Car Accident Aid News
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.
Posted: March 25th, 2016
The accident occurred on the 26th December 2016 when Cora-Lynn Kelley-Mattock, then aged two, was travelling with her mother Josephine along the A484 in Llandygwydd, Cardigan. Her mother crashed the car they were travelling in into a wall, causing severe injuries to herself and her young daughter.
Josephine, who was just nineteen when the accident occurred, died just three days after the crash because of her injuries. Cora-Lynn suffered extensive damage to her head and internal organs, and the damage to her brain has left her with life-long disabilities. Her vision has also been affected y damage to her eye.
The coroner who spoke at the inquest into the accident in 2014 determined that Josephine’s death was caused by misadventure. He commented that she was probably trying to avoid another car when she crashed, or was distracted by her young daughter.
However, solicitors working on behalf of Cora-Lynn have claimed that they believe Josephine could have been acting negligently when she crashed the car. As such, they have filed a claim for compensation against Josephine’s motor insurance company and her estate.
The claim alleges that Josephine was driving at a speed unsuitable for the conditions of the road at the time of the accident, considering the wet conditions. They also claim that she had failed to strap her daughter in properly before the accident, as Cora-Lynn was found suspended from her waist in the car seat. If she were secured properly, the straps around her shoulders would have protected her upper body.
Representatives of Josephine’s estate and the motor insurance company that insured her contest this claim, saying that though there is no disagreement as to the circumstances of the accident, the solicitors representing Cora-Lynn will have to show Josephine was negligent by causing the crash and not securely fastening her daughter’s seatbelt.
Posted: February 19th, 2016
A social worker who was injured while on the job has received an unknown settlement of compensation from the HSE for the injuries he sustained.
Joseph Kavanagh, of Enfield, County Meath, was working in a Special Care Residential Unit as a social care worker dedicated to helping young people with behavioural issues. In June 2009, he was asked to accompany a particular young person-who must not be named for legal reasons-while their family visited them. During the visit, the youth became visibly agitated, and attempted to run away from his carer.
Joseph attempted to pursue the boy, but while he was running he twisted over his knee and fell to the pavement, cracking his kneecap. Joseph has since experienced difficulty in performing regular daily activities due to ongoing pain in the region. He was also left with a scar-four centimetres long-on his knee from his injury.
The social care worker sought legal advice, and made a claim for compensation against his employer, the Health Service Executive (HSE). Joseph claimed that his employer should have carried out a risk assessment of the family visit, considering the boy had displayed agitated and nervous behaviour prior to the family visit. He argued that there should have been another social worker on hand to help Joseph should the youth act out due to this behaviour.
The defendant denied liability for their employee’s injuries, and Joseph brought his claim to be heard by Judge Francis Comerford in the Circuit Civil Court. Before the HSE was able to present its defence against the social care worker injury claim for compensation, the judge was informed that a settlement had been agreed by the legal parties of both sides and that the claim had been resolved.
The details of the settlement were not released to the public, but the liability for Joseph’s injuries was shared between the defendant and the plaintiff equally. Joseph was further awarded his legal fees, and the case was struck from the Circuit Civil Court.
Posted: January 30th, 2016
A twenty-five year-old man has received a settlement of compensation for injuries to the brain after the sum was approved in Dublin’s High Court.
The accident occurred on the 27th January 2009, when Francis Smith – of Edgeworthstown in County Longford – was driving along a road and had to suddenly manoeuvre away from an oncoming car. However, this action meant that Mr Smith crashed instead into the back of a lorry parked ahead of him on the road.
Mr Smith, then aged just eighteen years old and was employed in a local factory, was so severely injured by the collision that he can no longer work, and is reliant on his mother, Martina Dempsey, for round the clock care. His cognitive and physical injuries were extensive.
