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Compensation Settlement Refused after Judge Deems it Too Low

Posted: December 9th, 2015

A judge in the Circuit Civil Court has adjourned the second hearing in a claim for personal injury compensation after he determines that the offer for compensation was too low.

When Harry Ryan, aged twelve, was playing on a local green in Swords late in 2012, he fell and badly cut himself on a piece of glass. He was then taken to the VHI Swiftcare Clinic, also located in Swords, and was administered eight stitches under local anaesthetic, as well as having steri-strips placed along his leg to help it heal.

As Harry was underage, he made a claim for compensation through his mother Ita against Fingal County Council. Negotiations proceeded between the parties, and a compensation settlement of €3,000 was decided upon without an admission of liability from the council. The case then proceeded to the courts, as a judge had final say to approve the settlement considering Harry was underage.

Yet when the case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court last month, the judge presiding the case – Mr Justice James O’Donaghue did not approve the settlement. He said that the amount was too low when Harry’s injury was taken into account, and adjourned the first hearing for a week to facilitate further discussions between the parties.

The second hearing was overseen by Mr Justice Raymond Goarke, who was informed that the settlement for compensation had been increased to €3,500. However, upon examining Harry’s scars from the event, he too deemed this too low an offer of compensation. Harry’s barrister informed Judge Goarke that there was a recent dismissal of a similar case in the High Court recently, and that he was aware that Fingal County Council would have a full defence ready should the case proceed there. Even so, the judge adjourned the case, saying that the settlement should in fact amount to €30,000. The case is expected to be heard later this month, if Harry’s legal team decide that the risk of being thrown out is outweighed by the possible increase in compensation.

Categories: Child Injury Compensation

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