Claims News

More Social Media Moderator Claims Likely as Man (53) files claim against Facebook

Posted on: December 4th, 2019

The first of a number of social media moderator claims has been submitted in Dublin today.

Chris Gray, who was previously employed CPL solutions for a contract as a content moderator with Facebook has submitted a action seeking damages against both the social media giant and the contracting agency due to, what he claims are, psychological injuries he suffered arising out his work duties. These duties, he alleges, included viewing ‘extremely disturbing, graphic and violent content’.

Mr Gray filed his compensation action today at the High Court, claiming that the “very disturbing” photographs and videos, including executions, lethal beatings, stonings, whippings, the abuse of children, animal torture and extreme sexual content” that he had to view during his time moderating Facebook content lead to the psychological injuries.

In addition to viewing the disturbing content, there was more pressure to make the correct decision regarding the suitability of the content to be allowed to be published on Facebook. The expected work outcome was a 98 per cent accuracy rating. Mr Gray said that he had eventually become “numb and desensitised” to the content and increasingly irritable, sensitive, argumentative and aggressive.

Facebook’s network of content moderators includes 15,000 based at various locations around the world. These people are charged with the task of reviewing all content published on the platform in order to remove inappropriate graphic content.

53-year-old Mr Gray said that he became conscious of a “slow creep” in that his “personal and political views were becoming increasingly influenced by the insidious content he was required to view.” He claims that that he developed difficulty sleeping due to the terrible dreams that were caused by the disturbing content he witnessed and would often wake during the night “with a fright, concerned not by the content, but by whether or not he had marked it correctly during his shift”.

Coleman Legal Partners, Dublin, are representing Mr Gray. It is predicted that this is just the first of many of this type of legal action in Ireland. A United Kingdom-based not-for-profit group, Foxglove is supporting the the legal action. They have been involved in a campaign to have Facebook improve the conditions that the works must operate in.

Mr Gray referenced an absence of adequate support and training provided for staff which would allow them to manage “what seemed like a relentless flow of extreme and graphic material”. He alleged that that this absence of support had a huge impact on him and resulted in him being unable to discuss work-related issues with his superiors in a calm and professional way.

Responding to the submission of the legal action a Facebook representative said that the company was aware that “reviewing certain types of content can sometimes be difficult”. However she claimed that the company is allowing for training and full-time support to moderators along with technical solutions to control the amount of graphic material they must view and said “this is an important issue and we are committed to getting this right.” CPL was unavailable for comment.

House Damage Compensation of €54,000 Awarded to Woman Following Oil Leak

Posted on: November 28th, 2019

A woman who had to live in temporary accommodation for two years after an oil spillage from a neighbour’s tank damaged the structure of her house has been awarded €54,000 at the High Court.

A personal injury compensation action was submitted by Ms Davies against her neighbour Margaret O’Leary who was living in a house on a elevated area to the rear of Ms Davies’ house. Ms O’Leary expressed the view that she was not liable for damage to the property as there had been a settlement for the costs of repairs to the house payments for different accommodation for Ms Davies and her family.

Mr Justice Meenan did not accept claims by Ms Davies that Ms O’Leary had deliberately withheld the truth from her when Ms Davies originally spoke to her about the oil spill. He awarded her €54, 204, made up of €12,500 general compensation and €41, 704 special compensation.

In awarding the sum Justice Meenan said while Ms O’Leary had not been asked to give evidence he was satisfied that she had acted responsibly when she became aware the leak was coming from her tank. The measures she took to address this included getting the oil removed swiftly and contracting environmental experts to overlook the damage caused.

Ms Davies told the court the leak took place early during the morning after they had been experiencing a considerable amount of rain at the start of 2013. She said that she went to Ms O’Leary’s asked her over the intercom about the incident as Ms O’Leary did allow her to enter. Ms O’Leary told Ms Davis that she did not have an oil leak but would get it checked as soon as she could. Some time after this Ms Davies said she saw what looked like a group of men emptying the oil tank.

Ms O’Leary, when contacted by Ms Davies, said that her that she was  just having the oil removed as a precautionary step and maintained that there was no oil leak on her tank. Within five minutes of this conversation happening Ms Davies was called by Ms O’Leary’s son Jarlath who also told her “there was no oil leaking and the emptying of the tank was solely precautionary.”

