased the settlement to €55,000 – commenting that increase was not a criticism of the way in which the defendant had handled the case.

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.

Dunnes Slip and Fall Injury Claim Resolved in Circuit Civil Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

Settlement of Compensation for a Severed Fingertip Approved in Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

Court Awards Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury in a Bar

The Circuit Civil Court has awarded a painter and decorator €20,000 compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar after a hearing to determine liability.

Thirty-one year old David O´Keeffe made his claim for compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar after badly cutting his hand on a piece of glass at the Woolshed Baa & Grill on Parnell Street in Dublin on 18th September 2011. David had been in the bar to watch the All Ireland Football Final and, at the end of the game, he left his group of friends to visit the bathrooms.

As David manoeuvred his way through the packed bar, he slipped on the wet floor and fell – badly cutting his hand on broken glass that had been left on the floor. David was picked up by a member of the bar staff and given First Aid. He later attended the St James´ Hospital, where his cut hand was cleaned properly and the injury stitched.

David claimed compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar, alleging that the Woolshed Baa & Grill had failed to follow proper cleaning procedures and that, because of this, the bar was liable for his injury. The bar denied its liability for David´s injury, and refused to consent to an Injuries Board assessment of the claim. Consequently David was issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim for compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar through the court system.

The hearing to establish liability took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court, where Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard arguments that David´s injury was attributable to his friends trying to lift him up and dropping him while he had a glass in his hand. The bar owners testified that the venue had followed its cleaning procedures, and that an accident report had been filled out at the time, but that it could not be found.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Linnane found in David´s favour. She said that she accepted David´s version of events, as the bar had been packed “to the point that one would not have been able to see that the floor was wet”. The judge awarded David €20,000 compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar.

Judge Approves Settlement of Compensation for Electrocution Injuries

A judge at the High Court has approved a €700,000 settlement of compensation for electrocution injuries in favour of a seventeen year-old-boy.

On July 3rd 2008, Kurt O´Callaghan was just ten years of age when he and his friends from Wexford City were playing in woodland near their homes. After helping make a camp, Kurt decided to put a “Keep Out” sign on a nearby electricity pole. Kurt climbed the wall of an adjacent housing estate to reach the pole, but as it started nailing his sign onto it, Kurt nailed into a high-voltage electric cable.

The force of the subsequent shock blew Kurt off of the wall, and he was fortunate inasmuch as a passing motorist saw the accident and was able to take him to hospital. Kurt was later transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, where he spent the next three months receiving treatment for severe burns to his head, neck, shoulders, chest, and hands. Kurt may need further skin grafts in the future.

Through his mother – Denise – Kurt made a claim for compensation for electrocution injuries against the Electricity Service Board (ESB). In his legal action it was claimed that the ESB knew – or should have known – that a risk of injury existed, and that there had been a failure by the ESB to consider the wall Kurt had used to access the electricity pole as a risk due to its proximity to the electricity cables.

The claim for compensation for electrocution injuries was supported by a report compiled by an expert electrical engineer. The report was critical of the ESB for not identifying the risk of danger and, in addition to stating that the ESB had failed in its statutory requirement to ensure that electricity poles were inaccessible to a height of three metres, the electrical engineer found 52 other nails that had been used to hang posters.

The ESB denied liability for Kurt´s injuries, and the claim for compensation for electrocution injuries was scheduled for a full court hearing. However, prior to the hearing, a €700,000 settlement of the claim was agreed and a hearing was arranged for the settlement to be approved. At the approval hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said that it was a good settlement in the circumstances as – if Kurt´s claim for compensation for electrocution injuries had gone to a full hearing – he may have been accused of contributory negligence.

Student Resolves Compensation Claim for Glass in a Dunnes Sauce

A twenty-two year old student, who suffered a cut mouth while eating a marinated pork chop, has resolved her compensation claim for glass in a Dunnes sauce.

Amy Holden from Ballybrack in Dublin made her compensation claim for glass in a Dunnes sauce after biting into a marinated pork chop that had been purchased from the Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt and finding chards of glass in sauce the meat had been marinated in.

