Car Accident Aid News
Posted: February 15th, 2022
A High Court ice rink accident compensation action has been settled for an “all-in figure” of €32,500 for a young boy who had his small finger cut down to his first first knuckle.
When, in the incident, the boy slipped and fell on the ice rink, another person using the ice rink skated over his hand.
Legal costs in the case were assessed at €8,445 by the court, meaning that there is just over €24,000 remaining for the boy, who is now 16 years old.
The boy, who was aged just eight when the accident occurred in 2013, lost the top of his little finger to the first knuckle on his left hand in the accident at a Donegal ice rink. Due to the incident his little finger on the left hand is now almost 17mms shorter than the right-hand little finger.
As he ordered that the boy not be identified publicly. Justice Simons told those present that the boy was involved in a traumatic accident and sustained a permanent disfigurement to his left hand.
When the Judge was informed that a settlement had been agreed between the boy’s father and the operators of the ice rink when the accident occurred, R&A Leisure Ltd in Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal. Initially the legal action submitted to the court suggested that €20,000 compensation for the boy, and legal costs would be €12,500. Presiding Judge Justice Garrett Simons had adjourned the action in order to permit the child’s solicitor to produce an assessment as to what the appropriate amount for legal expenses should be.
The judge informed the court that multiple settlement offers had been submitted by solicitors representing the defendant to settle the case, with the first being an “all in figure” divided into €7,500 in damages and €7,500 in legal costs. He went on to say that the application before him to approve that settlement was turned down as the sum of damages did not reflect a reasonable settlement.
Following the new mediation talks , the judge confirmed that two better improved offers had been submitted. The most recent offer included an all-in figure of €32,500 with damages assessed as €20,000 and legal costs amounting to €12,500.
Posted: September 11th, 2021
A High Court action for compensation related to brain injuries caused by a crash involving an uninsured driver, has been settled for €14.75m recently.
Olivia Redmond O’Callaghan (37), from Gowlane South, Donoughmore, Co Cork, took the legal action against her late husband’s estate, Cork County Council and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), the body which compensates victims of uninsured driving, in relation to the road traffic accident.
Ms Redmond O’Callaghan, who was 28 at the time of the collision, took the legal action in relation the injuries she sustained when the car that was being driven by her husband crashed into a tractor and trailer. Due to the crash she suffered major brain damage and requires 24-hour care for the remainder of her life after the accident.
When the crash occurred the driver of the car she was travelling in, her husband Myles O’Callaghan, was uninsured. Mr O’Callaghan lost his life in the incident. The court was told that Ms Redmond O’Callaghan, who gave birth to her third child months after the accident, is unable to recognise her children or photographs of her husband,
Ms Redmond O’Callaghan was unable to attend court or give evidence in the legal action taken through her stepfather, Liam Power. The court was informed by Dr John O’Mahony SC, with Patrick Keane SC, instructed by solicitor John Henchion, for Ms Redmond O’Callaghan that her mental competency is “at the bottom of the spectrum”
He said: “She carried her baby through all the trauma but she never regained awareness of the reality of her environment or home. She doesn’t recognise her children. She has no engagement with anybody”. He referred to Norma Redmond Power, Ms Redmond O’Callaghan’s mother as ‘heroic’. Along with Olivia’s stepfather Liam Power they are regarded as parents by the three O’Callaghan children.
It was claimed that Cork County Council had constructed a defective public roadway which was dangerous to road users which featured a very tight bend with a radius of curvature which was allegedly below the minimum acceptable standard. It was also alleged that high vegetation was allowed to grow on the embankment of the road which allegedly restricted forward visibility.
Other claims included that there had been no warning of the sharp left-hand bend. Cork Council refuted all of these claims, arguing that the bend was visible for 210 metres and there was a camber on the bend that it said benefits drivers negotiating it. It was also stated that the accident was caused by the alleged negligence of the late Mr O’Callaghan.
Defending these claims, the MIBI, claimed Ms Redmond O’Callaghan was negligent by knowingly travelling in a car when she was aware there was no valid insurance policy in place.
