Personal Injury News
Posted: May 20th, 2019
Cork City and County councils have paid €15m personal injury compensation in relation to slips, trips, and falls since 2016. Data gathered through a Freedom of Information Act request has also revealed that there are many personal injury compensation claims yet to be settled by the local authorities.
So far this year, up to March 31, €1,144,594 for public injury liability compensation claims by Cork City Council in relation to slips, trips and falls in the public realm, including parks and public areas in council-owned housing estates. When compared alongside the overall total of compensation paid out by the local authority bodies in the last few of years as follows:
- €4,350,550 in 2018
- €4,254,068 in 2017
- €3,999,606 in 2016.
For the same Jan 1-Mar 31 time periods Cork County Council paid:
- €129,626 in 2018
- €667,754 in 2017
- €782,035 in 2016
Currently for Cork City Council there are 455 uncompleted personal injury compensation claims as of March 31, 2019. Cork County Council have 230 uncompleted personal injury compensation cases for the same time period.
Cork City Councillor Fianna Fáil’s Terry Shannon, who was previously lord Mayor of Cork, says that the high level of claims are due to a lack of investment in the public realm in recent years.
He commented: “It is a direct result of the decline of the condition of the public realm: potholes, cracked footpaths, and so on. The issue is getting worse and the amount paid each year is getting bigger, because we haven’t been able to fix long-standing issues, because national government hasn’t invested the money.”
Mr Shannon went on to say that Cork City Council has put aside €5m in 2019 to deal with potential personal injury compensation settlements.
As another measure to tackle the number of claim the local authority body has set aside €200,000 to “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”.
He referred to this amount as inadequate and remarked that is will be “used to patch up areas that have been the result of multiple claims but, ultimately, it won’t go far enough to make a real difference.”
Posted: April 2nd, 2019
A small girl who suffered a broken nose when a table struck her in face in windy conditions outside on O’Brien’s Sandwich shop has been awarded €30,000 personal injury compensation in the Circuit Civil Court.
When the incident occurred Lily Spratt was only three-years-old. Her legal representative, Barrister Ivan Daly, told the court that the incident occurred when a table in an outdoors seating area flew through the air and hit Lily in the face during windy weather on Lower Grand Canal Street, Dublin.
In Court Justice Raymond Groarke was advised how Lily had been brought to Temple Street Children’s Hospital for treatment immediately after the accident happened. She had been put put under general anaesthetic while her nose injuries were tended to.
Luckily, Mr Daly informed the court, Lily had suffered no permanent damage to her nose. He told Justice Groarke: “Certainly there is no question of any disfigurement of her nose.”
Mr Daly recommended that the court accept the settlement offer that was being presented by Adleo Ltd.
Judge Groarke gave his approval to the sandwich shop compensation settlement and added that thought it was an excellent offer of personal injury compensation.
Posted: March 9th, 2019
€150,000 in violent attack compensation has been awarded to a mother of two at the High Court after she was assaulted by her former partner and the father of her two children.
Mr Jonathan McSherry (36), who used to live at Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, was given a three and a half year sentence for the violent assault on Jessica Bowes. He was released early after 22 months. Mr McSherry told the High Court that he smashed almost every bone in Ms Bowes face and kicked her many times during the attack that took place on December 2015.
Mr McSherry, who was previously employed by a former soldier, said sorry to Ms Bowes and her civil action was now being heard by the High Court for a final assessment of personal injury compensation. Mr McSherry attacked Ms Bowes when she arrived home at her Clondalkin house in a taxi following a Christmas night out on December 20, 2015, to find Mr McSherry waiting there for her. Video footage of the attack showed McSherry pulling Ms Bowes from the taxi, punching, kicking and dragging her. She was knocked unconscious twice during the attack which lasted over 90 seconds before she was able to escape into a closeby house.
After the award was announced by the Judge, Ms Bowes made a statement saying she hopes the ruling and compensation award will result in victims of domestic violence choosing to initiate legal cases.
