Car Accident Aid News
Posted: November 12th, 2019
A woman, who was injured when she was hit by the wing mirror of a minibus as she crossed a road, has been awarded €192,000 car accident compensation at the High Court.
A medical representative living in Killester, Ms O’Kelly had taken the injury compensation action against Bus Éireann as a result of the accident when she was hit to the ground at Lough Atalia Road in the Galway harbour area on December 16, 2015.
Ms O’Kelly told the court she was walking across the road after 6pm when she saw the minibus just before she was struck on the right shoulder by the wing mirror of the bus. As a result of the injuries, Ms O’Kelly had to have surgery and wear a neck brace for three months and is left with a visible scar on her neck.
Bus Éireann admitted liability for the accident during the hearing of the case and argued that Ms O’Kelly was also allegedly negligent for the injuries she sustained.
The judge ruled that Bus Éireann driver involved was “entirely negligent” in that he maintain an acceptable lookout and did not stay close enough to the left hand side in his own lane and he simply did not spot Ms O’Kelly. Justice O’Hanlon said Ms O’Kelly was lawfully present on the road as she had taken all required precautions as she crossed the road. As such he found that no liability was attached to her for the accident.
The judge said that “a stark transformation” had taken place in Aideen O’Kelly’s working and social life since the accident and the 54-year-old woman’s lifestyle is now “vastly different”. He said: “Despite her stoicism, her daily living is not of the same quality as it was. She has to put up with imbalance, difficulty reaching items in her kitchen and difficulty in the normal day-to-day tasks.”
Ms O’Kelly, she said, was an experienced sailor who participated at a highly competitive level three to four days a week during the sailing season. She said that she can no longer do this.
As Justice O’Hanlon awarded Ms Kelly a total of €192,573, he said that while Ms O’Kelly had managed to go back to work, she reported a lack of dexterity and feeling in her hands which causes issues wearing jewellery or opening jars.
Posted: October 21st, 2019
A former psychiatric nurse who suffered injuries in a car crash in 2015 and then slipped in a supermarket a matter of few months later has been awarded more than €100,000 in personal injury compensation at the High Court yesterday.
Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan estimated personal injury compensation at €20,000 in relation to the road traffic incident. He also awarded another €88,000 personal injury compensation in relation to the fall. The sum of personal injury compensation totalled in excess of €108,000 to Mary Barry of Westcliffe, Ballincollig, Co Cork, at the High Court sitting in Cork.
In calculating the total amount of compensation to be awarded, Ms Justice O’Regan reviewed several aspects of the plaintiff’s legal claims. Her legal team, Seán Lynch and John O’Mahony, asked n opportunity to clarify all issues with John Lucey, representing the defence. Following this, it was agreed that €20,000 was the final figure plus costs in relation to the traffic incident on November 25, 2015, at the Kilumney roundabout near Ballincollig.
More than €88,000 plus legal costs was awarded in relation to her accident and fall at Wilton Shopping Centre on March 2, 2016, thought to have been caused by yoghurt/ice cream on the floor that had not been cleaned up.
In relation to the plaintiff’s claim for post-traumatic stress arising from the car accident, where it had been alleged she was not able to get out of her car for some time after the incident, the judge did not make any compensation award.
Ms Justice O’Regan said yesterday in her judgment said: “Of total significance in my view is that she has indicated she could not get out of the car but evidence was given that she had gotten out of the car on two occasions prior to the arrival of gardaí. That was completely contrary to the evidence she has given.”
Posted: September 26th, 2019
Following confirmation that the data gathered the issuing of Public Services Cards (PSC) was being held illegally, the State is likely to be hit with a number of compensation claims.
The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has said that, following an official investigation, the holding of data gathered during the application process was illegal and unauthorized. Additionally, the obligation, placed on the general public by the State, to have the card in order to avail of a number of services, was also illegal.
Speaking about the validity of the PSC, Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said: “Any cards that have been issued, their validity is not in question by anything we’ve found in this report They can continue to be used in the context of availing of free travel or availing of benefits that a person is claiming from the department.” She also asked that the Department release the full details of the report of the investigation in the Public Services Card.
An official DPC investigation found that the operation of the PSC scheme not in line with data protection legislation due to the inadequate nature of information provided, by Department of Social Welfare, to individuals. Due to this data held on more than three million card holders must now be deleted and data processing by the Department, rather that the public body providing the service, must be put to a stop within a specified timeline or some enforcement measures may be penalties.
The DPC said “Ultimately, we were struck by the extent to which the scheme, as implemented in practice, is far-removed from its original concept. Whereas the scheme was conceived as one that would make it easier to access (and deliver) public services, with chip-and-pin type cards being used for actual card-based transactions, the true position is that no public sector body has invested in the technology capable of reading the chip that contains the encrypted elements of the Public Sector Identity dataset. Instead, the card has been reduced to a limited form of photo-ID, for which alternative uses have then had to be found.”
A number of civil society groups in Ireland who are said to be mulling over the possibility of initiating a class-action style legal action. When the card was first introduced advocacy groups in including Digital Rights Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Age Action argued against its use.
Posted: August 6th, 2019
The relatives of a 29-year old Donegal man who was killed as he was cutting down some tree at a wind farm construction site wind farm has settled various work death compensation actions for a six-figure award.
Jonathan Gormley, who was employed as a chainsaw operator was killed just prior to Christmas in 2015. Mr Gormley, the father of two young children, while cutting down trees at the construction site for the Meenadreen Wind Farm in the Barnesmore area of County Donegal.
The inquest into Mr Gormley’s death was informed that Mr Gormley was crouched down and a pine tree was across his left shoulder when he was found. It is believed that he had not been seen for almost two and a half hours before a work colleague, Joe Devaney, located him.
Mr Devaney told the inquest that he last saw Mr Gormley at approximately 11.30am or 12pm on December 21. It had been a particularly windy day. Mr Devaney called Mr Gormley’s mobile phone four times between 2.17pm and 2.36pm, but got no answer and became concerned. When found Mr Gormley he was on his knees with his helmet on and a tree down on his shoulder. He as unable to find Gormley’s pulse.
After a number of unsuccessful attempts to remove the tree he was given approval to cut the tree. Mr Gormley could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene at the accident. Medical testimony at the inquest said the cause of death was traumatic or mechanical asphyxia secondary to compression of the chest due to a fallen tree.
Mr Gormley’s partner Mairead Coughlin and his Mr Gormley’s parents took the wrongful death compensation action against Viridian Energy Ltd trading as Energia, owners of the wind farm, and Softwood Ireland Ltd
in relation to the accident on December 21, 2015.
It was claimed there was a failure to have any or any appropriate employee to co-ordinate chainsaw
work and to ensure no chainsaw worker was permitted to be completed by a one on his/her own. It was further claimed Mr Gormley had been been permitted to clear a stand of trees manually using a chainsaw in circumstances where he allegedly should have been provided with appropriate mechanical plant and equipment.
Further claims said there was a failure to ensure all chainsaw and tree-felling work was not permitted once there were gale force gusts of up to 44 knots. Due to this Mr Gormley had been permitted to work on a
day which was unsuitable for the type of work i he was trying to complete and when it was dangerous to perform chainsaw work in a stand of allegedly unstable, windblown and haphazard trees.
The claims were denied by the defendants.
Following talks between all parties, Michael Cush SC told the High Court the six-figure sum was a “global settlement figure”. Justice Garett Simons approved the settlements of the compensation actions including those for
nervous shock over the death of the father of two in Donegal in 2015 and said that it was a reasonable one.
Posted: July 17th, 2019
A young girl who fractured her ankle jumping off a trampoline has settled her fractured ankle compensation action for €35,000 at the High Court.
Legal representation for 13-year-old Shauna O’Gorman told the court that they believed there had been a failure to oversee the activity on the trampoline properly, a failure to ensure the matting was safely in place and that a hazard was allegedly creating an obstruction in the activity area.
These allegations were not accepted denied by the defendants and it was claimed that there was alleged negligence on the part of the school girl. The argument was that the girl landed on a crash mat in an awkward fashion. Along with this the defence said that the girl had not made them aware that she had previously broken her left foot.
The defence team also stated that Shauna had not adhered to the specific and repeated instructions given to her regarding the correct style to land on the mats.