After removing the chards of glass from his daughter´s mouth, Amy´s father took her to the Accident & Emergency Department of St Colmcille´s Hospital in Loughlinstown. Amy was treated for her injuries, given a tetanus injection and X-rayed to see if she had digested any of the glass chards.

Although the X-ray revealed no internal injuries, Amy was advised to seek further medical attention if she started to feel sick or experienced any pain around her abdomen. Fortunately, the only ill-effect Amy subsequently suffered was a sore throat.

Amy made a compensation claim for glass in a Dunnes sauce and, as the claim involved Dunnes Stores´ public liability, Amy first approached the Injuries Board with an application for assessment. However, Dunnes Stores denied liability for Amy´s injuries, and she was issued with an Authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue her case through the court system.

As the value of her claim had been estimated at €60,000, a hearing to resolve the compensation claim for glass in a Dunnes sauce was scheduled for the High Court. However, prior to the hearing getting underway, the court was told that the claim had been settled by negotiation and could be struck out.

The amount of the settlement or any terms attached to the settlement were not revealed. However, it is understood that Amy´s compensation claim for glass in a Dunnes sauce was resolved with an admission of liability from Dunnes Stores.

Man Awarded Compensation for a Dental Injury Caused by Dublin Airport Food

A man from Swords has been awarded €4,500 compensation for a dental injury caused by Dublin Airport food by a District Court judge.

In March 2013, Shane McQuillan (32) visited the Gate Clock Bar at Dublin Airport and purchased the ingredients for a sausage and bacon sandwich. He constructed the sandwich and bit into it, fracturing his upper right back molar on a hard piece of bacon rind.

Shane alleged that the rasher of bacon had been allowed to become stale due to it being left on display for a number of hours, and he claimed compensation for a dental injury caused by Dublin Airport food against the restaurant.

The owners of the Gate Clock Bar denied liability for Shane´s injury, arguing that food was replaced regularly and, that if Shane believed that eating the bacon was a risk to health, he should not have put it in his sandwich.

Without the consent to process Shane´s application for compensation for a dental injury caused by Dublin Airport food, the Injuries Board issued him with an authorisation to pursue his claim through the courts, and the case was heard last week at the District Court in Swords.

At the hearing, Judge Patricia McNamara was told Shane believed the food had been allowed to become stale due to it being left on display for several hours on a steel tray placed on top of a pan of steaming water.

The manager of the bar testified that the food is changed every ninety minutes, but she was unable to provide records to support her claim. The claim that Shane should be considered responsible for his dental injury was also repeated in court.

Judge McNamara found in Shane´s favour on the grounds that there was no evidence to support claims of the food being changed regularly. After hearing that Shane still suffers occasional pain from the fractured tooth and cannot drink cold drinks, the judge initially awarded him €6,500 compensation for a dental injury caused by Dublin Airport food and €2,500 in special damages.

However, the judge subsequently attributed Shane with 50 percent contributory negligence and – saying that he “should have been careful of a crispy rasher rind” – reduced the award of compensation for a dental injury caused by Dublin Airport food by half to €4,500.

Claim for a Dunnes Stores Trip and Fall Injury Resolved in Court

A claim for a Dunnes Stores trip and fall injury has been resolved in the High Court in Cork in favour of a pensioner who broke her hip in her local store.

On 2nd July 2013, Bernadette O´Leary (77) from Clonakilty in Cork was looking to purchase a waterproof canopy in her local Dunnes Store so that she could protect her stall at the weekly farmers market, where she sold food items such as homemade cakes.

Bernadette found a small detachable gazebo that she thought would be suitable, but before buying it she wanted to make sure that it was waterproof. Bernadette asked a shop assistant for advice and, as the shop assistant was unsure about the protection the gazebo would offer, he went to ask a colleague.

The shop assistant told Bernadette to follow him but, as she entered the adjacent aisle, she stumbled over a fold-away deckchair that had been left in the aisle waiting to be placed on a display shelf and fell heavily – breaking her hip.

Bernadette was taken to hospital by ambulance – where she waited forty-eight hours on a trolley waiting for a bed to become available. Once she was allowed home, Bernadette sought legal advice and made a claim for a Dunnes Stores trip and fall injury.

