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Irish Injury Claims News

HSE Settles with Family of Talented Musician who Died by Suicide

Posted: May 22nd, 2021

The relatives of Alec Rea, a young musician who died by suicide, have settled a High Court action with the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to the manner of his death.

A €200,00 settlement was agreed with his family in relation to the nervous shock they sustained. Additionally there was no admission of liability.

The agreed settlement, which includes a statutory solatium mental distress payment of €35,000, was approved by Justice Kevin Cross. The Judge said it was a very tragic case and the judge passed on his condolences to the Rea family.

A statement from the family was read out in court which described Alec as an exceptionally talented young musician. When he died, Alec was just 24-years-old and was expected to sign a record deal with an American producer in the near future. Sean Rea and Loren Rea of Priestown, Carndonagh, Co Donegal, had sued the HSE for nervous shock over the death of their son on February 3, 2016.

The statement said that the family wanted to make it clear to those with mental health difficulties should urgently seek help and support they need and families should be listened to and safeguards established to ensure adequate follow-up.

The court was advised that Alec had come home from a music festival following being praised by a US record producer for his talent. Despite this he entered a state of deep depression and lost all interest in music during October 2015. The Judge was informed that Mr Rea had first initially shown symptoms that he was suffering with depression as early as 2008 when he was aged 16.

He was prescribed with a course of medication for his depression during December 2015 and, following another review during January 2016, he was admitted to the mental health unit of Letterkenny General Hospital for a full psychiatric assessment and treatment.

He was referred to a social worker, after a medical professional A medic reviewed his prescription, in order to put in place a plan to support Mr Rea at his home. This plan was to include the use of recreational and training opportunities.

As she was concerned regarding his mental state, on January 22 2016 Alec Rea’s mother arranged an appointment with the mental health services. However, Mr Rea did not attend the meeting in question.

After being seen by another social worker on January 29, 2016, his mother claims, she got in touch with Buncrana Mental Health Services everyday to make them aware of Alec’s family’s worry in relation of what might happen if he was not assessed as soon as possible.

After a potential appointment was set up for early February was cancelled on the morning that it was due to take place Alec’s family was informed that a new appointment would be arranged. The court was told that Alec was extremely distraught. The next day he commited suicide.

The court was informed that Alec’s parents continue to experience post-traumatic stress disorder due to their son’s death.

Footpath Accident Compensation of €25,000 for Toddler

Posted: February 22nd, 2021

At the Circuit Civil Court a toddler who fell 10 feet onto concrete paving through a gap in glass panelling where one of the panels was missing
has had a €25,000 footpath accident compensation settlement approved.

During proceedings at court, barrister Eavanna Fitzgerald informed
Judge John O’Connor that Ewa Stecyk was attempting to unlock an entrance gate to a Dublin apartment building, when her 19-month-old son Alex Szabo moved to look through a glass-panelled barrier. Appearing with Maguire McClafferty Solicitors for Alex and Ms Stecyk, Fitzgerald said the child and his mother did not know that one of the large glass panels was missing.

She said: “The boy walked through the space and fell three metres onto a concrete surface. Luckily, despite the very serious circumstances, there was a good outcome as he landed on his feet, falling forward on his hands and knees.”

She informed the Judge that the incident in question occurred during October 2017 at The Concert Building at an apartments block in Dublin 12 as the young child was attempting to open an entrance gate. In the accident that ensued the young boy injured his feet, knees and hands, and had also struck his head.

Due to the suffering that the young boy went through his mother, who lives at Clear Water Court, South Royal Canal Park, Ashtown, Dublin 15, subsequently rushed to Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Here, following a series of x-rays it was discovered that he had not suffered any fractures.

Ms Fitzgerald advised Judge O’Connor that his colleague, Judge Kathryn Hutton, had adjourned the case during 2020, having requested additional medical reports. At this point in time a settlement of €20,000 had been offered.

The additional reports by completed by paediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr Paula M. Kelly have indicated that Alex did not sustain any long-term orthopaedic injuries. Through his mother, the boy initiated the legal action for compensation against some Parkwest Management firms which have registered addresses at Harcourt Street, Dublin 2, and were the legal occupiers of The Concert Building in Parkwest.