Shauna was at a gymnastic event as part of a school tour and children were taking turns jumping on the trampoline. Ms O’Gorman, who had previously jumped on the trampoline once, was just finishing her second go when the accident happened.
Sara Moorehead SC, legal counsel for Shauna, told the Judge that the children were jumping on the matting on the floor. Another parent said that she was of the opinion that the mats on the floor were not close enough together.
Justice Kevin Cross was told that an MRI last year indicated that the child’s ankle was now as good as new. After the accident Shauna had a plaster on her ankle and was not allowed to go on the first week of a family in Turkey that year. However she was permitted to fly to her family for the second week.
Shauna, took the fractured ankle compensation claim via her father Joseph O’Gorman, against Irish Gymnastics Ltd, trading as Gymnastics Ireland with offices at Blanchardstown, Dublin and which operates as Excel Gymnastics, Celbridge Industrial Estate, Celbridge, Co Kildare due to the accident that happened on June 12, 2015.
In giving his approval for the child injury compensation settlement,
Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a good settlement as it was possible that Ms O’Gorman would not succeed if the case continued.
Posted: June 27th, 2019
A girl has been awarded €22,500 school accident injury compensation after she suffered a 6cm cut to her leg from a school bench with a protruding rusty nail when she was only four years old.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was informed that Kaoise McNamara, of Raheny, Dublin 5, had taken the legal action against St Eithne’s National School and St Monica’s Infant Girls’ School for €60,000 damages in relation to the injuries she suffered in the incident that took place on June 30, 2008.
Legal representative for now 15-year old Ms McNamara, Mark O’Connell, told the court his client had sustained a lateral cut to the back of her right leg below her knee. He told the judge that the nail had been hidden at the back of the bench.
After the accident occurred, Ms McNamara, who took the schoolyard accident compensation action through her mother Linda Forristal, was given some medical attention. This included having her wound cleaned and she was also was given a tetanus injection in hospital.
In addition to this, she had sutures applied as there had been a considerable amount of bleeding and had been given a prescription of painkillers, before being discharged and sent home with her parents.
Posted: May 10th, 2019
Two young girls, sisters, have been awarded €17,000 in road traffic passenger accident damages in relation to an accident during which their father crashed the car that they were travelling in into a wall.
Even though both of the young sisters were both correctly wearing seatbelts, they were both thrown backwards and forwards around the car. The road traffic accident happened during April, 2016.
Letterkenny-based GP Dr James McDaid treated both of the young girls following the incident and he advised the court that they were suffering from the classic symptoms associated with whiplash injuries. Legal counsel for the two young sisters Barrister Gareth McGrory told Letterkenny Circuit Court that the children were only 5- and 4-years-of-age at the time that the accident took place.
Medics recorded that both of the sisters we suffering with chest pain and muscle injury. They were further treated and then diagnosed when they were taken to Letterkenny University hospital following the road traffic accident.
As is normal a compensation action for a road traffic accident will take into account all pain and suffering sustained, psychological trauma, loss of earning, future loss of earnings and damage to property. In relation to this the Judge was told that both girls have made a full recovery in relation to all of the injuries that they suffered in the accident.
Justice Judge John Aylmer informed the court that he was happy to recommend the offer of €17,000 road traffic injury compensation for the two young girls involved in the accident.
Posted: April 5th, 2019
57-year-old Taxi Driver Dolores McMahon has been awarded almost €75,000 road traffic accident compensation after having two different taxis written off in separate accidents
At the Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke praised Ms McMahon for her courage after she survived two accidents in which she had twice been injured and in both collisions had seen her taxi damaged beyond repair. He awarded her the compensation in relation to personal injury, loss of earnings and compensation for two written off taxis
Legal Counsel for Ms McMahon, Caitriona O’Reilly, informed the Circuit Civil Court that her client had suffered neck and shoulder injuries in the initial accident that took place on December 14 2014 and then experienced a lower back injury in the subsequent collision which took place on July 14 2016. She added that, in both road traffic incidents the driver of the other vehicle had ‘cut across’ the path of Ms McMahon’s taxi and liability had been conceded in both claims. She had exacerbated the neck and shoulder injuries she had suffered in the first crash just over 18 months earlier.
At this point in time the court was being asked to assess damages.
Ms McMahon took the taxi accident compensation action against Mr Arthur Oliver Ryan, Rathbeale Road, Swords, and Martin Mann, of Hampton Street, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, following the accidents at Old Airport Road, Santry, and Balheary Road, Swords.
Commenting on the compensation action, Judge Groarke said he noted that following periods of recovery after each of the accidents Ms McMahon went on get on with her taxi driving despite having been nervous about it. She no longers drives on the 14th of any month as she considers it her ‘unlucky’ day.
He awarded Ms McMahon a total of €46,468 compensation in relation to personal injuries, loss of earnings car replacement and special damages arising out of the first accident and a total of €28,444 combined damages in relation to the second collision, a total of €74,912.
Judge Groarke said: “This is a lady who was very genuinely and very badly affected psychologically and has suffered quite extensive physical injuries.”
Posted: March 20th, 2019
Yesterday, Karen Brown (31) settled a €60,000 damages claim against a motorist from Dun Laoghaire, in relation a rear end collision incident that occurred almost two years ago.
Ms Brown was a passenger, in car owned by her partner Pete Taylor, on March 5 2017 when a car belonging to Enda Curran car collided with it at Upper Glenageary Road, Co Dublin. Ms Brown’s legal representative, Barrister Paul Gallagher, informed Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke that a settlement had been reached in her (Ms Brown’s) car accident compensation claim following talks with the Mr Curran’s legal representatives and could be struck out with an order for her costs.
The Court was not advised if a similar whiplash compensation injury claim had been lodged on behalf of Mr Taylor’s, who was driving Ms Brown at the time of the accident. Specific details of the settlement were not made public.
Ms Brown, a marketing and sales consultant, was accompanied by her partner throughout settlement discussions outside Circuit Civil Court No 28. She, Ms Brown claimed in her legal action that Enda Curran, of Highthorn Park, Dunlaoghaire, had, due to negligence, breach of duty and while allegedly driving without due care and attention, crashed into the back of Mr Taylor’s vehicle in which she was a passenger.
She claimed in her legal action that she had sustained whiplash injuries to her neck, shoulders and back and that pain had not lessened with the aid of painkillers. Due to this she went to Dr Peter Joyce on May 25 at Beechlawn Medical Centre. Here she was diagnosed as having some tenderness to her neck and upper back. Dr Joyce had prescribed her a course of anti-inflammatory medication. However, but by early June she had reported that the pain in her neck was getting worse and that she was experiencing a persistent dull ache with sharp headaches.
Brown stated in her car crash legal action that she had been unable to exercise due to the pain, something that she had done regularly before the accident. She had undergone an MRI of her cervical spine and had been advised she should be seen by specialists.
At the request of Mr Gallagher, Judge Groarke, struck out the proceedings with an order for Ms Brown’s legal costs.
Posted: February 4th, 2019
The Labour Court overturned an unsuccessful claim of wrongful dismissal, taken by a Polish worker against his former place of work employer in 2018.
The worker was accused by his former employer of ‘stealing’ from him by faking a back injury and being absent from work for a prolonged period of time. The WRC decided that the appropriate figure of compensation is €10,000.
The individual told the WRC that that he hurt his back in an incident on 11 September 2016 while he was carrying a box of apples from the top of a pallet during his normal work duties. After the incident he had was absent from work for six weeks on sick leave.
During this absence the company’s health and safety manager reviewed the accident that led to his injury. As part of the accident review the health and safety manager informed the court that she looked at the security camera footage CCTV footage of the incident, contracted a private investigator and spoke to the employee’s managers. However she did not interview the employee.
The employers advised her that, following a recent change in the man’s roster, it had been remarked that it was causing some difficulties in his ability to provide adequate care for his children.
At the first WRC hearing in 2018 it was also claimed that a private detective saw saw the employee lifting his daughter not longer after he claimed to have injured his back. In addition to this the health and safety manager said CCTV footage of the incident suggested that the worker picked up and dropped the box of apples in a ‘staged and orchestrated way’. At the appeal hearing the manager confirmed this once more, and remarked again that she felt the employee’s injury was a fabrication and that he should not have received his salary for the period of time he was absent due to the injury.