The judge was given information that it was necessary, for the repair work to be completed, for the ground floor to be cut up “like a piece of fudge” so the substructure could be mended.

Mr Justice  Meenan did not allow Ms Davies’ claim for aggravated damages as, he said, there was no basis for having included them in the statement of claim.

 

Pharmacy Accident Compensation of €22,000 Awarded to Boy (2)

Posted on: November 13th, 2019

At the Circuit Civil Court a two-year-old child, who cut his right eye off a sharp object on a shelf in a Co Dublin pharmacy, has been awarded €22,000 personal injury compensation.

Judge John O’ Connor was informed that Ross Pickering of Merrion Park, South Hill Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, had been at Bradley’s Chemist with his mother on 14th July, 2014, when the unfortunate accident took place.

Barrister Samantha Cruess- Callaghan, counsel for Ross, who sued through his mother Marie-Claire Greenan, told the court that following the accident, Ross had been taken to the Emergency Department of Crumlin Hospital for medical attention.

Ms Cruess- Callaghan informed the Judge that medics treated Ross for a laceration to his right upper eyelid, measuring approximately three centimetres. It had been cleaned using an anti-septic technique and was found to be superficial. Two weeks later the child was reviewed again to have his steri-strips removed, there was no bleeding or signs of infection to Ross’s injury at the time and the wound had healed well. She said the child’s mother had been informed that if there had been any concerns nine months post-accident, then Ross could seek advice from a plastic surgeon.

On his one year-check up to review the wound with a Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon,  it was noted that Ross had a scar measuring 1cm by 3mm above his right eye, slightly red in colour and visible from a conversational distance. His opinion had been that the scar had still been immature and would continue to heal in the next 18 months when it would become white in colour.

The boy’s family was taking the  personal injury compensation action against Siofra Limited and L’oreal (UK) Limited trading as La Roche Posay due to the injuries he suffered.

The accident occurred when the child had stooped down to pick something up off the floor . However, when he had stood up he caught the underside of his right eye on a sharp item located on a La Roche Posay display shelf.

Ms Cruess- Callaghan recommended the proposed personal injury compensation settlement €22,000, saying that it was her belief that this figure represents the value of Ross’s case.

Judge O’ Connor approved the offer from Siofra Limited and L’oreal (Uk) Limited trading as La Roche Posay (third party).

Catering Employee Awarded €30k after Being ‘Sexually Harassed’ by Chef

Posted on: October 17th, 2019

An order to pay €30,000 has been made in relation to a facilities company after a female catering assistant claimed she had her bottom pinched by a chef/manager in just one of a range of sexual harassment incidents involving the senior male member of staff.

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudication Officer, Catherine Byrne, commented when she was delivering her decision: “As an instance of sexual harassment, a pinch on the bottom may not be at the extreme end of the scale, but it is well within the definition of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. It was also at the end of a continuum of incidents including a punch in the ribs, being sniffed at, constant unwanted touching and making offensive sexual remarks about the complainant to her husband.”

The Adjudication Officer calculate the €30,000 award as 18 months income for the worker in question. The firm provides catering services at the offices of a government department.

The Polish worker submitted a complaint of sexual harassment to her employer in relation to the bottom pinch to her employer on the day the incident occurred, February 1 2018.  The chef/manager refuted the allegations and counter-claimed he had a sanitiser bottle in his hand and that the bottle brushed up against the female. Following an investigation by the employer the chef’s claims were accepted, as was his explanation of  other issues raised by the female worker and by the extended team. Following this the employees filed the complaint to the WRC.

When she was making her final ward, Byrne stated that she was of the opinion that the catering assistant was telling the truth when she said that the chef/manager touched her bottom. She remarked: “It is my view that the effect of the sexual harassment suffered by the complainant was compounded by the failure of the respondent to give any credence to her evidence and I find that, of itself, this demonstrated a lack of respect for her. To compensate for this treatment, I decide that the respondent is to pay the complainant compensation of €30,000, which is equivalent to 18 months’ wages.”

