Posted: January 9th, 2019
€1.3million personal injury compensation has been awarded to the family of murdered Garda Adrian Donohoe, who was killed while on he was on duty
The widow of deceased Garda Adrian Donohoe, Garda Caroline Deloughrey, took the legal action against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to the manner of the death of her husband, who was shot dead five years ago while on armed escort duty. Due to the suffering and trauma that she has experienced, Ms Deloughrey has since retired from the force on health grounds.
The case was before presiding Judge Justice Michael Twomey, who was asked to give his approval to the negotiated settlement due to involvement in the legal actions of Garda Donohoe’s son and daughter who are aged 11- and 12-years-old respectively.
Ms Deloughrey, who is originally from Clare, told the Court that she met her husband when they both attended Garda Training College in Templemore, Co Tipperary. The married couple had been deployed to the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dundalk Garda Station. Garda Donohoe had been working on armed escort duty with a colleague at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013 when he was shot dead.
Eoghan Fitzsimons SC and barrister Eamonn M J Coffey BL, legal representatives for Ms Deloughrey and her children, appearing with the family solicitors James McGuill and Company. Judge Twomey was told that a Garda death compensation settlement of €970,000 had been agreed by the legal teams of both parties for Ms Deloughrey with the rest of the personal injury compensation award being split almost equally between her two children but slightly in favour of the younger child.
Judge Twomey was advised that the Minister had approved the formula of division of the total Garda death compensation award the State was agreeable to it. The children’s portion of the award will be placed in court funds until they are 18 years old and Ms Deloughrey will receive her €970,000 compensation award immediately.
Posted: December 6th, 2018
A bar manager from Limerick, Colin McNamara, has been awarded in excess of €80,000 personal injury compensation at the High Court in relation to a claim he submitted for an accident that occurred at Copper Face Jacks Nightclub.
Mr McNamara broke his ankle in a wet floor slip at the Dublin venue resulting in a double fracture to the joint on October 9, 2015. He was in the Dublin nightclub as part of a visit to the capital for a Republic of Ireland soccer match at the Aviva Stadium in 2015.
Now 36 years old, Mr McNamara, with an address at Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co Limerick had taken the disco accident compensation action against Breanagh Catering Ltd and the proprietors of Copper Face Jacks at Harcourt Street, Dublin, in relation to the injuries he suffered in the accident. Mr McNamara told the Court that he slipped on a floor which was wet and represented a slipping hazard to patrons. He said: “the wet floor caused me to slip and fall. I turned to walk but I ended up on the floor.”
He alleged that there were no attempts to implement any proper steps to clean and dry the floor surface before the accident took place. Along with this he told the court that the floor had been left in a wet and slippy condition which was a serious danger to patrons.
The defendants in the nightclub injury compensation action denied these claims. Mr Justice Hanna advised the High Court that he had been provided with an order of the court giving judgment against the defendant. As a result of this issues of liability were not before the court. As attempts to resolve the case were unsuccessful the defendant opted not intervene in court to fight the medical evidence, as was their right, but instead chose to use a legal cost accountant to settle the case.
Mr McNamara told the High Court Judge that security employees came and picked him up from the ground and brought him out to a back alley where another employee looked at his leg and ankle before telling him that it was not broken. The security staff told him that they were not in a position to call for an ambulance. Mr McNamara told the Court that he “hobbled away” and returned to his hotel by taxi. As he was still suffering from a major amount of pain upon his return to Limerick, Mr McNamara went to hospital where he was advised that he had fractured his ankle in two different places. Following surgery and had to use crutches for a period of time also.
At the High Court Mr Justice Michael Hanna said that Mr McNamara has suffered a serious and significant injury when also considering the fact that works as a bar manager and would need to be on his feet most of the time. He added that Mr McNamara was unable to work for five months due to the surgery. He, Justice Hanna, said that the correct figure of personal injury compensation was €80,000 and another €7,116 ‘special damages’ to pay for medical and other expenses.
Posted: October 11th, 2018
€15,000 in travelator injury compensation has been awarded to a man (83) who was injured in a fall when his shopping trolley jammed.
In the Circuit Civil Court Judge Sarah Berkeley was told that John Ansell of Listrolin, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny was on a travelator at the Showgrounds Shopping Centre in Clonmel, Co Tipperary when he fell backwards, injuring his neck and shoulder and cutting his left hand.
Mr Ansell, told the Judge that he had taken a trolley from the Iceland Store. When he was finished paying for his groceries he decided to use the moving walkway to make his way to the second-level car park. When he was about to step off of the travelator with the trolley it jammed. He (Mr Ansell) tried unsuccessfully free it while the walkway kept moving. Other shoppers helped him to release the trolley but it skewed sideways suddenly and threw him back.
Mr Ansell took the shopping centre injury compensation action against two receivers who control the assets of MK 1 Property Investments, the owners of Iceland and Ennis Lifts.
Judge Berkeley was presented with evidence from four experts who attempted to apportion liability for the condition of the moving walkway/travelator and the Iceland trolley used by Mr Ansell.
Judge Berkeley pointed to the evidence that Mr Ansell did not experience any issues with the shopping trolley until he was stepping off the travelator. She added that Mr Ansell was completely blameless for the accident. The judge also referred to the testimony of Mr Ansell’s wife, Karen, that the shopping centre manager had informed her that a similar accident had occurred just one week previous to her husband’s fall. Due to this the judge deemed Mr Ansell’s accident as foreseeable and criticised the failure of the shopping centre management to take action following the previous accident.
As Ennis Lifts had fulfilled the obligations of their maintenance contract the judge awarded the €15,000 travelator injury compensation award jointly against the two receivers and the owners of Iceland.
Posted: September 10th, 2018
A news article in The Irish Examiner newspaper has revealed that there is a lengthening backlog in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, leaving victims of serious violent assaults waiting years to receive compensation.