The worker was asked to attend a formal review meeting with his shift manager, who had access to CCTV clips of the incident and witness statements, on November 1 , 2016. However, the employee was not given access to the statements or the security camer footage to ready himself for this meeting. After the meeting it was ruled that the employee was ‘dishonest’ in reporting his injury, and recommended that the matter was sent forward for a disciplinary hearing. At the disciplinary hearing the employee was sacked for serious misconduct.
The complainant told the WRC hearing told that he had not been provided with all the relevant evidence to prepare for the formal investigation meeting, was only given a copy of the health and safety manager’s report prior to his sacking. He added that he had not been interviewed as part of the review process. He said he was unhappy with, and did not agree with, the findings of the investigation which claimed that he did not injure his back.
He informed the WRC hearing that he had been to see two different occupational health practitioners and handed in a medical report from his own local doctor GP to his employer in relation to the pain he sustained in his back.
WRC deputy chairperson, Louise O’Donnell said in her ruling that the company’s failure to give the employee with documentation in relation to his dismissal was an issue in relation and did not give the employee an adequate chance to respond defend himself against the charges directed against him.
The WRC found that the employee’s dismissal was not ‘fair’ and directed that the employer pay him €10,000 in unfair dismissal compensation.
Posted: January 17th, 2019
A road traffic accident compensation settlement of €60,000 has been agreed at the Circuit Civil Court between a 64-year-old librarian and the former Bank of Ireland Governor Laurence Crowley following the defendant accepting liability for a car crash that took place in August 2015.
Mr Richard Barrett, a librarian who lives at the Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin, took the legal action against Mr Crowley and the registered owners of the car O’Flaherty Holdings Limited in relation to injuries he suffered in the car crash that occurred at Monkstown Crescent, Dublin.
Mr Crowley was not in the Circuit Civil Court for the legal proceedings which was scheduled to hear Mr Barrett’s testimony regarding his injuries following the incident and the medical reports detailing the same.
Mr Barratt advised Justice Groarke that he had suffered from shock and trauma following the road traffic accident. Mr Barrett had a previous history of anxiety disorder, and the suffering additional panic attacks in the time period after the accident. He was brought to the emergency department of St Vincent’s University Hospital and was dealt with by Dr Nigel Salter, consultant in emergency medicine. Mr Barrett told Justice Groarke that he had not suffered any bone or internal injuries as a result of the crash in Monkstown. However, he had been prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain killing medication to remedy injuries on his chest and abdomen.
Mr Barrett alleged that Mr Crowley had been driving the Mercedes 300 car in a negligent fashion when the crash took place. He told the Judge that on 29th August 2015 he was a front seat passenger in a vehicle when a Mercedes coming out from a minor road collided with them. He informed the Circuit Civil Court that he felt the Mercedes in question was being driven at an excessive speed and that the driver had not shown an acceptable level of awareness for other road users regarding his surrounds.
Legal representatives for Mr Barratt Barrister Ivan Daly appearing with HJ Ward Solicitors told Judge Justice Raymond Groarke that there had been an admission of liability by the defendants. Due to this, and following an assessment of damages, the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for costs.
Posted: December 12th, 2018
€30,000 faulty product compensation has been awarded to a teenage student at the Circuit Civil Court after she, allegedly, swallowed a chocolate spread that had tiny shards of glass in it.
16-year-old Jamie Lee McAdam, submitted the product injury compensation action via her mother Natasha, against Ferrero UK Limited, Greenford, England, manufacturers of Nutella chocolate spread.
Judge Justice Groarke was told that the incident had affected Jamie Lee’s eating habits and she had experienced weight loss and ongoing episodes of abdominal pain. Legal representative for Jamie Lee, Barrister William Binchy, told the Judge that she (Jamie Lee) had been offered a compensation settlement of €31,600 by the defendant. Mr Binchy was asking Judge Groarke to approve the settlement.
Mr Binchy informed Judge Groarke that Jamie Lee had been injured after eating Nutella spread on a bagel that her mother had prepared for her. While reviewing Jamie Lee’s injury, her family found there were numerous miniscule pieces of glass in the Nutella that remained in the bottom of the jar after she had eaten the spread.
The jar of Nutella was produced in the United Kingdom, by the company Ferrero, and purchased in a sealed jar at an Irish supermarket. Mr Binchy said Jamie Lee had become concerned in the hours following the event when she started to experience stomach pains. Her mother had made contact with Temple Street Children’s Hospital and had been told by staff to bring her daughter to the hospital to be seen.
She had been seen by a Doctor and W-rays were carried out. However, no fragments of glass had been found and she had been allowed to return home without any further treatment being required. The following day Jamie Lee was unable to remain in school as she was complaining from more pain.
Judge Groarke approved the personal injury compensation offer which will remain in court funds until Jamie Lee turns 18 years of age.
Posted: November 21st, 2018
€25,000 stabbing attack compensation has been awarded to a Garda who was attacked with a blade on an aeroplane as he was deporting a Nigerian man to Lagos. Detective Garda Eamon Moran suffered permanent scarring in the incident and has now been awarded Garda workplace compensation in a hearing at the High Court.
Legal representative for Garda Moran, Barrister Breffni Gordon, told the High Court that while working with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, he was accompanying a Nigerian national on a flight between Madrid and Lagos when the deportee managed to locate a razor blade which he used to attacked the Garda, cutting him across his right ear, the right side of his face and on his upper back. A doctor who was travelling on the same flight was able to treat him and help to stop the bleeding. The attack took place in March 2012 when Garda Moran, now 44 years old, was aged 38.
Garda Moran was given further medical attention at a Madrid hospital on the return leg of his journey from Lagos to Dublin. Here he was given 29 stitches. Upon his return to Ireland, he attended with his family doctor who prescribed a course of anti-inflammatory analgesic medication to treat the wounds.
Despite making a full recovery from the incident, Garda Moran has been advised that his scars will be visible for the rest of his life. High Court Justice Twomey was advised that Garda Moran experienced a significant amount of stress and sleep disturbance following the attack on the flight. As he tried to deal with this he had attended almost a dozen counselling sessions. In 2015 his counsellor advised that he was not suffering from any residual post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Following an absence of approximately four months Garda Moran returned to work in his previous role and previous duties. Judge Twomey awarded Garda Moran €25,000 compensation for an attack at work injury with an additional €3,000 special expenses.
Posted: October 26th, 2018
A woman has been awarded €30,000 laser hair removal injury compensation by the High Court due to a burning incident during a beauty treatment on her face in which she claims that she suffered first-degree burns.
Ms Jolanta Skaudvilaite, who lives at Pine Grove, Athlumney Wood, Navan, Co Meath was unable to attend work for 10 days due to the injuries she experienced following the incident that occurred when she attended a beauty salon to have laser hair removal treatment on her cheeks. The 37-year-old woman took the beauty salon injury compensation action against Alchemy Beauty, Trimgate Street, Navan.
Ms Skaudvilaite told the High Court that the injuries occurred during the treatment she opted for at the Alchemy clinic on July 21, 2011. During this treatment she she was exposed to a laser that was liable to inflict serious burns. She told Justice Tom Cross that there was failure to ensure proper working equipment was in place for her laser hair removal treatment. She also claimed that the treatment that she received could be termed common acceptable practice.
Ms Skaudvilaite, a retail assistant, went on to say that she had gotten in touch with the salon when she began feeling pain in her cheeks and the staff had expressed some surprise that this was the case. Due to this she became suspicious and went to a doctor’s clinic where she was prescribed a course of antibiotics. After this her cheeks slowly got better over time. Alchemy Beauty refuted the claims of Ms Skaudvilaite.
Ms Skaudvilaite also told the High Court that she had to deal with lot of trauma following sustaining the injuries and was prescribed tranquilisers to deal with this. Her cheeks could still be sensitive on occasion. A specialist plastic surgeon submitted a medical which said there had been some changes to the pigmentation in Ms Skaudvilaite’s right cheek. She had been warned to use sunblock when outdoors to stop any additional injuries or pain being experienced..