Settlement Offer of €32,500 Approved for Creche Accident Involving Two-year-old boy

Posted on: October 9th, 2019

A two-year-old boy who fell and cut his left eyebrow at Wee Care Limited, Monkstown, Co Dublin has had a €32,500 creche compensation settlement approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

The accident happened when Lucas Murphy (7), was washing his hands in a bathroom at the creche. His legal representative, barrister Samantha Cruess Callaghan, informed Judge John O’Connor that the boy had been standing on a small stool while washing his hands at a sink in question. He was standing on the footstool as the sink was too high for him. Lucas was standing on a small plastic stool while cleaning his hands when the accident happened. As he fell to the ground he hit his head on the toilet bowl.

Lucas, who has an address at Ashgrove, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire claimed, through his legal team and his father,  that the management of Wee Care Ltd had been negligent in relation to the accident in question. He (Lucas) had been left with a visible horizontal scar on his left eyebrow.

Lucas, was just two-and-a-half years old when the incident took place at the Wee Care Creche in October 2014. The Judge was advised that he (Lucas) experienced a great deal of trauma due to the fact that he was hurried by ambulance to Tallaght Hospital. After being seen in Tallaght he was transferred to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin for treatment which included applying adhesive tape to the laceration. He had to attend the day care unit at the hospital for three further appointments. By the time of his final appointment in January 2015 it was found that his cut had successfully healed leaving a two-centimetre long scar.

Lucasm through his father, Darren Murphy, took the personal injury award action against Wee Care Limited. Wee Care Ltd made a personal injury child settlement offer of €32,500 damages. The Judge was informed the parents did not believe that this figure was sufficient. However, Judge O’Connor advised them that, given the circumstances it was a very reasonable offer. He approved the offer.

Australian Tourist Awarded €67,000 Museum Accident Compensation

Posted on: September 7th, 2019

A museum accident compensation award of approximately €67,000 has been approved at the High Court for an Australian tourist who fell and injured his leg when he slipped and rolled down stone stairs at the National Museum of Ireland.

Presiding judge Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon told the High Court that the museum’s Portland stone steps had been shiny and slippery at the time that Warren Baldwin (70), from Revesby New South Wales, ruptured a leg tendon in the accident on the steps. Mr Baldwin suffered major trauma, inconvenience and costs due to the fall.

On June 5, 2016 Mr Baldwin, slipped and fell on the third step from the end of the staircase he was descending in the National Museum. The steps were constructed in 1890, when the museum, located in Kildare Street building was developed.

Justice O’Hanlon said that the accident took place due to negligence in not have a railing in place for a to guide a person down the whole of the seven-step staircase.

She went on to say that Mr Baldwin would not have fallen if a proper safe and safe handrail in place on the steps at the time the accident took place. The wrought-iron bannister that is there is topped by a wooden rail and finishes at the third-last step where it links up with a stone balustrade.

Legal counsel for the National Museum of Ireland said that there was no problems with the stairs when the accident took place. They went on to say that there had been one handrail in place to guide people down the stairs and that of the 470,000 people attending, the museum during 2016 Mr Baldwin was the only individual who fell while walking down the stairs.

Justice O’Hanlon made the museum accident compensation award of €66,989 for Mr Baldwin and said that the museum did not fulfil it duty of care towards the safety of its visitors.

Family of Donegal Man Awarded Six-figure Wrongful Death Compensation Settlement

Posted on: September 2nd, 2019

The family of a Donegal man, who died following an accident that occurred as he was cutting down some tree at a wind farm construction site wind farm, has agreed to a six-figure settlement in relation to the wrongful death legal compensation action that they submitted.

Jonathan Gormley, who was working as a chainsaw operator, died just beforeChristmas  2015. Mr Gormley, the father of two young children, had been cutting down trees at the construction site for the Meenadreen Wind Farm in the Barnesmore area of County Donegal when the unfortunate accident occurred. He was 29-years-old at the time of his death.

The inquest into Mr Gormley’s death was advised hat Mr Gormley was was found with a pine tree lying across his left shoulder. It is estimated that he had not been seen for approximately two and a half hours before a work colleague, Joe Devaney, finally found him in that position.

Mr Devaney informed the official inquest that he had last seen Mr Gormley at approximately 11.30am or 12pm on December 21. It had been an extremely stormy day and Mr Devaney called his (Mr Gormley’s) mobile phone four times between 2.17pm and 2.36pm, but got no answer and became worried about his safety. When found Mr Gormley he was on his knees with his helmet on and a tree lying across on his shoulder. He as unable to find Gormley’s pulse.

