Irish Injury Claims News
Posted: January 31st, 2017
The President of the Circuit Court in Dublin has deemed a settlement for leg injury compensation inadequate and has ordered the case to go to a full hearing.
The claim was made on behalf of a young girl who, whilst at a daycare centre in April 2015, fractured her tibia. The accident occurred at the Larkin Early Learning Centre in Ballybough, Dublin, when one of the children climbed on top of a wardrobe and fell to the floor. The girl, who has remained anonymous, was rushed to hospital where her leg was x-rayed and her fracture diagnosed. The girl required an operation to reset the bone.
For weeks after she was discharged from hospital, the girl had to wear a full-leg cast. Even after this was removed, she was required to wear a protective boot. Two years later, the child – who is now five years old – still complains to her mother of pains in the leg. Acting on the girl’s behalf, her mother consulted a personal injuries solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for personal injury compensation against the Larkin Early Education Centre.
After an initial assessment by the injuries Board, the play school offered the girl €31,000 in compensation for her broken leg. Her mother’s solicitors advised against accepting this offer, believing it inadequate for the nature of the injury sustained. Acting on this advice, the offer was refused and since no other was forthcoming, the case proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court.
At the court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was detailed the nature of the accident and the long-term impact the injury has had on the young girl. The judge agreed that the settlement was inadequate and has ordered the case to go to a full hearing, where a court will determine the settlement.
Judge Groarke’s decision was based on the recently revised Book of Quantum, which rules that the minimum compensation to be awarded for a fracture such as the little girl’s – where a bone had been displaced – was €40,500. Additionally, the book states that injuries to the tibia are more serious than similar injuries to the fibula, and the fact that the child is still suffering two years on means she should be awarded a higher settlement.
Posted: December 17th, 2016
A young boy, who seriously injured his finger on a poorly designed fireplace, has been awarded a five-figure settlement of compensation.
The injury occurred in November 2011, when the young boy was just sixteen months old. Whilst playing, he managed to slice his finger on the base of a wall-mounted fireplace. After he was rushed to the Accident and Emergency Department of Crumlin Hospital, it was discovered that he managed to completely sever a tendon, as well as damaging another. He also cut several nerves and an artery.
The injury had to be correctly surgically, with the young boy requiring a general anaesthetic for the duration of the procedure. Afterward, he had to wear a cast for several weeks. Five years on, and the child, fortunately, has no lasting damage except a small scar. This is expected to fade as he grows up.
Acting through his father, the boy made a claim for personal injury compensation against the manufacturers of the fireplace, Focal Point Fires of London, and its retailer, B&Q. The claim alleged that the fireplace had been poorly designed to prevent such accidents. Both the manufacturer and the retailer admitted negligence, offering €30,000 in compensation.
Though the family accepted the offer, the case had to proceed to the Circuit Court for approval. This was because the claim was made on behalf of a minor.
At the hearing, Judge James O’Donohoe was told the circumstances of the accident and subsequent injury. He was also informed that the child had recovered use of his hand and that there was little chance of permanent scarring. He proceeded to approve the settlement.
Posted: December 13th, 2016
A restaurant employee´s injury claim for a slip and fall accident at Heuston Station has been resolved at Court with an award of €22,500 compensation.
The twenty-five year old restaurant employee was working at the open air Heuston Refreshment Rooms at Dublin´s Heuston Station, when she slipped on pigeon droppings on the decking and fell – sustaining soft tissue injuries to her ankles, knees and lower back.
The woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her injury claim, but both her employer and Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE) – the corporation responsible for the upkeep of the station withheld their consent for the assessment to proceed.
The Injuries Board issued the woman with an authorization to pursue her injury claim for a slip and fall accident at Heuston Station in court, and the hearing to establish liability was heard earlier this week by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.
At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told that the woman´s job entailed serving customers and clearing the tables, but she would also spend a considerable amount of time shooing away pigeons that visited the restaurant six or seven times a day.
It was claimed that the comings and goings of the pigeons – and the droppings they left behind – made the outside area of the Heuston Refreshment Rooms an unsafe place to work, and that the plaintiff had brought the hazard to the attention of her employer on several occasions.
In its defence, the restaurant said it and complained to CIE about the pigeon problem numerous times, but the measures the corporation had implemented to deal with the problem had been ineffective.
The judge agreed with the representative of Heuston Refreshment Rooms about the effectiveness of the deterrents CIE had implemented, and said that although he was making judgement against both defendants, he would make an order in favour of the restaurant against CIE.
Judge Groarke awarded the plaintiff €22,500 compensation in settlement of her injury claim for a slip and fall accident at Heuston Station and also her costs of €2,148. He commented that her accident was completely foreseeable and effective measures should have been implemented to provide a safe working environment.
Posted: October 10th, 2016
A judge in Dublin’s Circuit Court has approved a five-figure settlement of compensation for a young girl who fell from an unsafe window as a toddler.
