Personal Injury Compensation
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: July 6th, 2017
An award of jogger injury compensation has been increased to account for the upset the plaintiff suffered when accused of making a fraudulent claim.
In September 2011, the twenty-four year old jogger was returning to the Clondalkin caravan site in Dublin when he tripped on a hole in the footpath and fell – fracturing the knuckle of a finger in his right hand. He subsequently had to undergo surgery for his injury, which has left him with a permanent scar.
The man claimed jogger injury compensation from South Dublin County Council – the owners of the land on which the accident occurred – but the council disputed liability for his injury, alleging that the jogger – who was also an amateur boxer – had injured his knuckle in a boxing match.
The claim for jogger injury compensation went to the High Court where it was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. During cross-examination, the council´s legal representatives argued the man had suffered soft tissue injuries in a car accident the previous day and would not have been out jogging the following morning.
They repeated their allegations that the injury had been sustained in a boxing match, and insinuated through their questioning of the plaintiff that the jogger injury compensation claim was fraudulent. However, Judge Barr accepted the evidence of a medical witness giving testimony on behalf of the plaintiff that the man was just trying to run off his soft tissue injury.
The judge concluded this was a “credible explanation” for why the man had been out jogging and found in the plaintiff´s favour. Judge Barr added there was no evidence to suggest the jogger was making a fraudulent claim, and awarded him €55,000 jogger injury compensation plus a further €5,000 in aggravated damages for the upset caused by the council´s unjustified allegations.
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: February 17th, 2017
A musician who sustained injuries to her neck and arm in an accident between two taxis has received compensation in what the judge called an “exceptional case”.
On March 8th 2012, a musician from Ardnacrusha in County Clare – was a passenger in a taxi when it was rear-ended on Wexford Street in Dublin by another taxi. Despite the low-speed collision, woman suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder as a result of the accident. She sought medical attention from her GP the day following the incident. She was diagnosed with soft-tissue damage, and was prescribed painkillers for her injury.
When the woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim, the negligent taxi driver accepted liability for causing the accident and her injuries. However, the amount of the assessment, and thus the value of compensation, was rejected by the woman. She claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury, and in particular did not reflect her reduced ability to play music.
The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim against the negligent taxi driver in court. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge heard how the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising her violin several hours a day, as she was required to do to maintain her career. The defendants protested this claim, stating that her injury was unrelated to the “insignificant” collision between the two vehicles.
Judge Groarke admitted that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting” and that on the “balance of probabilities” the woman would likely made a full recovery from her injury and would suffer no long-term damages. However, while concluding that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin. As such it was an exceptional case, and even her not particularly severe injuries should be treated as serious for a “talented musician” like her.
Judge Groarke awarded the woman €25,000 compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, stating he accepted the plaintiff´s belief that the discomfort she suffers is related to the March 2012 accident.
Posted: September 25th, 2016
A new, revised Book of Quantum will soon be published and will help to stop any current inconsistencies in the settlement of personal injuries claims in Ireland.
The original Book of Quantum was published in 2004 and contains an extensive list of potential injuries. Alongside the injuries, there is an estimate of the amount of conversation to which a claimant, who has sustained the injury through an accident that was not their fault, should receive. The book also provides some subcategories for each injury such that the severity and permanence of the injury can be accounted for.
However, as the book has not been updated in twelve years, it has been criticised recently as being out-of-date, with many solicitors, judges and insurance companies choosing not to consult the book when settling claims. Others will still consult the book, but will always award the highest estimate listed. Both of these approaches seek to avoid unfair settlements, but as there is no regulation inconsistencies have developed across the system.
As such, the Courts Services, the Injuries Board Ireland and some of Ireland’s most senior judges began collaborating on a new Book of Quantum. To do this, over 52,000 personal injuries claims in Ireland between 2013 and 2014 were analysed. With this data, new estimates were created and it is hoped that these will resolve any inconsistencies.
Two major changes were introduced. In the first, estimates were adjusted to account for the current cost of living and inflation over the last twelve years. In the second, more subcategories were introduced concerning the severity and permanence of injuries to allow for more specific awards to be made.
It should be noted that the Book of Quantum only advises on physical injuries suffered by a victim. If you have also suffered emotional trauma, financial loss or a negative impact on your quality of life, you should also be able to recover compensation. Consult an experienced personal injuries solicitor for advice on claiming personal injuries compensation.
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: October 20th, 2015
A teenager, who sustained severe burns whilst playing in a wooded area as a child, has been awarded compensation by the High Court for the injuries he sustained.
