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A man has been awarded compensation for defamatory comments posted about him on Facebook, which impacted his position of employment.

In December 2015, John Gilsenan from Castleblayney in County Monaghan posted defamatory comments about Desmond Crofton – the National Director of the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) – on his Facebook page, suggesting that the actions of the National Director had caused the NARGC to “go broke”.

The defamatory comments on Gilsenan’s Facebook page were seen by other NARGC members, who raised questions and concerns about the leadership of the National Director, the organisation´s finances and its legal costs. The aftermath of the Facebook post resulted in an unnecessary confrontation, with the outcome that Crofton was suspended from his position of National Director on full pay.

After seeking legal counsel, Crofton – from Stonestown in County Offaly – made a claim for compensation for defamation on Facebook against John Gilsenan. According to Crofton´s solicitor, Gilsenan had engaged in communication with his client soon after the claim was made, but had since “abandoned the matter”.

With the claim for compensation for defamation on Facebook remaining uncontested, the case went to the Monaghan Circuit Criminal Court, where it was heard by Judge John O´Hagan for the assessment of damages only. After hearing of the personal injury Crofton had suffered because of the defamatory comments, Judge O´Hagan awarded him €75,000 compensation for defamation on Facebook.

In his summing up, Judge O´Hara said he was awarding Crofton the maximum award of compensation for defamation on Facebook to “teach people posting messages on the social media site to be very careful”.

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Categories compensation for victimisation

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A young girl has received €21,000 in compensation for an injury she sustained after a hotel pool injury which left her with a permanent facial scar.

Emma Olteanu (now six years of age) was brought swimming in the Clarion Hotel in Clondalkin by her father, Marius, in October 2014. The young girl was given special socks to wear so as to prevent her from slipping on wet tiles beside the pool, but in spite of this, Emma tripped on the worn edge of a pool mat and fell. She hit her chin against the side of the pool, and sustained a deep laceration to her face.

Emma’s father immediately brought her to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght. Medical staff cleaned Emma’s wound and stitched it closed. However, due to the extent of the injury, Emma was left with a two-centimetre long scar on her chin, of which she is very aware, according to her parents.

On behalf of Emma, Marius made a claim for a hotel pool injury against Kingsoak Taverns Ltd-who were trading as Clarion Hotels. Marius claimed that his daughter’s injury was due to negligence on the part of the hotel, as the mat beside the pool was clearly very worn and not fit for purpose. The defendants admitted liability, and a €21,000 settlement was negotiated for the young girl.

As the claim was made on behalf of a child, the settlement was brought to court to be approved by a judge to ensure that it was in Emma’s best interests. Mr Justice Raymond Groarke of the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin heard the claim, and was presented with the circumstances surrounding the young girl’s accident.

The judge approved the sum, and ordered that it be paid into court funds in an interest-bearing account until Emma reaches the age of eighteen, unless it is to be withdrawn for Emma’s education or medical needs.

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Categories Accidents, Injuries

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A claim made on behalf of a woman who suffered brain damage due to an undiagnosed intra cerebral subarachnoid has been settled in court.

In June 2006, Paula Dundon (42)–a mother of three from Brownstown in County Kildare – attended the Naas General Hospital after complaining of severe headaches, nausea and vomiting. Paula was admitted to the hospital and administered painkillers. A CT scan was later taken of her brain in an attempt to diagnose her problem.

Medical staff at the hospital failed to identify what was causing Paula to suffer such severe headaches, and called her back for a second scan a few days later. The second scan revealed a large intra cerebral bleed on the left side of her brain. Paula was transferred to the Beaumont Hospital for emergency treatment.

Further medical tests at Beaumont Hospital revealed an intra cerebral subarachnoid haemorrhage. Due to the amount of time that had passed between Paula attending Naas General Hospital and her injury being diagnosed, Paula suffered severe brain damage. She now requires around the clock care.

Paula´s husband – Michael – made a claim for an undiagnosed intra cerebral subarachnoid haemorrhage on behalf of his wife. In his action, he alleged that the delayed in diagnosing his wife´s injury could have been avoided and was attributable to hospital negligence. He claimed that an adequate assessment and prompt diagnosis would have limited the degree of Paula’s injuries.

The defendants-the Health Service Executive (HSE)-contested the element of the claim for an undiagnosed intra cerebral subarachnoid haemorrhage relating to the failure to adequately assess Paula, but admitted that there had been a failure to diagnose within an appropriate timeframe.

A €2.7 million settlement of the claim for an undiagnosed intra cerebral subarachnoid haemorrhage was agreed. Since Paula was unable to approve of the claim herself, it was brought to court to be approved on her behalf. The approval hearing took place earlier this week at the High Court before Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who – after hearing the circumstances of the case – approved the settlement and congratulated Michael for the care he had given to Paula over the past ten years.

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Categories Hospital Negligence, Medical Negligence

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A former employee of Windcanton distribution centre has won a case against his former employer for injuries he sustained that left him unable to return to work.

Salmovir Spes (47), was working at the Windcanton distribution centre in Blanchardstown, Dublin. Salmovir´s job at site was to manually lift or “pick” goods from pallets and load the goods onto trolleys for transportation to twenty-four Supervalu supermarkets in the area. In October 2011, as the Slovakian national was lifting trays of yoghurts from a pallet, he turned to place the yoghurts onto a trolley, Salmovir felt a sharp, intense pain in his back. He requested to go home immediately to rest his back, and then sought prompt medical attention.

Salmovir was unable to return to work at the distribution centre. He remained on sick leave until 2014 when he was made redundant. Salmovir sought legal counsel, and claimed compensation for a workplace manual lifting injury. Windcanton withheld their consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment. Salmovir was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue compensation for a workplace manual lifting injury through the courts.

The case was heard at the High Court by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. At the hearing, Judge Barr heard that Salmovir was set a “pick rate” of 1,200 picks per seven-and-a-half hour shift. It was alleged by Salmovir that he had not received any training in the correct way of manually lifting goods in a safe way to meet his target. He further claimed that he was especially selected for heavy manual lifting because of his nationality.

The defence argued that Salmovir had not been treated differently than any other employee because of his nationality, that adequate training was provided and that workers were given refresher courses at regular intervals. They suggested that Salmovir´s injury had been caused by his own negligence due to taking a short cut in the correct procedures.

Judge Barr found in Salmovir´s favour–commenting he was satisfied that Salmovir´s back injury was attributable to a lack of adequate training, unreasonably high pick rates and being forced to take short cuts to meet his target. The judge said there was no evidence to support Salmovir´s allegations of discrimination due to his nationality or the defence´s argument that Salmovir had contributed to his injury through his own negligence.

The judge awarded Salmovir €153,150 compensation for a workplace manual lifting injury, saying he was satisfied that the plaintiff had suffered a significant injury to his lower back due to his employer´s negligence that not only rendered him “permanently disabled in the work aspects of his life”, but also persisted to cause him discomfort in his day-to-day domestic activities.

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Categories Injuries, Injuries at Work

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A young girl who sustained a laceration to her face-resulting in a noticeable scar-has received more compensation than initially agreed upon when a judge deemed the proposed settlement to be too low.

