Personal Injury Claims
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: 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: June 7th, 2017
A judge has awarded a jogger trip and fall compensation against Dublin Council and increased the award to account for the council´s aggressive defence.
In September 2011, the twenty-four year old plaintiff was jogging within the Clondalkin caravan site in Dublin when he tripped on a hidden depression in the footpath and fell – fracturing a knuckle in his right hand. The man – who was a keen amateur boxer at the time – had to undergo surgery and has been unable to return to boxing since.
As the caravan site is owned by the local authority, the plaintiff claimed trip and fall injury compensation against Dublin Council on the grounds it had not been maintained to a safe standard. South Dublin County Council denied liability for the jogger´s injury and argued it had resulted from a boxing match and that his claim was fraudulent.
The case went to the High Court where it was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. During cross-examination of the plaintiff, the council´s legal representatives repeated its argument the injury had occurred in a boxing match and supported the allegation by saying he had been out jogging the morning after he had suffered a soft tissue injury in a car accident.
The plaintiff agreed that he had been out jogging the morning after a car accident, and an expert medical witness testifying on the plaintiff´s behalf told Judge Barr it was normal for somebody in the plaintiff´s physical condition to try and run off his injury. Judge concluded this was a “credible explanation” for why the plaintiff had been jogging the following morning and found in his favour.
The judge awarded the plaintiff €55.000 trip and fall injury compensation against Dublin Council, and then increased the award by €5,000 aggravated damages to account for the upset the jogger had been caused by the council´s unjustified allegations that his claim was fraudulent.
Posted: May 15th, 2017
The plaintiffs in a case against a car dealership which sold them a vehicle with a faulty sunroof have been awarded compensation for injuries caused by the roof blowing off while on the motorway.
While travelling from Dublin to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition in November 2013, the sun roof of the car the two plaintiffs were travelling in blew off. The car had been travelling along the M1 at a speed of 80-90kmph. The driver was startled by the incident, and braked hard in alarm as the roof blew off of their vehicle.
Due to the very rapid stop, the five passengers in the car (the two plaintiffs and three of their family members) suffered whiplash-type injuries. There were two children in the vehicle, which were luckily unharmed. However, the driver´s 72-year-old mother, suffered several injuries, including a compression fracture to one of the vertebrae in her lower back.
The affected family members sought legal counsel, and subsequently made claims for car accident injuries against the showroom from which the car had been purchased. The vehicle had only been purchased four months prior to the incident. In their motion, the plaintiffs claimed that the sun roof had been faulty and the fault should have been identified by the dealer.
The defendants-Denis Mahony Limited of Kilbarrack Road in Dublin-denied liability for the faulty sun roof and the plaintiffs´ injuries. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was informed that corrosion found around the remaining frame of the sun roof would have been present on the Toyota at the time it was sold. According to the testimony of an independent motor assessor, the corrosion led to the sun roof blowing off.
Judge Groarke stated that he understood that the sun roof being blown off at 90kmph would have been a terrifying experience for the plaintiffs, and understood why the driver plaintiff had applied the brakes so sharply. He awarded the driver of the car €12,500 compensation and her mother €25,000 compensation in settlement of their claims for car accident injuries.
Posted: March 16th, 2017
A woman has been awarded compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, with her status as a musician causing the judge to cite the case as an “exceptional” one.
In March 2012, a woman from Ardnacrusha in County Clare was a passenger in a taxi when it was rear-ended on Wexford Street in Dublin by another taxi. Due to the force of the collision, the woman suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder. She sought medical attention as a result of the accident and was prescribed painkillers for her injury by her GP.
After seeking legal counsel, the woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim. The negligent taxi driver accepted liability for causing the accident and her injuries. However, the amount of the assessment which was initially offered by the negligent party was rejected by the woman, who claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury.
Due to her request for more compensation, the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim in court. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was informed that the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising the violin for several hours a day. However, he was also told by the defendant´s insurance company that her injury was unrelated to the accident, as the collision between the two taxis had been “insignificant” to cause the injuries claimed.