In awarding the laser hair removal injury compensation Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he did not believe that she had exaggerated her complaints.
Posted: September 5th, 2018
A Dublin-based van driver who failed to attend work on his “fed-up days” has been awarded €2,000 for unfair dismissal after the Workplace Relations Commission ruled that there had been an absence of fair procedures in place at the transport company that the was working.
The CEO of the transport company that fired the driver in May 2017 advised the WRC he had not attended work for eight working days and “three fed-up” days over a three-month period.
The man won his unfair dismissal claim at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) which has also directed the company to pay the man €879 in unpaid wages along with the €2,000 award.
In his claim for unfair dismissal, the van driver argued that there was no basis for the company to dismissing him from his position and that he was never put through a disciplinary process. There had been no previous warnings before he was sacked and he admitted that he had missed a few days and called them his “fed-up days”. When he attended for work on May 15th at 7am, he was advised that there was no work for him.
The transport company stated that the van driver agreed with his employer’s perception that he was unhappy and disillusioned with the job and accepted that he could not go on just showing up for work when he felt like it. The company also said that the driver accepted that his job was in danger.
In ruling that the man was unfairly dismissed, WRC Adjudication Officer, Marie Mulcahy stated that, regardless of the actions of the driver or the degree of wrongdoing, the employer “must follow fair procedures”. She (Ms Mulcahy) added that the driver “was deprived of any process conforming to the requirements of natural justice. There was no advance notice that dismissal was being contemplated, no process, no right of representation offered and no appeal procedure provided”.
She said that the driver played a part in his dismissal by withholding information from the employer in relation to his return to work where his employer had to hire an alternative employee and previous occurrences of absences where he did not inform them he would not be at work.
The employer told the WRC they had withheld €879 in unpaid wages as twelve televisions the driver was delivering went missing while he was the driver was transporting them for a client to an An Post delivery centre on April 29 2017.
Posted: August 10th, 2018
The High Court has overturned the decision of the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal’s refusal to award a woman compensation after she experienced “nervous shock” after her father died from an AIDS-related illness.
Justice Bernard Barton, making the ruling at the High Court, has cleared the way for similar claims that are due to be heard before the tribunal. The tribunal was established in 1995 to compensate anyone who has contracted hepatitis C due to using infected blood products.
Judge Barton said he was happy to overrule a 2015 decision of the tribunal that she did not qualify for compensation and has remitted her application to the tribunal for assessment and a final award of personal injury compensation.
Judge Barton heard the woman’s father, who was a haemophiliac, was one of the first people in Ireland to die after contracting HIV/AIDS. His daughter’s identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons.
The tribunal, while making an award to the woman for the loss of society and opportunity, had dismissed her claim for PTSD. The woman, who was represented by Gerry Danaher SC, had appealed the tribunal’s decision to the High Court. The State opposed the appeal.
Judge Barton said the tribunal’s reasoning for the dismissal was due to the fact that while the duration of her father’s illness had been distressing and traumatic, there did not seem to have been one particularly bad or traumatic event or series of events which she encountered leading to her illness.
The judge said he took into account the medical evidence presented which said that the events before her father’s death caused a known psychiatric illness which came to the fore after the woman had been treated at hospital for depression.
As a teenager, she had overheard her mother and a doctor talk about AIDS, which she knew was bad news. Rock star Freddy Mercury had come out to say he was dying of AIDS.
Judge Barton said, referring to the girl who was aged 16 years old when her father died, “The appellant literally watched her father waste away”. He described the events of her father’s death as “horrific”. He adjourned the proceedings to a date in October.
Posted: July 18th, 2018
Cheng Zhang, a Chinese accountancy student based in Dublin, has been awarded more than €250,000 in personal injury compensation damages after a High Court judge ruled that she had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident where she was struck by a car in Dublin in 2011.
The total amount of compensation awarded to the 36-year-old girl by Mr Justice Anthony Barr was €465,526. However this was reduced due to contributory negligence. The contributory negligence was assessed at 45pc as she had decided to cross the junction when the pedestrian light was still red.
The judge said that after the car crash Ms Zhang became very mentally unhealthy and could no longer complete her work duties. Her job was her only source of money and, due to this, she fell into rent arrears, became homeless and relied on local authority emergency accommodation.
The judge said that, taking the level of intelligence, ambition and high level functioning which Ms Zhang displayed prior to the accident, he was happy to believe that she would have gone on to qualify as a certified accountant and would be in full employment if it was not for the incident.
Ms Zhang, from of the Liaoning province of China, arrived in Ireland in 2003 to study English. When the accident occurred she was studying accountancy.
She had taken the car accident compensation action against the driver of the car Stephen Farrell due to the accident that occurred on April 17 2011. She had been crossing at the junction of Merrion Row and Merrion Street Upper when she was hit by Mr Farrell’s car and thrown into the air.
The Court was told that she suffered soft tissue injury to her knees and pelvis and a blow to the head. The result of this was that she was unable to move or communicate with anyone for about an hour after the accident took place. The Court was also advised that Ms Zhang went on to experience severe and constant mental illness in the form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as the condition known as fibromyalgia.
Mr Farrell Legal Counsel told the Court that Ms Zhang had listed a number of physical complaints for which no organic basis could be proven and that she now experiences an anxiety disorder.
Mr Justice Barr said that he believed the evidence of Ms Zhang’s psychiatrist that she suffered serious mental health issues due to the road traffic accident and had undergone a catastrophic change to her mental stability.
He said that he also accepted the evidence of the psychiatrist that stated Ms Zhang’s symptoms are chronic and enduring despite the best efforts at treatment so far.
Posted: June 15th, 2018
Benjamin Heffernan, a former bin man who experienced a severe brain injury after he was thrown from a waste disposal truck to the roadhas settled his work injury compensation action for €3.5m.
Mr Heffernan fell through the side door of the van cracking his skull in the fall and being inflicted with a brain injury, his solicitor Liam Reidy SC advised the High Court. He was working with a van that was owned by Killarney Waste Disposal when he was bringing compost bins to households in the Durrus area of Bantry, Co Cork at the time of the accident occurring when the incident occurred in January 2015.
When he landed on the road after being thrown from the bin lorry, Mr Heffernan lost consciousness and was rushed by ambulance to nearby Dunmanaway. From there he was airlifted to Cork University Hospital where he underwent an emergency craniotomy. After this he was later brought to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin. He remained in the hospital until August 2015.
Mr Heffernan, now aged 50, will no long be able to work though he has regained some mobility according to his legal representatives. In approving the work injury car accident compensation settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he felt it was a good one and he wished Mr Heffernan and his family all the best.
Solicitor Amy Connolly of Cantillons Solicitors, speaking outside the court, said Mr Heffernan had remained in hospital for 33 weeks following the accident having experienced life changing injuries. She said: “This settlement will provide for the ongoing care of Mr Heffernan, but no money can ever truly compensate him for the effect his injuries have had on his day to day life”.
Counsel for the waste disposal company argued that Mr Heffernan had allegedly told the driver to proceed before he got in the back of the van. Additionally it was claimed he (Mr Heffernan) did not ensure the van was decommissioned when he allegedly was aware of a defect in the latch of the van door. Mr Heffernan denied these claims.
Posted: May 15th, 2018
A truck driver has been ordered by Court to pay €2,000 a year for five years, to a total of €10,000 to the parents of the victim who died when his (the truck driver) vehicle suddenly veered off the M8 Dublin-Cork motorway and crashed into a car that had pulled over on the hard shoulder. The young mother travelling in the back of the car was killed in the road traffic collision. She had been on her way to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin to visit her sick new born baby.
The truck accident compensation case, being heard in Tipperary Circuit Criminal Court, was told that the new mother, Nicola Kenny (26) from Thurles, was killed instantly in the crash on September 5 on 2016. This was just a day after the birth of her only child Lily Rose. At the tme of the accident she was being driven to Temple Street Hospital by her aunt, with her mother also, to visit her new born baby. They stopped on the M8 hard shoulder to take a call from the hospital to say the new baby was now doing fine.
While imposing a suspended 18-month prison sentence, Judge Tom Teehan said the evidence suggested it was most likely the truck driver briefly fell asleep at the wheel rather than being distracted by a bout sneezing as was claimed.
