Personal Injury Compensation
Posted: September 11th, 2018
An workplace industrial tribunal has awarded a personal injury compensation after she was mocked due to her west Belfast accent and harassed for being female.
The workplace bullying incident took place at the Four Winds pub in Castlereagh where Caroline Curran was employed as an assistant manager. She told the tribunal that she was mocked of and verbally teased due to her background and sex. She claimed that one manager told her she was “not in the Devenish now”, in reference to a pub in west Belfast. She claimed that another time a male colleague yelled at her: “Would you women f*** up!… you’re never done moaning.”
Ms Curran told the industrial tribunal: “I’m a strong person, but I found it extremely difficult to deal with mentally and I can only imagine if it was a younger woman or someone maybe not as strong as myself, what sort of state they would be in? I just didn’t want to let that go or allow them to treat anybody else like that.”
Ms Curran was hired as assistant manager of the bar in March 2017, under the supervision of manager Dermott McGinn and alongside fellow assistant manager Conor Magee. By July 2017 she submitted a formal grievance after becoming displeased at the treatment she was receiving and told that tribunal that Mr Magee “constantly undermines me in front of staff”.
Ms Curran also filed a formal complaint in relation to amendments to staff rotas, which she said he lied about causing her to feel “as if I’m going insane, sometimes he lies to me to make me think I’m wrong”. Following this incident she was signed out of work for two weeks and never returned to work at the pub again. However, she was present for a grievance meeting in August during which she testified that Mr Magee made pointed jokes towards her including: “You’re not in the Devenish now.”
Mr Magee disagreed with all of Ms Curran’s allegations, stating that “he hadn’t exactly a posh voice himself”, before going on to say that he thought he had the same accent and he comes from west Belfast. As the grievance meeting agree with her complaints Ms Curran took the matter to the workplace industrial tribunal.
At the tribunal legal counsel for Four Winds said the company disagreed with Ms Curran’s allegations that her gender was an “overarching theme” in her complaints against co-workers and that she did not pursue sex discrimination in her formally submitted grievance.
When delivering their ruling the tribunal said that Ms Curran was, in all likelihood, mocked due to her accent but this was not due to her gender. Along with this they added that her allegations of being undermined by Mr Magee were not due to her gender.
On the claims against Mr McGinn they ruled that this was due to “bad staff management”, however gender was not the cause of this. It did regard the comment, “Would you women just f*** up” as a clear instance of sexual harassment. The workplace industrial tribunal awarded Ms Curran £1,080 (€1,118) harassment compensation.
Posted: August 10th, 2018
Following the initiation of several thalidomide compensation claims, an official hearing has been adjourned at the High Court until November to allow for additional case management.
German drug manufacturer Grünenthal GmbHT,introduced Thalidomide as a sedative in Germany in 1957. They are now are facing 26 compensation cases taken against them, their Irish distributors TP Whelehan Son & Co, and the Ministers for Health and Environment. All parties deny the claims that have been made against them.
Allegations have been made stating that the drug inflicted deformities on unborn children when it was administered to pregnant mothers. The claims have been made in relation to incidents that took place in the 1960s. Due to this the High Court is currently reviewing whether the cases are statute-barred.
At the High Court the cases were brought before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who has stated that he is unhappy with “the slow pace” of the proceedings. Judge Noonan issued rulings to deal with a number of requests made by the defendants regarding certain aspects of their compensation claims.
The defendants claim that they need additional information from the plaintiffs in order to fully deal with the claims that are being taken against them. The judge concurred with this assertion and said that the details should be provided before the case is back before the court for further case management on 7 November. Judge Noonan added that the plaintiffs had a right to ask for discover documents from the State as part of their compensation action.
In a previous statement read out to the High Court, a representative for Grünenthal said the firm iss “deeply sorry for what happened to those affected by the thalidomide tragedy. It’s important for us that we engage in efforts to improve the situations of those who are still living with the impact of these latter effects. We set up the Grünenthal Foundation to provide benefits in kind and financing for individual projects for those affected. Since its establishment, the Grünenthal Foundation has also approved more than 1,000 applications for individualised support in Germany and internationally.”
Posted: July 24th, 2018
A €600,00 late diagnosis compensation settlement has been awarded to the family of a 26-year-old woman who died of breast cancer in theit High Court action against the Health Service Executive in relation to the care she received when she first attended the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Ennis with a lump on her breast.
The woman, Edel Kelly, had two young sons age six and three years of age when she died after suffering from breast cancer on June 21, 2008.
It is alleged that the lump she presented with in August 2006 at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis, Co Clare the same cancer which was subsequently diagnosed in October 2007 at a different hospital.
Legal Counsel for the family Oonah McCrann SC told the High Court today that there was an unnecessary delay of 13 months in the diagnosis of the young mother’s breast cancer and a resulting delay to her treatment.
The legal action was taken by Edel’s long-term partner Noel McGreene, Cluain na Mara, Carrigaholt Road, Kilkee, Co Clare, against HSE in relation to the care Edel had received at the Ennis hospital. She (Edel) was referred by her GP on July 26, 2006 to a breast clinic at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis after finding a lump on her breast.
Ms Kelly was taken for an ultrasound and irregular soft tissue about 2cm wide was identified in her left breast. In October she had a biopsy but it indicated that the tissue was benign. 12 months later on October 23, 2007 she attended the breast clinic at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick and and a 6cm mass was found in her left breast. A subsequent a biopsy indicated the presence of cancer. In November 2007, a specialist advised the young mother that she had ten months to a year to twelve months to live at best.
Breach of duty was accepted by the HSE in the case but the court heard that causation was at issue in the action.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the late diagnosis compensation settlement.