Dr O’Mahony said at the opening of the legal action that it was a case of “most profound sadness“ and the woman who lost her husband in the crash has had the “most appalling repertoire of profoundly serious injuries”. Settlement talks were held subsequently and the settlement was approved then approved by Justice Paul Coffey who referred to this as a a tragic case.
The settlement, the court heard, was made with the MIBI and Cork County Council.
Posted: August 9th, 2021
Recently at the High Court 57-year-old Joseph Mulcahy was awarded €88,406 neck injury compensation due to the suffering he experienced since his car was rear-ended at a Limerick roundabout during November 2016.
Judge Justice Anthony Barr, as he was delivering his ruling, said that he believed the medical testimony provided that stated Mr Mulcahy had been suffering with a neck condition prior to the incident in question. This condition was exacerbated in the road traffic collision. Mr Mulcahy has already committed to having surgery to address the ongoing pain, even though there is no guarantee it will significantly improve his symptoms. The court was told that successful surgery will only give partial relief of his neck symptoms. It was also felt some pre-existing mental health issues that Mr Mulcahy experienced became worse in the aftermath of the car crash.
Mr Mulcahy informed the Judge that he had stopped his Opel Astra car at the Tipperary roundabout on Ballysimon Road on the day that the accident occurred. He was waiting to advance on to the roundabout when a vehicle driven by Alphonsus Clifford (92) rear-ended him. Mr Clifford did not agree with this account of events. He informed the court that he had come to a halt in the right-hand lane at the roundabout entrance and waited to advance onto it. He alleged that Mr Mulcahy’s swerved into the left lane and crashed into the front passenger side of his car
Mulcahy sued Mr Clifford (92), of Well Park, Garryowen, Limerick, in relation to the accident that occurred on November 11, 2016.
In relation to the damage caused to Mr Clifford’s vehicle, the judge said that it was a little more severe than to Mr Mulcahy’s car. However, a motor assessor representing the defendant agreed that some of the damage could only have been inflicted if the front wheels of the defendant’s vehicle were turned at an angle at the point of impact. It was also pointed out that a garda sketch of the scene indicated that Mr Mulcahy’s car was not on the roundabout when the crash occurred but it had come to a halt at the roundabout entrance within the right hand lane. This meant that the defendant’s claims could not be considered correct.
Liability was contested between the parties and there was lengthy debate in relation to what resulted in Mr Mulcahy’s ongoing pain in his neck and lower back. Justice Barr ruled that the road traffic crash took place as a result of the plaintiff’s vehicle being rear-ended by the defendant’s vehicle at the entrance of the roundabout. Due to this it was ruled that liability for the accident was with the defendant. Additionally there was no contributory negligence factor for Mr Mulcahy to be held accountable for, the Judge added.
Due to these findings, Justice Barr awarde road traffic crash compensation of €50,000 and €25,000 to Mr Mulcahy in relation to the pain and suffering he has endured and will continue to going forward.
Posted: May 1st, 2021
At the Circuit Civil Court a road traffic accident car crash settlement offer fo €25,000 for a six-year-old girl was approved by Judge James McCourt recently.
The crash, which occurred during 2018, lead to a great deal of trauma and stress for a young girl that was involved. Judge John McCourt was told that Missy Elliott, who was just three years old at the time that the crash occurred, had to deal with a lot of anxiety that Father Christmas might be unable to get to her house that particular year.
Now a Primary School pupil, Miss too the legal action against Denis Osula – the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision, through her mother Ms Cherie Byrne, of Hampton Wood, Finglas, Dublin 11. The court was informed that Mr Osula had crash in the back of the car that the Elliott family were travelling in.
Barrister Robert Crowley, representing Missy along with Collins Crowley solicitors, told Justice McCourt that Missy was a restrained passenger in the family car when the car that was being driven by Mr Osula (with an address at College View, Ballymun, Gateway Crescent, Dublin 11) during September 2018.
While Missy did not sustain any trace of physical injuries as a result of the car crash, Mr Crowley told the Court that she attended Dr Helen Leader, a consultant kid psychiatrist as well as cognitive behaviour professional, so they her mental well being could be gauged following the shocking incident.