Bernadette claimed in her legal action that the fold-away deckchair left in the aisle represented a hazard contrary to Dunnes Stores´ own safety statement. The company contested Bernadette´s claim for a Dunnes Stores trip and fall injury by saying that she should have looked where she was going.

With Dunnes Stores denying liability for Bernadette´s broken hip, the Injuries Board issued an Authorisation for Bernadette to pursue her claim for a Dunnes Store trip and fall injury through the courts; and the case was heard this week by Mr Justice Henry Abbot at the High Court in Cork.

Judge Abbot was shown a CCTV video of the accident, after which he agreed with Bernadette´s counsel that “the defendant had invited the plaintiff into the path of a hazard on which she fell and was injured”. The judge awarded Bernadette €137,000 compensation in settlement of her claim for a Dunnes Stores trip and fall injury.

€30,000 Injury Compensation for a Fitness Club Accident Awarded at Court

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has awarded €30,000 injury compensation for a fitness club accident to a hotel supervisor from Dublin.

Timea Babos (30) was a guest at the West Wood Club in Dublin when, on 13th November 2011, she decided to go for a swim after coming out of the club´s sauna. Timea dived straight into the pool, but hit her face on the bottom of the pool and broke her two upper front teeth.

Bleeding heavily from her mouth, Timea completed an accident report form at the reception of the fitness club reception. She then attended her doctor´s surgery, where the bleeding was stopped and Timea was prescribed painkillers.

Two weeks later, Timea flew to Hungary to have crowns fitted to her broken teeth and, on her return she sought legal advice about claiming injury compensation for a fitness club accident. Her claim was initially submitted to the Injuries Board for assessment, but the West Wood Club denied liability for her injuries.

Consequently, the Injuries Board issued Timea with an authorisation to pursue her claim for injury compensation for a fitness club accident through the courts, and Timea´s solicitor filed the case with the Circuit Civil Court – claiming that there were no signs displayed warning of the shallow depth of the pool nor a lifeguard on duty to prevent Timea from diving in

The solicitor also arranged for a forensic engineer to inspect the pool; which he described as being unusual because it had no deep end. The forensic engineer found that the depth of the pool was only 1 metre 35 centimetres throughout (about four foot) and that there were inadequate signs to warn guests of the risk of injury.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard the West Wood Club argue that Timea was partly liable for the cause of her injury because of the manner in which she had dived into the pool after failing to check it´s depth.

The judge was also told that there were inadequate warnings around the perimeter of the pool and a lack of supervision in the pool area. The judge dismissed the West Wood Club´s argument that Timea had contributed to her injuries through her own negligence and awarded her €30,000 injury compensation for a fitness club accident.

Claim for an Accident at Dublin Airport Settled at High Court

A disputed claim for an accident at Dublin Airport has been settled at the High Court with the allocation of one-third contributory negligence against the plaintiff.

Sixty-nine year old Elizabeth Lavin arrived at Dublin Airport on 2nd November 2011 with the intention of flying to Manchester. As she was travelled towards Terminal 2 departures on the escalator, it suddenly juddered, causing Elizabeth to fall forward over her hand luggage and hit her head on the metal stairway.

Elizabeth – from Kilcullen in County Kildare – was taken to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where her head injury and minor lacerations were treated. She subsequently had to undergo orthopaedic treatment for pain in her arm, hip and knee after trying to manage the pains with painkillers. Elizabeth still has scars on her face and her upper lip from her accident.

A claim for an accident at Dublin Airport was submitted to the Injuries Board, but Dublin Airport Authority PLC denied liability for Elizabeth´s accident. The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for Elizabeth to pursue her claim for an accident at Dublin Airport through the courts, and it was heard this week by Mr Justice Michael Hanna.

At the High Court, Judge Hanna heard Elizabeth´s legal representatives claim that Dublin Airport had failed to take reasonable care of her safety. They also alleged that the Airport Authority had been negligent when designing the airport, so that the only apparent way in which passengers with luggage could reach the upper level of Terminal 2 was by escalator.