In October 2013, Ruth Reilly (now five years of age) was left unattended at the Giraffe Childcare Crèche in Navan, County Meath. While unattended, she fell and struck her head against a wall. Ruth-who was just two years of age at the time of the accident-received first aid for a head wound at the site before being taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, where stitches were applied.

The injury has left Ruth with a permanent and visible scar on her forehead. On behalf of his daughter, Seamus Reilly sought legal counsel and claimed compensation for a scar injury in a crèche accident. Liability for Ruth´s accident and injury was admitted by the crèche, and a settlement of €40,000 was agreed. However, as the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to first be approved by a judge before the claim could be resolved to ensure that it was in Ruth’s benefit.

Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, the circumstances of Ruth´s accident were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. Judge Groarke heard how Ruth suffered a deep laceration on her forehead and that staff had found her bleeding heavily after her accident. The judge was also told by Ruth´s mother that the young girl is very conscious of the scar that remains on her head.

After considering the visibility of Ruth´s scar, Judge Groarke said that the offer of €40,000 compensation for a scar accident in a crèche injury was insufficient. The judge said that the scar was “nasty and noticeable at a conversational distance”, and he increased the settlement of the claim to €55,000 – commenting that he was not criticising the way in which the defendant had handled the case, but €40,000 did not reflect the full value of Ruth´s injury.

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Categories Accidents, Injuries

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Two young girls have received a settlement of compensation from H&M Ireland after being traumatised when caught unawares in a mock robbery in the chain’s Dundrum location.

Casie and Abbie Kennedy (eight- and eleven-years-old respectively) were shopping with their mother Claudia in the Dundrum Shopping Centre in March 2013. While they were in H&M, they heard a man swearing at the staff–aggressively ordering them to open the till and get on the ground. Unbeknownst to them, this was part of a training exercise for staff at the shop.

Claudia immediately ushered her terrified daughters in the changing rooms, and stayed hidden in there until the shouting stopped. Only then did Claudia look outside the door of the changing room; but, unable to see anything, she kept the girls in the changing room until she could hear voices in the shop.

Claudia escorted her children into the store and asked the manager what had happened. Claudia expressed her discontent that nobody had thought to check for the presence of customers in the changing room before staging the mock armed robbery. Claudia rang the H&M head office in England to complain about her experience.

She was offered a curt apology and a €30 voucher, which Claudia did not accept. Claudia sought legal counsel and claimed compensation for emotional shock during a mock armed robbery on behalf of her daughters. In her legal action against H&M Hennes&Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd, Claudia alleged that Casie and Abbie had feared for their lives and the life of their mother during the highly traumatic incident.

H&M Hennes &Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd made offers of compensation for emotional shock during a mock armed robbery to Casie (€8,000) and Abbie (€10,000). At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Rory MacCabe heard the family was willing to accept the offers and, after hearing that Casie and Abbie continued to suffer nightmares as a result of their experience, the judge approved the settlements.

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Categories compensation for victimisation, Accidents

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The case of a mismanaged birth-which lead to the death of a baby-has been settled in the High Court.

In November 2012, Fiona Walters was brought to the Cavan General Hospital while in the late stages of her first pregnancy. Her was broke early in the morning of the 22nd, and she was administered Prostaglandin to aid her labour. The levels of the drug given to her proceeded to increase as the labour went on.

Later in the morning, a natural birth was attempted, but after an hour the midwife in charge contacted the consultant obstetrician Dr Saleh Aziz to inform him that the baby was still not visible to them. It appeared that the baby was suffering from foetal distress in the womb.

Dr Aziz arrived to assist in the birth, but discovered that the only out-of-hours theatre in the hospital was already in use. Delivery using a forceps and a vacuum delivery were both attempted without success. The theatre eventually became available, and Fiona underwent an emergency Caesarean Section operation, but her son – Jamie – was delivered in a very poor condition.

Jamie was immediately transferred to a special care baby unit at the Rotunda Hospital. Despite the best attempts of the staff on hand, he died two days later. The initial investigation into his death was abandoned after Dr Aziz proved that the HSE investigators who had been assigned the case failed to follow the correct procedural routes.

However Fiona and her partner – Francis Flynn – had already received an advanced copy of the report and, after seeking legal advice, they claimed medical negligence compensation for the death of a baby against Cavan General Hospital and the HSE.

The HSE did not admit liability for Jamie’s death until nearly a full year after the incident had occurred. A second investigation was commissioned, which was ordered to be carried out by an independent party due to the deaths of two more children at the Cavan General Hospital.

In December 2014, the final report was released, and Jamie’s death was attributed to medical misadventure. The coroner in charge of the investigation stated that the increased doses of Prostiglandin, Dr Aziz´s failure to inform the registrar that the Jamie´s delivery was expected that evening and the lack of a second out-of-hours theatre at the hospital were all causative events for Jamie´s death.

Negotiations between the two parties began in order to settle the claim for medical negligence compensation for the death of a baby. Due to the traumatic circumstances leading up to Jamie´s birth and the protracted investigations into Jamie´s death, a settlement of €70,000 was agreed with the State Claims Agency.

The case was brought to the High Court before Mr Justice Raymond Humphreys so that the settlement could be approved. The judge heard that heard that the size of the settlement reflected the long-lasting grief and distress that had been suffered by Jamie´s parents. Judge Humphreys approved the settlement, stipulating that €5,000 of the settlement should be paid into court funds for the benefit of Fiona and Francis´ daughter.

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Categories Hospital Negligence, Medical Negligence

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A case for back injury compensation has been dismissed from court after the defendants produced evidence in the form of Facebook photos.

In April 2014, Rita Milinovic (29) of Citywest, Dublin, was searching for a car parking space when a van reversed into her. Rita claimed that she had suffered from a back injury that prevented her from working as a waitress for six months following the incident, despite the fact it was described as a “minor collision”.

Ms Milinovic made a claim compensation of €60,000 for the back injury that she sustained against the van driver-Paul Ferris-and his employer-O’Dwyer Property Management Limited. The defendants contested the value of the claim, and as no agreement was reached, the case was brought to the Circuit Civil Court.

The case was heard by Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. When brought to the witness stand, Rita winced as she recounted the extent of the injury that she had suffered. However, when the defendant’s legal team presented photos that they had obtained from Rita’s Facebook page to the court, her case quickly collapsed.

The pictures presented to the court included images of Rita at the top of Bray Head, with the photo dating to six weeks after the incident in the car park. The pictures also showed Rita working out in a gym, and Rita competing at an international body sculptor competition. The barristers informed the court that Rita’s claim for a back injury in a car park was entirely a lie.

Judge Groarke said: “Trying to be as politically correct as one can be in this situation, it doesn’t look like a person with such a fine physical physique as Ms Milinovic could have been suffering a great deal of pain”. He accepted that some of the pictures may have taken at photo-shoots, but others showed her doing physical exercises “which somebody with a bad back would certainly not be engaging in”.

Rita’s claim for compensation for back injury was dismissed. The judge made an order for costs against her, and in summing up, he commented that while Rita may have suffered some degree of injury, the law demanded that people came to court in total honest. The failure to do so would attract the penalty of dismissal.