In her assessment, Dr Leader said that Missy’s anxieties, an poor sleeping, pointed to an adjustment problem. Dr Leader also commented, in the official medical report that was submitted to the court, that Missy had clearly not suffered any long-term physical damage as a result of the car crash.
When it was put to Mr Crowley, by Justice McCourt, that a lot of children of Missy’s age would be prone to experiencing anxiety connected with Father Christmas bringing gifts at Christmas time, he agreed, However, he continued to to say that there was clear evidence that the young girl also developed poor sleeping patterns and anxiety due to being in the road traffic collision.
While approving the settlement offer, Justice McCourt commented that he had no qualms about approving the compensation settlement and added that Missy’s parents were content with it.
Posted: February 20th, 2021
€34,000 in personal injury compensation has been awarded to a child who fractured his arm while attending a summer camp.
Following the incident the only medical treatment that was administered was by placing ‘frozen meat’ on the area where pain was being experienced.
During legal proceeding at the High Court it as relayed how the then 9-year-old Erwan Rafferty Louis had been playing a game of rounders at a golf summer camp in Castleknock Golf Club when he fell. Unfortunately the summer camp supervisor, who was overseeing the game, had been running close to Erwan and fell on top of him.
Erwan – with an address at Luttrellstown Drive, Castleknock, Dublin 15 – suffered injuries to the bones in his left arm during the incident. Despite this, the only treatment he was given at the scene was placing frozen meat on the arm that he had hurt.
Appearing with Williams Solicitors for Erwan and his mother Aisling Louis Barrister Gareth Kinsella informed Judge John O’Connor that Erwan did not have any further medical treatment administered his mother later brough called to the club and took him to hospital for further attention. At Temple Street Children’s Hospital x-rays carried out by the accident-and-emergency department showed that he had sustained fractures to both bones in his left forearm. The swelling he sustained had been such that surgery had to be delayed for a week. His arm was placed in a cast and sling and he attended the hospital a week later to have correctional K-wire surgery completed.
Through his mother, Erwan, now 14, too a personal injury compensation against Castleknock Golf Club as well as Dublin-based companies BRBM Golf and Leisure; Cglf Limited and Glenveagh Properties Plc.
Mr Kinsella told the Judge that an assessment by the Injuries Board had estimated compensation to the extent of €32,000. Following this a settlement on behalf of all defendants had been offered to the boy, in additional to €1,600 in special damages. Kinsella provided a legal opinion to the court, stating that though he felt the behaviour of the course supervisors to have been egregiously inappropriate and inadequate after the accident, he was of the opinion that the personal injury compensation the settlement was a good one.
After being informed that there had been no post-accident abnormalities arising from Erwan’s injuries, Judge O’Connor approved the assessment and settlement offer. Hea lso agreed with Mr Kinsella’s comments in relation to the first-aid treatment being egregiously inappropriate and inadequate.
Posted: November 28th, 2020
A young man, a member of the traveller community, who was was told by a staff member the pizza restaurant that the store was not a charity giving out free and also wrongly accused of not paying for a takeaway, has been awarded €12,500 in personal injury compensation.
Barrister Tim Sheehan, who appeared with Elizabeth Ferris Solicitors for Patrick Connors (17), said it was normal in the restaurant for the customer to order and pay for food and then wait until it was ready. Judge John O’Connor in the Circuit Civil Court was informed that a year ago in Dominos Pizza in Citywest, Dublin, the Connors had been kept waiting outside for a period of 20 minutes after having asked for the gardaí being called. He was eventually forced to leave without receiving the food he had paid for.
Patrick informed the court that, when his food order had arrived at the counter an assistant asked him: “Can I be paid for this?” Mr Connors replied saying he had already paid for his food, to which he was told: “Either pay now or be removed. We are not a charity like St Vincent de Paul. We don’t give out food for free. I have never heard anyone speak like you on the map before. I don’t understand you.”
Mr Sheehan said a number of security workers employed at Citywest Shopping Centre then come to the scene and one informed Mr Connors they had called the gardaí at his request but the gardaí never arrived at the scene. He added: “The following day when his mother, Bridget Connors, called to Dominos about the incident she received an apology from a staff member. She was told the entire incident had been videoed and the CCTV had made it quite clear Patrick had paid and had been wrongly accused.”