After some unsuccessful attempts to remove the tree in question 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 evidence presented at the inquest said the cause of death was traumatic or mechanical asphyxia secondary to compression of the chest as a result of a fallen tree.

Mr Gormley’s partner Mairead Coughlin and his Mr Gormley’s parents submitted the legal action against Viridian Energy Ltd trading as Energia, owners of the wind farm, and Softwood Ireland Ltd as a result of the death of Mr Gormley on December 21, 2015.

It was claimed there was a failure to have an assigned employee to coordinate chainsaw
work and to ensure no chainsaw worker was permitted to be carried out by anyone on their own. It was also claimed Mr Gormley had been been permitted to remove a stand of trees manually using a chainsaw in circumstances where he allegedly should have been provided with the proper mechanical plant and safety equipment.

More claims stated there was a failure to ensure all chainsaw and tree-felling work was not allowed once there were gale force gusts as high as 44 knots. Due to this Mr Gormley had been permitted to work on a
day which was not safe for the type of work i he was trying to complete and when it was dangerous to complete chainsaw work in a stand of allegedly unstable, windblown and haphazard trees.

The claims were refuted by the legal team for the defendants.

After settlement talks between all parties, Michael Cush SC informed the High Court the six-figure sum was a “global settlement figure”. Justice Garrett Simons gave his approval for the settlements of the compensation actions including those in relation to nervous shock over the death of the father of two in Donegal in 2015 and said that it was a satisfactory one.

Public Service Card Data Breach could lead to Compensation Claims

Posted on: August 17th, 2019

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has released the finding of a report in the gathering of information during the application process for the Public Services Card (PSC)  which has deemed the practice was illegal. Due to the finding of the report there is a strong possibility that there will be a number of compensation claims made against the State.

The findings of the DPC review said that the PSC scheme does not comply with the transparency requirements of the data protection acts due to the amount of information given, by Department of Social Welfare, to individuals who were having their data processed as part of the application. The data that is currently being  held on over three million card holders must now be deleted and data processing by the Department must be come to an end within the allotted timeline or some enforcement sanctions may take place against those charged with managing the operation.

In a statement released on the finding of the reports 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,” the DPC said in a statement published on its website.

“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.”

When it was first launched, the PSC was implemented for the processing of social welfare payments. Later, it was a required for applying for a range of other state services such as  first-time adult passport applicants, replacement of lost, stolen or damaged passports issued prior to January 2005, where the person is resident in the State, citizenship applications, driving test and driver licence appointments.

The PSC will, however, continue to be an acceptable form of identification for a range of services. 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,” she said. “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 added that this does not rule out possibility that a single card, or possibly a national identity card, could be used for all interactions with the state at some point in the future.  She stated: “No, we’re not saying that at all. We’re saying that if that’s what’s intended or required, there isn’t a lawful basis [as currently set up]. It can’t be the case that a national identity card automatically offends EU charter fundamental rights or EU data protection law because they exist all around Europe. It is a possibility, by carefully laying down the lawful basis for such a card.”

A number of civil society groups who have said that their are thinking about submitting a class-action style case in relation to this data breach. When the PSC was first introduced advocacy groups such as Digital Rights Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Age Action objected to its introduction. Digital Rights Ireland welcomed the announced vis its Twitter account saying: “We welcome @dpcireland‘s observation that the PSC morphed from a cryptographic token designed to enhance security for citizens, into a photo id card with no particular purpose, but for which various alternative uses had to be found to justify its existence. We note that @welfare_ie tried its best to use spin, expensive PR campaigns, and hectoring of newsrooms to provide a basis for the PSC. They had to, because there was no legal basis, and limited political support.”

Elsewhere, there have those who have claimed that the the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty should be relieved of her position due to the data breach. Reacting to the investigation findings, Minister Doherty said: “We only received the report yesterday. It’s a very comprehensive report. We are going to consider the report and issue a full response as soon as we can.”

Political party Sinn Fein have said that they are reviewing the potential for tabling a motion of no confidence in the Minister.

 

Claim against Giraffe Creche Abuse results in €35k Settlement for young girl

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019

A compensation claims in relation to Giraffe creche abuse has resulted in a €35,000 for seven-year-old Emily Martin.

Emily, who was filmed in an RTE Prime Time documentary on creche abuse, was seen tied to a chair to prevent her from trying to walk and left on her own to cry while she was having difficulty getting to sleep at nap time when she was just 21 months old.