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Categories Accidents, Car Accidents

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Seven former patients of a gynaecologist, who had recently been found negligent by the Medical Council, have made claims for compensation for negligent hysterectomy procedures. The gynaecologist-Dr Peter Van Greene-completed the procedures at the Aut Even private hospital in Kilkenny between 2009 and 2011.

The claims were made prior to a hearing at the Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee last week, which found the gynaecologist guilty on two counts of a poor professional performance.

Helen Cruise-one of the three women who brought complaints against the gynaecologist-underwent a hysterectomy at the Kilkenny hospital without Dr Van Greene having obtained her informed consent before the procedure. Helen claims that the standard of treatment she received left her suffering from depression. The two other women making claims against Dr Van Greene wish to remain anonymous.

Helen testified at the Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee. She testified that the procedure and the potential risks involved only had been explained to her after a spinal anaesthetic had been administered to her. Six units of blood had to be administered to her following the operation, due to excessive post-operative bleeding.

The Committee also heard that Dr Van Greene applied for bankruptcy in the UK earlier this year, and is currently unemployed. He was most recently working in the Whitfield Clinic in Waterford while investigations were ongoing into the allegations made by the four women. The Committee has the opinion of fining Dr Van Greene, or striking him from the medical registrar.

Dr Van Greene’s bankruptcy will not stop the seven claimants from recovering a settlement of compensation if their claims for negligent hysterectomy procedures are successful. Any settlements will be paid by Dr Van Greene’s former medical indemnity insurance company.

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Categories Medical Negligence, Hospital Negligence

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Health Minister Leo Varadkar has disputed hospital dental care claims that up to ten thousand children each year are having teeth unnecessarily extracted. The claims were made at the annual seminar for dentists working in the HSE, where delegates were informed that cuts in free dental care in Ireland were to blame for an increase seen in chronic oral infections, which in turn resulted in ten thousand children under the age of fifteen having multiple teeth taken out under anaesthetic in hospital.

Anne Twomey-president of the Irish Dental Association (IDA)-stated that “ninety-five percent of these cases would have been avoidable if they had been detected and treated earlier.” She further added that the cuts had resulted in less information about oral hygiene being presented at schools, and the undermining of a highly effective schools screening service which could find such problems early on.

The IDA claims that it warned the government about the impacts of the cuts to dental care in Ireland five years ago. They claim that the cost of the unnecessary extractions would ultimately be many multiples of the money that would have been saved. Anecdotal evidence of children being admitted to hospital for IV antibiotics to treat oral infections while they waited for hospital dental care was also presented at the conference.

The health minister has disputed the accuracy of the claims made by the IDA. He told reporters that the figures he had seen indicated that only 3,600 dental extractions under anaesthetic were conducted on children under the age of fifteen last year, not the 10,000 that the IDA had claimed. He said “I think we need to know all the facts before jumping to conclusions”.

Minister Varadkar also disputed the accuracy of hospital dental care claims that suggested avoidable extractions were taking place at five times the rate seem in the UK. “The number of publicly-employed dentists has gone down from about 312 to 300 in the last couple of years”, he said, “so there hasn´t been a significant reduction in the number of publicly-employed dentists”.

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Categories Hospital Negligence, Medical Negligence

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Two families who were injured in a coach accident while on holiday in France seek to make a claim for compensation for the injuries they sustained in the crash.

The Hannah family of Orskirk and the Rothwell-Bowness family of Aughton were vacationing in France in January this year. They, along with thirty-two other British citizens-were due to be transferred by coach from the ski-resort La Rosière to Chambéry Airport in order to catch their flight home. The coach lost control on route, left the road and overturned. It eventually was stopped by the guard rails alongside the road, preventing them from falling into the nearby ravine.

The parents of the two families suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash, but all six children travelling with them only sustained minor injuries. The parents admit that they are lucky to be alive after such a potentially fatal accident. The French police are still investigating the reasons as to why the coach lost control.

Sarah Rothwell-Bowness (42) sustained deep lacerations to her right arm, and broke her wrist in the accident. She has received surgery in both France and the UK to have pins inserted. She must have further surgery next year to remove these pins. Medical professionals have informed her that she may never regain full use of her wrist again.

Gary Hannah (44) suffered damage to his shoulder resulting in nerve damage, and must undergo physiotherapy in order to regain full use of his arm. Katie Hannah (40) sustained multiple cuts to her arm. She is due to have an operation later this year to remove a shard of glass that is still lodged in her arm. She is likely to have permanent scarring.

The families have hired a solicitor together to see whether or not the accident could be deemed as preventable. If so, they could make an injury claim for compensation for injuries sustained in a coach accident in France against Esprit Holidays of Godalming in Surrey-the tour operator through which the trip was booked.

Sarah, while speaking to her local press, stated: “We had a great trip in France but the day of the crash has to be one of the worst of my life. We all simply want to know what happened and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The last few months have been the most difficult time of my life and I would not want anyone to have to face what I’ve been through.”

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Categories Car Accidents, Injuries on Vacation

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An undisclosed sum has been settled upon as compensation for a man injured in a hit and run incident during a break in proceedings on the first day of the hearing.

Anthony Driver (25) of Enniskerry, County Wicklow was stuck down by a car being driven by an unidentified driver at the junction of Sidmonton Avenue and Meath Road in Bray in November 2012. According to Anthony, the car stopped after hitting him, but the driver did not exit the vehicle. It then drove off without calling for an ambulance or offering any assistance to the injured Anthony.

The victim was only found when a Garda noticed him lying on the road. Anthony was quickly transported to hospital, where he was treated for a fractured spine, a lacerated liver and broken ribs. Various other internal injuries were also identified.

Anthony spent a total of nine days in hospital; four in intensive care, five in recovery. He suffered continuous back pain and experienced difficulty eating after being discharged.

The guilty driver nor the car who struck him was never found. As a result, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) was responsible for dealing with the claim for compensation, as is required when the owner of a vehicle involved in an accident cannot be traced.

The MIBI denied liability for Anthony’s hit and run incident, as Anthony was described as “grossly intoxicated” by the police officer who found him on the road. Therefore, they claimed that it was Anthony’s own fault that the accident occurred, and he should accept some liability for his injuries.

As a result of the conflict regarding liability, the Injuries Board authorised Anthony to bring the case to court. Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard the case in the High Court last week.

Anthony did admit that he was drunk at the time of the accident at the hearing.The MIBI reaffirmed their case for Anthony accepting some liability at this statement.

During the lunch break on the first day of the trial, the two parties negotiated the case for settlement and liability. Upon his return, Judge Kearns was informed that Anthony accepted 75% contributory negligence for the incident due to his drunken state, and consequently agreed to an undisclosed sum as compensation for his hit and run injury.

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A claim for injury compensation has been settled following an incident with a patient being physical restrained in a mental health facility.

Following the death of his wife and carer Georgina in 2012, Ivor Betterridge (76) was moved to the Fiennes Centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The dementia-sufferer had a record of violent incidents against staff and fellow patients of the mental health care centre. However, the centre had to care plan in place to deal with these occasional violent outbreaks.

In February 2013, Ivor one of these outbursts occurred when nurses tried to bathe him. A male health care worker was called to try to restrain him. As a result of the tussle, Ivor fell and hit his head. However, there are conflicting reports as to how exactly this injury was sustained.