She remarked: “I hope this will act as a deterrent, that people will realise there are possible large financial consequences as well as the threat of prison for this sort of violence. I’ve already had people write to me about it. One woman sent me a letter and a holy medal on Tuesday thanking me for my courage and asking me to pray for her so that she could find courage to tell the truth too. “She went to the bother of writing the letter, getting a stamp and posting it”.
“I was very upset for her and I will pray for her. She signed the letter ‘an old lady’, and it shows this can happen to anyone from any background. I just hope now that with International Women’s Day coming tomorrow, women everywhere will find the courage to speak out” Ms Bowes commented.
Ms Bowes finished up saying: “I hope women young and old will that find strength. It’s important for women to realise help is there for them – from places like Women’s Aid – [and] that legal advice and professional help is available.”
Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon advised the High Court said that she is of the opinion that Ms Bowes’ account was was really took place. She added that this was a very serious case that resulted in the woman suffering difficulties which were ongoing and permanent.
The judge said, even though Mr McSherry’s admissions and apology for the violent assault were made that did not come immediately. The Judge awarded €150,000 appropriate given the circumstances to Ms Bowes.
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: November 1st, 2018
A factory employee who fell to the ground and sustained a severe ankle injury when he tried to move a trapped bin has been awarded €224,000 factory injury compensation at the High Court.
Tomasz Zdejszy was working at a waste collection business when he sustained permanent damage to his ankle. He dropped nine feet to the ground on April 2012 at the business park in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 when the accident occurred.
While passing judgement Justice Michael Hanna said that the 37-year-old man had mounted a waste paper container to try and release a bin by kicking it. The Judge said that Mr Zdejszy had started to climb down from the position due to becoming wary of the height. At this point a colleague passed him a metal bar to help with dislodging the bin.
In his factory injury compensation action against his employer Stewart Foil Ltd, Tomasz alleged that there had been a failure to ensure the safe and proper removal of an obstacle to waste collection without the need for Mr Zdejszy to work at a dangerous height.
In his compensation action taken against Panda Waste Services, he alleged that he was required to remove or move a rubbish bin on a waste container while operating at a height. He also claimed that he was provided an inappropriate implement, a metal bar, to do this.
Justice Hanna found there was twenty per cent contributory negligence on the part of Mr Zdejszy as he did not use sufficient care in relation to his own safety. He ruled that Stewart Foil Ltd were 66% to blame and Panda Waste Services 33% in relation to the accident.
Judge Hanna informed the High Court that Mr Zdejszy had sustained a typical injury for this type of fall, with a severe break of the right side of his foot, reaching into his ankle joint. This fracture led to him developing arthritis on the joint, which needed surgical fusion. Mr Zdejszy experienced permanent loss of movement in his ankle, a loss of heel height of around one an inch on the injured side and has been left suffering ongoing pain.
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: April 22nd, 2018
A €32,000 workplace bullying compensation award to a Limerick based Tesco Security Guard has been overturned by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) at the Labour Court.
The individual was employed by Noonan Services Group Limited at the Co Limerick Tesco store. The initial compensation award was made in relation to a complaint regarding a dispute the man had with the store management as he rehabilitated from knee surgery sustained in a previous workplace accident.
During his work shifts at the Tesco store, he would sit on a chair to review live security footage from security cameras.
The store management chose to remove the chair in order to tackle ‘shrinkage’, the practice of articles being stolen from the shop floor. It was hoped that removing the chair would force security staff to walk the aisles instead of sitting at the camera-station, acting as an additional deterrent.
When he asked for the chair to be returned to its original position his request was refused. He also supplied medical testimony that said standing for the entirety of his ten-hour shift he would greatly affect his recovery from his knee. As of November 2015, he ended his employment at the Tesco outlet in question and did not return to work there at any point after that.
At first the WRC had awarded him €32,000, €16,000 for loss of earnings due to going on prolonged leave, and another €16,000 due to his alleged bullying.
Tesco had argued, during the intial case, that the man was employed by Noonan’s and not Tesco. However, the initial ruling by the WRC adjudication officer found that it was right to name Tesco as the respondent as the store maintained considerable command and control over the security guard, regarding annual leave applications and the delivery of security reports for instance.