Dublin Airport argued that Elizabeth had failed to appropriately use the handrail of the escalator and had contributed to the accident by placing her hand luggage in front of her, instead of behind her. The airport produced CCTV footage to show how Elizabeth´s accident had occurred, and also told the judge that the option of a lift was available to passengers with luggage.

Judge Hanna then heard that Elizabeth was unaware that the option of a lift was available because signs directing passengers to the lift were not erected until 2013. The judge said that Elizabeth could not be considered to have contributed to the accident for failing to appropriately use the handrail or for placing her hand luggage in front of her.

However, the judge said that she could have asked a member of the airport staff to direct her to the lifts. In this respect, the judge said, Elizabeth should take some responsibility for her injuries. He assigned Elizabeth one-third contributory negligence and reduced the settlement of her claim for an accident at Dublin Airport from €60,000 to €40,000.

Claim for an Injury due to an Accident in a Hotel Heard at the High Court

A former council worker´s claim for an injury due to an accident in a hotel is continuing after its first day of being heard at the High Court.

Benjamin Stanley (67) sustained a shoulder injury while attending a dance on Easter Sunday in 2009. According to testimony provided at the High Court yesterday, Benjamin had been attending a dance at the Castle Arms Hotel in Durrow, County Laois, and – after escorting his dancing partner back to her car – returned to the hotel to enjoy the remainder of the evening.

When he entered the hotel, Benjamin decided that he would use the bathroom facilities prior to returning to the dance floor; but, as he made his way across the hotel´s lobby, he slipped and fell. Unaware of any immediate injury, Benjamin carried on dancing; but, after driving himself back to his home in Birr, County Offaly, he started to experience intense pain in his shoulder.

Benjamin summoned a doctor and a torn tendon was diagnosed in his shoulder after an examination. Benjamin had to undergo surgery to repair the torn tendon, after which he sought legal advice and made a claim for an injury due to an accident in a hotel. In his claim, Benjamin alleged that his accident was due to the hotel´s failure to properly monitor and control the condition of the floor.

The hotel owner, Seosamh Murphy and Dal Riada Taverns Ltd – the licensee of the Castle Arms Hotel – denied that the hotel was responsible for Benjamin´s accident. They argued that the floors of the hotel were checked every two hours and that Benjamin had caused his own accident by rushing to the bathroom after having too much to drink.

As there was a dispute over liability, the Injuries Board could not assess Benjamin´s claim for an injury due to an accident in a hotel, and an Authorisation was issued so that Benjamin could pursue his claim through the court system. Consequently, at the High Court, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told the circumstances of Benjamin´s fall.

Under cross-examination, Benjamin told the judge that he had not been rushing to the bathroom and had not had a drink the whole day. He said that he definitely felt something under his shoe as he slipped and it was whatever matter on the floor that was the cause of his injury. Unable to resolve the claim for an injury due to an accident in a hotel, Judge Barr adjourned the hearing and the case continues.

Compensation for an Injury on the Luas Approved in Favour of Schoolgirl

The settlement of a schoolgirl´s claim for compensation for an injury on the Luas has been approved by a judge at the Circuit Civil Court.

On 14th February 2008, Elaine Heron from Raheny in Dublin was boarding a Luas at Connelly Street with her two children Aoife and Kate. Six-year-old Aoife boarded the Luas first, but as Elaine started pushing the buggy containing Kate onto the train, the automatic doors closed – trapping the buggy.

The doors opened due to the blockage and gave Elaine enough time to pull the buggy out; but as Aoife started to disembark from the Luas to join her mother and sister on the platform, the automatic doors closed once again – this time trapping Aoife´s head between them.

An ambulance was called to the Connelly Street stop and Aoife was treated for a head injury by paramedics. She was later examined by the family´s GP, who diagnosed bruising and a soft tissue injury. As a consequence of her accident, Aoife – now thirteen years of age – still has a scar on the side of her head and has developed a fear of travelling on the Luas.

Through her mother, Aoife claimed compensation for an injury on the Luas against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd – the operators of the service – alleging negligence and breach of duty. The transport company initially denied its liability for Aoife´s head injury and prepared a full defence of the claim.