Counsel recommended that the Judge approve the compensation settlement offer. Judge O’Connor, as he gave his approval to a new €25,000 compensation offer, said that while the boy had walked with a limp for a number of weeks, he had made a full recovery. from the accident.

Girl Left Paralysed from the Chest Down Awarded €9.4m Compensation Settlement

Posted: November 1st, 2020

Aimee Brennan, a 12-year-old girl, has settled her High Court compensation action for €9.4m in relation to being allegedly paralysed from the chest down from an operation to treat curvature of her spine at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin.

The operation took place when she was six-years-old and, since that time she has been suffering with paraplegia and has to use a wheelchair.

Aimee’s legal representative, Liam Reidy SC informed the court, that she had curvature of the spine, was living an independent life prior before the operation. However she had opted to undergo the surgery due to the fact that she was unable to breath correctly.

Counsel said the surgery included the placing of an anchor system and implants along the spine using pedicle screws. It was claimed that the screws had been allegedly improperly placed. The hospital did not accept this claimed and argued that the screws did not inflict damage and the injuries could have been caused by a stroke, which is a known complication of this type of surgical treatment.

Aimee’s mother Jacinta informed the court, via an affidavit, that Aimee “…has been through so much but always has a smile on her face”. She added that her daughter was never able to walk since the operation and she has no power or sensation from below chest level.

Aimee, of Wolfhill, Co Laois, took the legal action against Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital through her mother. It was alleged that Aimee had a necessary operation on September 29, 2014 during which she sustained an injury to her spinal cord resulting in paraplegia.

Three days prior to the operation Aimee’s mother was advised that the curve of the spine was significant and was inflicting pressure on Aimee’s lungs and the operation was necessary to save her life. It is claimed no risks or alternative options to the proposed surgery were provided to Mrs Brennan.

Aimee returned from the operation still on traction and was taken to the intensive care unit. Her father Alan remained with her through the night and saw Aimee suffering with pins and needles in her legs at about 4:30am. A nursing note of 6am recorded Aimee being unable to complete requests to move her lower limbs.

An urgent MRI scan was completed and she was taken back to theatre where a hematoma was evacuated during an operation that took over six hours to complete. It is alleged that, in relation to the main operation, there was negligence in implementing a surgical strategy which was not allegedly indicated and which did not permit for more conservative approaches to Aimee’s ailment.

There was an alleged failure to complete pre-operative advanced imaging to create a road map to guide the placement of critical high-risk implants in surgery. The claims were refuted.

Following the operation, Aimee had to attend the National Rehabilitation Hospital in February of 2015 and remained there for three months.

Approving the €9.4m surgical negligence compensation settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it wa a very good one.

Footgolf Injury Leads to €16,000 Compensation Award for Amateur Goalie

Posted: September 11th, 2020

A toe injury sustained while playing footgolf has resulted in a €16,000 personal injury compensation award for an amateur goalkeeper at the Circuit Civil Court.

The legal action was taken by Stuart O’Dwyer of Glenhill Avenue, Finglas, Dublin 11, against Simon Rutledge of the White House pub restaurant, New Park, The Ward, Co Dublin in relation to the injury he sustained when
his right foot struck a metal stake which was hidden by long grass just off the 10th green at Mr Rutledge’s course.

Mr O’Dwyer, Leinster Senior League goalkeeper for Glasnevin FC, informed the Judge John O’Connor that he suffered the injury when he was trying to kick the ball out of the rough in a round of footgolf with his father on June 14, 2018.

The court was informed by Mr O’Dwyer’s legal representative, Barrister Laurence Masterson, that Mr Rutledge was not defended the claim. He added that judgment had been marked by the County Registrar against Mr Rutledge in the absence of an appearance in the case.

On the day of the game with his father he had kicked the ball off the 10th tee into very long grass. As he attempted to kick the ball onto the green his foot struck the metal spike that had been firmly placed in the ground and which was hidden by the grass.

Due to the collision with the spike, Mr O’Dwyer’s big toe was injured and he attended the emergency department of James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown afterwards. Here he was diagnosed a soft-tissue injury by
consultant in emergency medicine Dr JA McKeever.

