Child Injury Claim
Posted: February 24th, 2019
A four-year-old child has been awarded €45,000 compensation in relation to an accident she was involved in, in a Tesco store, when only at 20 weeks gestation in her mother’s womb.
The young girl, Siwan Stewart, was represented in the Circuit Civil Court court by barrister David K. McGrath who told Judge Eoin Garavan that the unborn baby girl, who is now just three months short of her fifth birthday, sustained injuries when her mother was struck by her shopping trolley which came to a sudden stop on a Tesco travelator.
Mr McGrath informed the Judge that Siwan’s mother, Elaine, crashed into her own shopping trolley when it halted unexpectedly on the travelator in Tesco’s at the Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Lower George’s Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, in February 2013.
Presiding Judge Garavan said that this was the first time he had dealt with the injury of an unborn child and the sort of one which, to the best of his knowledge, had not come before the court before.
Mr McGrath told Judge Garavan that when Siwan was delivered in May 2013 it was noticed that she had haemolytic disease of the newborn, a sort of jaundice and had to be treated medically in a special unit for just under seven days. A consultant had linked Siwan’s condition to the travelator accident that involved her mother in Tesco’s.
Following her initial filing of the personal injury compensation action on her daughter’s behalf, Ms Elaine Stewart, of Claremont Road, Sandymount, Dublin was offered a travelator injury compensation settlement offer of €45,000.
The Circuit Civil Court was also told that Ms Stewart’s other daughter Adelaide, who was three at the time and had fallen and struck her head on the travelator in the same accident, has been offered a personal injury Tescos compensation settlement of €28,000. Mr McGrath was recommending that the Judge approve both offers.
Mrs Stewart made no claim herself in relation to her own involvement in the accident, she only claimed against Tescos on her own behalf but only on behalf of her children. Judge Garavan approved both settlements and referred to the two offers as ‘very good’.
Posted: December 3rd, 2018
The operators of the Luas and Irish Rail have revealed that there has been more than 110 incidents of tram/train surfing recorded on their services in and around Dublin since 2014.
This activity, which involves a person grabbing on to the exterior of a carriage as it departs a platform, came to public attention in October 2018 when 20-year-old Rebecca Kelly was awarded €550,000 in rail injury compensation for sustaining a significant brain injury in a fall. The accident in question occurred when she was a teenager and fell from the Luas that she was clinging onto.
In the accident Ms Kelly hit her head on the tracks and needed to be dragged out of the way of another tram that was approaching the platform.
In the last few weeks, a Freedom of Information request has revealed that over 35 cases of tram surfing have been registered on Luas services since 2014.
Transdev Representative Ms Dervla Brophy said: “Tram surfing can be fatal. We have had a very small number of incidents of people trying to ‘scut’ and all staff are trained to be vigilant, observe and report. The public have reported [cases] too. Any activity or even potential concern that is reported – trams will be stopped, security and or gardai called. The risk of serious injury is very high. We show CCTV of various incidents that have occurred along the lines. The purpose is to request parents know where their kids are and if they are on the lines, they’re aware just how dangerous their playground might be.”
In response to a separate Freedom of Information Irish Rail stated that 87 incidents of train surfing have been registered 2016. In the past three years 12 train surfing incidents occurred on the Northern commuter route linking Dublin and Dundalk. All of the officially recorded incidents happened on the services provided by the Dart commuter link.
Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny, commenting on the revelations, stated: “On board staff, station staff and security personnel are vigilant in ensuring we respond with security or garda support. Extra security patrols this year are yielding a reduction in the number of incidents.”
Irish Rail also made public that they have made some changes to the exterior of the Dart fleet of 76 carriages to make them more difficult to hold onto in a bid to halt the train surfing efforts.
Posted: April 13th, 2018
€37,500 car accident compensation awarded to two children injured in a car accident has been described as ‘inadequate’ by the father of the children.
The compensation award was divided as €20,000 for his nine-year-old in relation to a suspected fracture of his left arm and €17,500 for his seven-year-old brother in relation to soft tissue injuries.
The boys were injured in a car accident which occurred on March 26, 2016 and had sued an insured motorist, Dusan Gabor through their father.
Through the boy’s Barrister John Nolan their father, Graham Comiskey, told Judge Terence O’Sullivan in the Circuit Civil Court that was not satisfied with either settlement.
Mr Nolan said: “While the boys have sued through their father, Mr Comiskey, I have to consider the interests of the children and I do not believe they would gain higher awards in a full trial and may even be awarded much less”.
Mr Comiskey referred to the Book of Quantum in relation the compensation for such injuries and the settlements. He compared the settlement for his boys and stated that they were at the lower end of suggested damages.
He also queried if it would be possible for him to appeal should the judge go ahead and approve the road accident compensation settlements.