Since 2012 only 597 payments were have been issued in relation to the 1,357 claims have been initiated. In 2017 only 31 compensation payments were processed to the 181 new applications. In 2018 only 10 victims were issued to the compensation by the end of May 2018 when 73 new cases were recorded during that time period.
The details were present in a reply to a parliamentary question submitted by Fianna Fáil TD John Curran has now asked for an immediate audit of the scheme to discover what is leading to the delays.
Commenting on this Mr Curran TD said: “Despite the fact that the number of cases which settle in a pay-out is declining year on year, there are lengthy delays in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal assisting victims of crime in Ireland. As it stands, should this year’s applications be managed in the very same poor manner it’s likely that just 24 cases will be settled in 2018.
He went on to say: “Victims should expect that they will receive their compensation in a prompt manner and in accordance with constitutional justice. In correspondence I received, the Tribunal itself cited its limited resources and “economic constraints” as contributing factors in the slow process of claims and victims obtaining their due compensation. The Tribunal receives roughly €4 million in budget each year, but it is uncertain how this budget is set considering the number of, and types of cases varies year on year. A thorough review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal must be carried out before next year’s figure of unsettled claims rises even more. This review could not come quick enough for very many victims of crime or their families.”
You can read the full text of his statement by clicking here.
Posted: August 2nd, 2018
€55,000 medical mistreatment compensation has been awarded to the family of an 82-year old man who died at Mayo General Hospital a few days after being rushed to A&E following a road accident.
The man in question, Darby King, who was on anti-coagulation medicine, was only prescribed blood clotting medication ten hours after he was taken to A&E it was alleged.
The accident, which occurred on April 24 2014, left Mr King with minor injuries. However, his condition worsened over the next few days and he died in hospital three days later. A verdict of medical misadventure was returned in a inquest hearing in 2015.
The inquest was advised that there had been “unacceptable delay” in administering blood-clotting medication greatly diminished his chances of survival.
In the High Court, Mr Justice Robert Eagar approved a settlement of €55,000 in the case.
Outside court, Mr King’s daughter, Caroline Murnane, on behalf of the King family said they were very happy to finally have closure on this case.
They said: “There are no words to describe what the past four years has done to us. “We were traumatised by Dad’s death and we have spent the last four years trying to get justice for him and to give him a a voice. We have been tormented every day by the events that unfolded the day Dad was admitted to the hospital. However, the verdict received from Dad’s inquest together with the court ruling will now allow us to move forward.”
Ms Murnane, of Clogher, Claremorris, Co Mayo, and her brother John King, of Drummin, Castlebar, had sued the HSE over the death of their father. It the compensation case they claimed that, as a result of the accident, Mr King suffered cuts to the face, nose and head and was confused.
Addtionally it was claimed that:
- The advice was that the prognosis was inadequate and by the early hours of April 25, Mr King was considered for palliative care.
- There was an alleged failure to diagnose a traumatic head injury and to prescribe blood clotting medication in a timely fashion.
- There was an alleged failure to adhere to the advice of Beaumont Hospital to administer the blood clotting medication as quickly as possible.
The claims were denied by the defendents.
Posted: June 13th, 2018
A settlement has been reached in a High Court action in which a 23-year-old girl claimed she injured her finger when she was thrown out of a well-known Dublin pub by security staff after her friend asked to use the toilets.
Sophie Beardmore – with an address at Redford Park, Greystones, Co Wicklow – had taken the accident injury compensation action against Senture Security Ltd, Citywest, Dublin which is no longer operating, and Triglen Holdings Ltd trading as Dicey’s Garden Bar, Harcourt Street, Dublin, claiming she was illegally assaulted on May 19, 2015.
Her legal counsel alleged that the security staff had shown “an unbelievable overreaction” when there was a “jostle’ with a security man at Dicey’s Garden Bar over using the toilets and Ms Beardmore was taken by the arm and thrown out on to the street.
Ms Beardmore, a business student, sustained a nasty fracture and the index finger on her left hand was in a splint for weeks, while she had difficulty with everyday tasks including writing and washing her hair.
There was an allegation that the failure to provide properly qualified or trained security personnel at the bar led to the incident. Triglen Holdings refuted these claims and those that there was an alleged failure to take any or any reasonable care to see she was safe while lawfully a visitor and patron on the premises.
The incident, which was recorded on CCTV, occurred after Ms Beardmore was in Dicey’s Bar with a friend and had a pint of cider each and shared another pint. Her friend then had to use he toilet but they were not permitted use the toilet in the smoking area and went to a different one.
However, when they went to the other toilet, they were then advised to return to the one in the smoking area, according to Ms Beardmore’s counsel Michael Byrne. They asked once more if they could use the toilet and at this point there was a jostle with a security man and then other security people apprehended the two women.
Ms Beardmore’s hand was snatched by a security person and her friend was also dragged viciously, counsel said, before she was flung out on to the street, Her friend was thrown out after her.
In Court Mr Justice Anthony Barr was advised that the bar accident compensation claim had now been settled.
Posted: May 23rd, 2018
A new father who was sacked by his employer just 11 days after the birth of his new-born baby, while on paternity leave, has been awarded €2,461 in unfair dismissal compensation by the Workplace Relations Commission.
During a work meeting on 12 January 2017 the man, who was employed as horticulturalist was told he was being made redundant – directly after his boss congratulated him on the birth of his baby. He was then asked to clear his desk and leave immediately.
The man took an action for unfair dismissal and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has upheld his claim and ordered his former employer to pay €2,461. WRC Adjudication Officer, Pat Brady has described the employer’s conduct in the case as “seriously unacceptable”.
The compensation figure awarded would have been higher if the man had remained unemployed for a longer period of time. However as he was diligent in seeking a new job it meant that his precious employer was not liable for as much compensation.
The man pointed out to the WRC hearing that any termination during on paternity leave is automatically found to be unfair on foot of section 20 of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act, 2016. The employer claimed that he was not aware that the employee being on paternity leave was an issue and the business decision to make the man redundant was due to a re-organisation of the company.