I 2013 an undercover RTE journalist, presiding Judge Simons was informed, gained employment at the Giraffe Creche in Stepaside in order to conduct the expose. The reported remained in She employment at the creche as a childcare worker for a period of six weeks. This allowed her to secretly film the daily practices at the establishment and her report, following final editing, was broadcast on May 28, 2013. It showed many of the children in attendance at the creche being badly treated.

Through her father Jonathan, Emily took the claimed for Giraffe creche abuse against the management of Giraffe Childcare and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Emily had been attending the creche located at Belarmine Copse, Enniskerry Road, Stepaside, Dublin from the time that she was eight months old. She was moved in to the ‘wobbler room’ shortly after her first birthday. Emily’s parents informed presiding Judge Simon, after she had moved to the wobbler room, she had started having trouble falling to sleep and would constantly become annoyed and shouted at them. This behaviour, however, stopped when she was removed from the creche in the aftermath of the documentary being aired. Her parents advised the Judge that they opted to send their child to Giraffe creche after reading the brochure which said that the care given was of a ‘premium nature’.

The Nolan’s had become extremely distressed after they saw, for themselves, the RTE Primetime documentary footage. Their child was shown tied to a chair to stop her from trying to walk arodnu the room. She was also filmed grasping her toy horse at at time when she was suffering difficulty getting to sleep during nap time. The child was warned to ‘go asleep’ repeatedly and a creche worker threatened to remove the toy horse away from her when she did not. The RTE reporter attempt to settle Emily as she was crying but was directed to ‘leave her cry’.

Emily parent’s immediately took her away from the creche once they had viewed the RTE Primetime footage.

In their creche compensation action, the Nolan family claimed that Giraffe creche did not have adequate measures in place to ensure Emily’s safety, had illegally restrained children in chairs and had attempted to make them go to sleep using inappropriate measures. It wa also claimed that creche management did not ensure that staff were trained and monitored in and proper fashion.

A separate creche abuse compensation claim was taken by the Nolan family against he Health Service Executive. It alleged that the HSE had not seen to ti that the childcare centre adheredwith all childcare regulations.

A Giraffe creche abuse compensation settlement was agreed between all parties involved. Judge Simons said he was satisfied with this and gave his approval. The creche compensation settlement included  the defendant meeting the costs of the legal action.

Hyde & Seek Investigation on RTE Raises Possibility of Creche abuse compensation

Posted on: July 25th, 2019

An RTÉ Investigates report, which uncovered multiple cases of ill treatment of children at various Hyde and Seek creché locations around Dublin, may result in a number of creché abuse compensation claims once unhappy parents have had time to consider their options.

The report, broadcast last night, unveiled many cases of mismanagement and supervision at the crèches included. Two undercover childcare workers/reporters sought employment in crèches managed by the Hyde and Seek chain and discovered that major violations in good practice and safety procedures were taking place, despite a previous investigation highlighting creché mismanagement in 2017 and a number of subsequent reviews by the child protection agency Tusla. Following the 2017 reports more stringent legislation was introduced in relation to the operation of 4,500 childcare facilities.

In the intervening period of time, Tusla carried out 11 inspections at the different locations since September 2017. Even so, it was seen that children in the Hyde and Seek childcare centres were being treated badly and placed in serious fire risk.

Tusla released a statement following the airing of the programme which said: “We recognise and share the serious concerns the programme raises about the quality of care within these crèches, but more importantly the impact of concerning adult behaviours on children.”

Other discrepancies noted by the undercover pair of reporters included employees not being Garda vetted, babies sleeping in bouncers and an inadequate amount of space between cots for staff to look over sleeping infants. The documentary also showed young babies being stressed after being left in high chairs for a long time and also being placed in a room for ‘misbehaving’. It was also seen that the quality of the food was of a low standard and the staff to child ratios were unacceptable.

The Hyde and Seek chain of crechés, a family-run operation that consists of four crèches in the Dublin area, released a statement that said: “We know we need to work to rebuild, retain and enhance the trust our parents have in us. We have spoken to many of them in recent days and would urge others with concerns to contact us. We are available to talk to and meet parents at any time. We note that while the programme made criticisms of aspects of our service, it praised our childcare staff whose dedication, professionalism and kindness are central to the care we provide.”