Judge O’Sullivan explained to Mr Comiskey a different judge may award a lower amount of road accident compensation. He added that he was happy that the compensation fell in the range of €15,000 and €20,000.
Counsel for the Comiskey family told the Court that this had been explained to Mr Comiskey. However, the boys’ father was still eager to oppose accepting the offers.
Judge O’Sullivan chose to approve both child accident compensation settlement offers and said that the monies be paid into court funds on behalf of the children in question.
He also advised Mr Comiskey: “Any decision of the Circuit Court can be appealed.”
Posted: February 9th, 2018
A birth accident injury compensation award €65,000 has been approved in the High Court for a boy (8) who, it is claimed, suffered a facial injury during his delivery at on November 12, 2009 at the Coombe Hospital.
During an attempted forceps delivery, Dara Brennan sustained the injuries to his face. To this day scarring on his cheek and two indentations on the right side of his face that remain visible when he smiles.
Dara’s mother, Lorraine Brennan, of Brayton Park, Kilcock, Co Kildare, sued the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital on behalf of her son due to the negligence encountered during his delivery on November 12, 2009.
It was claimed that alleged improper use of forceps at the time of his delivery inflicted the scars the right side of Dara’s face. Legal representatives for the boy said that there was a failure to exercise the necessary care, competence, judgment and skill required during the delivery. It was also claimed that a more senior doctor in obstetrics was necessary during the birth. Legal representatives for the Coombe Hospital denied these accusations.
In approving the birth injury compensation settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said that it was as near to full compensation as possible. The High Court was also advised that Dara Brennan’s parents were happy with the settlement.
Posted: November 2nd, 2017
15-year-old schoolboy Adam Russell was today awarded €32,000 compensation for personal injuries after being attacked and bitten in the face by a neighbour’s German Pointer dog
Legal Representations for Mr Russell, Barrister Brian Sugrue, claimed the boy was at the home of Erica Deacon and Eoin Gibson in the Ballinclea Heights estate in Killiney, Co Dublin when the dog, a Weimaraner short-haired German pointer, attacked him (Adam).
Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke was told by Mr Sugrue that Adam Russell, who was 12 years old at the time of the attack, was attacked and bitten on his face by the dog while trying to play with it.
Adam, taking the legal compensation case through his father Colm Russell, was playing at the house belonging to Deacon and Gibson on 28 September 2013 when the German Pointer dog suddenly bit him.
He was taken, for treatment, to the Swiftcare Clinic, Dundrum, Dublin, where the cut to his face were dealt with by physicians. His nose injury was sutured and the wound just under his lower lip had been closed with surgical glue. The tooth injury suffered was later treated by dentists at Dalkey Dental Clinic.
Adam Russell’s injured tooth would possibly, according to Mr Sugrue, need a crown in the future but part of the €32,000 dog attack compensation settlement offer took future dental work into consideration.
Consultant Plastic Surgeon Patricia Eadie had examined Adam’s scars in 2016 and the court was told that revision surgery may have to take place. The scarring on his nose is permanent.
Judge Groarke was told that Mr Sugrue was approving acceptance of the €32,000 child injury compensation offer. Mr Groarke said that, while not generous, this offer was within the normal range of compensation for such dog attack injuries. The dog attack compensation offer was approved and will be invested in court funds until December 19 2019 when Adam Russell becomes 18 years of age.
Posted: October 12th, 2017
The High Court has approved a personal injury compensation settlement for €25,000 in relation to a 2012 accident that involved an 8-year-old boy being injured following a fall from a playground tower.
Conor Bolger, now aged 13, of Briarfield Road, Kilbarrack, took a child injury compensation action against Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd, Co Meath (trading as Tayto Park) through his father Brian Bolger. He (Conor) had to have pins inserted in his lower arm when he fractured his elbow in the fall that occurred on March 25 2012.
The Bolger family’s legal team claimed that there was overcrowding on the playground tower when Conor fell and this caused the accident. Additionally, they claimed that the area surrounding the playground tower had insufficient protective wood chips on the ground, a measure designed to protect individuals from injury in the event of a fall. They also claimed that the regularity of appropriate safety inspections was insufficient and that this contributed to the extent and severity of the injuries Conor suffered.
Ashbourne Visitor Centre (Tayto Park) legal counsel David McGrath SC dismissed these claims stating that Mr Bolger “just fell” and there were no safety concerns regarding overcrowding on the tower at the time of the incident. Conor Bolger’s family, the court was advised, were happy with the proposed €25,000 child injury compensation settlement.
High Court Justice Kevin Cross approved the child injury compensation settlement and commented that Conor’s scar, due to the insertion of the pins to treat the fractured elbow, was not “too upsetting”. Justice Cross also said, in his approval, that he (Conor) would have been affected due to being unable to play basketball for a duration of time after the accident operation.
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 solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for compensation against the Larkin Early Education Centre.
After an initial assessment of her medical records 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.