WRC Adjudication Officer, Pat Brady said that the employer in the case had adopted a cavalier attitude to the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act.
Mr Brady said: “Then, in circumstances which could scarcely have been more insensitive, he was given one day’s notice of a meeting at which his employment is terminated and he is told to leave the premises and not to return.”
He added: “However, it is the total absence of any procedures which is of more concern; the lack of proper or any notice, the lack of a selection procedure or consideration of alternatives.”
Posted: November 16th, 2017
€20,000 House Accident Compensation has been awarded to a mother and son whose bathroom was splattered in “an explosion of raw sewage”.
Counsel for Patricia Powell and her son Sean Barrister, Andrew Walker, advised the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that both of them had suffered serious personal injuries as a result of “the explosion”. He went on to say that there was “an (sudden) explosion of raw sewage up through the toilet” and that it went all over the floor, walls, bath and hand basin.
Judge Francis Comerford was told that the mother and son were at their house in Hayestown, Rush, Co Dublin, on August 19 2015, when maintenance work was underway on the local drainage and sewage system by the Fingal County Council nearby.
Mr Walker advised Judge Comerford that Ms Powell and her son did an initial clean up before hiring a contract cleaning company to carry out additional work that was required. Despite this a strong smell remained in Ms Powell’s home, resulting in them vacating the residence.
Now residing at Hampton Cove, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, Ms Powell and Sean sued Fingal County Council and the water utility for up to €60,000 damages for psychological distress and trauma suffered, expenses incurred and house relocation charges.
Judge Comerford awarded Ms Powell €12,000 damages and her son €8,000 damages, and their costs, stating that they were entitled to house accident compensation for nuisance as well as a degree of damages for personal injury due to the incident that they experienced.
Posted: October 15th, 2017
A boy (13) has been awarded €25,000 in injury compensation for a Tayto Park fall following High Court Approval for a proposed settlement.
Conor Bolger, who was just eight years old at the time of the fall from a playground tower, of Briarfield Road, Kilbarrack, took the legal action against Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd, Co Meath trading as Tayto Park, through his father Brian Bolger. Due the the injuries he was inflicted with in the fall on March 25 2012, Conor had to undergo a clinical operation to place pins in his lower arm after he fractured his elbow
Mr Bolger’s legal team argued that the playground tower which Conor fell from, one of the main attractions in the park at the time, was overcrowded. They also alleged that the ground around the base of the tower did not have the correct amount of protective wood mulch to prevent injury. This, they said, was due to the absence of constant inspections and safety checks in the area by staff members at Tayto Park. If these had these measures been in place, it was argued, the boy may not have been injured or would have suffered less severe injuries.
Tayto Park (Ashbourne Visitor Centre) through their legal representation David McGrath SC denied these claims and argued that Conor Bolger “just fell” when he was climbing the playground tower, rather than there being any issues with the safety of the tower. The Court was told that the Bolger family were happy to agree to a playground injury compensation settlement of €25,000.
High Court Justice Kevin Cross approved the Tayto Park Fall playground compensation settlement, He said that Conor’s scar, following the medical operation, was not “too upsetting” and also acknowledged that he (Conor) would have had his enjoyment of basketball hampered due to the injuries he suffered.
Posted: June 6th, 2017
A High Court judge has awarded €60,000 aggravated injury compensation for tripping on a footpath due to the upset caused by the defence against his claim.
In September 2011, the twenty-four year old jogger was running back to the home he shares with his parents at the Clondalkin caravan site in Dublin, when he tripped on a hole in the footpath and fell – fracturing a knuckle in his right hand. The jogger – who was a keen amateur boxer prior to the accident – has been able to go back into the ring after having surgery on his hand.
As the caravan site is owned by South Dublin County Council, the jogger claimed injury compensation for tripping on a footpath against the local authority – alleging that the footpath had not been maintained to a safe standard. South Dublin County Council denied liability for the jogger´s injury and contested the claim on the basis that his injury had been sustained in a boxing match and not as the jogger claimed.
The claim for injury compensation for tripping on a footpath went to the High Court where it was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. During the cross-examination of the jogger, the council´s solicitor repeated the claim that the injury had been sustained in a boxing match and noted that the plaintiff claimed his alleged accident occurred one day after he suffered soft tissue injuries in a car accident.
The plaintiff acknowledged that he had been jogging the morning after a car accident, and he called an expert medical witness who testified it was not unusual for somebody in a good physical condition to try and “run off” an injury. Judge Barr said the expert´s testimony was a “credible explanation” for why the plaintiff had been jogging the morning after a car accident and found in the plaintiff´s favour.
The judge awarded the jogger €55.000 injury compensation for tripping on a footpath, plus an extra €5,000 aggravated damages for the upset he had felt for the implication made by South Dublin County Council his claim was fraudulent.
Posted: March 14th, 2017
A woman has been awarded compensation for a back injury she sustained after the chair on which she was sitting in a restaurant collapsed beneath her.
In May 2014, a woman was dining at the China Kitchen Restaurant in Beaumont with friends when a leg became detached from the chair she was sitting on, causing it to collapse.
The woman – a thirty-four year old cleaner from Finglas – twisted to her right side to avoid falling to the floor. However, due to her sudden movement, she felt immediate pain to her lower back. The following day, she visited her GP to discuss the pain. Her doctor prescribed painkillers.
For some time after the incident, she continued to experience pain in her lower back after working or sitting for a long time. The woman sought further medical advice, and underwent a course of physiotherapy sessions. Although the sessions had some effect, she still continues to suffer intermittent pain around her lower back.
The woman sought legal counsel, and claimed compensation for a back injury due to falling from a broken chair against Xwfx Ltd – the registered owner of the China Kitchen Restaurant. She alleged that the restaurant had been negligent in ensuring that the chair was not faulty, and that the waiter that had come to her assistance after her accident had tried to repair the chair rather than replace it, thus setting her up for further injury.