Ms Dempsey made a claim for compensation for the road accident on her son’s behalf. The claim was made against the Longford County Council, and alleged that there were no sufficient signposts of roadworks, and there was no flagman posted on the road to warn of oncoming vehicles. She also claimed that the lorry – into which her son crashed – was parked such that it extended too far onto the road. The lorry posed a significant danger because of its proximity to the other roadworks.
The County Council denied any liability for the injuries Mr Smith sustained, stating the the accident was largely Mr Smith’s own fault as he had been negligent and driven too fast for the conditions of the road. Yet when the case proceeded to the High Court, the overseeing judge – Mr Justice Kevin Cross – heard that a compensation settlement of €750,000 was negotiated between the parties.
The judge noted that the value was just 25% of the full value of the claim, and proceeded to approve the settlement. Before closing the case, Judge Cross commented that the settlement was good and that he wished Mr Smith well for the future.
Posted: December 1st, 2015
A claim for the death of a man in a car crash has been resolved in Belfast’s High Court.
Leslie and Elizabeth Browne were driving on the B8 from Newry to Hilltown during July 2010 when they were involved in a head-on-collision with another car. The collision occurred on an infamous stretch of the B8, locally known as The Seven Sisters – so same because of a successive series of treacherous bends. The Brownes collided with a Toyota Yaris driven by Sandra Murray.
Mr Browne, who was driving the car when the couple collided with Ms Murray, sustained very severe injuries and died just a month later. Mis wife proceeded to seek legal counsel, subsequently making a claim for her husband’s death against Ms Murray. In her claim, she alleged that Ms Murray was negligent in her driving, and the crash was caused by her inattentiveness and lack of adequate driving for the conditions of the road.
Ms Murray denied any liability for the death of Mr Browne, instead claiming that she had lost control of the car because her vehicle had been hit from behind by another car, driven by Michal Marczak. Mr Marczak denied this claim, saying that there had never been any contact between his car and Ms Murray’s, stating that the crash was caused by Ms Murray’s excessive breaking – which lead her to lose control.
The claim proceeded to Belfast’s High Court, where Judge Stephens oversaw proceedings. He heard that a settlement of £50,000 had been agreed between the parties, though he was to establish liability.
Mr Justice Stephens heard of the lack of evidence pointing to contact between Mr Marczak’s and Ms Murray’s cars, and as such, he found that Ms Murray bore sole responsibility for the death of Mr Browne. He said that this was in part due to her excessive speed (it was determined that she was travelling between 27mph and 37mph), and that this combined with her excessive breaking to lead to the crash.
The judge also agreed with Mrs Browne’s claim that Ms Murray was inattentive whilst driving, saying that “I consider that it reflects the fact that the first defendant did not and does not know what happened so that she grasped at anything that might exonerate her.” Ms Murray, in addition to paying the compensation settlement, must also pay for Mrs Browne’s and Mr Marczak’s legal costs.
Posted: November 28th, 2015
A teenager, who made a claim for compensation against her own mother, has received a seven-figure compensation settlement.
When Beth Cullen, then aged just six years old, was travelling with her mother on the 26th November 2005, she sustained severe injuries in a car crash on the infamous “Nine Bends” stretch of the N11, near Ballinameesda. As a result, Beth became blind in one eye, deaf in one year and completely lost her sense of smell.
William Cullen, Beth’s father, made a claim for compensation on his daughter’s behalf against Caroline Barrett, Beth’s mother. Ms Barrett had been driving the vehicle when it crashed, and is held responsible for the events.
In their claim for compensation, Mr Cullen claimed that Ms Barrett did not adequately handle the car prior to the accident, and as a result, she did not have enough regard for the safety of her young daughter.
Ms Barrett’s insurance company conceded liability for the accident, and the parties negotiated a €1.3 million settlement of compensation for Beth. However, as Beth was a minor and as such the claim had to be made on her behalf, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be awarded.
The case then proceeded to the High Court in Dublin, where it was overseen by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. The judge was told of the circumstances of the accident, and how they had impacted Beth’s day-to-day life. The judge was also informed that Beth was doing well at school, despite her difficulties, and Judge Cross proceeded to approve the settlement, wishing the teenager well for her future.