However, after a period of negotiation between solicitors representing the two parties, a settlement of €25,000 compensation for an injury on the Luas was agreed – a settlement which had to be approved by a judge as Aoife is under the age of eighteen.

Consequently the details of the schoolgirl´s accident and injury were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin. Judge Groarke was also told that Aoife may need psychotherapy in the future to overcome her fear of travelling on the Luas, after which he approved the settlement of compensation for an injury on the Luas and wished Aoife all the best for the future.

Settlement of Claim for Injuries in a Shop Accident Fails to get Approval

The settlement of a claim for injuries in a shop accident has failed to get approval in court after a judge said a more appropriate settlement could be determined in a full hearing.

In July 2012, fourteen-year-old Shauna Kelly was in the Lower O´Connell Street branch of Eason´s in Dublin, browsing through the selection of electronic books on display, when an electronic advertising board fell from the wall above her and hit the young girl on her head and arm.

Shauna was taken to Dublin´s Crumlin Children´s Hospital suffering with concussion. X-rays revealed that no bones had been broken, and Shauna was treated for soft tissue injuries to her back and neck. A splint was also attached to her right wrist to give it some extra support while further soft tissue injuries were healing.

After receiving legal advice, Shauna made a claim for injuries in a shop accident through her mother – Kathy Maher from Ballyfermot in Dublin. While the application for assessment was being reviewed by the Injuries Board, an offer of compensation was made by the parties against whom the claim was made – Eason´s and the company that had installed the electronic advertising board – David James Retail Solutions Ltd of Edenderry in County Offaly.

As Shauna was only fourteen years of age at the time of the accident – and therefore a legal minor – the offer of compensation for injuries in a shop accident had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be resolved. Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the circumstances of Shauna´s accident and the injuries that she had suffered.

Judge Groarke was told that for six months after the accident Shauna suffered a series of severe headaches and that, two and a half years later, she still experiences some stiffness in her back. Shauna´s barrister told Judge Groarke that an offer of €13,500 compensation had been made, but that he was not happy to recommend approval of the offer as he did not believe it adequately compensated Shauna for her injuries.

Judge Groarke agreed with the barrister, and he declined to approve the offer of settlement – saying a more appropriate settlement of Shauna´s claim for injuries in a shop accident could be determined in a full hearing of the case. The judge adjourned the approval hearing for a date to be scheduled later this year in the Circuit Civil Court.

Model Awarded Compensation for Injuries at Petrol Station

A model has been awarded compensation for injuries at a petrol station after she was attacked by a sales assistant who claimed she had not paid for her petrol.

In May 2011, Trudy Higgins (26) from Drumcondra in Dublin was returning to her car after filling it with petrol at the Castle Service Station in Artane, Dublin, when she noticed a sales assistant approaching her and apparently taking photographs.

Trudy got inside her car, closed the doors and went to call her father for assistance. However, before she could do so, the sales assistance moved alongside her car and smashed the driver´s window with his fist.

According to evidence presented at the Circuit Civil Court, the glass from the driver´s window shattered and Trudy suffered cuts to her face, neck and back. She drove to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where she was treated for her injuries.

After seeking legal advice, Trudy made a claim for compensation for injuries at a petrol station against Chopard International Ltd – trading as Castle Service Station. She claimed that the company were responsible for the negligent actions of the sales assistant.

Chopard International Ltd denied its liability for Trudy´s injuries, and alleged that the sales assistant was trying to prevent Trudy leaving the petrol station without paying, that she had trapped his hand in the driver´s window and that he had to break the glass to avoid being dragged down the road.

With liability being denied, the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the case to be heard before Judge Francis Comerford at the Circuit Civil Court. The judge found in Trudy´s favour after the petrol station could not provide CCTV to support their claims and the sales assistant failed to appear.

Judge Comerford awarded Trudy €9,000 compensation for injuries at the petrol station, saying that Trudy did not have a distinctive scar as a result of her trauma.

Injury Claims for Hepatitis A Compensation Likely after another Frozen Berry Alert

The prospect of more injury claims for hepatitis A compensation has increased after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued another safety alert over imported frozen berries.

Last summer, the FSAI warned consumers to boil imported frozen berries for more than a minute before eating them, after the berries were found to be a common denominator in a number of cases in which patients had been diagnosed with the hepatitis A virus.

