Child Injury Claim
Posted: November 20th, 2021
In the Hight Court a Galway hospital has agreed to pay a €30m birth injury settlement to 14-year-old boy from Birr who has cerebral palsy as a result of the the circumstances of his birth.
Oran Molloy suffers with spastic diplegia which affects all four limbs. His legal counsel, Denis McCullough SC, informed Justice Paul Coffed that the birth injury settlement which was agreed following a mediation process that was “protracted and difficult”. He added that this the largest recovery of damages in a birth injury case in this jurisdiction.
He told the Court that when Oran was just five years old he travelled to the USA for surgery which was paid for by local fundraising. This surgical procedure allowed his to initially walk a few steps using crutches. Sadly, his mobility has lessened over time.
The legal action was taken against the Health Service Executive in relation to injuries oran sustained during his birth at Portiuncula University Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, on December 31, 2006.
Following the approval being given for the proposed settlement solicitor Gillian O’Connor, speaking on behalf of Oran’s family said while they were satisfied with the €30m award they would “give it back in a heartbeat” if only the night of December 31 when Oran was born and injured at birth “could be changed and the errors erased”.
She said: “This is the highest award but justifiably so and is about €12 million more than what is normally awarded. “
She said this was because it represents, in the Molloy legal team’s opinion, a negative real rate of return of minus 1.5% and not up to plus 1.5% which was determined in the Irish courts in 2014.
Liability was only accepted by the HSE three weeks prior to the trial date. Following this the HSE then sought to adjourn the case for four years. Due to this adjournment request, the family had requested an annual payment linked to wage inflation be made. However, this request was turned down by the HSE so the family had no option but to pursue a lump sum compensation figure.
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.
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.
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
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.
Posted: December 18th, 2019
€44,000 cap park accident compensation has been award to a prominent young athlete at the Circuit Civil Court after she broke a bone in her right foot
The injury to Sophia Crawford went unnoticed for a number of weeks and the girl had the agony of walking for weeks on an undetected broken bone.
Legal representative for the 15-year-old girl Crawford, Barrister Breffni Gordon, informed presiding Judge John O’Connor that an x-ray of her foot had been completed after the accident that occurred in Drury Street Car Park in Dublin in 2016. However, the scan had not identified any bone injury.
Mr Gordon told the court that Sophia had been taken by her father Gerard Crawford to Royal Bahrain Hospital while on holiday following complaints of further pain. During a subsequent MRI scan it was discovered that she had a fractured fifth metatarsal in her right foot.
Child Consultant Antoinette D’Alton submitted a medical saying that Sophia had experienced a massive amount of suffering due to the accident which occurred when she tripped on an open drain shore at the Drury Street Car Park. Through her mother Amanda Crawford, Sophia took a legal action against Park Rite, owners and operators of Drury Street Multi-Storey Car Park in Dublin’s city centre.
Mr Gordon told the judge that said Sophia was a prominent athlete and had played hockey and tennis for her school and was also participating in sailing.
He informed Judge O’Connor that the Personal Injuries Board had assessed her claim for compensation at €43,763 and he was advising that the court accept the offer made by the car park’s insurance providers.
Following this Judge O’Connor approved the settlement with costs in favour of the claimant.
Posted: November 13th, 2019
Following suffering cut to hie eye on a pharmacy shelf a Co
Dublin two year-old boy has been awarded €22,000 personal injury compensation.
The court was told that Ross Pickering of Merrion Park, South Hill Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, had been in Bradley’s Chemist with his mother on 14th July, 2014, when the accident in question happened.
Counsel for the Pickering family Barrister Samantha Cruess- Callaghan was representing the boy on the legal action he too via his mother Marie-Claire Greenan. She told the court that after the accident, Ross had been rushed to the Emergency Department of Crumlin Hospital for medical treatment.
The Judge was informed that physicians treated the cut on Ross’ right upper eyelid, measuring around three centimetres. The laceration had been cleaned using an antiseptic method and was found to be superficial. The child was reviewed again two weeks later to have his steri-strips taken, there was no bleeding or indications of infection to Ross’s injury at the time and the wound had healed properly. She stated that the child’s mother had been advised that if there had been any concerns nine months after the accident, then Ross could seek the opinion of a plastic surgeon.
During his one year-check up to review the cut to his eyelid with a Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, it was recorded that Ross had a scar measuring 1cm by 3mm above his right eye, slightly red in colour and visible from a close distance. His opinion had been that the scar had still been immature and would go on healing during the next 18 months when it would turn white in colour.
The boy’s family was taking the legal action against Siofra Limited and L’oreal (UK) Limited trading as La Roche Posay as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident.
On the day that the accident happened, the child had bent down to pick something up from the floor . However, when he had been getting back up he caught the lower of his right eye on a sharp item that was on a La Roche Posay display shelf.
Ms Cruess- Callaghan recommended the personal injury compensation settlement €22,000 that had been proposed. She stated that it was her belief that this figure represents the value of Ross’s case.