Posted: October 24th, 2015
A bar located in the country’s capital has been found liable for injuries sustained by a painter/decorator after hearing.
The man in question, David O’Keeffe – aged thirty-one – injured his hand at the Woolshed Baa & Grill on Parnell Street, Dublin, on the 18th September 2011. Mr O’Keeffe was in the establishment watching the All Ireland Football Final with a group of friends when, on his way to the bathrooms, he slipped and fell on a wet area of the floor. When he fell, he cut his hand on a piece of glass that was lying on the floor.
First Aid was administered to Mr O’Keeffe while he was in the bar, and then he was brought to the Accident & Emergency Department of St James’ Hospital. There, stitches were administered to the wound.
After receiving his treatment, Mr O’Keeffe sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for his injury against the Woolshed Baa & Grill. In this claim, he alleged that the bar had inappropriately stacked glasses, causing them to fall over and smash. As such, there was still glass on the floor when he fell. He also claimed that the bar did not appropriately clean up spilled drinks, which caused him to initially fall.
The city-centre establishment denied any liability for the injury to Mr O’Keeffe, and did not consent to an Injuries Board assessment of the claim. Mr O’Keeffe was subsequently issued with an authorisation to follow his claim to the Circuit Civil Court, where a hearing to establish liability was overseen by Judge Jacqueline Linnane earlier this month.
Representatives of Woolshed Baa & Grill argued at that Mr O’Keeffe actually sustained the injury when his friends unsuccessfully tried to lift him up while he was still holding a glass. They also claimed that they adequately cleaned the bar that day, and that the accident report that was filled out at the time had gotten lost.
Judge Linnane ruled in Mr O’Keefe’s favour, stating that the bar had been filled to capacity “to the point that one would not have been able to see that the floor was wet”. Mr O’Keeffe was awarded €20,000 for his injury.
Posted: September 5th, 2015
A forty-seven year-old man, who sustained grave brain injuries after he fell off a ladder whilst working for a family company, has been awarded a settlement of compensation.
The accident occurred on the 22nd March 2011, shortly after Michael Brady from Co. Kildare began working at a business owned by his family, Philip Brady Building Contractors Ltd. Whilst working in Naas with his father, Philip Brady Senior (who, though related to the owner of the company, does not own it himself), he was asked to clear vegetation from a blocked gutter. To do this, he climbed a sixteen-foot ladder and was left briefly unattended by his father.
However, when Philip returned, he found Michael lying unresponsive at the bottom of the ladder. He was rushed to hospital where emergency surgery was carried out on his brain. Since the initial operation, Michael has had further procedures carried out to reconstruct damage to his face and to amend some of the brain damage. Despite these procedures, Michael is still visually impaired and also relies on assistance for day-to-day life.
As a result of the damage he sustained, it was decided that Michael was unable to represent himself in court. As a result, his father – Michael Brady – made a claim for work injury compensation on his son’s behalf. In the claim, Philip alleges that the ladder provided to his son was not suitable for the work that he was required to do. He also claims that it did not have adequate support to prevent a fall such as Michael’s.
However, Philip Brady Contractors Ltd denied any liability for Michael’s accident and the case proceeded to the High Court. However, shortly before the meeting was to commence, the judge was informed that negotiations had lead to the offer of €1.5 million in work injury compensation. After a presentation of facts concerning Michael’s accident, the judge approved the settlement.
Posted: August 7th, 2015
A District Court judge has halved the amount of compensation awarded to a man after she assigned him fifty percent contributory negligence for an injury he sustained whilst eating in a restaurant.
The accident occurred on the 23rd of March 2013 when Shane McQuillan, aged thirty two from Swords in Dublin, was eating in the Gate Clock Bar in Dublin Airport. Whilst eating a sausage and bacon sandwich, Shane cracked one of his molars.