He went on to say: “He is somebody who is going to have to live for the rest of his days with the knowledge that he has caused the death of another human being and caused life changing effects to an entire family.”
Lily Rose has been born in Clonmel Hospital on September 4. She became ill and was hurried to Temple Street in Dublin. Ms Kenny had just been collected by her mother and aunt who were taking her to visit the baby in Dublin.
Judge Teehan was made aware that the defendant indicated to Gardaí he take a guilty plea at a very early stage and co-operated in full with the investigation. The court was told that he is deeply remorseful and was now suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He was also disqualified from driving for five years.
Posted: April 26th, 2018
A 23-months-old infant, who had not been conceived when his older sister Vanessa passed away in a hit-and-run incident in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on April 6, 2015, was awarded €1,500 personal injury compensation last Tuesday.
The child in question, Marcel Siatka, was born on May 24, 2016 one year and 47 days after his sister died.
Legal representative for the Siatka family, Barrister Conor Kearney told Circuit Civil Court Judge Terence O’Sullivan that the Injuries Board had assessed damages of €42,777 to be divided between between Vanessa’s family and to pay for the cost of her funeral.
The Injuries Board had not, according to Mr Kearney, taken compensation for Marcel into account in its final assessment. Judge O’Sullivan was told that, as per the Civil Liability Act, the claim that Mr Siatka had taken was on behalf of members of his family, including Marcel. Mr Siatka, who lives at Brandon Square, Waterville, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, said Vanessa had a brother born more than a year after her death, who was not considered in the award settlement.
Mr Kearney said that the fact that the Circuit Court had to approve the assessment and the parents had stated that they would be happy with the approved amount being shared with Marcel. Judge O’Sullivan said it was not a happy duty to split money between families but he was of the opinion that it was proper to mark the fact that Marcel would, no doubt, inquire about his sister in future and would encounter some grief regarding her death.
He directed that the €6,000 set aside for the three grandparents should be reduced to €1,500 each so Marcel could also receive €1,500 and he directed that Marcel’s money be paid into court.
Posted: March 23rd, 2018
three young brothers from Dublin have been awarded €85,000 Car Accident Compensation due to injuries experienced when a a wheel came loose from an SUV on a motorway.
Barrister John Nolan told Circuit Court President Raymond Groarke in the Circuit Civil Court that Mr Simon Sweeney was driving on the M9 Motorway in Co Kilkenny with his family when the accident occurred.
The three Sweeney brothers,- James aged ll, Stephen aged 15 and Jason aged 17 – took the legal action against Pat White Cars based at Longmile Road, Dublin; Kia Motors (UK), Calmount Park, Dublin and their father Simon Sweeney with an address at Kilcarrig Close, Fettercairn, Tallaght, Dublin 24, who was driving the vehicle when the accident took place.
The money was awarded was as follows: James was awarded €25,000 compensation; Jason was awarded €35,000 compensation and brother Stephen was awarded €25,000 compensation from Pat White Cars and Kia Motors UK. Both of these businesses had made car accident compensation settlement offers to the brothers.
O’Brien Ronayne Solicitors representing Mr Nolan, advised the court that when the rear driver’s side wheel fell off the KIA SUV the car lost control and crashed into the centre barrier, injuring all of the people that were in the vehicle at the time.
The Court was told that compensations claims relating to adults travelling in the vehicle had previously been handled in the High Court. Mr Nolan told the Court that the accident had occurred on 20th March 2011, a little more than one year after Michelle Sweeney had purchased the 2006 vehicle at Pat White Cars. He said the family had first being taken to Kilkenny Hospital but later had been treated at Tallaght Hospital.
Stephen, who uses a wheel chair, had been tied secrurely into the back seats of the vehicle and firemen had to cut him out of the seat. The three brothers had not sustained serious physical injuries in the car crash but had suffered from post-accident trauma.
Posted: February 15th, 2018
A 10% rise in the number of accident claims involving uninsured or untraceable drivers grew by almost 10 per cent since 2016.
Spokespeople for the insurance industry sector sources have revealed that say the increasing costs of rising costs of premiums are possible a contributing factor to the steep increase in claims registered by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
Set by in 1955, the MIBI compensates the victims in vehicle accidents involving uninsured and unidentified vehicles. It is funded by insurance companies fund.
Per annum, the MIBI distributes between €55 million and €60 million in insurance settlements with a mean cost per insurance claim of €55,364.
2,758 claims were registered by the MIBI in 2017, a relatively minor increase on the 2,802 claims submitted in 2016.
On a county by county basis Co Dublin registered the most claims with 41 per cent of all compensation claims submitted to the bureau throughout 2017. It was followed closed by Cork and Limerick in second and third place.
In other counties, the highest percentage increase was experienced in Leitrim with 70 per cent). Next was Roscommon, Carlow and Monaghan with 60%, 43% and 42% respectively.
Posted: January 22nd, 2018
Noeleen Coakley (45), a sister-in-law of a well-known member of the Dublin crime scene, was described as “a woman who just seemed to attract misfortune” by judge Circuit Court President Judge Raymond Groarke – during a recent car accident compensation claim- after being advised that she had been injured in six car accidents.
Judge Groarke made his remarks as he awarded €28,000 damages for car accident injuries to for injuries she suffered in a rear-ending traffic accident.
Noeleen Coakley Hutch (45) is a sister in law Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch since she married his brother, Derek Hutch.
The court had heard she has been injured in six car accidents.
Judge Groarke told the court “She seems to have an attraction for misfortune and the moral of the story is don’t travel in a car with Ms Coakley” after being advised of her involvement in six car accidents.
As liability had already conceded in the case, the hearing was an assessment of damages for car accident injuries.
Despite the similarities in the accidents that Ms Coakley was involved in Judge Groarke commented that he believed her to be an honest lady, thought with an unfortunate history of accidents.
He added that he ‘took exception’ to the way in which legal representatives for the defence sought to assert that Ms Coakley was “a chancer or a fraud” because of her experience of so many road accidents and the fact that she had previously been awarded roughly €60,000 road traffic accident compensation for those accidents.
Judge Groarke accepted she was an innocent party in all of those claims.
In relation to the accident that Judge Groarke was assessing the damages for, he was advised that Ms Coakley had been rear-ended while driving her car in Ballybough, on May 19, 2014. After the accident and had been brought by ambulance to the Mater Hospital Emergency Department, where she had been treated.
Judge Groarke assessed Ms Coakley’s award of road accident compensation of at €28,000 and awarded her legal costs.
Posted: December 10th, 2017
In its first ever report the the Personal Injuries Commission (PIC) has called for injury data held by insurance companies to be released on an ongoing basis.
The PIC submitted the approvals to the government, saying that data regarding the incidence of ‘whiplash’ and other soft tissue injuries should be released to.
Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, Chairperson of the Commission that was established to address the rising expense of motor insurance, remarked that these figures should be made available from insurance companies. They could then form part of the National Claims Information Database which is being developed by the Central Bank of Ireland currently.
Additionally the report also finds that the figures being paid out for whiplash compensation claims should be connected to the severity of the injury inflicted, with a standardised grading scheme set up to make this easier. The report also says there should be more transparency in respect of payouts of whiplash compensation as levels of general damages are not currently accounted for in legislation.
Legal firms have responded negatively to the report. Jody Cantillon, Associate solicitor at Cantillons Solicitors commented on the report saying “Firstly, the basis for the Personal Injuries Commission seems to us to be flawed in that the rise in insurance premiums has nothing at all to do with personal injuries litigation.
Mr Cantillon added “We would have grave concerns about a standardised approach to the diagnosis, treatment and reporting of soft tissue injuries. No one person or injury is the same. The impact that a back injury might have on a new mother is different to the impact such an injury might have on a young man. A standardised approach would not take sufficient consideration of the individuals circumstances.
He finished by saying: “We are surprised at the Commission’s ‘recommendation’ that the sums awarded in whiplash claims should be linked to the severity of the condition. This is already the case, so there is nothing new there.
Posted: November 20th, 2017
A Garda has been awarded €31,000 damages as a result of injuries he suffered when his patrol car was rammed in a car accident that occurred seven years ago.