Xwfx Limited failed to answer a request from the Injuries Board for the restaurant´s consent to conduct an assessment of the woman´s claim, and subsequently failed to attend a court hearing after the woman had taken her case to court. By default, the case was found in the woman´s favour. It proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court for an assessment of damages only, where it was heard by Judge Linnane.
After hearing the details of the case, how the accident had occurred, and the consequences of the injury to the woman´s quality of life, Judge Linnane awarded her €17,500 compensation for a back injury due to falling from a broken chair.
Posted: February 17th, 2017
A case of a man suffering from a severe back injury due to a slip and fall accident at work has resulted in liability being split between the man and his employer.
In February 2010, a former employee at the Templemore sewerage plant in County Tipperary was walking along a path at work when he fell, causing injury to his head and back. He sought legal counsel, and made a claim against Templemore Town Council for his slip and fall injury at work. In the claim, he alleged that the fall was due to sewerage overflowing from the flumes surrounding the inlet channels at the now decommissioned plant.
As a result of his injury, the employee suffered frequent headaches and the back injury caused him a great deal of discomfort. The severity of the injury was such that he was prevented from adequately performing his role at the plant. He was rendered unable return to work. He sought legal counsel, and applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation for a slip and fall injury at work. However, the defendants-the party responsible for the sewerage plant, Templemore Town Council-denied consent to assess the claim.
The Injuries Board then issued the former employee of the plant with authorisation to pursue his claim in court, as it was unable to be settled in an out-of-court agreement. This authorisation was granted. The case was scheduled to be heard at the High Court by Mr Justice Raymond Fullam. The purpose of the hearing was determine liability and assess damages and amount of compensation that should be awarded. The judge was informed that the employee was working alone in his sector of the plant at the time of the accident, and that no safe system of work had been implemented by the council for the workers at the sewerage plant.
The council defended the claim for compensation for a slip and fall injury at work. Their legal team had argued that one of the employee´s own responsibilities to keep the paths clear of hazards, both for his own safety and his fellow employee’s. They further stated that if he needed additional tools to complete his duties, he should have asked for them. The council contested that the employee´s accident had occurred due to his own lack of care and negligence, and thus denied all liability.
Judge Fullam agreed with the defendants that the employee was partially responsible for his accident, and therefore part of the liability for his accident should be attributed to him. However he accepted the employee´s evidence that the pumps in the plant frequently malfunctioned, and he did not have time to clean the paths to an appropriate standard on a regular basis. Judge Fullam also acknowledged that flumes surrounding the inlet channels were in a bad state on the day of the accident.
The judge said that he would have awarded the plaintiff €79,000 compensation for a slip and fall accident at work, however he was reducing the award by 40% to account for the plaintiff´s contributory negligence. The adjusted settlement of the claim consequently amounted to €47,400.
Posted: December 20th, 2016
A claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court after the plaintiff was attributed 25% contributory negligence.
The claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor was made by a female guest of the Herbert Park Hotel in Ballsbridge, who had been staying at the hotel in August 2014 in order to attend the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS.
On the final afternoon of her stay, she decided to leave Dublin early for the journey back to her home in Kinsale, County Cork, as it was a wet and inclement day, but as she tried to drive her car out of the hotel car park, the barrier failed to raise.
The woman rushed back to the hotel lobby to check whether her car parking ticket had been validated. However, as she ran back into the reception area through the emergency doors, she slipped on the wet floor surface and fell – fracturing her left ankle on three places.
After receiving first aid at the hotel, she was taken by ambulance to St Vincent´s Hospital where she underwent surgery for the triple fracture. She was discharged some days later with a plaster cast protecting her injury, but she is no longer able to walk long distances and will likely suffer from arthritis in the future.
The woman made a claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor against the Herbert Park Hotel and its management company – Sheelin McSharry (Ballsbridge) Ltd. The two defendants denied that the hotel had been negligent in failing to maintain a safe environment, and their consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment of her claim was denied.
The Injuries Board issued the woman with an authorization to take her claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor to court, and the case was heard earlier this week by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.
At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told that the hotel floor was usually well maintained, but became slippery when guests walked over it with wet shoes. An expert witness for the plaintiff told the judge that a mat placed by the emergency doors would have prevented the accident from happening.
The defendants argued that, had the woman used the main doors as she was supposed to, she would not have slipped on the hotel floor. They also contested that she was rushing and not paying proper attention to her environment, and that she had contributed to her accident and injury through her own lack of care.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Groarke found in the plaintiff´s favour. He said that, despite the generally well-maintained condition of the hotel floor, this was an accident waiting to happen and the plaintiff had sustained “a very nasty and extremely serious injury” as a result.
However, he also agreed that the plaintiff had contributed to the accident through her own lack of care and, after initially awarding her €75,000 compensation in settlement of her claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor, the judge reduced the award by 25% to account for the plaintiff´s contributory negligence.
Posted: October 9th, 2016
A child’s claim for personal injury compensation has been approved by a judge in the Circuit Court.
When Róisín Byrne was just fifteen months old in August 2012, she fell from a window onto an emergency fire space at her parent’s temporary home in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. She suffered extensive injuries to her head and ribs, as well as puncturing her long from the eleven – foot fall. Róisín is now five years old and suffers from visible scarring on her head.
Ronan Byrne and Chloe Murphy, Róisín’s parents, had previously issued a complaint with the caretaker of the property concerning the same Georgian window from which Róisín fell. They said that it posed a risk to their daughter, as it was not very high off of the floor, and requested that the caretaker install a security mechanism to prevent such an accident.
However, the lock was never installed and, acting on her daughter’s behalf, Chloe made a claim for personal injuries assessment with the Injuries Board. Enda Woods, who owns the accomodation, contended to an assessment by the board and a compensation settlement of €46,000 was calculated.