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: March 17th, 2018
A €165,000 High Court Settlement has been approved for a man who suffered multiple severe injuries when a tree fell on him during stormy weather.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that John Haskins Junior (37) ‘lucky to survive the accident which happened four years ago. Mr Haskins sustained fractures to the spine, ribs and ankle. As a result of the incident he spent the two months after it in hospital receiving treatment.
Taking the action through his father Mr Haskins Jnr, who lives in Athy, Co Kildare sued Camphill Communities of Ireland, proprietor of a health care center located in Dunshane House, Brannmockstown, Naas, Co Kildare, due to the suffering he experienced in the accident that occurred on February 12, 2014.
Mr Haskins Jr was an inpatient at the health care facility when the accident occurred as he has Asperger syndrome. Mr Haskins’ legal counsel advised the High Court that he was walking through the garden of the centre, a mature beech tree dropped and hit him. It is alleged that the tree was known to be diseased and, despite this, was not removed from the area where it posed a threat to anyone close by. Additionally, they claimed that an alleged failure to maintain, fix or removed the tree or take the necessary steps to make it safe. The area could have been fences off or, ideally, the tree would have been felled.
It was also claimed there was a failure to take any adequate or effective measures to fence off or secure the area or to have the tree completely removed.
The claims were refuted as, it was claimed, the tree was alive and did not give the appearance of being in any way unhealthy. The decay in the tree root could only have been detected by a trained arboriculturist according to the defendant.
Hugh Mohan SC, for Mr Haskins, referred to a consultant report for his side which stated that there was a decay and fungus in the tree and it had led to rot developing in the roots and the wood then becoming degraded and subject to fracture.
Mr Justice Cross, in approving the settlement, commented that Mr Haskins had made a fantastic recovery after suffering major injuries.
Posted: January 25th, 2018
A Garda, who sustained a disfigured fingernail injury in a work accident that involved a Garda car door slamming shut on his left small finger has appealed the refusal to allow him pursue a work place injury compensation claim.
Garda Noel Callan, who was apprehending a drunk and violent man when the incident occurred, argued that the Minister for Justice’s refusal to allow a compensation claim (under the Garda Compensation Acts) as, based on the medical reports and evidence made available to him, the injury was minor was incorrect.
The High Court heard the challenge to that refusal on Wednesday and Mr Justice Max Barrett has reserved judgment in relation to it.
Richard Kean SC, acting on behalf of Garda Callan told the Hight Court that, as per the Garda Compensation Acts, a Garda who sustains a work injury has the right to claim personal injury compensation through the courts. He added that gardai are awarded sums in cases where it is deemed appropriate.
However, Garda Callan’s legal team agreed with the fact that the Justice Minister must give permission for a work injury compensation to be take and is under no obligation. Indeed, they may refuse to do so if they feel that the injured party suffered was minor injuries.
However, the term ‘minor injury’ is not defined in the legislation. Due to this Mr Kean argued that, though the injury was not profound or significant, it still should not be referred to as a minor injury. He went on to say that the Justice Minister’s ruling was not sound and did not properly review the medical reports that were produced at the initial hearing.
The court was told that Garda Callan is right handed and received treatment on his left hand’s smallest finger. He was also absent from work for the seven days immediately after the incident occurred.
Mr Callan suffered a lacerated fingernail bed and his fingernail had to be taken off. Due to this he felt experienced constant over the following eight months including a loss of sensation and tenderness when he was driving his car and completing other everyday tasks.
Mr Kean described the incident in which Garda Callan sustained the fingernail injury when was on duty at Swords, Co Dublin, on August 26 2011. After a drunk man became violent, having being arrested in relation to public order offences, a car door slammed on Garda Callan’s left hand inflicting the injury.
The medical report submitted made reference the fact the fingernail was irregular and deformed when it grew back. Garda Callan experience ongoing pain and tenderness, more so during periods of colder weather.
Legal Representatives for the Justice Minister, opposing Garda Callan’s application argued that all the medical evidence was considered at the first hearing, including a medical report stating Garda Callan had practically fully recovered from the injury. It was because of this that the Justice Minister felt this this was a minor injury concerning the appearance of Garda Callan’s fingernail.
Judgement has been reserved by Judge Max Barrett
Posted: December 15th, 2017
A recent media report has showed that Galway city has spent over €4 million in personal injury claim compensation since the start of 2015.
The huge outlay on insurance covers liability in all public areas, as well as covering the excess necessary on all compensation claims that are taken. The figures for this excess amounted to €142,000 in 2016; €242,000 in 2015; and €205,000 in 2014.
These figures, obtained by the Connacht Tribune newspaper through a Freedom of Information request, indicate that the cost of public liability insurance for Galway City Council was €3.4 million over the period in question. The costs, when view year on year are €1.5 million for 2014, €1.4 million in 2015 and just less than €500,000 in 2016.
A large party of the injury compensation actions taker were for injuries from in falls on the streets of Galway city.
It was revealed, in August 2017, that Galway City Council is now replacing the paving and cobbles on the Shop Street thoroughfare due to the high number of people falling over and hurting themselves badly.
A spokesperson for Galway City Council that plans had been made to address the uneven paving on the streets of the town which has been the cause of a number of compensation claims.
This follows from march 2017 report which highlighted the fact that over €63 million was paid out in personal injury compensation claims by Dublin’s four local authorities in a five-year period
Dublin City Council paid out the most personal injury compensation, €41,322,784.12 to 3,853 claimants for the time period 2012-16. At the time of the report a South Dublin County Council Representative said: “The majority of cases in relation to public liability cases are trips, slips and falls on footpaths/roads, or in public parks. A small number of claims are in regard to damage to property, i.e. car tyres.”
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: 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.