In the past twelve months, 1,440 cases of unexplained Hepatitis A have been reported across Europe, with 331 cases (21 cases in Ireland) confirmed as being attributable to imported frozen berries, and the FSAI has once again issued the warning for consumers to boil frozen fruit before using it to destroy the virus if it is present.

The FSAI was quick to comment that there is no risk of the illness from fresh berries or frozen berries that originate from Ireland, but Professor Alan Reilly – chief executive of the FSAI – recommended that all fruits should be washed before eating them.

Professor Reilly also warned consumers of the threat of illness from mass-produced food products manufactured for the catering industry. He said that catering companies should source any berries they use in their food products from reputable suppliers with food safety management systems in place.

The new alert increases the likelihood of fresh injury claims for hepatitis A compensation. Claims for compensation for hepatitis A from imported frozen berries can be made against any store, supermarket or food outlet which has sold contaminated food provided that an injury has occurred as a result.

The problem for retailers is that symptoms of hepatitis A can remain undetected for a period of up to fifty days. Consequently, a retailer may have sold a packet of imported frozen berries long before the new alert was issued by the FSAI, and still be the liable party in injury claims for hepatitis A compensation.

A different problem for potential plaintiffs exists if they have not retained the receipt from their purchase to prove that the contaminated berries were purchased from a specific retailer. Proof of purchase is not always necessary in order for injury claims for Hepatitis A compensation to be successful, and if you have been diagnosed with a hepatitis A illness which you suspect may have originated from eating imported frozen berries, it is advisable to speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible moment.

Public Liability Claims by Women Outnumber Claims by Men 2-to-1

According to statistics released by the Injuries Board, public liability claims by women in 2013 outnumbered those made by men by two-to-one.

Public liability claims for compensation are the second-most common category of personal injury claim in Ireland after claims for injuries sustained in motor accidents; and last year more than 1,700 assessments of public liability injury compensation were accepted by people who had suffered injuries in public liability accidents.

The most common type of public liability accident was trips, slips and falls in places of public access – more than two-thirds of the accepted assessments related to accidents such as slips on wet floors, trips over broken pavements and falls due to uneven drains and manholes – while a higher than usual number of injuries were sustained in leisure facilities such as cinemas, sports clubs and hairdressers.

Accidents in shops and supermarkets accounted for a considerable number of public liability compensation settlements and, possibly due to the high number of shopping accidents, the volume of public liability claims by women outstripped those made by men by 71.4 percent -v- 28.6 percent – with the majority of injuries sustained being fractures, cuts and soft tissue injuries such as bruises and strains.

Also possibly due to the high number of injuries sustained in shopping accidents, Saturday was the most common day of the week for accidents in public places for the third consecutive year. The month of July 2013 saw the highest level of accidents throughout the year, while January – surprisingly considering the nature of the weather in January – was the safest month to be out and about.

The total amount of compensation for public liability injuries assessed by the Injuries Board in 2013 amounted to €44 million, with the average accepted assessment being €25,120 – an increase of more than 10 percent on 2012. Despite the number of public liability claims by women being more than double those made by men, men accepted awards slightly higher on average than those for women (€25,664 -v- €24,902).

Judge Awards Woman 80% Compensation for a Fall in Dark Nightclub

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has told a woman that she was 20% responsible for an accident at the Abberley Court Hotel in Dublin, and awarded her 80% compensation for a fall in a dark nightclub.

On 4th April 2010, Rita Walsh from Tallaght in Dublin had spent a pleasant evening with her daughters at the Level 4 Nightclub in the Abberley Court Hotel in Tallaght after enjoying a meal at a local Chinese restaurant. However, as the nightclub started to close, Rita tried to visit the bathroom and tripped over a step – badly injuring her shoulder when she fell.

Rita sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a fall in the dark nightclub – alleging that the management of the Level 4 Nightclub had turned out all the lights as the DJ finished, leaving the premises “pitch black”. The Abberley Court Hotel denied Rita´s allegations – arguing that the club had been fully illuminated during closing – and the case proceeded to court, where it was heard before Judge Alan Mahon.