The court was informed that Mr O’Dwyer, an amatuer goalkeeper in the Leinster Senior League with Glasnevin FC, had lost the nail on his big toe and he has a slight deformity in the shape of a small lump on the toe after the nail had grown back. In addition to this he had experienced extensive pain, discomfort and bruising in his toe. In the hospital his toe had been splinted with a buddy strap in the hospital where he had been provided with crutches.

Judge O’Connor said he felt compensation would fall in at the lower end of the Circuit Court jurisdiction and, as such, awarded Mr O’Dwyer €16,000 personal injury compensation legal costs against Mr Rutledge who was not in court, nor legally represented.

Boy (15) Awarded €26,000 Road Child Car Crash Compensation

Posted: August 1st, 2020

A car crash that took place in 2017 has resulted in a 15-year old boy being awarded €26,000 compensation at the Circuit Civil Court.

Mr David Kearney, representing Abdul-Malik, informed the Judge that the boy suffered great trauma when it appeared to him that his friend had died in the same accident. However, this was not the case as his friend had just been knocked unconscious in the car crash.

The accident in question took place when the car that Abdul was travelling in with his family was struck by another car as it was passing them. Abdul-Malik, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, sustained neck and lower-back injuries. In addition to this the court was also informed that he is suffering with persistent post-traumatic stress disorder. Justice Judge John O’Connor was informed that that the boy was already vulnerable due to the traume his experience when his older brother was abducted during the Chechen-Russian conflict conflict.

Mr Kearney told Judge O’Connor the boy’s mother was not content with the €26,000 compensation settlement offer. A knee operation on an injury that took place, in Russia, since the accident could be definitively linked to the accident. Medical experts provided testimony stating that the most likely cause of the injury was a sporting accident.

Mr Kearney informed the judge that the settlement figure would have to be adjusted upwards if the injury was a result of the road traffic accident.

Judge O’Connor informed the boy’s mother that he could not take the knee injury into account without independent medical research to back this up. Following this the boy’s mother informed the court, through her legal counsel, that they were happy to accept the award.

Compensation of €71,770 Awarded to Grandmother who Broke Ankle 2 Front Teeth in Petrol Station

Posted: July 15th, 2020

At the High Court €71,770 personal injury compensation has been awarded to a woman who broke her two front teeth and fractured her ankle in a petrol station fall.

Grandmother Mary Delaney crossing the garage forecourt while holding some groceries when she stubbed her toe on a lip of tarmacadam and fell to the ground.

At the hearing Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon on Thursday found that incorrect workmanship was to blame for the accident. She said that the fall happened as a result of the placing of an excessive depth of material in a patched area. This created a definite tripping hazard in the guise of a 14 millimetre height difference.

The woman in question, Ms Delaney, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, took the personal injury compensation action against Circle K Ireland Energy Group Ltd, formerly Topaz due to her accident at the Topaz Filling Station, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, on May 20,2017.

During the hearing Ms Delaney told the Judge that she had on a pair of black laced shoes at the time of the accident. She added that her face was black and blue afterwards and she had to use a straw to drink liquids in the weeks after the accident happened. She sustained a fracture ankle and has not retained 100% movement in her left foot and suffers from stiffness as a result of the accident. In addition to this she had to undergo paid nine visits to the dentist for damage she sustained to her teeth.

The Judge said that Ms Delaney came across as a credible witness and a
‘a reasonable person’ who did not exaggerate her symptoms in any way.

The defendant in the legal action, Circle K, argued that the changing gradient was gradual rise and not ‘lipped’.

The judge said she did not accept thethis argument saying: “It is reasonably foreseeable that a person such as Ms Delaney would suffer such an accident in these circumstances as there was a lack of reasonable care in the reinstatement of the pavement”.

Ms Justice O’Hanlon, who accepted that this was “an acrimonious case”, granted Circle K’s application for a stay in the event of an appeal providing €35,000 and costs are paid out to Ms Delaney at once.

$10.9bn Compensation Settles RoundUp Compensation Actions for Bayer

Posted: June 26th, 2020

German drugs and pesticides manufacturer Bayer has, after year long settlement talks, agreed to pay a $10.9bn compensation settlement in relation to thousands of US-based legal actions taken as users of weedkiller RoundUp claimed it caused them to develop cancer.