Mr Sheehan informed the court that Domino’s insurance company had, during mediation talks, behaved very openly. He added that they claimed the mistake had taken place as a result of a change of staff shift between the time that Patrick ordered the food and before he went to the counter to collect it.
Judge O’Connor gave his approval for a compensation settlement offer of €12,500 to Patrick. He added that Mr Sheehan he had done particularly well in his negotiations as, normally, such cases of defamation had result in compensation settlements of €6,000/€7,000.
Posted: September 24th, 2020
At the High Court a car crash compensation settlement agreement has been approved by Justice Kevin Cross as a result of a woman involved being left in a paralysed condition following a road traffic collision that occurred in 2016.
Sally Crossan, native of Lifford was involved in a crash with another car when she sustain life changing injuries in what was termed a “ferocious collision”. The judge was informed that she no longer has any control of her four limbs and she had to remain in hospital for for 19 months following the incident in question.
For Mrs Crossan in court, Liam Reidy SC, Richard Lyons SC and solicitor Pat McMyler said that she was driving just outside of Lifford towards Letterkenny when the crash occurred. She had just dropped her son to school. She was stuck in the crash vehicle until firemen were able to cut her out safely some 35 minutes later.
It was relayed to Justice Cross that Ms Crossan’s brain injuries were recognised as ‘significant’ quite soon after the accident but it was not until 18 months after the accident that it was seen that she was suffering with locked-in syndrome. Her cognitive state remains in tact and she can communicate using words.
Due to the events surrounded the road traffic accident, a compensation claim was submitted against the driver of the other car involved – Christine Henry, Greenhills, Manorcunningham – and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
The allegations against Ms Henry included that she had not been driving her car safely while maintaining a proper lookout for with other road users. The action against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland was in relation to a large amount of oil that was discovered on the road where the accident occurred.
There had been no agreement in relation to liability in the case, a source of distress for Mr Crossan’s family according to Justice Cross. Mrs Crossan has been been absolves of any liability, however. However, today the court was told that the two actions have been consolidated and a settlement agreement has now been reached.
John Crossan, Sally’s husband has been providing care for his wife since the accident. He has given up his full time job to do so and he also settled a separate compensation action.
Both road traffic compensation settlements are not being made public. Justice Cross praised John Crossan on the care that he has been giving his wife since the accident occurred.
Posted: August 24th, 2020
Following an appeal by defendants Alan Crosby and Mary Vocella, a personal injury compensation award for whiplash injuries sustained in a car accident have been reset to €41,000 by the Court of Appeal in Dublin last week.
Upon further review of the €70,000 compensation award that was approved that the High Court in December 2019, Court of Appeal Judge Justice Seamus Noonan found that the award figured was not representative of the suffering incurred. Justice Noonan did say that plaintiff Emma McKeown had appeared to be an honest person who did not seek to exaggerate her injuries.
Moreover, Justice Noonan was critical of the fact that personal injuries awards can vary greatly depending on the presiding Judge and that this should clearly not be the case, saying “Whatever the reality may be, it is clear that awards made by the courts have an impact on society as a whole and the courts are mindful of that fact. Ultimately each member of society must bear the cost of a compensation system whether through the payment of insurance premia in the case of private defendants or taxes in the case of public defendants. Society thus has a direct interest in the level of awards. Frequently, the identity of the trial judge would not be known until moments before the case actually commenced, resulting in varying outcomes depending on the ‘draw’. It is clear that this has the potential for injustice. It cannot be fair to either plaintiff or defendant that the value of their case depends on the identity of the trial judge.”
He added: “Personal injury litigation should not be a lottery and plaintiffs and defendants alike are entitled to reasonable consistency and predictability. This is particularly important in the context of injuries which fall at the lower end of the spectrum as these constitute the vast bulk of cases, most commonly involving soft tissue, or ‘whiplash’ injuries.”
Justice Noonan finished by saying: “Taking into account all the relevant factors to which I have referred in the context of the proportionality of the award in this case, I am satisfied that by any reasonable measure it cannot be viewed as proportionate. It is not proportionate when viewed against the measure of the maximum for the most serious injuries. The cost of (motor, public or employer’s liability) insurance is for most ordinary people and businesses, a significant outgoing. The extent to which awards by courts influence that cost is in recent times, a matter of widespread public discourse, debate and dispute.