Shane sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against the bar. In the claim, Shane alleges that his tooth was cracked when he bit into a tough rind of bacon. He claims that this was because the rind had been left out on display “for a number of hours”. However, the owners of the Gate Clock bar denied that they were liable for Shane’s injuries. As such, he was authorised by the Injuries Board to pursue his claim for compensation through the courts.
The claim for restaurant injury compensation was heard earlier this month at the Swords District Court by Judge Patricia McNamara. There, the judge was told that the steel tray from which Shane was served his sandwich was kept over a pan of hot water, and was protected by a glass display. Additionally, the manager claims that the food at the bar is changed every ninety minutes – though she had no written records to confirm this statement.
The legal team representing the bar argued that, had Shane any doubts concerning the freshness of his food, he should not have eaten it. By doing so, he had contributed to his injury.
Shane testified that, because of his injury, he still experiences bouts of pain and has some difficulty eating. Judge McNamara then awarded Shane a compensation settlement consisting of €6,500 in general damages, as well as another €2,500 in special damages.
Yet this figure was then halved to €4,500 when Shane was assigned a fifty percent contributory negligence for not being “careful of a crispy rasher rind”. Judge McNamara added that, had the manager provided adequate records, she would not have awarded Shane any compensation.
Posted: July 26th, 2015
The Circuit Court has refused to approve a compensation settlement of €15,000 for a young girl who suffered psychological trauma whilst attending a crèche.
The child in question, Emilie Kiely – aged four from Sandyford in Dublin – began attending her Giraffe Crèche when she was just eight months old. By September 2012, she was moved to the “Toddlers Room”, but after the move her parents noticed their child becoming increasingly anxious and worried. This was particularly evident in the morning when they were getting ready to drop her off at the facility.
However, in May 2013, RTE’s Prime Time aired a documentary entitled “A Breach of Trust” that alleged Emilie’s crèche of mistreating its charges. Upon seeing this exposé, Emilie was withdrawn from the crèche. Footage included a carer that was responsible for their daughter screaming at another child.
Emilie parents then sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim on behalf of their daughter for the psychological trauma she endured. In the claim, John Kiely – Emilie’s father – alleged that her behaviour had altered after entry to the Toddlers’ Room. He claims that she would cry “No crèche” in the morning and that she was terrorised and upset because of the breach in the crèche’s duty of care.
The claim for compensation was contested by Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre, though an offer of compensation totalling €15,000 was offered without an admission of liability. This offer then had to be presented to a judge for approval, as the claim was made on behalf of a minor.
The case proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Judge James O’Donahue. However, the judge ruled that – given the amount of trauma and upset Emilie had endured – that the settlement was not a sufficient sum.
The judge then ruled that the case would have another hearing before a different judge. This will have implications for twenty-five other claims for child psychological trauma compensation made against Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre. Emilie’s parents, along with many other parents of affected children – have also commenced legal action concerning the crèche’s breach of contract.
Posted: June 11th, 2015
A young man, who was injured after a hit-and-run, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement of compensation after a High Court judge assigned him three-quarters contributory negligence.
On the 2nd November 2012, when Anthony Driver – aged twenty-five from Co. Wicklow – was at the junction between Meath Road and Sidmonton Avenue waiting for a friend to give him a lift home. However, as he was waiting, he was hit by an unidentified car.
Though unable to remember much of what happened after he was hit, Anthony does recall that the vehicle that hit him briefly stopped but then drove off without calling for an ambulance, or even checking that Anthony was injured.
Anthony was discovered later that evening by a passing Garda who rushed him to a nearby hospital. There, Anthony was diagnosed with extensive internal injuries – including a lacerated liver – as well as fractures to his ribs and spine.
Anthony spent four days in an intensive care unit, and a further five days in hospital before his discharge. However, he still experienced pain in his back and difficulty eating because of the accident.
As the driver who hit Anthony was never identified by the Gardaí, Anthony proceeded to make a claim for hit-and-run compensation with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). This body compensates those injured in an accident where those at fault cannot be traced or are uninsured.