The RoundUp settlements will be financed by Bayer with the company’s current free cash flow and the earnings from the recent sale of its Animal Health business. There were almost 125,000 filed and unfiled compensation claims. The agreed settlement makes up about 75% of the claims connected with RoundUp. In both 2020 and 2021, $5bn is due to be paid out.

Bayer has never accepted allegations that cancer is caused by RoundUp or its active ingredient glyphosate. The company has referred to independent studies that back up this belief. The submitted legal action alleged that RoundUp was a major factor in the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers in some individuals.

Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018 and, in doing so, inherited the claims. This settlement does not take into account three cases that have already gone to trial. In April, a meeting of Bayer shareholders in the group gave their approval in relation to how the claims were being managed.

Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann said, in relation the development and settlement agreement: “First and foremost, the Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end. It resolves most current claims and puts in place a clear mechanism to manage risks of potential future litigation. It is financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multi-year litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business.”

He added: “The decision to resolve the Roundu litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of healthcare and food. It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”

Settlement mediator Ken Feinberg said that there are a number of claims, 25,000, remaining to settle, “Bayer wisely decided to settle the litigation rather than roll the dice in American court.”

He went on to say: “I predict all the remaining cases will settle within a few months. People are going to want their share of this settlement.”

Scouting Body Feared Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims Could ‘Sink the Organisation’

Posted: May 18th, 2020

Former board chair of Scouting Ireland, Aisling Kelly, informed a room of senior volunteers from the organisation on December 10th, 2018, that there was a prospect of legal actions bring taken against the body in relation to “extensive, prolonged, and at times organised child sexual abuse”.

The them chair added that she feared such actions could “sink the organisation” if large numbers of abuse victims sought compensation from Scouting Ireland, the body that was formed from the merger of the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland (CBSI) and the Scout Association of Ireland in 2004.

Her fears were founded on reports of massive compensation pay outs in cases such as these. The Irish Times has reported that, in recent years a single confidential settlement agreement resulted in Scouting Ireland paying over €100,000 to a man who had claimed he was sexually abused when he was a member of the CBSI as a child. Scouting Ireland has put aside €2.5 million to cover the costs of legal claims and cases from survivors. It has also set up a support fund to pay for private counselling for survivors.

Last Thursday a report in an inquiry conducted by child protection expert Ian Elliott outlined a thorough analysis of the scale of the historic abuse at the scouting organisations and described how the act failed to act in the interests of the young children.

Following the release of the report, Scouting Ireland issued a public apology to the victims and the chair of the organisation Adrian Tennant claimed that Since learning of the abuse scandal Scouting Ireland had sought to “own” responsibility for facing up to the past failings.

The report detailed how the culture of the former organisations were rife with “cronyism” and a lack of adequate governance. The result of all of this was a failure to make cases of child abuse known to the relevant authorities. It (the report) referred to Scouting Ireland as a “seriously dysfunctional organisation”, with “sex offenders dominating the leadership for decades”.

It also found a “systematic failure” of the organisations to maintain adequate records of reports of alleged abuse allegations.

Following the publication of the report. the Government is now considering whether a statutory inquiry into the past abuse is necessary. The report accounted for 356 alleged victims of historical abuse, and 275 alleged perpetrators, who primarily operated between the 1960s and 1990s.

In other jurisdictions, abuse involving scouting organisations have lead to massive financial settlement. Last February (2020), the Boys Scouts of America began bankruptcy proceeding as a result of legal actions related to law for alleged child abuse.

Alleged Inappropriate Passenger Treatment Leads to Aer Lingus Compensation Claim

Posted: April 17th, 2020

In the United States a passenger who was travelling on Aer Lingus is alleging that she was injured and mistreated in an incident that occurred just prior to departure and has filed a legal action in relation to this.

In the lawsuit that was submitted Mary Oshana claims that Aer Lingus flight crew physically removed her, using force, from the cabin toilet and dragged her back to the assigned seat while her pants remained below her knees while her buttocks and genitalia were visible to the people on the flight. In addition to this she states that she sustained a hip injury.

A resident of Skokie IL, Ms Oshana, claims she was dealt with “unreasonably, carelessly, and negligently” by Aer Lingus flight crew. Due to this a complaint was filed in District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in connection with the events that took place just before a flight from Chicago to Dublin took off on April 26, 2018.