Anne Davy, one of the owners of Hyde and Seek, has stepped down from frontline work with immediate effect. She said that the group would be calling in external consultants to look at the operations of the childcare service.

In 2004, Davy was convicted when staff at one of her North Dublin crechés left a three-year-old boy on his own at a local playground when the returned to the creché with the other children. In 2007, she was convicted again for breaching child care regulations, including child to adult ratios and failing to keep adequate records. During these years, the company changed name on three occasions.

The Hyde and Seek group may now have to address upcoming creche abuse compensation claims submitted by parent of the badly-treated children.

Widow Awarded €170,000 in Accidental Death Compensation Case

Posted on: July 20th, 2019

Eileen Flannery, the widow of Martin Flannery who died due to carbon monoxide poisoning, has settled her accidental death compensation action for €170,000 at the High Court.

The High Court was told that Mr Flannery, on September 11, 2015, was seeing if the petrol generators that were in place to heat a newly-constructed house for his niece were powered on. The house in question was being heated overnight ahead of a first fix airtight test that was due to take place the following day.

Mr Martin Flannery had checked on the power generators at 10.30am and was due to return and check on them again after dropping his wife to the local town. At 12.30pm the air tight specialist called to the house to complete the test he switched off one of the generators that was still powered on. He then noticed a strange smell and became dizzy as he went upstairs in the building.

Upon becoming dizzy he departed the house to recuperate and upon returning inside he discovered Mr Flannery unconscious in a room at the back. The tester pulled Mr Flannery outside and attempted to resuscitate him. Sadly, Mr.Flannery was brought to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An official inquest into the death of Martin Flannery (66)  recorded a verdict of accidental death and the coroner John O’Dwyer said the man was merely helping his brother and his niece.

Mr Flannery’s wife of 42 years, Eileen, took the accidental death compensation claim against the owners of the property – Declan Costello and her husband’s niece Laura Costello.

In the legal action if was claimed there was not adequate ventilation in place in the building, that the house has been allegedly allowed to become toxic with carbon monoxide fumes and that the house was not cordoned off while the generators were in use and until the place had been made safe. The legal representatives for the defence denied these allegations.

Presiding Judge Justice Tom Cross was told that, when the accident occurred, the house was at first fix stage in construction and had an air tight test scheduled for later that very day. The house was required to be heated before this test the house. Due to this two fan heaters and an oil heater were being used on the property. These heaters were powered by two petrol generators as electricity had not yet been connected to the house. The heaters had been switched off during the previous evening.

Justice Cross gave his approval for the €170,000 settlement in the accidental death compensation case.

Daughter of Man who Died after being Expelled from Pub €30,000 Awarded Injury Compensation

Posted on: June 28th, 2019


The daughter of a man sadly passed away following a heart attack has been awarded €30,000 personal injury compensation in a High Court settlement. Before having the heart attack he had been thrown out of a late night bar by security staff at the venue.

The deceased man, Paraic O’Donnell, was 39-years-old at the time of his death and had an address at St Finian’s Close, Achill Sound, Achill, Co Mayo, had been suffering from an underlying health problem. He suffered the heart attack as he was being taken to a Garda Station, in the aftermath of being removed from Cox’s Late Bar in Castlebar, Co Mayo, on June 6, 2012 for alleged threatening behaviour.

12-year-old Edel O’Donnell , the man’s daughter, took the personal injury compensation action via her mother Claire Scahill, against the licensee of Cox’s, two security personnel who threw removed him, the Garda Commissioner and the Ministers for Justice and Finance.

Legal representatives for Edel, Conall MacCarthy BL, said it was a very unfortunate and tragic case in which Mr O’Donnell was customer of the bar and suffered from a chronic underlying condition when he was removed from the premises and before having a heart attack which led to his death.

Throughout the case it was claimed that when he arrived at Castlebar Garda Station, Mr O’Donnell was not responding. Due to this he was brought to hospital for emergency treatment. How before any treatment could be administered he had died.

The licensee made the argument that reasonable force was employed remove Mr O’Donnell after he had engaged in violent and threatening behaviour towards the security personnel.  The State legal representatives refuted the allegations and said he caused and/or added to the issues which lead to his death.

The case against the Cox establishment and the security men was struck out and the settlement offered was against the gardai and the ministers.