The claim for compensation was contested by the MIBI, who said that – as Anthony was descried as “grossly intoxicated” by the Garda that found him – it was highly likely that he was responsible for his own injuries through lack of care.
Negotiations between the parties were unable to determine liability for Anthony’s injuries. As such, Anthony was granted authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue his claim for hit-and-run compensation through the courts. Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard the case earlier this month at Dublin’s High Court.
During the hearing, Anthony testified that he was indeed drunk when he was hit by the unidentified vehicle, causing the MIBI to argue again that some of the liability should be assigned to him.
After a brief pause, Judge Kearns ruled that Anthony should be assigned seventy-five per cent contributory negligence for the hit-and-run accident. He then awarded Anthony an undisclosed settlement of compensation.
Posted: April 3rd, 2015
Taxi drivers have started to install dashboard cameras to prevent fraudulent car accident claims according to a report in the Irish Mirror.
The report alleges that a significant number of fraudulent car accident claims have been made by members of the public who have deliberately walked in front of – or thrown themselves in front of – slow moving vehicles in Dublin City Centre, in areas where they are sure of not sustaining a serious injury due to the low speed limits.
One taxi driver told the Irish Mirror: “I was almost caught out a few months ago when a man jumped off the pavement in O’Connell Street and landed in front of my taxi. I noticed a man weaving his way in and out of the crowds quite hastily and it just struck me it was suspicious so I started to slow and by the time he had thrown himself out in front of my taxi I had managed to slam on the brakes”.
The taxi driver has since bought a dashboard camera to avoid being held liable for fraudulent car accident claims in the future. He said: “Being on the road all day every day for the past 10 years I thought I had seen it all in terms of scams and dodgy claims ploys but this one takes the biscuit.”
Christy Humphreys from the National Private Hire and Taxi Association contributed to the story in the Irish Mirror by saying; “There’s a lot of this going on and drivers are terrified of falling victim to it. But drivers are reporting people now throwing themselves in front of taxis. Like there’s nearly too much going on to get your head around.”
The lobby group Insurance Ireland has also set up a special committee in a bid to tackle the issue and has identified six locations where there has been a spate of fraudulent car accident claims – the locations being Swords and Tallaght in Dublin, Galway, Cork, the Border region, and Ennis in County Clare.
Posted: February 18th, 2015
A judge has awarded €10,000 in compensation for passenger whiplash injuries after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.
John Connors from Saggart in County Dublin was just fifteen years of age when the car he was a passenger in collided with a wall alongside the Kiltipper Road in Tallaght on 2nd December 2010. John (now 20 years old) suffered soft tissue injuries to his back and neck and was treated at the Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.
John returned to the Tallaght Hospital on several occasions for physiotherapy on his back and neck, and on his behalf, John´s father claimed compensation for passenger whiplash injuries against the driver of the car – John´s aunt, Bridget Connors.
Bridget Connors admitted liability for the accident, but John´s father was not satisfied with the Injuries Board´s calculation of compensation for passenger whiplash injuries, and an authorisation was issued for the case to go to the Circuit Civil Court for the assessment of damages.
At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that confusion existed over the claim for compensation, as a similar case being pursued in County Cork. John told the judge that his father had taken him to see a firm of solicitors before he died last year, but he did not know who the solicitors were or how to locate them.
As the claim for compensation for passenger whiplash injuries was before Judge Groarke for the assessment of damages only, the judge asked John about any long-term deterioration of his health as a result of the accident in his aunt´s car.
John told the judge that the soft tissue injuries in his back and neck had healed, but that he suffered from an unrelated liver condition that would eventually lead to premature aging. He also commented that the liver condition prevented him from drinking alcohol.
Judge Groarke awarded John €10,000 compensation for passenger whiplash injuries and the costs of bringing court action. The judge said that the fact John had suffered some level of soft tissue injuries as a result of the accident had not been contested.