The assessment by the Injuries Board was accepted by both parties, though as the claim was made on behalf of a minor, it had to be approved by a judge in court before it could be awarded. The value of the assessment was above €15,000, which meant that it had to be heard in the Circuit Court.
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke oversaw proceedings, and after hearing details of Róisín’s fall, he approved the settlement. The money will be held in court funds until Róisín is eighteen years old.
Posted: September 26th, 2016
After many years of criticism, a new Book of Quantum to be published that will provide new guidelines to those settling compensation settlements for personal injury claims.
The Book of Quantum, first published in 2004, is a reference text used by judges, solicitors and insurance companies when settling a claim for compensation. The book contains a wide range of injuries, and with each provides estimates of the amount of compensation to be awarded in each case. It also has subdivisions to account for the severity of the injury and the degree of permanence.
Yet over the intervening decade many have claimed that the book has become outdated and no longer facilitates the award of fair settlements. An increasing number of solicitors and judges no longer use the book, or when they do they only use the highest values presented. Consequently, inconsistencies result.
To take action against the unfair system, senior judges began negotiations with the Courts Services and the Injuries Board with the hope of establishing a new Book of Quantum. A team analysed over 52,000 personal injuries claims made in Ireland between 2013 and 2014 and used the data to create new estimates. The revised Book of Quantum will be published in the coming weeks, and many hope that it will help resolve current inconsistencies.
Amongst other things, new subdivisions have been introduced so that those settling claims can award more fair and appropriate settlements. Additionally, the estimates have been adjusted to account for inflation and the current cost of living.
It is important to note that the Book of Quantum only accounts for physical injuries, but potential claimants may also be compensated for emotional trauma, financial loss or impact on quality of life. It is best to consult an experienced solicitor before commencing any claim for compensation.
Posted: April 2nd, 2015
A €25,000 settlement of compensation for an accident on the Luas that happened seven years ago has been approved in the Circuit Civil Court.
On February 14 2008, Aoife Heron sustained a head injury as she, her mother and her younger sister were boarding a Luas at Connelly Street towards Jervis Street. Aoife – who was only six years old at the time – boarded the Luas ahead of her mother Elaine. But, as Elaine started to board with a buggy containing her younger daughter, the automatic doors of the Luas closed – trapping the buggy between them.
As there was an obstacle to the doors closing, they automatically opened and Elaine was able to retrieve the buggy. Aoife, who was still inside the carriage, attempted to join her mother and sister on the platform; but as she went to disembark, the automatic doors closed once again – trapping the little girl´s head between them and causing her to suffer a traumatic head injury.
Aoife was treated at the scene by an ambulance crew and later attended the family GP, where she was diagnosed with bruising and a soft tissue injury. As a result of her injury, Aoife – now thirteen years of age – has a slight scar on her head and has developed a fear of travelling on the Luas. Doctors believe that Aoife might have to undergo psychotherapy in the future to resolve her phobia.
Elaine Heron claimed compensation for an accident on the Luas against the operators of the service – Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd – on behalf of her daughter, claiming that the transport company had been negligent and failed in its duty of care. Veolia denied its liability for Aoife´s head injury and prepared a full defence against the claim.
However, after a period of negotiation, a settlement of compensation for an accident on the Luas was agreed, and the settlement was presented to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court for approval. The judge was told the circumstances of Aoife´s accident and approved the settlement of compensation for an accident on the Luas – wishing the young girl all the best for the future.
Posted: February 21st, 2015
A man who slipped and fell on the steps of a leading Dublin restaurant, fracturing his foot in the accident, has resolved his restaurant slip and fall injury claim at the High Court.
On 19th February 2011, John Reilly from Dun Laoghaire in Dublin was eating with friends at the city´s Fallon and Byrne restaurant in Exchequer Street when he went outside to smoke a cigarette. As he was returning, John slipped on the steps leading up to the restaurant which had been made wet by the rain.
John´s leg fell between the steps and he fractured two bones in his left foot, causing him immense pain. After receiving treatment for his injury, John sought legal advice and made a restaurant slip and fall injury claim against Fallon and Byrne on the grounds that the restaurant had failed to provide any grip on the stairs to reduce the risk of injury when the stairs were wet.
Fallon and Byrne denied its liability for John´s injuries and contested the restaurant slip and fall injury claim. They said that John had been outside for a cigarette on several previous occasions and had negotiated the stairs without injury each time. The restaurant denied that the stairs were wet and claimed that John had shown a “cavalier attitude” when returning to the restaurant the final time – skipping up the steps two at a time before slipping and fracturing his foot.
The case went to the High Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Michael Moriarty. The judge was told the circumstances of John´s accident and that a €51,375 settlement of his restaurant slip and fall injury claim had been agreed subject to liability being determined. After a day of evidence, Judge Moriarty said he would adjourn the case overnight to consider his opinion.
When the court reconvened, Judge Moriarty found in John´s favour, but said that he had to take some of the responsibility for his accident due to his contributory negligence. The judge assigned one-third liability to John and reduced the settlement of his restaurant slip and fall injury claim to €35,250.
Posted: August 22nd, 2014
A man from County Wicklow has resolved his refuse truck injury claim against Dublin City Council after a High Court judge awarded him almost €5 million compensation.
Padraig Hearns (39) – a first class steward for British Airways – was attacked during a night out in Dublin on 23rd April 2007 and left lying in the road on Sycamore Street in the city´s Temple Bar area. As he lay dazed in the road, Padraig was run over by a Dublin City Council refuse truck and suffered a fractured skull and broken arm among many other injuries.
The operators of the refuse truck failed to notice Padraig as they drove off, and it was sometime later that he was taken to hospital; where he was put into an induced coma. Padraig underwent several operations for his injuries, but such was the extent of the brain damage that he suffered, he will never be able live an independent life or work again.
Padraig´s parents from Hollywood in County Wicklow made a refuse truck injury claim against Dublin City Council. The local authority denied its liability for the injuries that Padraig had sustained and contested the claim on the grounds that the refuse lorry operators could not be held at fault for Padraig being attacked and being left lying in the road.