Following a high-speed chase involving a Mercedes car, Garda, and former Limerick hurler, Nigel Carey (46), of Croom, Co Limerick, was injured when the Garda patrol car he was sitting in was rear ended in October 2010.
Barrister Kevin D’Arcy, representing Garda Carey, claimed his client had been quite a renowned hurler at the time of the crash occurring in 2010. The Garda attended his family doctor to have his neck, shoulder and lower back injuries seen to and was told that he should seek physiotherapy treatment
The Garda patrol car, according to Garda Carey, “sent flying” due to the impact of the crash and was so badly damaged it had to be written off following the accident.
In the accident his neck, right shoulder and lower back were badly damaged. He also said that his shoulder was still restricted in movement slightly.
Mr Justice Bernard Barton remarked that “the best medical report supporting Garda Carey’s claim for compensation” was given by the chief medical officer from An Garda Síochána who had medically examined Mr Carey for the defendant – the Minister for Public Expenditure.
The judge praised Garda Carey’s dedication and work ethic during the Garda Traffic Car Accident Compensation hearing as Mr Carey had only been absent from work for three days in the aftermath of the incident. He also said that it was to Garda Carey’s credit that he had not made an issue of the nature of his back injury which quickly cleared up following the incident.
Mr Carey had made no attempt to build up more and more medical reports to make more of his injuries than was there in his workplace traffic compensation claim.
Posted: October 9th, 2017
Two young sisters from Lucan, Co Dublin have been awarded €33,000 in road traffic compensation due to an incident that saw the car that they were travelling in rear ended in February 2016.
The girls, aged seven and five years old, Amy and Izy Saul were involved in the road traffic collision when a car owned by Tadgh Hartnett, hit their family car which it was travelling behind.
The two girls, with a family address at Rossberry Terrace, Lucan, Dublin were represented in court by Barrister Francis McGagh. Mr Hartnett, who was not present at Court, gave an address at AIG Insurance, North Wall, Dublin.
Mr McGagh advised presiding Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that the Saul sisters were extremely lucky to avoid debilitating injuries and were absent for one day of school to see their local GP after the accident. However, he advised the Court that their local doctor saw that the young girls had been inflicted with psychological injuries due to the experiences of the road traffic accident.
An official medical report from their local doctor was provided that stated the girls’ had been inflicted with “a mild effect on the mental health”. He added that he expected this nervousness to fade over time.
The girls mother, Claire Saul, told the judge that she was content with the €33,000 road traffic compensation offered. Ms Saul made an affidavit to the court which said that both of the girls, who have their birthdays later this month, now tend to become nervous when travelling in a motor vehicle which their famoly doctor said, in the aforementioned report, was a commonly experienced symptom following such an road traffic accident.
AIG Insurance made the motor traffic compensation settlement offer of €16,500 each to the two girls, and their court expenses, on behalf of Mr Hartnett.
Posted: August 3rd, 2017
The High Court has dismissed an appeal against seven car injury compensation awards that were made by the Buncrana Circuit Court in 2015.
The car injury compensation awards related to an accident that occurred in Lifford, County Donegal, on June 28th 2011; when a hire car failed to slow down approaching a roundabout and crashed into a second car. Three of the occupants in the hire car and the four occupants of the second car suffered soft tissue injuries and claimed compensation against the negligent driver and the car hire company.
In 2015, car injury compensation awards of between €5.050 and €9.550 were made to the seven victims by the Buncrana Circuit Court. However, the car hire company appealed the awards of the grounds that the accident had been fabricated and that the seven victims considerably exaggerated the extent and effects of their soft tissue injuries to maximise the value of their car injury compensation awards.
The appeal hearing took place last month at the High Court before Mr Justice Charles Meenan, when it was claimed the negligent driver had telephoned one of the injured men when he returned the hire car to the car hire company and had spoken with him as if he knew him well. Further investigation revealed the negligent driver and plaintiffs were known to each other through their membership of the Joseph Plunkett and Charlie D’Arcy Societies.
The plaintiffs disputed the allegation as outrageous and, although admitting that they knew each other “to see”, denied the accident had been set up with the intention of claiming car injury compensation rewards. Judge Meenan reserved his decision at the original hearing, but this week dismissed the car hire company´s appeal and found in favour of the plaintiffs – upholding the car injury compensation awards made by Buncrana Circuit Court.
Explaining his decision, the judge said the friendly nature of the telephone conversation between the negligent driver and one of the injured men was not enough to support any other decision than the original one. He added the negligent driver made the call to find out details of the injured party´s car, and “one would have thought, if the collision was a setup, the information sought in the call would already have been firmly fixed in his mind prior to returning the hire car.”
Posted: June 7th, 2017
A judge has awarded a jogger trip and fall compensation against Dublin Council and increased the award to account for the council´s aggressive defence.
In September 2011, the twenty-four year old plaintiff was jogging within the Clondalkin caravan site in Dublin when he tripped on a hidden depression in the footpath and fell – fracturing a knuckle in his right hand. The man – who was a keen amateur boxer at the time – had to undergo surgery and has been unable to return to boxing since.
As the caravan site is owned by the local authority, the plaintiff claimed trip and fall injury compensation against Dublin Council on the grounds it had not been maintained to a safe standard. South Dublin County Council denied liability for the jogger´s injury and argued it had resulted from a boxing match and that his claim was fraudulent.
The case went to the High Court where it was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. During cross-examination of the plaintiff, the council´s legal representatives repeated its argument the injury had occurred in a boxing match and supported the allegation by saying he had been out jogging the morning after he had suffered a soft tissue injury in a car accident.
The plaintiff agreed that he had been out jogging the morning after a car accident, and an expert medical witness testifying on the plaintiff´s behalf told Judge Barr it was normal for somebody in the plaintiff´s physical condition to try and run off his injury. Judge concluded this was a “credible explanation” for why the plaintiff had been jogging the following morning and found in his favour.
The judge awarded the plaintiff €55.000 trip and fall injury compensation against Dublin Council, and then increased the award by €5,000 aggravated damages to account for the upset the jogger had been caused by the council´s unjustified allegations that his claim was fraudulent.
Posted: May 15th, 2017
The plaintiffs in a case against a car dealership which sold them a vehicle with a faulty sunroof have been awarded compensation for injuries caused by the roof blowing off while on the motorway.
While travelling from Dublin to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition in November 2013, the sun roof of the car the two plaintiffs were travelling in blew off. The car had been travelling along the M1 at a speed of 80-90kmph. The driver was startled by the incident, and braked hard in alarm as the roof blew off of their vehicle.
Due to the very rapid stop, the five passengers in the car (the two plaintiffs and three of their family members) suffered whiplash-type injuries. There were two children in the vehicle, which were luckily unharmed. However, the driver´s 72-year-old mother, suffered several injuries, including a compression fracture to one of the vertebrae in her lower back.
The affected family members sought legal counsel, and subsequently made claims for car accident injuries against the showroom from which the car had been purchased. The vehicle had only been purchased four months prior to the incident. In their motion, the plaintiffs claimed that the sun roof had been faulty and the fault should have been identified by the dealer.
The defendants-Denis Mahony Limited of Kilbarrack Road in Dublin-denied liability for the faulty sun roof and the plaintiffs´ injuries. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was informed that corrosion found around the remaining frame of the sun roof would have been present on the Toyota at the time it was sold. According to the testimony of an independent motor assessor, the corrosion led to the sun roof blowing off.
Judge Groarke stated that he understood that the sun roof being blown off at 90kmph would have been a terrifying experience for the plaintiffs, and understood why the driver plaintiff had applied the brakes so sharply. He awarded the driver of the car €12,500 compensation and her mother €25,000 compensation in settlement of their claims for car accident injuries.
Posted: April 19th, 2017
A hit-and-run accident-which left the cyclist with severe brain damage-has been settled in the High Court.
In early August 2013, a man on a bicycle-who was not wearing a helmet at the time-was cycling in Blanchardstown, Dublin. When he reached the junction of the Ongar Distributor Road and Shelerin Road, he was hit by a van. Several people witnessed the accident, and one eye-witness statement claimed that the impact of the van threw the cyclist nearly three metres into the air. The emergency services were called, and he received immediate on-scene attention.