The fall in question happened in August 2012, when Róisín Byrne was just fifteen months old. The little girl was living with her parents in a Georgian building in Blackrock at the time, and Róisín fell from a large sash window, falling three metres before landing on a fire escape. The toddler suffered extensive injuries to her head and torso, including cracked ribs and a punctured lung. Now, aged five, Róisín has recovered from the injuries though still has a visible scar on her face from the fall.
Ronan Byrne and Chloe Murphy, Róisín’s parents, had previously highlighted the hazardous window to the building’s caretaker. They were concerned as the window opened around half a metre from the ground, which they felt was dangerous when a young child was in the property. As such, they requested that an extra lock be put onto the window to try and prevent such an accident.
However, the caretaker never acted upon this request and Róisín did indeed fall from the window. Chloe, acting on her daughter’s behalf, sought legal counsel and proceeded to file for assessment with the Injuries Board Ireland. Enda Woods, the owner of the Blackrock property, consented to the assessment, which resulted in the recommendation of a €46,000 compensation settlement for Róisín.
Despite the mutual consent from both parties on the sum, as Róisín is a minor, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be awarded. The fact that the settlement was in excess of €15,000 meant that it had to be approved by a judge in the Circuit Court.
At the court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard details of Róisín’s accident and the extent of her injuries. Upon hearing these details, he approved the settlement. The money will be paid into court funds until Róisín’s eighteenth birthday.
Posted: September 25th, 2016
A new, revised Book of Quantum will soon be published and will help to stop any current inconsistencies in the settlement of personal injuries claims in Ireland.
The original Book of Quantum was published in 2004 and contains an extensive list of potential injuries. Alongside the injuries, there is an estimate of the amount of conversation to which a claimant, who has sustained the injury through an accident that was not their fault, should receive. The book also provides some subcategories for each injury such that the severity and permanence of the injury can be accounted for.
However, as the book has not been updated in twelve years, it has been criticised recently as being out-of-date, with many solicitors, judges and insurance companies choosing not to consult the book when settling claims. Others will still consult the book, but will always award the highest estimate listed. Both of these approaches seek to avoid unfair settlements, but as there is no regulation inconsistencies have developed across the system.
As such, the Courts Services, the Injuries Board Ireland and some of Ireland’s most senior judges began collaborating on a new Book of Quantum. To do this, over 52,000 personal injuries claims in Ireland between 2013 and 2014 were analysed. With this data, new estimates were created and it is hoped that these will resolve any inconsistencies.
Two major changes were introduced. In the first, estimates were adjusted to account for the current cost of living and inflation over the last twelve years. In the second, more subcategories were introduced concerning the severity and permanence of injuries to allow for more specific awards to be made.
It should be noted that the Book of Quantum only advises on physical injuries suffered by a victim. If you have also suffered emotional trauma, financial loss or a negative impact on your quality of life, you should also be able to recover compensation. Consult an experienced personal injuries solicitor for advice on claiming personal injuries compensation.
Posted: August 4th, 2016
A twelve year-old boy has received a settlement of compensation after a Dublin creche conceded negligence in a childhood accident.
In 2007, when Calum Lawless was just three years old, he attended the Happy Days Creche in Clonee, Dublin. As he was running about in the creche, he tripped and fell over an uneven floorboard, landing flat on his face. This resulted in a three-centimetre laceration just above his eye, which was then closed at the VHI Swifcare Clinic at Dublin City University.
For a week after the accident, Calum’s eye remained closed. The area remained heavily bruised for a month after the accident. Now aged twelve, the only indication that Calum was involved in an accident is a scar above his eye – though it remains too close to the eye for plastic surgery.
Lorraine Lawless, Calum’s mother, sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Happy Days Creche. She alleged that the facility had failed to provide a safe place for her son to play, and as such breached their duty of care towards him.
The creche conceded liability for Calum’s injuries, offering him a compensation settlement of €45,000. Yet before this could be awarded, it needed to be approved by a judge.
The case proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court, Dublin, where Mr Justice James O’Donohoe was told of Calum’s accident. He then proceeded to award the settlement for Calum’s childhood injury.
Posted: July 9th, 2016
Dublin’s High Court have approved a settlement of compensation for a seventeen year-old girl who injured her leg whilst playing as a child on a camping site.
When Shauna Burke was ten years old, she visited the Slattery Caravan Park in Co. Clare with her family. As she was playing in a popular area of the park with friends, she injured her leg on a nail that was protruding from a pole.
The nail lacerated Shauna’s leg and despite speedy medical attention, Shauna was left with a very noticeable scar above her knee. John, Shuana’s father, sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim on her behalf against Austin Francis Slattery, the owner of the holiday park.
The claim accused Slattery of negligence, alleging that he was aware of the nail as it was in an area of the facility that was very popular with tourists. However, though Slattery denied that he was liable for Shauna’s injuries and subsequent scar, he did offer a settlement of compensation worth €106,000 for Shauna’s injury and cost of treatment.