Judge Groarke admitted that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting” and that on the balance of probabilities the woman would likely made a full recovery from her injury. However, while concluding that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin. The woman was described as a “talented musician” in court, and as such it was an exceptional case.
Judge Groarke awarded the woman €25,000 compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, stating he accepted the plaintiff´s belief that the discomfort she suffers is related to the accident between the two taxis.
Posted: November 20th, 2016
A claim for personal injury compensation made against the supermarket giant has been settled in Dublin’s Circuit Court.
The accident occurred in January 2014 when the victim, an unnamed thirty-two-year-old Dublin nurse, attended her local branch of Tesco Metro. Whilst navigating through the shop, the woman tripped and fell over a six-pack of beer that had been placed on the floor by a queueing customer.
The woman, who had previously required reconstructive surgery on one of her knees, was rushed by ambulance to St James’ Hospital, where an x-ray was carried out on her leg. The x-ray showed that the same knee that had been damaged before had sustained another fracture. Two surgeries were required to amend the damage, though the woman also had to endure two-and-a-half years of physiotherapy.
After the victim made a claim for personal injuries compensation through Injuries Board Ireland, the Board asked permission from Tesco to carry out an assessment. When this permission was denied, the woman was the authorised to proceed with her claim through the courts, where it was heard earlier this month.
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke oversaw proceedings at the Circuit Court, where he was informed that Tesco were denying liability for the fractured knee. They argued that there was nothing that they could have done to prevent the accident, and that the woman had caused her own injury by failing to avoid the brightly-packaged obstacle.
However, it was counter-argued that the layout of the small supermarket meant that customers had to navigate through the queue of people waiting to use the self-checkout machines to access certain parts of the shop. The judge, who noted that the knee fracture must be particularly bad to still cause the victim trouble, commented that this was a poor system.
Adding that customer traffic should have been better managed, Judge Groarke found in the claimant’s favour. Initially awarding a sum of €60,000, 20% was then deducted for contributory negligence.
Posted: June 17th, 2016
The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations has said that the Irish government should alter the laws that prevent women seeking abortions for fatal foetal abnormalities.
Despite recent changes to the Eighth Amendment – which protects the right to life of the unborn – such that women may seek terminations if it can be shown that the mother’s health is jeopardised, there are still many instances in which terminations are illegal. For example, if the foetus is malformed and as such will lead to a miscarriage, it is illegal to abort the foetus. Additionally, pregnancies that are the result of incest or rape are not allowed to be terminated.
Many Irish women are negatively affected by such laws, and will often travel abroad for medical treatment. One such woman was Amanda Mellet, who found out twenty-one weeks into her pregnancy that her foetus fatally abnormal. She was informed that the pregnancy would end in miscarriage, or that her baby would die very shortly after birth. Not wanting to endure either scenario, Amanda decided to travel to the United Kingdom and undergo an abortion.
However, Amanda’s experience was highly upsetting as she could not easily access information before the treatment and was not entitled to bereavement counselling upon her return home. In light of this, Amanda decided to set up “Termination for Medical Reasons”, an organisation that has campaigned for changes to Irish law and has even petitioned the UN Human Rights Committee. The organisation claims that the current laws are cruel, discriminatory, inhuman and degrading.
The committee found in Amanda’s favour, ruling that her well-being was put at risk because of the Irish law. They also said that Amanda had undergone necessary financial and emotional suffering, and recommended that the State compensate her for their failure to provide a termination “in the familiar environment of her own country and under the care of health professionals whom she knew and trusted.”
The United Nations also recommended that the Eighth Amendment should be revised to allow Irish women to access “effective, timely and accessible procedures for pregnancy termination in Ireland, and take measures to ensure that healthcare providers are in a position to supply full information on safe abortion services without fearing being subjected to criminal sanctions.”