In the hearing, Conor Murphy – a forensic engineer brought in to give an expert opinion on the lighting in the club – gave evidence that the overall lighting was inadequate to clearly identify the step in question, and that recessed lighting on the back of the step only made it visible from the direction opposite to that in which Rita was walking.

Judge Mahon accepted the forensic engineer´s evidence of the nightclub´s lighting as truthful, and said that although Rita´s allegations that the nightclub was “pitch black” were incorrect, it was also inaccurate that the management of the Level 4 Nightclub had illuminated the premises as the patrons were leaving, and more likely that the lights had been switched on only once Rita´s accident had occurred.

The judge also ruled that Rita must take 20% of the responsibility for her accident, as she admitted to having been drinking alcohol with her daughters at the nightclub and at the Chinese restaurant. He consequently reduced her compensation for a fall in a dark nightclub from €22,000 to €17,600.

Woman Settles Injury Compensation Claim against Irish Rail

A woman who broke her ankle when she slipped on ice at Connolly Station in Dublin has settled her injury compensation claim against Irish Rail after a hearing at the High Court.

Ciara Morgan (32) from Kentstown in County Meath was returning from a Christmas shopping trip in Belfast on 10th December 2010, when the train she was travelling on arrived at Connolly Station in Dublin.

The platform at which the train stopped had been exposed to the elements throughout the day and, as she stepped down from the train carriage onto the platform, Ciara slipped on the icy surface and broke her ankle as she fell.

Ciara – who works as a clerical assistant for the Health Service Executive – was assisted at the scene of her accident by an Irish Rail employee, but spent the Christmas period with a plaster cast over her foot and was unable to return to work for eight weeks.

In her subsequent injury compensation claim against Irish Rail, Ciara alleged that she sustained a back injury in the accident which still troubles her now and prevents her from picking up her small child or wearing high-heeled shoes.

Irish Rails admitted that it was negligent for failing to grit the platform, clear the snow before it had compacted on it, or give any warning of ice on the platform, but contested the extent of Ciara´s injuries and the case went to the High Court for the assessment of damages.

At the High Court Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon heard how the Irish Rail worker had tried to assist Ciara by placing her in a shopping trolley while waiting for a wheelchair to be located. In a scenario described in court as “hapless and comical”, Ciara explained that her back injury was a result of falling from the shopping trolley.

Ciara told Judge O´Hanlon “I will never get that Christmas back when my first child was three years of age. It was a horrible time for all my family.” The judge subsequently awarded her €50,000 in settlement of her injury compensation claim against Irish Rail.

Report Reveals 10 Percent Increase in Compensation Claims to the Injuries Board

Claims to the Injuries Board have increased by 10 percent in the first half of the year according to a report published on the government body´s website.

The analysis of claims to the Injuries Board from January to June 2013 show that the number of applications for the assessment of compensation received by the Injuries Board increased from 14,685 in the corresponding period in 2012 to 16,162 – a rise of just over 10 percent.

The number of assessments accepted by plaintiffs also increased from 5,180 to 5,286, but this represented a significant drop in the percentage of claims to the Injuries Board which were successfully resolved (37.2 percent > 32.7 percent) and indicates that fewer claims for personal injury compensation are being resolved through the Injuries Board process.

The total value of accepted assessments and the average value of each assessment also increased (by 8 percent and 4 percent respectively); however CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland – Patricia Byron – explained that this was due to a small number of exceptional claims to the Injuries Board – one of which resulted in the highest ever accepted Injuries Board assessment of €976,000.

Once again, claims for injuries sustained in road traffic accidents accounted for the highest proportion of claims to the Injuries Board (75.5 percent), while there was an ongoing reduction in claims for injuries at work (8.1 percent). The remainder of the requests for an assessment of injury compensation were made in respect of public liability claims – injuries sustained in places of public access and product liability claims.

Discussing the increased volume of claims to the Injuries Board and the higher level of injury compensation settlements, Ms Byron warned insurance companies not to use the Injuries Board statistics as an excuse to raise insurance premiums. She said “Given a reduction of 30 percent in the Boards processing fee to respondents [down from €850.00 to €600.00], we see no basis for insurance premium hikes at this time”.