In the appeal hearing, Tescos claimed that Noonan’s is not an employment agency, as had been argued earlier, but is ‘a provider of managed services’. They maintained, successfully, that neither the Temporary Agency Work Act 2012, nor the Employment Agency Act 1971, applied to such suppliers of managed services.
After considering this the court overturned the original decision to award the man €32,000 in workplace bullying compensation.
Posted: March 21st, 2018
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, in awarded €20,000 to a six-year-old boy whose laptop computer exploded and caught fired at his mother’s dining room table as ‘scary’.
The young boy Shane, now 10-years-old, took the personal injury compensation action against Hewlett Packard Ireland Ltd through his mother Anne Marie O’Sullivan for up to €60,000 damages for physical and psychological injuries he sustained due to the explosion that happened at their home in Castle Hill, Slane, Co Meath on October 4, 2013.
The Circuit Civil Court was advised by Ms Craddock told that Shane was using the lap top on the dining room table when it exploded, inflicting injury, mainly psychological, on him.
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, Circuit Court President, commented: “That’s scary. You’re telling me that none of us are safe leaving out lap tops plugged in overnight”.
Ms Craddock told the court “His mother threw it out onto the patio where it continued to burn”. She added that Shane had experienced a darting pain going up his arm at the time and afterwards suffered anxiety about all electrical appliances.
Shane was taken to the clinic of Dr Seamus Kiernan at Watergate Street, Navan, four days after the incident. He was sent for an ECG which subsequently showed no major abnormalities.
Shane had been further reviewed on November 18, 2013 when it was noted he had experienced post trauma stress due to the accident. He became very anxious and insisted on all electrical plugs being switched off at night. He also worried about the safety of lights on Christmas trees.
Appearing in court with her son, Ms O’Sullivan, said in an affidavit that he had a further review in September 2015. Aside from nervousness of electrical appliances, lights and electronics and some minor post trauma stress he had gotten over from the experience and was now taking part in sports again.
The court was told by Ms Craddock that Hewlett Packard Ireland, which has a registered address at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin, had made a €20,000 personal injury compensation settlement offer to Shane and she was recommending that the court approve this award.
Judge Groarke agreed said he felt it was a good personal injury compensation offer in the circumstances and approved it with costs associated.
Posted: February 10th, 2018
A birth scar compensation settlement of €65,000 has been approved for a boy, now aged eight years old, who allegedly sustained a facial injury when he was born at the Coombe Hospital.
The boy, Dara Brennan, it believed to have sustained the injury to his face during an attempted forceps delivery.
Dara experienced scarring to his cheek and two indentations on the right side of his face that remain to this day. The Court was told that both of these are clearly visible when he smiles.
Taking the compensation action on behalf of her son, Lorraine Brennan, of Brayton Park, Kilcock, Co Kildare, sued the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital due to the negligence experienced during his (Dara’s) birth on November 12, 2009.
It was claimed that alleged improper use of forceps at the time of his delivery inflicted the scars the right side of Dara’s face. Legal representatives for the boy said that there was a failure to exercise the necessary care, competence, judgment and skill required during the delivery.
Additionally, it was alleged that a more senior doctor in obstetrics should have been called to attend the birth. Counsel for the Coombe Hospital denied these claims.
Dara’s legal team advised the court that liability in the case was fully contested in the case. They added that medical experts on all sides could not agree on all aspects in relation to the incident.
In approving the birth injury compensation settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said that it was as near to full compensation as possible.
Posted: January 23rd, 2018
Karen Keely, a Co Meath mother of three sons who have experienced illness due to use of the Epilepsy treatment drug Epilim, has given evidence at the European Medicines Agency review into its use.
Last September (2017) Ms Keely, a member of the Foetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome Forum advised the review hearing of the difficulties her sons have gone through over the course of their lives.
Ms Keely said: “Two of my three boys require life-long care and will never live a normal life, will never be able to have children or get married. The effects of sodium valproate have been unbearable.
“I have been mourning my children since the day they came into my life and I’m determined to not let this injustice happen to other families in the same way that it has happened to mine.”