It was determined that thirty-three year old cyclist suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. He was transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he underwent a decompressive craniotomy at the Beaumont Hospital. After this initial treatment, he was later transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre. Due to the severely traumatic nature of his injury, he cyclist suffered amnesia for four months. A psychologist later had to tell him that he had been involved in a serious accident.
A police investigation was launched, and it concluded the van was travelling at a speed of 57kmph at the time. The driver of the van – who had fled the scene of the accident – was tracked down, and subsequently charged with criminal offences. He was brought before the courts in November 2015 and convicted with dangerous driving and causing serious harm while driving without a license or insurance. He was sentenced to 3½ years in prison. Following the criminal conviction, the cyclist´s wife claimed cyclist brain injury compensation on behalf of her husband.
As the van driver was uninsured, the claim was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The claim was not contested and, after reports to assess the plaintiff´s future needs had been competed, a €3 million settlement of the cyclist brain injury compensation was agreed. The compensation would have been higher, but it was found that the cyclist had not been wearing a cycling helmet and therefore was liable for some of the damages. As the claim had been made on behalf of a plaintiff unable to represent himself, the settlement went to the High Court for approval.
The case was heard at the High Court by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. The judge was told the circumstances of the tragic accident, the consequences of the accident, and the fact that the settlement had been reduced to reflect the cyclist´s contributory negligence. Judge Cross approved the settlement of cyclist brain injury compensation – commenting it had been a dreadful incident, and closing the approval hearing by wishing the cyclist and his family the best for the future.
Posted: March 16th, 2017
A woman has been awarded compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, with her status as a musician causing the judge to cite the case as an “exceptional” one.
In March 2012, a woman from Ardnacrusha in County Clare was a passenger in a taxi when it was rear-ended on Wexford Street in Dublin by another taxi. Due to the force of the collision, the woman suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder. She sought medical attention as a result of the accident and was prescribed painkillers for her injury by her GP.
After seeking legal counsel, the woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim. The negligent taxi driver accepted liability for causing the accident and her injuries. However, the amount of the assessment which was initially offered by the negligent party was rejected by the woman, who claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury.
Due to her request for more compensation, the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim in court. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was informed that the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising the violin for several hours a day. However, he was also told by the defendant´s insurance company that her injury was unrelated to the accident, as the collision between the two taxis had been “insignificant” to cause the injuries claimed.
Judge Groarke admitted that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting” and that on the balance of probabilities the woman would likely made a full recovery from her injury. However, while concluding that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin. The woman was described as a “talented musician” in court, and as such it was an exceptional case.
Judge Groarke awarded the woman €25,000 compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, stating he accepted the plaintiff´s belief that the discomfort she suffers is related to the accident between the two taxis.
Posted: January 20th, 2017
A young boy, who sustained severe birth injuries because of a delayed Caesarean section, has been awarded €1.35 million.
The claim for medical negligence compensation was made on behalf of a six-year-old boy from Bantry, Co. Cork. He was delivered at Cork University Maternity Hospital in March 2010. The boy had been suffering from foetal distress syndrome before he was born, though the claim alleges that medical staff failed to correctly diagnose this from the results of a CTG scan.
As such, there was a delay in performing a Caesarean section on the boy’s mother. This lead to an oxygen-deprived environment in utero and the boy suffered from hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, resulting in severe brain damage.
The extent of the brain damage has left the young boy unable to speak, see and suffering from daily seizures. He is cared for at home by his parents and extended family, but receives additional support from the Jack and Jill Foundation.
Acting on her son’s behalf, the boy’s mother made a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE). Though the HSE denied the allegations of negligence, they agreed to pay an interim settlement of compensation of €1.35 million without admitting liability. The settlement allows for an assessment of the boy’s condition and future care needs.
The child’s mother consulted a medical negligence solicitor before making a claim for compensation on her son’s behalf. The claim was made against the Health Service Executives, who contested the allegations of negligence. However, they offered to pay a €1.35 million interim settlement of compensation without admitting liability. Further assessments of the boy’s condition and care needs will be conducted before another settlement is paid.
As the claim was made on behalf of a minor, the settlement had to be approved in court before it could be awarded. During the hearing, the family detailed their difficult journey in claiming compensation and expressed their relief that the process was finally over. Wishing the family the best for the future, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement and adjourned the case for three years.
Posted: December 2nd, 2016
A man has been awarded compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident after being described as a “very unfortunate accident prone individual”.
While the plaintiff was waiting at a junction by the Thomond Bridge in March last year, he was hit from behind with “significant impact” by a car that “came out of nowhere”. The work van he had been driving was a write-off and, while he was reporting the accident to his employer, the car driver responsible for causing the accident drove off – mounting the kerb and hitting the wall of the bridge as he left.
The injured van driver – a thirty-eight year old father of two from Rhebogue in County Limerick – suffered an aggravation of existing injuries to his neck, shoulder and lower back. He attended his GP the following day and allegedly suffered for the next six months. He claims to have sustained “psychological issues” as a result of the accident and is still receiving injections to manage the pain.
The car driver responsible for causing the accident was traced and the plaintiff claimed compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident. The car driver´s insurance company had its doubts about the legitimacy of the claim, and denied its consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment. The plaintiff was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim in court.
The hearing took place at Limerick Circuit Court, where counsel for Liberty Insurance – the negligent driver´s insurance company – told Judge James O´Donohue that the plaintiff had made a substantial number of personal injury claims in the past. Five of the previous personal injury claims related to road traffic accident that had aggravated existing injuries on each occasion.
Judge O´Donohue also heard that the plaintiff was on disability benefit for his existing injuries and was only able to work a limited number of hours each week. Noting that he had been “well compensated in the past”, Judge O´Donohue awarded the plaintiff €10,000 compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident and described him as a “very unfortunate injury prone individual”.
Posted: November 20th, 2016
A claim for personal injury compensation made against the supermarket giant has been settled in Dublin’s Circuit Court.
The accident occurred in January 2014 when the victim, an unnamed thirty-two-year-old Dublin nurse, attended her local branch of Tesco Metro. Whilst navigating through the shop, the woman tripped and fell over a six-pack of beer that had been placed on the floor by a queueing customer.
The woman, who had previously required reconstructive surgery on one of her knees, was rushed by ambulance to St James’ Hospital, where an x-ray was carried out on her leg. The x-ray showed that the same knee that had been damaged before had sustained another fracture. Two surgeries were required to amend the damage, though the woman also had to endure two-and-a-half years of physiotherapy.
After the victim made a claim for personal injuries compensation through Injuries Board Ireland, the Board asked permission from Tesco to carry out an assessment. When this permission was denied, the woman was the authorised to proceed with her claim through the courts, where it was heard earlier this month.
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke oversaw proceedings at the Circuit Court, where he was informed that Tesco were denying liability for the fractured knee. They argued that there was nothing that they could have done to prevent the accident, and that the woman had caused her own injury by failing to avoid the brightly-packaged obstacle.
However, it was counter-argued that the layout of the small supermarket meant that customers had to navigate through the queue of people waiting to use the self-checkout machines to access certain parts of the shop. The judge, who noted that the knee fracture must be particularly bad to still cause the victim trouble, commented that this was a poor system.
Adding that customer traffic should have been better managed, Judge Groarke found in the claimant’s favour. Initially awarding a sum of €60,000, 20% was then deducted for contributory negligence.
Posted: September 25th, 2016
A soon-to-be-published revised Book of Quantum will provide new guidelines concerning the award of personal injury compensation in Ireland.
The Book of Quantum is a publication that contains an extensive list of injuries corresponding estimates of the amount of compensation that should be awarded for said injury. It is used by judges and solicitors when settling claims for compensation where the victim was injured through someone else’s lack of care, and accounts for both the severity of the initial injury and the long-term impact.
However, the book was first published in 2004 and in recent years has been criticised by many as being out of date. Some judges and insurance companies have stopped using the book completely, believing that the guidelines are no longer appropriate. Many more will continue to use the book, but consistently award the highest estimate provided. These can both lead to inequality across the system.
