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: 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: 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: 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: 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.