Ms Keely also said one of the problems was that some patients on valproate long term may get the medicine in a plastic bag. She called for a national register to be established in Ireland of those who were treated with the medicine and people who are being prescribed it in the future.
She also said that more research into the scale of the problem and accountability needs to be completed. Ms Keely said the HSE had details online but wider publicity was needed to spread the word.
The public hearing saw speakers from six EU Member States recounting their experience to the members of the PRAC (Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee). Epilim has been acknowledged to cause physical deformities, brain damages and autism in children whose mothers are prescribed it during their pregnancy. It is currently being implicated in 40 cases of birth defects and disabilities, reported to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) in recent times.
Following the completion of the review, initiated on 9 March 2017 at the request of the French medicines regulator ANSM, by the European Medicines Agency is it expected that the HRPA will meet to review the use of Epilim in Ireland by medical professionals.
Posted: December 19th, 2017
A Defence Forces whistleblower has made a protected disclosure claiming that the children of Air Corps staff died due to toxic chemical personal injury that were inflicted at at Baldonnel airfield.
Earlier this year a document was made available to the public in which a staff member of the Defence Forces said that they had proof in relation to the “the untimely deaths of at least 20 adults…of which I believe died of illness related to unprotected chemical exposure”.
Included in this was proof that the death of a girl just after birth happened due to ventricular septal defect (heart defect), a five year old boy passed away while having surgery to address a ‘malrotated intestine’ and a girl aged 15 lost her life after contracting Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of cancer – her father is also currently suffering from leukaemia.
There have been claims made about the consequences of toxic exposure on the wives of members of the defence forces. A mechanic, who used to work with the Air Corps, discovered that many of these women had suffered more than one miscarriage and in one instance, a woman had eight consecutive miscarriages. Former civil servant Christopher O’Toole was appointed as an independent third party, by the Minister for Defence in 2016, to investigate the allegations
Mr Micheál Martin TD, leader of Fianna Fáil, commented that he feels a Commission of Investigation should be established. Mr Martin said, “The situation is far from satisfactory because with his opening comments the report’s author is essentially saying he cannot fulfill the terms of reference. From the Government’s point of view they established this review, they must have known the terms of reference could not be fulfilled. It’s farcical.”
Though the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have stated that risk assessment processes need will be reconsidered, a whistleblower has said that these measures are “too little, too late”, particularly in the case of those who have lost family members or who have developed life-changing illnesses.
There have been allegations made that these fatalities are caused by organizational failure in the Defence Forces which meant that Air Corps personnel were vulnerable to toxic chemicals. The Defence Forces are now dealing with Toxic Chemical Personal Injuries compensation litigation being taken by staff.
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: April 13th, 2017
A class action for the side effects of sodium valproate has been started in France on behalf of children who sustained foetal valproate syndrome in the womb.
Sodium valproate is an active ingredient of the widely used anti-epilepsy drug sold under the trade name Epilim in Ireland, manufactured by French firm Sanofi. Introduced in Ireland in 1987, the drug was initially used in France for epilepsy and bipolar disorder for almost twenty years. The active ingredient stabilises electrical activity in the brain. More recently, the drug has also been successfully prescribed for migraine and chronic pain.
In the 1980s, it was first identified pregnant women taking Epilim break down the sodium valproate, causing it to be absorbed into the bloodstream as valproic acid. The valproic acid can then be transferred to the unborn child in the womb, where it can have an adverse effect on foetal development. A wide range of health issues have been identified in children exposed to valproic acid, including autism and spina bifida, and from a cleft palate to kidney development problems.
In spite side effects of sodium valproate during pregnancy were identified before the drug was introduced in Ireland, it was still cleared for use by pregnant women by health authorities. It is claimed that evidence linking the drug to birth defects was allegedly covered up due by the company as it was not deemed sufficiently “conclusive”. Small scale studies conducted in France had failed to prove a indisputable link between Epilim and the side effects of sodium valproate during pregnancy. However, since 2006, when Sanofi publicly announced the link between congenital birth defects and their drug, France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) has looked deeper into the issue.