Tracy Betterridge-Ivor’s daughter-lodged a complaint to the Oxford Health NHS Trust. An investigation was launched into the accident. However, it was inconclusive, and was unable to find the exact cause of the accident due to different statements being offered by different employees of the centre. One claimed that Ivor stumbled and fell when the male employee released his grip on him, while another states that Ivor was pushed by the same employee.

The male health care assistant involved in the accident was suspended as a result of the investigation. The NHS Trust’s Director of Nursing and Clinical Standards sent Tracy a letter, in which they apologised for the injuries sustained by her father. The letter also acknowledged that the standard of care received by her father was below that which should be expected.

Ivor died in the Fiennes Centre in March of last year.

The NHS Trust admitted liability for the accident in May of the same year, offering Tracy £500 compensation, which she saw as inadequate. Tracy sought legal counsel, and made a claim for injury compensation against the centre. The claim was eventually settled for £3,600.

Tracy later told the local press of her dissatisfaction for how the case was handled. She stated: “I’m not happy at all. I wanted people, like managers, to be made responsible for it and to my mind that hasn’t happened. If they didn’t have somebody like me who stands their ground, nobody would be any the wiser. My father would be just another statistic that falls off the face of the planet.”

A spokesperson for the NHS Trust also released a statement following the negotiations: “Following our investigation into this incident, we found that no one individual was to blame for the injuries that were sustained. However insufficient staffing levels and some poor nursing practice did contribute to the patient’s subsequent fall”.

The spokesman added that the number of patients in the mental health facility has since been cut in number as to reduce the burden on the staff. The NHS Trust also stated that the staff undergo new training to learn to deal with such violent patients, and how to physically restrain them if necessary.

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Categories Injuries, Hospital Negligence

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A man who was left blind in one eye after an accident in a gym has been awarded compensation of £1.3 million.

In June 2014, Mauro Carneiro (46) of County Durham was exercising at the David Lloyd Lesure Centre in Stockton-On-Tees. The nylon webbing supporting a D-ring attached to a fitness resistance band gave way, causing it to recoil. As a result, the D-ring and carabineer clips collided with Mauro’s face, damaging his eyes.

The force of the impact caused Mauro to be left permanently blind in his left eye, and only partially sighted in his right eye. Mauro sought legal advice following the incident, and made a claim for compensation for a personal training injury against the gym. The gym was also investigated by safety officials from the nearby Stockton Borough Council.

Following the investigation, the council claimed that David Lloyd Leisure Limited had been negligent in carrying out suitable risk assessment, and breached its duty of care in violation of Section 30 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges at Teeside Crown Court last week. It was also revealed that Mauro had settled his claim for compensation with the gym for £1.3 million.

In spite of the fact that the leisure centre admitted liability for Mauro’s injuries, the culpability for the accident is still disputed. This dispute will affect the sentence that David Lloyd Leisure Ltd receives. The case was adjourned for sentencing until May 15th of this year.

Steve Nelson-Stockton Borough Councillor and the Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety-stated:“This is a tragic case and one that I hope is never repeated again. Most people attend gyms to improve their health not to suffer life changing injuries. Everyone in this industry has a responsibility to ensure their equipment is maintained and used correctly.”

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A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a young girl who was the victim of a vicious dog attack while playing in the street with friends and family.

In December 2011, Lauren Kelly (nine years old at the time of the incident) of County Longford was playing with her family in the street when she came across a dog that had escaped from its home. The dog-a Rottweiler-then jumped up and bit Lauren. The young girl’s mother and fiends attempted to release the dog’s bite on her, but before they could do so, Lauren suffered multiple injuries to her right arm. Lauren was immediately transported to hospital, where her injuries were treated by medical staff. She had to undergo a skin graft, which left her with severe scarring to her arm.

On behalf of his daughter, Michael Kelly sought legal advice and made a claim for compensation for a dog bite injury. He claimed that the animal’s owner had been negligent, thus allowing the dog to escape and attack his daughter. William Crawford-the dog’s owner-admitted liability. The parties negotiated a settlement of €150,000 for Lauren as compensation.

As Lauren was a minor, the settlement had to be approved on her behalf by a judge in court. The case was heard in the High Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. As evidence, the judge was told how the dog tossed Lauren like a rag doll, and the experience caused Lauren to suffer severe nightmares. He was also told how Lauren must now wear a protective sleeve on her right arm while swimming, to prevent infection to the area.

The judge approved the settlement of compensation that had previously been negotiated. The money shall be held in an interest-bearing account at the court until Lauren is of age to access it herself. Until then, her parents will be able to access the money should it be required to fund further medical attention to deal with consequences of the attack.

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A judge has approved a settlement of €75,000 for a young girl who is left with a scar after an accident in a creche, after rejecting the initial settlement.

In April 2012, Madison Davis (five-years-old at the time of the accident) was attending The Little Children’s Creche in Tallaght when she went to place a cup on a table. While walking towards the table, Madison tripped and fell, hitting her head off of the corner of the table. As a result, she sustained a deep laceration to the flesh just above her eyebrow.

Madison was immediately transported to the National Children’s Hospital by creche staff. The laceration was closed with steri-strips. The young girl was placed under anaesthetic the next day so real stitches could be used. As a result of the stitches, Madison was left with a 2.5 centimetre scar on her forehead, while she will have for the rest of her life, in spite of any cosmetic surgery that she undergoes in the future.

On behalf of her daughter, Jennifer Quinn made a claim for compensation for a head injury in a creche, claiming that she had been left to carry the cup and traverse the floor without adequate supervision from the creche staff. She alleged that Fettercairn Community Childcare Ltd-trading as The Little Children’s Creche-had been negligent in ensuring her daughter’s safety.

The owners of the childcare facility admitted that they had been liable for Madison’s accident, and offered a settlement of compensation of €50,000. Madison’s mother agreed to this sum, but as Madison was a minor at the time of the accident, the sum needed to be approved by a judge on her behalf in court. Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court heard the case, and denied the sum, deeming it inadequate for the severity of the injury.

The judge stated that he believed the settlement should be increased by 50 percent, as the “nasty” scar will affect Madison for the rest of her life. The judge adjourned the hearing in order for the two parties could discuss a new, more suitable settlement for Madison. On his return, Judge Groarke heard that the parties had agreed on €75,000. The judge approved this amount, and closed the case.

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The Zoological Society of Ireland has been ordered by a judge to make charitable donations to children’s charities following the attack of a child by a tapir in the zoo.

In August 2013, a group of four adults and four children entered the Brazilian tapir enclosure in Dublin Zoo, supervised by a member of staff. While inside the enclosure and interacting with the animals, one of the tapirs grew agitated. Nobody in the group noticed the animal’s anxiety, so they did not remove themselves from the enclosure. The tapir’s agitation grew, causing it to attack a two-year-old toddler.

The little girl was immediately taken to hospital with her mother, and she had to undergo surgery on her stomach and arms to treat her injuries. Her mother also received medical attention, for when she was trying to free her little girl from the animal’s grasp, she was injured.