Yet, when the claim was made, Shauna was a minor and as such the case had to proceed to the High Court of Dublin for approval by a judge. In the court, the hearing was overseen by Mr Justice Anthony Barr who, after inspecting Shauna’s scar, approved the settlement.
Shauna will soon turn eighteen, and the settlement will be held in court funds until Shauna is legally an adult.
Posted: June 11th, 2016
Dublin’s High Court have held a hearing for the claim of a woman who underwent allegedly necessary surgery after medics failed to diagnose her breast cancer.
Eileen Fennessy – aged sixty-nine from Pilttown in Co. Kilkenny – attended the nationwide “Breast Check” screening programme on the 25th November 2011. However, the retired schoolteacher alleges that the mammogram taken on that date was not correctly read, resulting in the failure to diagnose her breast cancer.
A year after the initial mammogram, Eileen attended her GP, who identified a large mass in her breast. Eileen was referred to the Waterford Regional Hospital for an ultrasound. A biopsy later confirmed that Eileen had a grade two carcinoma.
As soon as the correct diagnosis was made, Eileen was put on a course of chemotherapy. Regrettably, this did not have the desired effect and in April 2013 Eileen had a mastectomy. After her recovery, Eileen sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation.
In the claim, Eileen alleges that both the chemotherapy and the mastectomy would not have been necessary had the staff at the screening programme made a correct diagnosis in 2011. The claims as made against the Health Service Executives, who oversee the Breast Check initiative.
As the HSE denied that they were liable for Eileen’s injuries, the case proceeded to the High Court of Dublin, where it was overseen by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Eileen’s barrister argued that the initial mammogram taken in 2011 should have warranted further tests. The failure to proceed with diagnostic tests put Eileen in danger, as her cancer could have worsened.
Eileen’s legal team also told the judge that, whilst she is currently in remission, her prognosis is “extremely serious and devastating”. The case continues.
Posted: May 6th, 2016
The High Court of Dublin have awarded a teenage girl suffering from cerebral palsy a final compensation settlement of €5.6 million.
On the 11th October 1999, Mary Malee was born at the Mayo General Hospital. However, though Mary had been diagnosed with foetal distress syndrome, there was no consultant available to assist the delivery and her birth was delayed by eight minutes. However, when she was delivered by emergency Caesarean section, she had already sustained dramatic brain damage because of the oxygen deprivation.
Mary has since suffered from cerebral palsy and, acting on behalf of her daughter, Maura Malee made a claim for birth injury compensation against the Health Service Executive for a delayed delivery. In the claim, Maura alleges that – had a consultant paediatrician been made available at the hospital quickly enough after the detection of a slow foetal heart rate – Mary would not have been deprived of oxygen.
An interim settlement of compensation worth €1.5 million was awarded by Ms Justice Mary Irvine in March 2014. However, the case was then adjourned for two years such that a new system of structured periodic settlements could be introduced. However, two years on and there has been no such introduction of a new system. As such, Mary returned to the High Court so that a final settlement could be approved.
A representative for Mayo General Hospital read an apology to Mary at the hearing, apologising for “the many challenges that you have faced as a result of the treatment provided to your mother Maura at the time of your birth” . Mr Justice Peter Kelly was then informed that negotiations had lead to an agreed settlement of €5.56 million.
Mary testified that “the stress of ongoing engagement with the HSE and the courts is not what I want”, after which the judge approved the settlement. He also commended Mary for her heroism in facing the difficulties of her disability.
Posted: April 8th, 2016
The case of a man who lost two fingers in an industrial saw accident was heard earlier this week in the High Court of Dublin.
The accident occurred on the 28th April 2008, when a fifty-two year-old carpenter, Antoni Jamroziewicz, was working on the construction of the Limerick Tunnel. Antoni, who is a native of Poland now living in Limerick, fell as he was cutting timber using an industrial saw, causing his hand to enter the saw and losing two of his fingers.
Surgeons were, regrettably, unable to reattach the parts of Antoni’s fingers that had been severed. This, as well as the psychological trauma inflicted upon him on the day, lead to Antoni drinking in excess. As he struggled to find work after the accident, his confidence fell and his professional and social life were negatively affected.
After his accident, Antoni sought legal advice before proceeding to make a claim for compensation agains O’Neill Brennan Ltd, a recruitment agency, and Strabag International GmbH, a German contractor. Antoni claimed that the surface where he was working with the industrial saw was uneven, causing him to lose his balance. As the defendants denied any of the allegations, the case proceeded to the High Court.
Antoni gave evidence at the court of how he had stumbled on the uneven surface where he was working, causing him to fall and for his hand to enter the saw. However, this was contested by the defendants, who claimed that the area in which Antoni was working was level, and that he had probably caused his own injury by acting negligently and putting his hand too close to the saw.
The defendants argued that, as an experienced carpenter, Antoni should have know that if he had doubts about the evenness of the surface, he could have levelled the surface by working on a plywood sheet. However, Antoni’s lawyers argued that the onus was not on Antoni to ensure the area was safe because the saw was already set up for his use.
The case is due to continue later this month.