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Child Injury Claim

Creche Scandal Compensation Claims likely following Hyde & Seek Revelations

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.

Girl (8) Awarded €150k Compensation After Hot Chocolate Accident on Ryanair Flight

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.

Shopping Trolley Collision Pre-Birth Accident Compensation of €45,000 Awarded to Four-Year-old Child

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’.

110 Tram or Train Surfing Incidents Recorded by Transport Operators since 2014

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.

Father ‘Unhappy’ with €37,500 Car Accident Compensation for His Two Children

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.”

 

Boy (8) Awarded Birth Accident Injury Compensation Award of €65,000

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.

€32,000 Dog Attack Compensation Paid After Boy (12) Bitten in Attack

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.

€25k Compensation Settlement for 2012 Tayto Park Accident

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.

Former Mechanic Makes Claims Against Defence Forces due to Chemical Exposure

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”.

Girl Receives Compensation for Swimming Pool Accident

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.

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