The case went to the High Court, where Mr Justice Michael Peart was told that Dublin City Council had broken its own by-laws – implemented just three months earlier – by allowing its refuse truck operators to collect rubbish in the Temple Bar area between the hours of 12:00pm and 6:00pm. Had they adhere to the regulations, Padraig´s counsel argued, the tragic accident would not have occurred.
Judge Peart found in Padraig´s favour, commenting that the operators of the refuse truck had a duty of care to ensure it was safe to drive the vehicle through the narrow streets of that part of the city. The judge said that had one of the operating team remained outside of the truck as it moved from premises to premises, they would have seen see Padraig lying in the path of their vehicle.
The judge awarded Padraig €4,885,888 compensation in settlement of his refuse truck injury claim – which included €266,341 for Padraig´s loss of earnings, €350,000 for the pain and suffering he had experienced in the past and would experience in the future and €3,485,000 towards future care expenses. The judge also awarded legal costs against Dublin City Council.
Posted: July 30th, 2014
A High Court judge has approved a €1 million settlement of compensation for a pedestrian who was injured while crossing the road with her young granddaughter.
On 9th September 2011, sixty-year-old Elena Schiopu and her young granddaughter were crossing the Morehampton Road in Dublin when Elena was hit by a vehicle whose driver had been undertaking the car which had stopped to give way.
Although the force of the impact was not great, Elena was knocked to floor and suffered cuts and bruises. Despite her injuries, she chose to continue to walk home with her unharmed granddaughter, but after returning to the family home, Elena complained of weak limbs and her speech started to slur.
When her condition continued to deteriorate, Elena went to hospital and was admitted immediately. She was transferred to an intensive care ward after losing her powers of communication and remained there for seventeen days. Elena was diagnosed as suffering from brain injuries as a result of the car accident, and is now quadriplegic – confined to a wheelchair and requiring 24 hour-a-day assistance.
In 2012, Elena was transferred to a nursing home for specialist care and through her daughter made a claim for compensation for a pedestrian who was injured while crossing the road against the driver of the vehicle that had hit her – Eamon McElwain of Donnybrook in Dublin.
McElwain´s insurers contested the claim for pedestrian injury compensation – arguing that he had not been speeding or driving dangerously, and that Elena had failed to look as she stepped out from behind the stationary car. The family´s solicitors countered that McElwain had undertaken a stationary car when, with reasonable care, he should have been aware that it was an unsafe manoeuvre.
The two parties eventually agreed a €1 million settlement of compensation for a pedestrian who was injured while crossing the road; and due to the nature of the injury, the fact that Elena was unable to represent herself and the size of the settlement, the case went to the High Court in Dublin for the settlement to be approved.
At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard the circumstances of the tragic accident and about Elena´s injuries. The judge commented that this was such a distressing case, and she extended her sympathy to the family before approving the settlement.
Posted: February 12th, 2014
A woman has been awarded €10 million compensation for passenger injuries in a car crash after a hearing at the High Court in Dublin.
Lydia Branley (now 32 years old) from Kinlough, Country Leitrim, was left in a coma when, in September 2010, the driver of a BMW Coupe she was a passenger in lost control of his car at 150km/h, drove through two crash barriers and hit a telegraph pole.
The BMW landed on its roof in a stream alongside the N4 at the Ballisodare slip road, but the driver and another male passenger had been thrown clear, while Lydia – who had been wearing a seat belt – remained unconscious in the front seat of the vehicle.
Lydia was cut from the wreckage of the BMW by emergency services and taken to Sligo General Hospital, from where she was transferred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. She remained in critical condition until she woke from her coma nine months later.
The driver of the BMW Coupe – Martin Kearney from Balinoo, County Mayo – was charged with dangerous driving causing serious harm and, in June 2012, sentenced to six years imprisonment and banned from driving for twenty years by the Roscommon Circuit Court.
After waking from the coma, Lydia found that she had lost the use of her limbs and was unable to speak or feed herself. Through her father – Martin – Lydia claimed compensation for passenger injuries in a car crash from Kearney and Kearney´s father – Michael – who owned the vehicle.
A settlement of €10 million compensation for passenger injuries in a car crash was negotiated between the parties but, due to the nature of Lydia´s injuries, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before the injury compensation claim could be fully resolved.
Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told the circumstances of the accident and that Lydia will now require around the clock attention for the rest of her life. The judge approved the settlement, adding “It does not give back Lydia her life. Nothing will, but it will provide her with the best care and hopefully bring back a degree of normality.”
Posted: January 13th, 2014
A coroner´s inquest into the death of a man who died following a cherry picket accident has been adjourned due to the complexity of the investigation.
On March 5th 2013, Frank McGrath died of extensive injuries caused by a blunt force trauma in a cherry picker accident on the University College Cork (UCC) campus.
Frank – who was a member of the governing body at the College – had worked for UCC in their maintenance and engineering section for twenty-seven years and, on the night in question, had been attending to the lighting system on the campus.
No details of exactly how Frank died in the cherry picker accident have been revealed, but an investigation was launched into the circumstances of his death by the Health and Safety Authority due to potential violations of the Safety and Welfare at Work Act.
At the coroner´s inquest in Cork, Dr Myra Cullinane was told by the lead HSA Inspector – Michael O´Flynn – the the Authorities investigation was complex and was taking longer than expected to resolve. Dr Cullinane adjourned the hearing into Frank´s fatal cherry picker accident until April 3rd.
A UCC spokesperson said after the inquest had been adjourned “Frank McGrath joined UCC in 1986 and was immensely popular among all staff. He was elected on two occasions to membership of the governing body, where he shared his wisdom, pragmatism and above all his loyalty to and pride in UCC”.
“UCC is deeply saddened by the accident and (again) wishes to extend its sincere sympathy to his family and colleagues.”