Posted: July 14th, 2020
A man who was unable to continue his employment at a meat processing plant due to the injuries his sustained in a car accident has been awarded €3,500 car accident compensation.
sac Cosmin Cirpaciu of Powerscourt, Mallow, Co Cork told the court that his still experiences pain in his right shoulder, neck, back, chest as a resuld of the accident that occurred at a roundabout in Mallow, Co Cork. and side after a crash with the defendant, Barry Maas, at a roundabout.
The court was told that Mr Cirpaciu was stationary in the left lane before entering a roundabout in Mallow when the car of Barry Maas collided with his own vehicle. Mr Maas contested this and claimed that they were actually on the roundabout when the accident occurred. However, the plaintiff told the court that Mr Maas drove into he left lane and struck his vehicle, while the defendant claimed that Mr Cirpaciu moved over into his lane.
The court was informed that Mr Cirpaciu attended a doctor roughly 25 minutes after the accident. Following this has was scheduled for two physiotherapy sessions and had to see a specialist in order to have his injuries attended to. He said: “For around three or four weeks I went to my GP and he kept giving me painkillers.”
Mr Cirpaciu said he took up a new job with Kepak meat processing plant but had to return to his old job at Rossi’s takeaway in Charleville due to back pain.
Defence barrister Deirdre Keane asked Mr Cirpaciu why he did not disclose that he also suffered a right shoulder injury in an incident in September 2016 for which he received compensation. Mr Cirpaciu’s legal team responded by saying that the medical report have already been provided for that accident.
Forensic engineers were called on behalf of the plaintiff and defendant. For the plaintiff engineer Michael Byrne, who investigated the crash told the court that it appeared to him that Mr Maas moved out of the left lane as he drove onto the roundabout and that he was travelling quicker than Mr Cirpaciu’s. For the defendant forensic engineer Seamus Walsh testified that there was evidence from the damage on Mr Maas’ front left wheel suggested that the front right wheel of Mr Cirpaciu’s BMW was turned to the right. In addition to this he informed the Judge that an indentation on the front right bumper of Mr Cirpaciu’s car was not deep enough to ascertain that Mr Maas had moved across into the left lane.
Judge Ó Donnabháin awarded the plaintiff €3,500, together with costs saying that “I prefer the evidence of the plaintiff as to the probable cause of the accident as supported by his engineer” and that the aciddent could be described as mild and the injuries as minor.
Posted: June 3rd, 2020
A man has been awarded €35,000 car accident compensation at the High Court due to the injuries he suffered as a result of a car accident where his son-in-law was driving.
An appeal had been lodged by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) in relation to a previous decision that Gerard Mongan was entitled to damages after being struck by a car driven by Martin Mongan. This was in connection with a car accident that happened in the aftermath of an argument outside the plaintiff’s home at Renmore in Galway on June 16 2013.
Martin Mongan, who was previously married to Gerard Mongan’s daughter Amanda, was allegedly intoxicated when he went to the plaintiff’s residence and asked that he see his son immediately. The resident advised him that he should leave immediately. He did so but, it was claimed, he came back later and drove off the road and onto the path straight into Gerard Mongan.
Due to the injuries he sustained in the incident, Gerard Mongan filed a compensation claim in Galway Circuit Court against both Martin Mongan and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.
In the High Court the MIBI claimed that it had no liability due to the fact that the uninsured driver had deliberately used the car as a weapon. The case was made that any injuries were not the result of negligent driving by Martin Mongan. Legal representatives for the plaintiff countered this by alleging that there was no evidence that Martin Mongan had used his car as a weapon. The accident, they said, occurred due to a breach by Martin Mongan of his duty of care that it constituted negligent use of the vehicle.
The appeal was dismissed by Justice Denis McDonald. As he was delivering his ruling Justice McDonald was critical of the way that evidence was given by Gerard Mongan and his wife in relation to the incident.
He noted that their compensation claims did not state that Martin Mongan drove deliberately at them. However this was greatly different with the available evidence and statements given in the direct aftermath of the incident.