Potential plaintiffs should that while it may still be quicker to resolve a claim for personal injury compensation through direct contact with the negligent party´s insurers, making a claim to the Injuries Board is still necessary (except in claims for medical negligence and professional negligence) in case your claim cannot be resolved by negotiation and requires court action.

Court Awards Compensation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Injury

A woman in the United States has been awarded compensation for complex regional pain syndrome after an accident in a supermarket left her with a neurological injury.

Fifty-one year old Rose Nudelman from New York had just finished shopping with her husband in the Brooklyn branch of Costco Supermarket when she wheeled her loaded shopping trolley onto the ascending supermarket escalator between floors of the supermarket.

The tread on the escalator had been constructed in such a way that supermarket customers did not have to hold onto their trolleys to prevent the trolleys rolling back down the slope; however, on this occasion, Rose´s trolley broke free of the mechanism and struck her on the wrist with force.

Despite not having sustained any apparent physical injuries, Rose and her husband had the foresight to report the accident to the supermarket after it happened. However, within two weeks Rose started to experience mobility problems which deteriorated to the point that she was only able to hobble around her home with the use of a walking stick.

Rose´s doctors diagnosed that she had developed the neurological condition “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” caused by nerve damage when she was struck by the shopping trolley. Rose sought legal advice and made a claim for compensation for her complex regional pain syndrome injury.

Costco Supermarket rejected her claim, contending that she had exaggerated the level of her injury to extract the maximum compensation settlement. Not dissuaded, Rose continued with her claim and, following a court hearing, a New York jury awarded Rose $9.9 million in compensation for complex regional pain syndrome injury.

Costco Supermarket´s insurers have said that they intent to appeal the size of the settlement, but Rose´s solicitor commented that no amount of money would persuade anybody he knew to exchange places with his client.

Compensation for Accidents in Childcare Centres Approved in Court

Two settlements of compensation for accidents in childcare centres were approved on the same day at the High Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Michael Peart.

The first of the compensation claims for accidents in childcare centres concerned a claim brought by the father of Ella Rogerson from Navan in County Meath against the Sandy Childcare Centre in Dunshaughlin.

Ella´s father claimed that an accident in June 2010, in which his daughter had suffered a serious eye injury, was due to negligence and a breach of care by the childcare facility.

The owners of the Sandy Childcare facility had originally denied the compensation claim for an accident in a childcare centre – contesting that they were not at fault when Ella was hit in the face by a jet of water from a hose.

However, as Mr Justice Michael Peart was told, a settlement amounting to €122,000 had been agreed upon and, after hearing the circumstances of Ella´s accident, the settlement was approved.

Judge Peart was again sitting when the case of three-year-old Lauren Torpey was brought before him. Lauren – from Rathgar in Dublin – had tripped at the Giraffe Childcare Centre in June 2011 and suffered a terrible laceration to her face when she had fallen against a sharp skirting board.

On this occasion, liability for the accident had been admitted, and a negotiated settlement of compensation for accidents in childcare centres had been accepted by both parties. Again, after listening to how Lauren sustained her injury, Judge Peart approved the settlement of compensation.

Injury Compensation due to Faulty Home Renovations Approved in Court

Two sisters, who suffered from breathing problems after a shower drain was incorrectly fitted in their family home, have had settlements of injury compensation due to faulty home renovations approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Twins Abby and Chloe Croke from Raheny in Dublin both developed respiratory difficulties following renovations to their family home in 2008. The source of the problem – fumes from the negligently fitted shower drain – was not discovered for three years, during which time Chloe (now eleven years of age) was diagnosed with asthma.

Remedial work has since been carried out on the family´s bathroom, and the health of the whole family has improved; however, the girls´ mother – Ita Croke – made claims for injury compensation due to faulty home renovations on behalf of both girls against Alpha Engineering Heat Providers Ltd of Finglas, Dublin.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that offers of settlement in both claims for injury compensation had been made by Alpha Engineering Heat Providers Ltd without admission of liability.

After hearing that the family were prepared to accept the offers of injury compensation amounting to €5,000 for each child, the judge approved the settlements.