An investigation into the attack was launched by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), which subsequently prosecuted the Zoological Society of Ireland for the attack of a tapir on a toddler and her mother. The report released after the investigation was complete revealed that the visit to the tapir enclosure had been in contravention of a risk assessment conducted in the zoo in 2006, which concluded that members of the public should not have access to the tapir enclosure.

The HSA charged the Zoological Society of Ireland with a breach of Section 19.4 of the 2005 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act. The case was brought to the Dublin District Court, where it was heard by Judge John O’Neill. A representative of the Zoological Society of Ireland read a statement in which the zoo apologised for the injuries sustained by the toddler and her mother in the attack. It also provided a list of the health and safety changes it had implemented since the event in order to prevent another of its kind. The Zoological Society of Ireland pleaded guilty to the charges against them.

The judge put the Zoological Society of Ireland on probation, subject to it paying €5,000 in charitable donations to two children’s charities-LauraLynn Children’s Hospital and the Jack and Jill Foundation. If the payments are made by the 8th of December this year, then no conviction will be recorded against the society.

No civil proceedings are being brought by the parents on behalf of their child against the zoo.

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A hospital in Somerset is facing a series of claims for compensation for negligent eye surgery after contracting a private clinic to perform some of the operations.

In May 2014, the Musgrove Park Hospital awarded a private healthcare contract to the Vanguard Heathcare clinic in an attempt to clear a backlog of patients which required cataract operations. Hearing of the offer, the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust prevented the private company from performing the operations after just four days-citing “technical reasons” for their actions.

It has now been revealed that half of the sixty-two patients that underwent the cataract operations have reported “poor outcomes”. Many of these patients have sought legal counsel about making claims for compensation for negligent eye surgery against the clinic.

Typically, only 1-in-400 cataract operations show any complications, making the rate at the clinic extraordinarily high. One man-eighty-four years of age-suffered permanent damage to his cornea which has left him requiring a cornea transplant if he ever wants to see again. Other patients have cited blurred vision, pain and swelling beyond what would normally be experienced after such an operation as side-effects they have experienced.

The hospital in question is treating those affected by the alleged negligence in its own ophthalmology department. It has refused to commented on the complication claims for negligent eye surgery-saying that it is carrying out its own investigation into the incidents. A spokesperson for Vanguard Healthcare admitted that the company had received three complaints and said “Patient care is our number one priority and we’re working closely with the Trust to understand and fully investigate the root causes of any complications.”

While responding to the question of who may be liable to settle the claims for negligent eye surgery, a Department of Health spokesperson said: “Patients deserve the safest and best care and the NHS will hold this company to account if things have gone wrong, and reclaim costs on behalf of patients. Whoever carries out NHS treatment is subject to the same strict Care Quality Commission regulatory regime.”

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A judge has cleared up any ambiguity regarding the lawfulness of after the event insurance after an investigation into the practice, deeming it a legitimate and legal practice.
Judge Hogan of the High Court has taken steps for after the event insurance (ATE insurance) to be offered to plaintiffs to help protect them from exposure to legal costs while making a claim for compensation for personal injuries. ATE insurance is a policy taken out when plaintiffs make a personal injury claim as a means of protection from the legal costs involved in the case should their claim prove unsuccessful. No premium is charged until the result of the case is established, and only if the plaintiff is successful in their claim is the premium paid. If this premium is paid, it is usually deducted from the settlement of compensation claimed by the plaintiff.

In recent times, the provision of ATE insurance was challenged in court, when the defendant claimed that it was unlawful due to being contrary to the “law of champerty”. The law of champerty makes it illegal for a third party to provide financial support to either party in a court case when the third party has no direct or legitimate interest, or to provide financial support in return for a share of any resulting compensation settlement.

When ATE insurance was challenged, it was alleged that by providing such insurance against the potentially staggering legal costs-and by deducting the insurance premium from any compensation received-insurance companies and solicitors offering ATE insurance were breaking this law.

Judge Hogan reviewed the case, and the manner in which ATE insurance works. He found that the provision of such insurance did not contravene laws relating to the “trafficking in litigation”. This is where the third party’s only motive in supporting the litigation was to derive profit. The judge concluded that ATE insurance is vital in allowing access to justice to persons who might otherwise be denied that justice.

Judge Hogan’s decision has cleared up any confusion or debate about the lawfulness of such a service when taken out to protect a claimant from exposure to legal costs, and also that solicitors who fail to offer claimants the option of ATE insurance could subsequently be sued for malpractice if adverse orders for costs are made against uninsured plaintiffs.

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A young girl has been awarded compensation by the Circuit Civil Court after sustaining an injury from falling in her local Tesco, leaving a scar on her forehead.

In September 2010, Angela Prendergast (six years old at the time of the accident) was shopping with her mother-Ann-at her local Tesco Express Supermarket in Kilcoole, County Wicklow. As she was walking along the frozen food aisle, Angela slipped on the wet floor. As she fell, she banged her head against a steel freezer, injuring her forehead.

First Aid was administered by a member of Tesco’s staff, and when they left the supermarket, Ann brought her daughter to the local hospital. Angela’s head wound was cleaned and stitched with glue. As a result of the injury, Angela has a two centimetre scar on the right side of her forehead, which serves as a permanent reminder of her fall.

On Angela’s behalf, Ann sought legal counsel and made a claim for injury compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco against Tesco Ireland Ltd. The defendants admitted that their staff had been negligent in ensuring that the floor was safe to walk on, and that had been a contributory factor in Angela’s fall. A settlement of €18,000 was negotiated between the two parties.

As Angela was a minor at the time of the fall, her compensation settlement needed to be approved by a judge on her behalf. The case was brought to court, and was heard by Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Judge Deery heard the circumstances of Angela’s case. He was told how she banged her head, and saw the scar that had been left on the little girl’s face. The judge approved the settlement of compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco on her behalf. The money will now be paid into court funds until Angela reaches the age of eighteen, at which time she can access them herself.

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Categories Injuries in Supermarkets, Injuries in Shops

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A judge has awarded €10,000 in compensation to a young girl who suffered a severe laceration to her finger in an accident in Debenhams store in Henry Street.

In March 2011, Naoise Walsh (six years of age at the time of the incident) attempted to remove a drink carton from a fridge in the cafe section of Debenhams department store in Henry Street, Dublin. As she was doing so, Naoise’s finger caught on the metal grill of the shelf, causing a deep cut to form on the little girl’s finger.

As Naoise was bleeding quite heavily, the emergency services were notified. Naoise received first aid on the scene before being transported to the Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin by ambulance. The wound was properly dressed here, and Naoise was sent home.

Naoise had to return to the hospital the following day for her finger to be examined under general anaesthetic. No tendon damage was found under examination, and the wound was stitched. Naoise was discharged from the hospital later that same day.

On behalf of her daughter, Amy Walsh-of Bluebell, Dublin-made a claim for compensation for a cut finger in a shop accident against the Debenhams store in Henry Street. The defendants admitted liability for the little girl’s injury, and offered the girl €10,000 in compensation. As Naoise was a child at the time of the accident, the settlement needed to be approved by a judge on her behalf.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the circumstances of the case, and approved the settlement that the Debenhams store had offered to Naoise regarding her cut finger in a shop claim. The case was then closed.

