Child Injury Claim
Posted: May 16th, 2017
A former mechanic has claimed the Defence Forces are not doing enough to protect servicemen and their families from air corps toxic exposure.
A former air corps engineer came forward under a protected disclosure agreement to raise concerns about prolonged chemical exposure at his former base. He has expressed concerns regarding the physical and psychological wellbeing of servicemen at the Casement Airbase in Baldonnel, County Dublin, due to the toxic exposure.
Addressing an assembly of senior Ministers, TDs, senators and members of the Defence Forces, the “whistle-blower” claims that the unprotected exposure to known carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals -including dicholoromethane-was causing servicemen, their partners and their children to suffer illnesses – some of which were fatal.
The formed mechanic alleges that exposure to the chemicals had resulted in the premature death of up to twenty servicemen. He also claimed that five children of servicemen had died from cancer-related and birth defect-related illnesses and that many servicemen´s partners were experiencing fertility issues. He wishes the authorities to investigate the link between these tragic incidents and exposure to chemicals at the facility.
The State Claims Agency is already defending six air corps toxic exposure claims made in 2015 and 2016 by former servicemen suffering neurological issues. All six plaintiffs worked in repair and maintenance workshops at the Casement Airbase.
Furthermore, in October of last year, a Health and Safety Authority (HSA) inspection of the Casement Airbase identified health and safety issues related to the air corps toxic exposure claims and stated that the facility was “in need of immediate attention”. The HSA threatened to prosecute the Defence Forces if its recommendations were not carried out.
Following the most recent air corps toxic exposure claims, a spokesperson for the Department of Defence told thejournal.ie an independent third party had been appointed to review the allegations and it would be inappropriate to comment before receiving their report. A spokesperson for the Defence Forces stated: “Given these matters are subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Dublin South Central TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has been heavily critical of the manner in which these claims have been dealt with. He told thejournal.ie air corps toxic exposure claims “have largely fallen on deaf ears” since the 1990s. He described the most recent revelations about a lack of health and security at the Casement Airbase “alarming”, and accused junior Justice Minister Paul Kehoe of being indifferent “to the plight of the Defence Forces”.
Posted: April 18th, 2017
A judge has approved a settlement of compensation made to a young girl after an accident in a swimming pool left her with a visible scar on her face.
In August 2012, a young girl (eight years old at the time of the incident)was on a family holiday to the Sol Principe Hotel in Torremolinos on the Costa Del Sol. While the girl was swimming in the hotel´s pool, another guest dived into the pool, landing on top of her. This pushed her to the bottom of the pool, causing her chin to collide with the tiles, cutting it.
The girl received on-site medical attention, and was taken by her family to a local medical clinic.The cut to her chin was cleaned and seristrips were applied to the wound. As a result of the accident, the girl suffered pain, distress and discomfort. She was left with a pale scar on her chin, 1 cm in length. The family sought legal counsel, and through her father she claimed compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident against the hotel and the travel agent through whom the holiday had been booked.
In the claim for compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident, it was alleged the hotel – and, by association, the travel agent – had been negligent and failed in its breach of duty by failing to take adequate precautions while guests were using the swimming pool. It was also alleged there was a lack of adequate supervision of the fellow guest that had dived into the pool, and more staff on site would have prevented the accident from occurring.
The defendants denied liability, and a full defence was entered against the claim. It was also argued that the case should be heard in Spain, rather than in Ireland, because of the location in which it took place. However, at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond, heard that an initial offer of settlement amounting to €5,000 compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident had been made by the two defendants, without admission of liability.
The offer of settlement was of a value that would be offered to the girl if the family were to successfully bring a claim in Spain. Judge Groarke heard that the offer had been since increased to €12,500 after initially being rejected by the family. Due to continued disputes of liability, the family had agreed to accept the increased offer. The judge said, in the circumstances he was happy to approve the settlement of compensation for a Spanish swimming pool accident.
Posted: March 16th, 2017
A young girl has received compensation for an injury she sustained while swimming in a pool while on holiday with her family in Spain.
A Spanish holiday injury claim was made following an accident which involved a young girl in the swimming pool of the Sol Principe Hotel in Torremolinos. The girl, who was eight-years-old at the time of the incident, had been swimming in the pool when another holidaymaker dived in. Unfortunately the fellow guest landed on top of the girl and forced her to the bottom of the pool. Her chin impacted with the tiles, cutting it open.
Alarmed, girl´s father took her to a local medical centre, where the injury was treated. with steristrips. The family sought legal counsel on return to Ireland. On his daughter’s behalf, the man made a Spanish holiday injury claim against the owners of the Sol Principe Hotel and, by association, the Irish travel agent through whom the family holiday had been booked.
In the claim, it was alleged there had been a failure by the hotel to take adequate safety precautions while guests were using the pool, and thus they had directly failed to prevent the young girl’s injury. It was further 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 family’s holiday had been ruined as a result of her injury.
The allegations were denied by the defendants and a full defence entered against the Spanish holiday injury claim. Despite denying liability, an offer of compensation based on what the family would receive if the claim was successfully heard in Spain was made. This offer was declined. The two legal teams entered a period of negotiation, after which a second offer of settlement was forthcoming. The offer of €12,500 being accepted by the family following the advice 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 to ensure that it was in her best interests. Consequently, the case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The circumstances of the accident and details of the offer were related to Judge 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.
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: 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: 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: July 27th, 2015
The Circuit Civil Court has not approved a €15,000 compensation settlement for a child who suffered psychological trauma whilst at a crèche, deeming it insufficient for the injuries inflicted.
When she was just eight months old, Emilie Kiely – now aged four – started attending the Giraffe Crèche in Stepaside in 2011. By September 2012, she was moved to the “Toddlers’ Room”, but this caused her great stress and anxiety. She would become worried in the mornings when her parents were preparing to take her to the crèche.
However, in May 2013, a Prime Time documentary (entitled “A Breach of Trust) aired on RTE, alleging that the Giraffe Crèche was mistreating its charges. Emilie’s parents immediately removed their daughter from the crèche when they saw footage of one of the carers screaming at other children in the facility.
Emilie’s parents sought legal counsel and her father, John, proceeded to make a claim for psychological trauma against the crèche on behalf of his daughter. In the claim, he alleges that his daughter’s behaviour has been negatively affected by the experience and, after transfer for the Toddlers’ Rom, she would cry “No crèche!” in the morning. It was claimed that Emilie suffered stress, emotional trauma and terror because of the breach in duty of care by the childcare facility.
Though Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre denied the claims, they still offered a €15,000 compensation settlement to Emilie for her psychological trauma, without an admission of liability. The settlement had to proceed to the courts for approval as it was for a minor.
The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court by Judge James O’Donahue. However, the judge ruled that – given the amount Emilie suffered – the amount of compensation offered (€15,000) was insufficient.
Judge O’Donahue then ruled that the case should have a full hearing with another judge. This ruling will have implications for up to twenty-five other claims for compensation against the Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre for children who suffered similar trauma whilst attending the facility. Emilie’s parents have also made a claim for breach of contract, though that is also yet to be resolved.