Concerned with the developments, many of Ireland’s senior judges engaged in discussions with the Courts Services and the Injuries Board Ireland to develop a new Book of Quantum. Over 52,000 cases from 2013 and 2014 were analysed and the results were used to create new estimates for personal injury claims. The new Book of Quantum, to be published within the next few months, should resolve the current inconsistencies.
One of the major revisions was to alter the estimates provided to account for inflation and a change in the cost of living in the twelve years since the initial book was published. More subdivisions were also introduced to allow fairer settlements to be awarded.
Though the Book of Quantum only compensates for physical injuries, claimants can also recover compensation for emotional trauma and financial losses. To ensure that you receive the best settlement possible for your injuries, it is strongly advised that you consult an experienced personal injuries solicitor.
Posted: August 23rd, 2016
A courier, who was injured in an accident involving a taxi, has received a full five-figure settlement of compensation after a judge ruled that he was not negligent in his actions.
The road accident occurred in March 2015 as Rotimi Omotayo, a bicycle courier, was carrying out a delivery on the Custom House Quay. As he was cycling, a taxi – driven by Kenneth Griffin – pulled out from a lane and knocked Rotimi to the ground.
Fortunately, Rotimi was not previously injured by the accident and was able to return to work a few weeks later. However, after making a claim for compensation to the Injuries Board Ireland, the case was dismissed as Rotimi was believed to have contributed to his injuries. However, the Injuries Board did issue authorisation for the claim to be pursued in the courts. Consequently, a hearing was held at Dublin’s High Court earlier this month, overseen by Mr Justice Bernard Barton.
At the hearing, statements were heard supporting both parties. The court hoped to determine whether or not Rotimi was at fault for his injuries through breaching the Road Traffic Regulations.
Yet, once all testimonies were presented, and it was discovered that by needing to deliver to the “river side” of the quay Rotimi was entitled to cycle in the outside lane before turning. The judge proceeded to dismiss any allegations that the courier was negligent and ruled in his favour.
Judge Barton also commented on a contemporary issue in the courts when he said that he would not use the Book of Quantum in determining the settlement as it was “hopelessly out of date and of little assistance”.
Tort Law was instead applied and Rotimi was awarded €30,000 in general damages for his injuries. However, Judge Barton ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support the loss of income claim and discarded the special damages claim. Rotimi, however, was still compensated for his legal costs.
Posted: July 9th, 2016
A six-figure settlement of compensation has been awarded to a teenage girl who was injured whilst on holiday with her family as a child.
Shauna Burke, then aged ten, was staying at the Slattery Caravan Park in Co. Clare in 2009 when the accident occurred. Whist Shauna was playing with other children at the park, she ran past a pole in a communal area that had a nail jutting from it. This nail scraped along Shauna’s leg and caused a deep laceration.
Despite the quick medical attention that was administered to Shauna, once the injury had healed she was still left with a large scar to her leg. Shauna’s father, John, decided to seek medical counsel on her behalf and proceeded to make a claim for personal injury compensation against Austin Francis Slattery, the owner of the caravan park.
In the claim for compensation, John accused Slattery of negligence as he alleges that the park owner was aware of the potential risk that the nail posed, as it was in a place popular with residents. Slattery denied liability, though did make an offer of compensation worth €106,000 to account for Shauna’s suffering to date and future medical care.
However, as the claim was made on behalf of a minor, the settlement had to approved by a High Court judge to ensure it is in Shauna’s best interest. As such, the case was overseen by Mr Justice Anthony Barr at Dublin’s High Court earlier this month. After hearing the details of the case, and inspecting Shauna’s scar, the judge commented that he was happy to approve the settlement.
Shauna will soon turn eighteen, and until that point the settlement will be paid into interest-yielding court funds.
Posted: June 17th, 2016
The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations has said that the Irish government should alter the laws that prevent women seeking abortions for fatal foetal abnormalities.
Despite recent changes to the Eighth Amendment – which protects the right to life of the unborn – such that women may seek terminations if it can be shown that the mother’s health is jeopardised, there are still many instances in which terminations are illegal. For example, if the foetus is malformed and as such will lead to a miscarriage, it is illegal to abort the foetus. Additionally, pregnancies that are the result of incest or rape are not allowed to be terminated.
Many Irish women are negatively affected by such laws, and will often travel abroad for medical treatment. One such woman was Amanda Mellet, who found out twenty-one weeks into her pregnancy that her foetus fatally abnormal. She was informed that the pregnancy would end in miscarriage, or that her baby would die very shortly after birth. Not wanting to endure either scenario, Amanda decided to travel to the United Kingdom and undergo an abortion.
However, Amanda’s experience was highly upsetting as she could not easily access information before the treatment and was not entitled to bereavement counselling upon her return home. In light of this, Amanda decided to set up “Termination for Medical Reasons”, an organisation that has campaigned for changes to Irish law and has even petitioned the UN Human Rights Committee. The organisation claims that the current laws are cruel, discriminatory, inhuman and degrading.
The committee found in Amanda’s favour, ruling that her well-being was put at risk because of the Irish law. They also said that Amanda had undergone necessary financial and emotional suffering, and recommended that the State compensate her for their failure to provide a termination “in the familiar environment of her own country and under the care of health professionals whom she knew and trusted.”
The United Nations also recommended that the Eighth Amendment should be revised to allow Irish women to access “effective, timely and accessible procedures for pregnancy termination in Ireland, and take measures to ensure that healthcare providers are in a position to supply full information on safe abortion services without fearing being subjected to criminal sanctions.”
Posted: May 10th, 2016
A Dublin company has been issued a six-figure for for serious breaches of health and safety laws that resulted in the death of an employee.
Robert Ceremuga, aged thirty-two, was killed at work when a racking that contained thirty-six tonnes of food products collapsed whilst he was working in a VF Coldtores Ltd.. A report after the incident concluded that a forklift had collided with the racking, causing it to fall. Additionally, it was uncovered that the employee driving the forklift was working at the facility for just three weeks and lacked an adequate license to operate the forklift.
Following the reports, VF Coldstores LTD was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) for breaching health and safety regulations. Last month, during a hearing at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin, the company plead guilty to the charges. During the same hearing, Maria – Robert’s widow – read a witness impact statement. Judge Melanie Greally then adjourned the hearing such that she could undertake a “scientific approach” to calculating the fine.
Earlier this week, the hearing was reconvened. VF Coldstores Ltd was then issued with a €200,000 for their fatal breaches of health and safety laws. After the announcement of the fine, the Chief Executive of the HSA, Brian Higgisson, commented to the press that “It is important that employers adequately manage and conduct work activities, in particular carrying out risk assessments before any major works, such as alterations to racking. These assessments should ensure that everyone has the necessary training, knowledge and experience to complete the work in a safe manner.”
Posted: April 8th, 2016
The High Court of Dublin, earlier this week, heard the case of a man who lost two of his fingers in an industrial saw accident.
Antoni Jamroziewicz – aged fifty-two, living in Limerick but originally from Poland – was working as a carpenter on the contraction of the Limerick Tunnel on 28th April 2008 when the accident occurs. Antoni fell when he was cutting a length of timer from a longer plank, and his hand was caught in the saw, severing two of his left fingers.
Despite their best efforts, doctors were not able to repair the damage to Atoni’s fingers. The physical and psychological trauma of the injury caused Antoni to start drinking heavily, and he found it difficult to find work after the accident. His injury affected his professional confidence and capabilities, and he also began to struggle in social situations.
Antoni sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against the recruitment agency, O’Neill Brennan Ltd, and the German contractor Strabag International GmbH. In the claim, Antoni alleged that the surface on which he was working with the industrial saw was unsafe because it wasn’t level, but both defendants denied these claims. The case proceeded to the High Court, where it was heard earlier this week.
The court heard from Antoni that the accident happened because he had stumbled on an uneven surface, leading to his hand entering the industrial saw. However, this was disputed by both of the defendants, who testified that the saw as on a level surface. They argued that Antoni had probably caused his injury himself by acting negligently and placing his hand too close to the saw.
It was also argued by the defence that, as Antoni was an experienced carpenter, he should have ensured that the area was safe and level by placing a plywood sheet under the saw before use. Antoni’s lawyers counter-argued that, because the saw was already in place, it wasn’t Antoni’s responsibility to set it up and ensure it was safe.
The case is due to continue later this month.