However the judge also ruled that the plaintiff are entitled to compensation based on legislation governing the MIBI and European law on matters like this.
Posted: March 6th, 2020
A high court childer injury compensation settlement of €75,000 has approved in favour of a 12-year old boy who, as a toddler, broke his arm when he fell through a skylight in a hotel grounds.
ory Veighey McCabe , attending a wedding with his family sat the MOyvalley Hotel, Co Kildare when he fell through an skylight, which was embedded in the ground, and dropped ten feet to the floor. Rory was playing on a grassy area when the accident occurred. There were many skylights in the grassy area to provide light to a tunnel used by staff to access the hotel kitchens from outside of the hotel.
On the day that Rory was attending the wedding with his family he, and some of the other children in attendance, used the corridor to go outside and play when the speeches were taking place. It was when these speeches were being held that Rory has the accident where he dropped through the skylight and hit the ground 10 feet below him. on the tunnel floor. There was, allegedly, no security in place to prevent anyone from falling through the skylight, making this a particularly dangerous hazard for children.
Rory tool the child injury compensation action through his mother Nicola Veighey, of Kilcock, Co Kildare against the proprietors of the hotel, Moyvalley Hotel and Leisure Company in relation to the accident on June 22,2010. John Kennedy SC, legal representative for the Veighey family, informed the court that liability was not being contested in the case.
Mr Kennedy informed the court that, even though Rory was not left unconscious as a result of the accident he suffer due to the cuts and broken arm that he sustained. In addition to this three of his baby teeth fell out in the accident.
As he was giving his approval for the hotel accident compensation settlement, Justice Kevin Cross said that the young boy was very lucky not to have sustained a brain injury as a result of the fall. Justice Cross said that he felt the settlement figure agreed was appropriate and gave his approval for it before wishing Rory well for the future.
Posted: January 27th, 2020
At the High Court €80,000 road accident compensation has been awarded to 63-year-old Margaret Keating who was injured when a taxi collided with a Luas tram at a junction.
The compensation award, which was approved by Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court, includes €10,000 for aggravated damages. Justice Cross said he believed Ms Keating to be an honest witness who did not in any way exaggerate her complaints.
Ms Keating had taken the legal action against the the taxi driver, claiming he broken a red light and caused an emergency on the Red Line Luas tram in which she was travelling in 2015. Ms Keating was informed that she was sitting at the back of the tram and hit a support bar in the accident. Due to this she suffered injuries to her neck and shoulder.
The accident happened at the junction of Steevens Lane approaching Heuston Station.
The judge said that Ms Keating was going to be left with some ongoing symptoms into the future and indefinitely, even though her injuries were tissue in nature. He added that Ms Keating “has had a nasty time and has had a significant change in her lifestyle”.
Ms Keating, of Bluebell Road, Bluebell, Dublin, had taken the legal compensation action against taxi-man Martin Mulligan, from Leixlip, Co Kildare, over the accident that occurred on June 15, 2016.
It was alleged that the taxi driver had ran a red light showing against him and he failed to keep any or any proper lookout. Additionally, she also alleged that as a result of the accident she developed a travel anxiety and now has a fear of travelling on trams and trains.
Mr Mulligan refuted that claims that were made by Ms Keating that she had suffered a number of injuries.
Mr Justice Cross said he formed a view Ms Keating was an honest person in relation to the circumstances of the accident and did not exaggerate her symptoms.
The judge said the taxi driver’s legal representatives had applied to have the case dismissed on grounds including that Ms Keating had not included the details of a 2017 accident in documents prepared for the court case and that she had also allegedly withheld the GP’s report from the defendants until June 2019.
Mr Justice Cross said the 2017 accident was irrelevant to the injuries that she had suffered, the subject matter of this case, and he said there was no attempts to deceive.
The Judge also decreed there was no basis to suggest the medical report from the GP was suppressed to mask the 2017 accident.
He said professional misconduct was alleged and it was not right to allege professional misconduct against a solicitor without any possible basis for that claim.
Ruling that Ms Keating was entitled to aggravated damages, Mr Justice Cross said she was never asked during evidence in relation to her subsequent injuries dealing with this accident.
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.