Judge O’ Connor gave his approval to the settlement proposal offered by Siofra Limited and L’oreal (Uk) Limited trading as La Roche Posay (third party).
Posted: July 25th, 2019
Dublin-based childcare group Hyde and Seek are bracing themselves for coming creche scandal compensation claims, government agency investigations and criminal convictions after an RTE Investigates report uncovered multiple cases of child maltreatment and breaches of childcare management legislation.
The report showed a range of illegal and unprofessional work practices in the four crechés owned and operated by the group. Ahead of the airing of the show one of the owners of Hyde and Seek, Anne Davy, has stepped down from frontline work with immediate effect.
This is not the first time that Ms Davy has found herself answering for breaches of childcare legislation as she was convicted in 2004 after her staff left a three-year-old boy on his own at a local playground. Following this, in 2007, she was convicted for breaching child care requirements including child to adult ratios and failing to keep adequate records. Following these convictions Davy’s company changed name on three separate occasions.
As part of the report, two undercover childcare workers were sought employment at crèches managed by the Hyde and Seek chain for RTÉ Investigates. They discovered serious violations of legislation, best childcare practice and required safety procedures. Child Protection Agency Tusla had completed 11 inspections at the facilities since September 2017 and, despite passing these reviews, children were being badly treated and place at serious risk in the event of fire.
Babies were seen to be left in high chairs for considerable periods of time which lead to them to becoming very stressed. One child was placed by themself in a room with the door closed due to perceived bad behaviour. The reporters also recorded incidents of poor food quality and inappropriate staff to child ratios.
This was only the beginning as it was seen that new staff, including one of the undercover reporters, was allowed to begin employment before they were appropriately Garda vetted. Sleeping conditions were another area of some worry as infants were placed to sleep on bouncers and there was not enough space between the cots to allow child care staff monitor the children.
Tusla issued a statement saying: “We recognise and share the serious concerns the programme raises about the quality of care within these crèches, but more importantly the impact of concerning adult behaviours on children.” The body will review the case and apply sanction up to and including criminal prosecutions and removing Hyde & Seek creches from the childcare register.
The Hyde & Seek group release a public statement commiting to their efforts to improve their practices. It said: “We know we need to work to rebuild, retain and enhance the trust our parents have in us. We have spoken to many of them in recent days and would urge others with concerns to contact us. We are available to talk to and meet parents at any time. We note that while the programme made criticisms of aspects of our service, it praised our childcare staff whose dedication, professionalism and kindness are central to the care we provide.”
Speaking in relation to the incident, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “I think I speak for everybody in the country when I say that I was really appalled by what we saw on Prime Time in relation to the way that children were treated,” said Mr Varadkar in Donegal tonight. And I know that a lot of parents dropping their kids off to crèche or to preschool this morning must have been that little bit more worried or that little bit more nervous than they would be normally.”
It is likely that the Hyde and Seek group will now be facing a number of creche scandal compensation claims from parents and guardians of the children who were attending the Hyde and Seek crechés.
Posted: May 30th, 2019
A personal injury compensation claim against Ryanair in relation to an accident where an 8-year-old girl had hot chocolate spilled on her has been settled for €150,000.
The eight-year-old American girl, Sriya Venkata, suffered second-degree scald burns when a cup of hot chocolate fell on to her during a Ryanair flight.
The young girl, American Sriya Venkata Neti was on a flight from Rome to Krakow on a Ryanair flight with her parents when the hot hot chocolate in her paper cup fell on top of her as she was trying to drink the beverage.
Taking the legal action through her father Srinivas Neti, Sriya Venkata Neti sued Ryanair in relation to the accident that occurred on June 25, 2016.
The court was told that Sriya was burned on her thighs and buttocks and has been left with scarring. Srinivas Neti, submitted an affidavit to the court, which said that the scarring has now substantially receded. In the affidavit he also said that his daughter has made an excellent recovery and the condition of her injuries has greatly improved.
During the personal injury compensation hearing Sriya’s Counsel Hugh Mohan SC told the High Court the little girl suffered serious burns.
An official medical report was provided to the court which stated that the hot liquid gathered on the girl’s chair leading to extreme burning pain and the child’s mother had to unfasten the child from the seat and her clothing had to be removed. Her mother told the court that her daughter’s skin disappeared from the area where the liquid landed and blisters were forming in other places.
When they arrived in Krakow the girl was quickly airlifted to hospital and was then taken to Toronto, Canada where she spent another eight days being medically treated as an outpatient. Once her treatment was completed she was returned home to California.
In the claim it was alleged the the cabin crew did not act lead to the burns suffered being worsened. In particular, it was claimed that there was no attempt to provide any or any sufficient means of cooling the burns worsened the injuries in a major way. Ryanair denied all the allegations.
In approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross told the Court that it
must have been very sore when Sriya was scalded and also remarked that the young girl has been left with scarring regardless of the fact that she has made a good recovery.
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.