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RTE’s Prime Time has exposed a perinatal death scandal in the Midland Regional Hospital, linking the deaths of at least four babies to negligence.

Recently, RTE’s Prime Time program aired an episode-“Fatal Failures”-that detailed four cases of perinatal death due to negligence of hospital staff at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise.

One of the cases featured in the program-Mark Molloy of Tullamore, County Offaly-exposed how his parents had to fight for four months before an investigation was even launched into their infant son’s death. Roisin and Mark Molloy’s son died soon after he was delivered in the hospital in January 2012, and the couple were fed misinformation regarding the circumstances of his delivery and his subsequent death.

An independent clinical review was launched, which revolved that “failures in the standard of care provided were casually linked to the foetal hypoxia damage that occurred [and the death of baby Mark]”. This statement effectively shows that Mark had suffered avoidable perinatal damage death due to negligence.

The Midland Regional Hospital issued the family an apology and told the couple that neonatal deaths at the hospital are extremely rare. Later, Roisin heard an interview on the radio in which a Shauna Keyes was retelling the story of how she had lost her child at the very same hospital in similar circumstances to Mark’s. The two women got in touch with each other.

The RTE Investigation Unit researching for the show discovered that there were at least two further incidents of perinatal death due to negligence at the hospital, both of which had been investigated internally. The parents of the babies that died were never informed of the outcomes of these investigations. The RTE investigators also found that none of the measures that had been recommended following baby Mark’s death had been implemented by the hospital.

Dr Philip Crowley – the National Director of Quality & Patient Safety at the Health Service Executive (HSE) – appeared on the program, and commented that the delays in investigating Mark Molloy´s death and implementing procedures that would avoid perinatal death due to negligence were “lamentable” and he apologised on behalf of the HSE for the trauma the families had been through.

The Minister for Health – Dr James Reilly – also commented on the findings of the RTE investigators. Speaking on the Today radio program he said he had asked the Chief Medical Officer to conduct a further investigation into the failings of care at the hospital and described the four cases of perinatal death due to negligence as “utterly unacceptable”.

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The case of a young boy claiming compensation for an eye injury that he sustained on holiday has been adjourned by a High Court judge so that damages can be assessed.

In April 2006, Toby Corps (five years of age at the time of the accident) of Ashford, Kent, was on holiday with his family at the Dar Khayam Hotel in Tunisia. Toby took part in several events organised by the hotel’s “animation team” along with other children his age.

One of these events involved throwing darts at a dartboard in the gardens of the hotel. Toby was called forward to take his turn at the game. While he was doing so, the child who had thrown before him removed their darts from the dartboard, and threw one at Toby.

The dart pierced Toby’s left eye, and caused him to suffer a detached retina. Toby received emergency medical attention at the hotel, but had to have eye surgery when he returned to the UK to remove a cataract that had formed as a result of the accident.

Toby’s father-Paul Corps-made a child’s holiday injury claim for compensation on behalf of his son against the travel companies through which they had been the holiday-Future Travel and youtravel.com. He alleged that the hotel’s “animation team” had failed to instruct the children on how to play the game in a safe manner, and did not inform them that darts could cause injuries. He claimed that they had failed in their duty of care to protect Toby from injury.

Future Travel denied liability for Toby’s accident, claiming that the travel arrangements had not been booked as a package and therefore the company was excluded from liability under the Package Travel Regulations. The case was brought to the High Court in London, where it was heard by Mr Justice Bean.

Representatives of youtravel.com-through which hotel accommodation had been organised-acknowledged that the hotel’s animation team had failed in their duty of care towards Toby.

In order to allow for an assessment of how Toby´s eye injury might affect his future education and career opportunities, Mr Justice Bean adjourned the case. Early court reports would suggest that the settlement of Toby´s holiday injury claim for compensation could be in excess of £50,000.

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A judge has approved a second cerebral palsy compensation payment, and has adjourned the case for two more years in the hopes that a structured payment scheme will be introduced in Ireland.

In November 2004, Isabelle Sheehan (now eight years of age) was born in the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in Cork. She was born by emergency Caesarean Section after a blood test on her mother-Catherine-revealed an alarming rise in the presence of certain antibodies in her blood.

Dr David Corr-Catherine’s consultant doctor failed to refer Catherine to an expert in foetal medicine. Had this measure been taken, it would have been recognised that Catherine’s antibodies were different to those of her husband, thus causing potential difficulties with the pregnancy.

When Isabelle was born, she was in a very poor condition. Upon medical inspection, it was revealed that she was diagnosed with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. On behalf of her daughter, Catherine made a claim for compensation for negligence against her consultant doctor.

The defendant admitted that he was liable for Isabelle’s injuries in October 2011, when the case was heard by Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill. The judge approved an interim cerebral palsy compensation payment of €1.9 million, and adjourned the case for two years in the hope that a structured compensation payments system would be in place to assure a life time of care for Isabelle.

Unfortunately, no legislation has yet been passed that would allow a structured system of compensation payments. The case was brought back in front of Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who heard that a further interim cerebral palsy compensation payment of €635,000 had been negotiated between the parties to provide the case that Isabelle needs for two more years.

The judge was told that Isabelle is a “bright and intelligent” child, and was managing well in her mainstream national school class and received home assistance. Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the interim cerebral palsy compensation payment, adjourned the case for a further two years and wished Isabelle a very good future.

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A woman has settled her case against the Tipperary General Hospital for negligence which she alleges resulted in the death of her husband.

In March 2008, John Devereux attended the South Tipperary General Hospital with a swollen toe on his right foot, and was diagnosed as having a toe infection caused by septic arthritis. Doctors prescribed John Sodium Fusidate to treat the infection, and sent John home the same day.

Several weeks later, John returned to the hostile complaining of pains in his legs. The infection in his toe had not improved, so John was administered further doses of Sodium Fusidate and admitted to hospital so he could be kept under observation.

John’s condition deteriorated, and it was later diagnosed that he was suffering from the condition rhabdmoloysis-a condition in which the muscles break down-due to which John developed acute renal failure. John died due to the renal failure in March 2008.

John’s widow-Margaret-made a claim against Tipperary General Hospital for negligence on the gourds that the medication John had been prescribed when he first attended the hospital had conflicted with the treatment that he was receiving for his diabetes.

She further claimed that the doctors at the hospital had failed in diagnosing her husband with rhabdmoloysis, even though they should have recognised the symptoms of the disease. The claimed that she had suffered form severe mental distress due to the Health Service Executive’s breach in their duty of care of her husband.

The defendants denied liability for John’s death. The case was brought before the High Court in Dublin, where it was heard by Mrs Justice Mary Irvine. She was told that an out of court settlement had been negotiated between the parties which would see Margaret receive €45,000 in compensation. However, the HSE refused to admit liability.

The judge approved the settlement, saying that John’s death and been very tragic but given the circumstances Margaret would have had a huge hill to climb to establish negligence against the South Tipperary General Hospital if the case went to trial.

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The family of a young psychiatric patient who drowned while taking a bath has stated that they intend to make a claim against the hospital for negligence which led to the woman’s death.

In March 2008, Amy Hauserman (26) voluntarily admitted herself to the Frankston Hospital in Melbourne after consulting doctors, who feared that Amy was showing signs of schizophrenia which had resulted in Amy previously suffering from anorexia.