The claim says that, as it taxied from the departure gate at O’Hare International Airport, the flight came a halt and stood in place on the tarmac for around 30 minutes prior to moving to the runway for take-off. Ms Oshana, during this delay, went to use the toilet. She claims that, 20 seconds after entering the toilet, she became aware that one or more individuals were banging on the door.

These individuals advised here that she must return to her assigned seat. She told these people that she would do as they wished “in just a minute”
as she was seated on the toilet with her pants down.

The claims says that two Aer Lingus flight attendants “broke through the lavatory door, pulled her up by her arms, dragged her to her seat while her pants were underneath her knees, and flung her with considerable force into the armrest and seat. Due to this physical action, Ms Oshana says she sustained “pain and bruising in her hip, thighs and buttocks.”

Ms Oshana’s legal team allege that the incident falls under the terms of the Montreal Convention, a treaty agreed in relation to damages for victims of incidents on airlines. Aer Lingus have not released any statement in connection with the series of events that are listed in the claim submitted.

The personal injury hearing is pencilled in to be heard at a siting during June this year.

Creche Assault Trial Underway at High Court

Posted: February 25th, 2020

In Leinster, a 29-year-old male is on trial in relation to the sexual assault of four girls at the creché where he was employed.

It is alleged that the man, on dates between February 2015 and December 2016, assault the group of girls 23 times. The individual in question had entered a plea of not guilty in relation to the accusations that have been registered by the girls who were aged between five and eight-years-old at the time of the assault.

The man has been accused of ten counts of sexual assault in relation to the first girl, eight in relation to the second girl, three in relation to the third and two in relation to the fourth. The offences are all alleged to have occurred in different places at the crèche and on a bus owned by the
crèche .

In order to protect the identities of the children involved, the man’s name and details of the location of the crèche cannot be reported by the media.

Prosecuting Counsel Orla Crowe said the man was first employed to work in the kitchen of the crèche in 2013. However, not long later he began working with after-school children.

In December 2016 was was let go from his position as he had not attained the level of childcare qualification required by legislation.

The man’s job involved bringing children to school in the early mornings and collecting them after school ended. As an additional duty he supervised the older after-school children in the afternoons.

Ms Crowe said an allegation of sexual misconduct against the man was first made on 12 December 2016 when one of the young girls informed another child who, in turn, advised a staff member. At this point in time the child’s parents were made aware of the situation and the gardaí who kicked off an official investigation.

The court was informed that the children would be available to be cross-examined by the defence using a video link, and videos of interviews, conducted by specialist garda interviewers, were recorded in January 2017 and will be shown to the court during the trial. The jury was told they would also hear from the children’s parents and the specialist garda interviewers.

The accusations were as follows:

  • The first girl was allegedly sexually assaulted on a number of occasions between September 2015 and June 2016 when she was seven and eight-years-old. The assaults are said to have taken place in the after-school room, on the school bus and in the crèche toilet.
  • The man is has been accused in relation to eight sample counts of assault on the second girl who was aged between five and six-years-old during the attacks.
  • At the time of their assaults the third and fourth girls in question were eight years old.

The court was told that the proprietor of the crèche where the man was employed said the man had no qualification in child care when he started work but had begun his official training. This was in line with the company policy on employment and the man had completed a one-day child safeguarding workshop.

Speaking about the man’s suitability for the role the proprietor said that she felt it would be good to have a male role model in the crèche and he was attempting to become properly qualified, albeit slowly.

The woman added that, as legislation had changed and anyone working in a crèche after 31 December 2016 had to have a FETAC level 5 qualification, the man had been aware that he would not be able to continue his employment because he did not have this qualification.

On 12 December 2016 she was in the office when a staff member came to her and informed her that one of the after school students had advised another child that she had kissed the man in the privates and then laughed.

She told the court that she was certain was course of action to follow after being told this in case it was merely a case of children being fanciful and talking about such matters. She spoke to the parents of the children involved and the following day a father of one of the girls informed her he was going to contact the gardaí in relation to the incident.

Due to this she contacted the man and informed him that he was be suspended from his role as there was a serious allegation made against him. Following this the gardaí came to the crèche that afternoon with a warrant and retrieved footage from the CCTV system.

The trial, which is expected to last around three weeks, will continue next Monday.

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