The accident happened on the 3rd July 2008, when Kurt O’Callaghan – then aged ten, from Wexford – was playing with his friends near his home. The children were playing in a wooded area, and as they were making a camp, Kurt decided to erect a “Keep Out” sign on an electricity pole. Kurt began to secure to sign to an Electricity Supply Board (ESB) pole with a nail, but the nail hit a live wire. The force of the electric shock propelled Kurt from the wall he was on, such that he could access the pole.
A passing driver rushed Kurt to a local hospital. He was then transferred to Crumlin CHildren’s Hospital in Dublin, where he spent three months. Whilst in hospital, multiple surgeries were carried out in an attempt to treat the extensive burns that Kurt had sustained on his head, neck, shoulders, hands and chest. There is a possibility that Kurt will need more surgeries in the future.
On her son’s behalf, Kurt’s mother Denise made a claim for electrocution accident compensation against the ESB. In her legal action, Denise alleged that her son had been exposed to a danger that her son had been exposed to either a known danger, or a danger that should have been known. She also alleges that the ESB were negligent in not investigating the possible danger the proximity of the wall to the electrical pole presented.
An expert witness testified that the ESB had been negligent in not identifying the dangers surrounding the pole. They also testified that a statutory requirement existed that it was a requirement to ensure that no electrical poles could be accessible to a height of three metres, and that ESB inspectors should have noted that the wall provided such access to the pole.
However, the ESB continued to deny any responsibility for Kurt’s injuries. The case proceeded to the High Court in Dublin, where negotiations resulted in a €70,000 settlement of compensation. The judge overseeing the case, Mr Justice Kevin Cross, noted that – given the circumstances, as Kurt could have been accused of contributory negligence – that the settlement was good.
Posted: August 7th, 2015
A man, who broke a tooth whilst eating in a restaurant, has had his compensation settlement halved after a judge determined that he contributed to his injury.
The accident occurred on the 23rd March 2015 at the Gate Clock Bar in Dublin Airport when Shane McQuillan, aged thirty-two from Swords, was eating there before a flight. Whilst eating a sausage and bacon sandwich, his right back molar fractured.
Shane sought legal counsel and subsequently made a claim for his restaurant injury. In the claim, it was alleged that the rasher of bacon in the sandwich had a very tough rind on account of the fact that it was on display for “a number of hours”. However, the owners of Gate Clock Bar denied liability for Shane’s injuries. Shane was then issued with authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue his claim through the courts.
Judge Patricia McNamara oversaw proceedings at the Swords District Court. She heard from the manager that the sandwiches were served from a steel tray that was positioned over a pan of hot water behind a glass display. The manager also testified that the food was changed every ninety minutes, but could not provide any records to support this claim.
The legal representatives of the bar claimed that – had Shane any doubts concerning the quality of the bacon – that he should not have asked to have it put in the sandwich. As such, the argued that Shane had contributed to his own injury, if the bacon was stale.
The judge also heard that Shane is yet unable to drink cold drinks and still suffers from pain in his mouth. Judge McNamara awarded Shane €6,500 in general damages and a further €2,500 in special damages for his injury.
Yet the judge said the only reason she ruled in Shane’s favour was because of the manager’s lack of records. She added that Shane “should have been careful of a crispy rasher rind”. She then assigned Shane fifty percent liability, which reduced the value of his claim to €4,500.
Posted: March 27th, 2015
A seventeen year-old boy has received a five-figure settlement of compensation for a dog bite after it was ruled that an animal rescue centre was negligent.
In November 2009, Rhys Loy was cycling home from school in Raheny, Dublin. On his way, Rhys, who was just twelve years old, at the time, was bitten by a five year-old dog that was being walked by Anecy Sholling, his foster owner.
Rhys was then taken to the Children’s University Hospital in Temple Street. He had suffered a superficial laceration to his calf, and at the hospital the cut was stitched together. However, Rhys returned t the hospital on many further occasions to have his dressings changed and his wound cleaned.
Acting on her son’s behalf, Sinead Byrne made a claim for personal injury compensation against the dog’s owners, Deidre and Gina Hetherington, who work at the PAWS animal rescue shelter in Co. Tipperary. Sinead also organised a warrant for the dog to be euthanised.
However, the Hetheringtons denied that they were liable for Rhy’s injuries. They claimed that Ms Sholling had adopted the dog, a collie named Charlie, from them many moths before he attacked Rhys. They also claimed that they did not know the location of the dog, as it went missing after it escaped the Gardai trying to execute the warrant.
The claim was heard earlier this month at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard a testimony that Ms Sholling was fostering the dog when it attacked Rhys, and that she had returned it to PAWS after the incident had occurred.
It was determined that the dog had indeed been owned by the rescue centre when it attacked Rhys, and Judge Groarke found in Rhy’s favour. He ordered Deirdre and Gina to pay Rhys €7,500 in compensation. The judge also commented that he did not believe that it was coincidental that Charlie escaped capture.