ANSM researched the health of 8,701 children born between 2007 and 2014 whose mothers were known to have taken Epilim (sold as Depakine in France) during their pregnancies. The agency believes it has identified up to 4,100 children suffering from the side effects of sodium valproate. Tragically, it discovered that hundreds of stillbirths during the period were also attributable to foetal valproate syndrome.
The results of ANSM´s research have prompted a class action by parents of children affected by the drug against in France against the manufacturer Sanofi. The parents of the children claim that Sanofi did not do enough to warn the medical profession of the risks associated with taking Epilim during pregnancy and the side effects of sodium valproate, and had made large-scale attempts to cover up the evidence of any link.
In Ireland, it is not known how many children have been diagnosed with foetal valproate syndrome. A support group – the FACS Forum – has called on the government to conduct an audit to identify the scale of the problem in Ireland and what support measures are needed for families. For further information, the FACS Forum can be reached via the disability-federation.ie website, or you can speak with a solicitor.
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 15th, 2015
A bar in Dublin has been found to be liable by the Circuit Civil Court for a hand injury sustained by a painter and decorator.
The claim for compensation was made by thirty-one year-old David O’Keefe, who fell whilst watching the All Ireland Football Final in 2011 at the Woolshed Baa & Grill. The bar, located on Parnell Street, was very full and David fell whilst trying to make his way to the bathrooms.
Yet there was a wet area of the floor en route to the bathrooms that David did not see, causing him to fall and cut his hand on a piece of glass left on the floor. Staff at the bar performed first aid, and David then attended the Accident & Emergency Department of St. James’ Hospital, where he received further treatment.
David then sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against the Woolshed Baa & Grill. He alleged that the staff in the bar had allowed glasses to perilously stack up, and that one of these stacks had probably fallen over and broken. He also claimed that any drinks that were spilt were left unattended and that the staff did not engage in adequate cleaning protocol.
However, Woodshed Baa & Grill denied any liability in David’s injuries whilst also refusing consent to the Injuries Board assessment of the claim. As such, David was granted authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue his claim though the courts. A hearing to establish liability was held earlier this month in the Circuit Civil Court, Dublin, by Judge Jacqueline Linnane.
During the hearing, legal representatives for the bar argued that David sustained his injuries when his friends tried to lift him whilst he was holding a glass. The owner of the facility also testified that his staff did follow adequate cleaning procedures on the day of the accident, but that the accident report that had been filled had since been lost.
Judge Linnane found in David’s favour, stating that the bar would have been full “to the point that one would not have been able to see that the floor was wet”. She proceeded to award David a €20,000 compensation settlement for his injured hand.
Posted: October 29th, 2013
A Kilbeggan postman has been awarded €55,000 compensation after his claim for being bitten by a dog was heard in the High Court.
Sixty-three year old Joseph Dunne (63) from Kilbeggan in County Westmeath brought his claim for being bitten by a dog after he was attacked by a husky-type pet belonging to Olive Dalton and Martin Maher of Dublin Road in Kilbeggan on 8th October 2008.
As Joseph was delivering mail through the couple´s letterbox, their dog escaped from their garden through a hole in the hedge and attacked him – knocking him to the pavement outside of the house, and clawing and biting him until Joseph was rescued by a passer-by.
Joseph was taken to hospital by ambulance where he was treated for severe lacerations along the right side of his face and nerve damage close to his right temple. Joseph had twenty-two stitches inserted into his face and, after they were removed, had to undergo plastic surgery to hide the scarring from the attack.
Joseph returned to work soon after the attack and made a compensation claim for being bitten by a dog against the animal´s owners – claiming that they were liable for his injuries because they had failed to enclose their garden securely which allowed their dog to escape from their garden.
The couple denied their liability for Joseph´s injuries, and the case was heard at the High Court in Dublin in front of Mr Justice Michael Moriarty, who heard that the dog had been put down the day after the attack.
After hearing evidence from both parties, the judge found in Joseph´s favour and awarded him €55,000 in settlement of his claim for being bitten by a dog – commenting that it had been brave of Joseph to return to work so soon after what must have been a particularly frightening event.