Posted: July 23rd, 2013
A 60-year-old Dublin woman has had a successful compensation claim for a dance floor fall. Pauline McNamara from Skerries, County Dublin was dancing on a tiled alcove of ‘Fillies Bar’ when she slipped on a wet patch on the floor and fell, hitting her head on the tiles and breaking her left wrist.
Ms McNamara pursued an injury compensation claim against the owner of the bar, which was contested. However Judge Matthew Deery found the bar to be negligent and awarded Ms McNamara €28,802 in compensation for a dance floor fall.
Posted: June 2nd, 2013
A Dublin Airport baggage handler has resolved his compensation claim for an electric shock at work out of court. Patrick Kemmy (39) from Blanchardstown in Dublin twice experienced electric shocks while he was trying to connect a power cable to a Boeing 737.
In the aftermath of the accident Mr Kemmy said he was left with a tingling in his right arm which he still experiences from time to time, almost four years after the event. Servisair and the Dublin Airport Authority denied their liability for Mr Kemmy’s injuries but, shortly before the electric shock compensation claim was to be heard at the High Court, officials were informed that the claim had been resolved out of court for an undisclosed sum.
See this page for information about work injuries.
Posted: May 22nd, 2013
A pizza delivery man has been awarded €7,000 in compensation after making a work injury claim for a dog bite after he successfully appealed his case to the High Court.
23-year-old Arpit Khurana was attacked by an Alsatian-type dog owned by Vincent and Bernie Fitzgerald of Portobello, Dublin, in October 2009 while he was delivering pizza leaflets for Apache Pizza.
Although the work injury claim had been dismissed in the Circuit Criminal Court in February 2012, it was upheld in the High Court in Dublin and the judge awarded Mr Khurana €7,000 in compensation for his work injury claim for a dog bite.
Posted: April 22nd, 2012
In a landmark ruling, an Irish court has settled a claim for road traffic accident compensation which was made because of an accident which happened in another country. Peter Kelly, from Ranelagh, Dublin, sustained an injury to his hip after he was injured by a council maintenance van in Cannes, France.
After pursuing compensation against the vehicle’s insurer, French company Groupama, the company accepted liability, but argued that French law should be applied – compensation awards tend to be significantly smaller in France than in Ireland.
Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill accepted the argument and using France’s equivalent of the Book of Quantum, gauged how much compensation Kelly should be awarded. He also used French law as a template for calculating the level of loss of amenity compensation Kelly should receive, before adjusting it in line with Irish values.
Posted: February 25th, 2012
A car accident passenger who suffered severe brain trauma when he was thrown from an uninsured car which later crashed into a tree has been awarded compensation. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be awarded compensation by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland after having it approved by court. The man, who was just 19 years of age when the accident happened, suffered a severe brain injury which has left him requiring permanent nursing care. He is to be made a ward of court.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard at the High Court that the man’s legal representatives had agreed to Accept €4.25m in compensation from the MIBI – reduced by 20% to reflect his own negligence in failing to wear a seatbelt. The settlement will provide enough funding for the man to receive care for the rest of his life, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said.
Posted: January 18th, 2012
A teenager who fell and broke his wrist has had his compensation claim for injury in a playground approved by the Circuit Civil Court. Fifteen-year-old Terrence Power fell at a playground at St Mary’s Place in Dublin, where he was playing football with friends. After x-rays revealed that Power had suffered a fracture, his arm was placed in a cast for five weeks.
The claim, which was taken against the party responsible for maintaining the playground, Dublin City Council, was approved by Civil Court President Matthew Deery. Dublin City Council offered Power’s family €12,000, which it said it was happy to accept.
Posted: November 26th, 2011
A former Ryanair baggage handler has won his claim for compensation for a work back injury. Damian Warcaba, from Malahide, County Dublin, claimed that the airline was responsible for an injury he sustained while moving aircraft stairs unassisted in July 2007. Warcbaba, who was out of work for more than two months because of the injury, received an award of €40,000.
Mr Justice Peter Charleton found at the High Court that the airline had failed to provide sufficient workers to undertake moving the stairs. Ryanair contested the claim, saying that they provided workers with appropriate training to carry out the procedure, but that they regretted what happened to Warbaca.
Posted: August 26th, 2011
The number of fatal farm accidents in Ireland continues to rise, a conference organised by the Health and Safety Authority, Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee and Teagasc has heard. The number of fatal accidents has already reached 16, attendees heard, and is on its way to passing out the 20-year high of 26 deaths which occurred last year.
“People working on farms need to be more conscious of safety requirements, in particular since in so many instances they are working on their own,” said the event’s key speaker, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney. A significant change in mindset is required if we are to prevent further serious farm accidents.”
Representatives from the US, the UK, Denmark, Norway and Italy were in attendance. It was the first time an international meeting on agricultural occupational health and safety had been held in Ireland.
Posted: July 9th, 2011
A 23-year-old woman from Drumcondra, Dublin has been awarded €121,493 in compensation for an injury she sustained after hitting her head off the roof of a bus. The accident happened in April 2006 when a bus owned by Dublin Bus sped through the grounds of the Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown, hit a speed bump and caused Ciara Whelan’s head to impact the roof of the bus.
Luckily another passenger saw what happened and alerted the bus driver, who stopped the bus. It was determined at the hospital that Ciara suffered a crush fracture. After being required to wear a neck brace for three months, Ciara still undergoes regular physiotherapy and keeps the pain to a minimum with the use of medication.
Posted: June 20th, 2011
An artist whose hair fell out after a hair colouring treatment in a Galway salon has won her claim for compensation against the Hair Republic of Galway. The claim, which was brought before the High Court in Dublin by 40-year-old Aileen Dunleavy of Salthill, Co Galway, was brought on the basis that the victim was not made aware that the colouring treatment could have an adverse effect on her hair. She claimed that the hair salon failed in their duty of care towards her.
Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill called what happened to Dunleavy a “disaster” and awarded her €45,000 in compensation. He heard how Dunleavy had become socially withdrawn after suffering her injury.
Posted: May 12th, 2011
Christopher Connors of Rathfarnham in Dublin has been awarded €20,000 in compensation for injuries he sustained when falling on broken glass in a laneway. Connors had been playing football in the laneway with a cousin when the accident happened. Connors was left with deep lacerations on his left arm, and a deep cut to his wrist meant that he had to have a tendon surgically repaired.
Judge Matthew Deery heard at the Circuit Civil Court that the claim was being taken against South Dublin County Council, which was responsible for the maintenance of the laneway.
Christopher has made a good recovery from the injury, however he may experience issues with his left arm later on in life.
Posted: March 18th, 2011
Survivors and the families of the victims of an aeroplane crash in Cork are preparing to claim for compensation against the airline, Manx2, as well as the American company which built the aircraft and the Spanish flight operator BCN. The crash, in which both of the aeroplane’s pilot and co-pilot were killed, happened in thick fog after a commuter plane making its way to Cork from Belfast flipped over and failed to land on its third attempt at Cork Airport in February. Six passengers were killed and another six were injured in the crash.
The amount of compensation which may be awarded to the survivors and families may run as high as €100m.
Posted: January 1st, 2011
The Health and Safety Executive in the UK has urged businesses in Berkshire to redouble their commitment to improving safety in the workplace after local newspaper The Wokingham Times reported that work injuries had jumped by 25% in 2009/10.
“Employers have a legal duty to protect their workers and I would encourage them to make it their Mew Year’s Eve resolution to ensure they continue to ensure that they continue to take sensible precautions to prevent incidents in the workplace,” Mike Willock, head of operations at the HSE told the paper.
15 fatalities and 3,343 injuries were reported to the HSE in 2010.
Posted: December 9th, 2010
A psychiatric patient has received an award of €150,000 for self-inflicted injuries he sustained after jumping out of a window at St Brendan’s psychiatric hospital. The man, who pursued the claim against the Health Service Executive, broke his leg after jumping from the second floor window.
The claim succeeded after it was claimed that the patient was placed in an inappropriate ward where no measures were taken to ensure that he could not jump out for a window. Compensation was granted without any liability of guilt being made.
The patient’s identity has been kept a secret for legal reasons and he has been moved to another facility. The judge in the case, Mr Justice John Quirke said that the patient is expected to be made a ward of court.
Posted: November 1st, 2010
A nightclub attendee has been awarded compensation for injuries he sustained after being assaulted by two doormen in Navan, Co Meath. Glen Turner had insisted that his pre-existing epilepsy has significantly worsened since the assault, which happened in September 2001.
Although the full terms of the settlement were not disclosed, Mr Turner told Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill that the terms of a settlement included a payment of €100,000. The claim was pursued against Quinn Hotels Ltd, which operates the Ardboyne’s Hotel. Quinn Hotels Ltd operates from offices at Hotel Kilmore, Dublin Road Co Navan.
Posted: October 14th, 2010
The High Court has granted Caroline Bogue of Belturbet Co Cavan, a settlement worth €5m after she sustained severe injuries from crash caused by an uninsured driver. Bogue, who was unaware that the car she was travelling in was uninsured, suffered brain damage and will require assistance for the rest of her life.
Liability for Bogue’s injuries was denied by the driver of the car Declan Bogue, and its owner Ciaran Bogue, who claimed that Caroline was aware that the car in which she was traveling was uninsured. The claim was taken against the pair and the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. A settlement was agreed upon without any admission of liability being made.
Posted: August 11th, 2010
A woman from Finglas South, Co Dublin has had a €410,000 claim for damages from whiplash rejected after Mr Justice John Quirke found that it was highly probable” that she presented the court with misleading evidence. Mary Farrell had claimed that an accident with a bus belonging to Dublin Bus near the North Circular Road in June 2010 had left her with whiplash, however evidence provided to the court showed Ms Farrell mowing her grass and lifting her arm above shoulder height, actions which should be impossible given the nature of her injury.
Mr Justice Quirke was also shown evidence that Farrell was purchasing expensive foreign cars and holidays – behaviour inconsistent with a claim taken because of lost earnings and an apparent loss of ability to earn.
Posted: July 30th, 2010
The family of a 21-year-old Co Carlow woman have been awarded €40,000 in compensation after she died because of clinical malpractice in Limerick Regional Hospital in November 2006. The claim, which was brought by the distressed family of the deceased, Ms Louise Butler, was initially contested by the Health Service Executive, which refuted the family’s claim that Louise would not have died if she had received better care at the hospital.
Louise died after failing to receive a CT scan in time to prevent her death. Initially, her family and her family’s doctor’ request for a CYT scan was denied by the hospital. When a scan was eventually taken it showed massive bleeding in her head. The finding came too late however, as Louise collapsed and died before she could receive the results.
Posted: June 12th, 2010
The family of a 42-year-old woman who was in a car accident have been awarded €506,000 in compensation. Bridget O’Reilly, from Ballybeg in Co Waterford was killed after the car in which she was travelling crashed. The driver of the vehicle was drunk.
The claim was pursued by O’Reilly’s husband, Edward O’Reilly, against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland and Frank Predergast, the drunk driver.
O’Reilly’s sister has been has been helping to care for the Bridget and Edward’s three young children since her death.
Posted: May 21st, 2010
A fireman from Dundalk, Co Louth has settled a claim taken against his employer Dundalk County Council and the owner of a building that caught fire. Vincent McGuinness was injured after falling five metres from his ladder while fighting the fire at Culhane Street, Dundalk in February 2004.
McGuinness was forced to spend three days in hospital as a result of his fall, during which he suffered a vertebrate injury caused by the ground impact. His breathing apparatus was still attached to his back at the time he hit the ground.
The fireman took his claim on the basis that the owner of the building did not take adequate safety precautions to ensure that a fire did not happen there.