Only a few days after Amy was admitted, she died from a “hypoxic brain injury in a setting of immersion”. The coroner involved in the case-Peter White-stated that this was either due to Amy lapsing into an unconscious state while taking a bath, or falling as she tried to climb out of it.

In his report, the Coroner made a note which stated that no risk assessment had been conducted as to whether it was safe for Amy to take a bath unsupervised, and that Amy’s consulted had not been asked about the dangers involved beforehand. The Coroner also said that the absence of supervision for Amy was a primary and contributing feature of her death, as it would have been avoided if a nurse had been present in the bathroom.

The hospital’s Head of Nursing stated that all psychiatric ward patients were only allowed to take a bath without supervision after a risk assessment had been conducted. However, one of Amy’s nurses stated that she was unaware that protocol for patients taking baths even existed at the Frankston Hospital.

Amy’s father made a statement after the Coroner’s verdict had been delivered. He stated that the family would be making a claim for a hospital death due to a lack of care on the grounds that if the staff that were charged with caring for Amy had “showed her the due and proper care she deserved, she would still be us now”.

The Mornington Peninsula Health Service–against who the compensation claim for a hospital death due to a lack of care has been made–failed to comment on Mr Hauserman´s statement. A court date has now been set for the claim to be heard in May 2014.

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A young girl who cut her knee when she knelt on some broken glass at the crèche she was attending, has been awarded €25,000 plus €1,931 and legal costs at the Circuit Civil Court.

Ellen Hackett of Artane in Dublin sustained a deep cut to her knee as a result of the accident in June 2011, she was treated at Temple Street Children´s Hospital. Her mother sought to make a claim for child’s cut knee compensation and Artane Beaumont Family Recreation Centre acknowledged their liability for the injury to the child.

Judge Matthew Deery approved the compensation claim.

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Categories Injuries, Accidents

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A man who sustained an eye injury after a tree branch shattered a window of a Dublin Bus he was travelling in has had his personal injury claim for a bus accident resolved in court.

35-year-old Rafal Kowalski of Castleknock, Dublin, did not seek immediate medical attention following the incident in July 2011 but when he later did, he was found to have vision of six over five, which is better than average. Although Dublin Bus did agree that the victim had suffered dry eye syndrome as a result of the accident.

He was awarded €8,000 in compensation for his personal injury claim for a bus accident by Judge Matthew Deery at the Circuit Court.

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A postal worker, who injured the big toe on his right foot when a package of floorboards fell on it, has been awarded €16,000 compensation for his toe injury.

61-year-old Edward Pyne of Balbriggan, County Dublin required several operations as a result of the injury. The victim pursued compensation for a toe injury against An Post who denied liability. However Mr Justice Matthew Deery ruled that An Post failed to provide adequate footwear for their staff and awarded Mr Pyne €16,000 in compensation for his injuries.

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Categories Injuries at Work, Injuries

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A pensioner, has been awarded £160,000 in compensation for work illness after he contracted mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos fibers while working.

Eli Richards (76) from Great Wyrley in Staffordshire sought compensation for occupational lung cancer against Armitage Shanks, his former employers. Mr.Richards who was a non-smoker worked for the company for 17 years as a toolmaker. He previously had kept quite active, playing table tennis and five-a-side football into his sixties. He was never warned about the dangers of asbestos while he was working with the fibres.

The company admitted their responsibility for Mr.Eli’s condition and settled with the claimant for £160,000.

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Categories Injuries at Work, Injuries

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A woman employed as a lollipop lady has been settled her compensation claim for injuries received in a hit-an-run traffic accident for a four figure sum.

Karen Littler (49) from Wigan, Lancashire was hit by a Honda Insight driven by Ceris Lovett while she was helping children cross the road in March 2012.

Ms Lovett failed to stop and check the condition of the victim but a quick thinking motorist followed her and took her registration number before the police were alerted.

Ms.Littler made the claim directly against Ms.Lovett’s insurance company who did not respond to her claim within the time frame required. Court proceedings were issued and Ms.Littler received an undisclosed sum for her injuries.

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Categories Traffic Accidents, Injuries

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Many current and former British Telecom employees could still be able to claim compensation for hearing loss they contracted due to using faulty testing sets for telephone lines.

BT had admitted in a case in August 2010 that engineers had been provided with kits that damaged their hearing. Their acknowledgement meant that many engineers who sustained injuries years in the past were eligible for compensation as BT decided not to enforce the three-year Statute of Limitations.

They reversed this decision in June 2012, meaning that from January 2013 any BT employee seeking hearing injury compensation would have to do so under the three year rule imposed in the Statute of Limitations.

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Categories Injuries at Work, Injuries

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A man has been awarded £8,750 compensation after he fell into a trench at a stately home, fracturing his ankle.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard how John Cowan (65) from Livingston in West Lothian fell into a trench that was five foot deep as he and his grandson were returning to his car following an organised ‘bat walk’ they had attended.

Mr.Cowan made the compensation claim against the Hopetoun House Preservation Trust, although they disputed his claim saying instructions had been given to avoid that area. Mr.Cowan said he did not hear these instructions. Lord Bracadale ruled in favour of the claimant but because Mr.Cowan was carrying a torch at the time of the accident he reduced his compensation settlement from £35,000 to £8,750 due to contributory negligence.

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The number of fatal farm accidents has reached a total of 16 so far this year, a conference in Dublin organised by the Health and Safety Authority, Teagasc and the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee has heard. If it continues it may pass the 26 deaths that occurred on farms in 2010 which was a 20 year high.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney was present at the event and he was told that accidents with machinery, the handling of livestock and the prevention of falls were the main factors contributing to these farm accidents.

The Minister stated that “People working on farms need to be more conscious of safety requirements, in particular since in many instances they are working on their own. A significant change in mindset is required if we are to prevent further serious farm accidents”.

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A woman has been awarded almost €178,000 after she was hit by a van while crossing a street in Dublin. Amy McKernan (36) from North Ewington, Oxfordshire was struck by a van, driven by Yuk Fong from Dublin at the junction of Wicklow Street and Clarendon Street on May 7th 2002. She suffered facial and back injuries in the accident and made the compensation claim on the basis that the van had been driven at excessive speed.

Yuk Fong and Yau Tsali Li – the owner of the van – disputed the claim as they believed Ms.McKernan had been negligent with her own welfare by failing to keep a proper lookout for vehicles. Mr. Justice John Quirke at the High Court ruled in favour of the claimant as she was able to demonstrate negligence by the van driver.
Court determined that Amy had established negligence in the driving of the van, whereas the defendants had failed to show that Amy had in any way been responsible for the accident and her injuries.

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A teenage boy, has had a compensation settlement of €12,500 approved by the Civil Circuit Court after he suffered a hair loss and a severe allergic reaction when hair colouring treatment went wrong at Peter Mark Hair Stylists of St. Stephen´s Green, County Dublin. The unnamed 17 year-old had gone to the stylists in October 2009 to have highlights removed from his hair but after the treatment he suffered an extreme reaction.

He was prescribed steroids which counteracted the effects of the reaction and agreed to Peter Mark’s compensation offer of €12,500 plus special damages of €1,915 and the costs of his claim which was approved by Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Civil Circuit Court.

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The High Court has awarded the family of a woman who died shortly after childbirth in the National Maternity Hospital almost €2.5 million for medical negligence.

The High Court heard that in November 2004 Taz Kenefick (36) was admitted to give birth to her second son but she developed an infection during labour and despite efforts from her obstetric consultant she died from internal bleeding after giving birth.

Her husband Kevin made the compensation claim on behalf of his deceased wife and Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill heard that liability had been admitted by the hospital two weeks ago.

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Categories Hospital Negligence, Medical Negligence

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An eight-year-old boy has had a compensation settlement for €24,000 approved by the Circuit Court. Benjamin Schonfeld of Clonskeagh, Dublin was aged six when he had his finger caught in the door at St. Killian’s German School in January 2009, he lost the tip of his finger in the incident.

His father Heino Schonfeld made the claim on his behalf and the Injuries Board Ireland made the assessment which was accepted by both parties. Mr. Justice Matthew Deery approved the assessment.

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A Kildare truck driver has been awarded €80,000 by the High Court after he was struck by a steel wedge, suffering significant facial injuries. Keith Dowling (38) of Kildangan, County Kildare sustained the injury when a steel wedge used to secure the ballast weight on his trailer came loose from its mounting and hit Mr.Dowling on the face with considerable speed. A co-worker had been hammering the wedge into place when the serious incident occurred.

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A Limerick man will receive €100,000 in a civil settlement after he suffered a broken leg in an assault during a soccer match. Mr Hooman Reyhani (43) was competing in a six-aside game when he was attacked by University of Limerick professor Dr Frederic Royall (53) in an off-the-ball altercation. Mr Reyhani suffered a laceration to the face when Dr Royall punched him in the face; it caused him to fall and subsequently led to him fracturing his leg in two places.

The Limerick Circuit Criminal Court heard that self-employed-engineer Mr Reyhani is house-bound and has to wear an ankle brace. Judge Carroll Moran was told that a compensation settlement of €100,000 had been agreed by both men and he binded Dr Royall to keep the peace for three years.

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Three children who suffered whiplash injuries when their mother’s car was rear-ended in a road accident in January 2007 have been awarded €56,000 by Circuit Court President Justice Matthew Deery.

Ms Monica Carney of Lucan hit the car containing Rachael Hopkins (9) and her brothers Daniel (10) and Thomas (7) from Broadford, County Kildare from behind leading to the children receiving their injuries. They were treated by the family GP and a specialist consultant.

The impact the injuries sustained had on the two brothers, Daniel and Thomas was greater than that of Rachael Hopkins and a settlement of €20,000 was agreed for both, Rachael received €16,000 and they will receive the settlement amount when they are 18 years of age.

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Categories Car Accidents, Traffic Accidents

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A €150,000 settlement with a psychiatric patient has been approved by the High Court after the patient suffered leg injuries when they jumped from a second floor window of Saint Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital.

The incident occurred on March 12th, 1998 and it is claimed that the patient was placed in a ward where windows were not secured correctly and no measures were taken to prevent this sort of accident from occurring.

Mr Justice John Quirke approved the settlement made with the HSE. The settlement was made without the admission of liability and the patient has been moved to another secure facility.

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Categories Hospital Negligence, Injuries

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A child who suffered brain damage during her birth has been awarded a partial settlement of €2m by the High Court.

The Health Services Executive (HSE) agreed to the settlement for Brid Courtney in a claim taken by her mother Deirdre Courtney although the HSE did not admit liability for the birth injury which occurred at Tralee General Hospital.

Ms.Courtney claims the child suffered brain damage when the hospital did not deliver the baby as quickly as possible. The case has been adjourned.

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The debate about class action compensation suits (also known as collective redress) for products found to be faulty is to be relaunched by the EU. The aim is to formulate common standards for all of the 27 member states. A paper has been drafted by three EU Commissioners and there will be public consultations in November.

According to the Financial Times some of the issues that are covered in the briefing paper include, financing class action suits, avoiding abusive litigation, including making class actions cheaper than individual claims, enforcing judgments throughout the EU and consensual resolutions through mediation.

At the moment it is very difficult to pursue class action suits in Ireland due to current legislation.

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It has been well documented in the media that the new Health Services Executive (HSE) chief executive Cathal Magee will have a difficult first year in charge of the public body as he seeks to implement significant budget cuts. He will always have to tackle the staff culture of the HSE, which the Ombudsman has criticised as a rotten culture of secrecy” when it comes to dealing with medical negligence.

It would be the best interests of Cathal Magee to read the in August 17th issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, this gives details on a University of Michigan Health System programme that encourages workers in the health care system to report malpractice.

A programme for reporting and offer an explanation of why mistakes were made could lead to disputes being resolved faster and may also reduce lawsuits by 36%.

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Categories Hospital Negligence, Medical Negligence

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A woman has been awarded €100,000 compensation after it was deemed she was discriminated against after having two pregnancies over a 20 month period and was made redundant on the basis that she was pregnant.

Denise Blatt claimed she received various pay rises and bonuses for her work at the Comfort Inn Parnell Square hotel but when she informed her employers – Palmece Limited – that she was pregnant, she received a formal letter criticising her work. Ms.Blatt said she suffered from high blood pressure during her pregnancy and believed it was due to her work environment.

The evidence was not contested and the victim was awarded 50,000 in compensation for victimisation and awarded €50,000 in compensation for discrimination.

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Categories compensation for discrimination, compensation for victimisation

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An interim settlement of €1.65 million was approved by the High Court yesterday after a hospital negligence claim was made against the National Maternity Hospital.

Charlotte Barry Sandymount, Dublin was left with cetebral palsy and is in need of constant care after the hospital failed to manage the labour, delivery and birth of the child resulting in her condition.

Aisling Campbell – the baby’s mother – represented the child and the hospital admitted full responsibility. The compensation payment is expected to be made immediately.

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Categories Hospital Negligence, Medical Negligence

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The estate of John Connolly who caused a fatal car accident while driving with an alcohol level three times over the limit are seeking compensation from Publicans Concepta and Seamus Kelly alleging that they acted negligently and breached their duty of care by serving excessive alcohol to Mr.Connolly.

The estate argues that the defendants knew or should have known that the man would drive on a public road. The couple are defended themselves in court with Ms.Kelly saying in court, ‘It is up to the individual themselves to know their own body. There are people who can drink and drive with three or four pints and people who cannot drive with one’. The case was adjourned for a month by Mr Justice Kevin Feeney.

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Categories Injuries, Accidents

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The family of a woman woman who died in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan have been awarded €564,000 in a High Court settlement after the hospital negligence in her case.

Miriam Jackson was admitted to the hospital with a small bowel obstruction but dies two weeks later in September 2004. The hospital ignored multiple symptoms that if checked would have found that and E coli infection had led to Ms.Jackson developing septicaemia.

Derek Jackson claimed on behalf of his deceased wife and also on behalf of his three children. As the hospital admitted responsibility Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill was left to decide the value of compensation awarded.

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Categories Hospital Negligence, Medical Negligence

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