In relation to liability, legal counsel was given that said there could be difficulties in establishing liability as the licensee was acting within the law when Mr O’Donnell was removed from the pub. The same problems were also in to be seen in relation to liability against the State bodies.

Presiding Judge Justice Simons said it was clear to see from the case the public house discharged its duty of care and it was not obvious what argument would have been made against the State bodies. He concluded that he had no hesitation in approving the settlement sum of €30,000 agreed.

€290,000 Workplace Knee Injury Compensation Awarded to Garda Sergeant Injured During Struggle

Posted on: June 14th, 2019

Garda Sergeant Donal Cronin has been awarded a €290,000 workplace injury compensation settlement after he suffered a knee injury during a violent struggle with a prisoner.

The 50-year-old garda could not carry out his required policing duties as a result of the knee injury and, he claimed, missed out on potential promotions due to this. The overall personal injury compensation figure awarded to the garda was €286,630. The incident happened when he was involved in the struggle that occurred at Limerick Circuit Court on July 9, 2004.

Justice Bernard Barton was told that Sergeant Cronin had passed the examinations that he needed to be promoted to the inspector rank with distinction in 2001. Regardless of this was unsuccessful in both rounds of promotion interview board competitions in 2010 and in 2014.

The Judge was advised that the Garda was, after a time, appointed to the role of court presenter – a position that he could perform despite the difficulties suffered from due to his injuries.

Sergeant Cronin’s legal counsel claimed that he was passed over for promotion due to his injuries. Along with this, they informed the Judge, he would probably need an operation for a knee replacement within the coming 24 months.

Among those who gave testified in Court a former chief superintendent who claimed that the score Sergeant Cronin had achieved from the interview board for promotion was excellent but the system was “unfit for purpose” as it did not make take consider the injuries sustained when a candidate was suffering from a disability.

This claims were denied by a sergeant garda representing the minister for finance and public expenditure. He added that there was no obvious reasoning to think that the injuries suffered on duty were an obstacle to the promotion to the rank of inspector.

In addition to this he said that it was not untypical for a candidate coming from an administrative post without major operational frontline experience to be given the post of inspector and that said the promotion procedure was heavily regulated. The interview board is not privy to a candidate’s medical records as part of the promotion process – just four of 17 sergeants in the Limerick division were successful in their application for promotion to inspector, two of which were for administrative roles.

An estimated figure for Sergeants Cronin’s compensation incorporating future loss of income due to being passed over for promotion of €166,630 was handed over to the court. In addition to this he was awarded an extra another €120,000 in general damages due to the serious injury his suffered to his left knee that lead to physical disability and ongoing pain and discomfort.

Justice Bernard Barton said he was happy with the award and said that he felt if Sergeant Cronin reapplied for promotion, his injuries would not hinder ” a successful outcome”.

Ryanair Girl Hot Chocolate Accident leads to Girl (8) being Awarded €150k

Posted on: May 29th, 2019

A High Court personal injury compensation claim against Ryanair has been settled for €150,000 in favour of an eight-year-old girl who sustained second-degree scald burns when a cup of hot chocolate was slipped on her lap during a Ryanair flight. The girl, American Sriya Venkata Neti was travelling from Rome to Krakow on a Ryanair flight with her parents when the hot liquid and the paper cup fell on top of her as she took a sip of the hot chocolate. Sriya Venkata Neti, had through her father Srinivas Neti sued Ryanair over the accident on the Rome Krakow flight on June 25, 2016. She sustained burns to her thighs and buttocks and has been left with scarring, the court was told. The girl’s father, Srinivas Neti, provided an affidavit to the court, which said that the scarring has now substantially improved and whereas the injuries sustained were extremely serious. It also said that his daughter has made a good recovery and the condition of her injuries has greatly improved. During the case Sriya’s Counsel Hugh Mohan SC told the High Court the little girl suffered significant burns.  A medical report submitted to the court said the hot liquid pooled on the seat causing extreme burning pain and the child’s mother had to unbuckle her from the seat and her clothing had to be taken off. Her mother reported her daughter’s skin was gone from where the liquid landed and blisters were forming in other areas. When they reached their destination in Krakow the girl was airlifted to hospital and was then transferred to Toronto, Canada where she spent eight days being treated as an outpatient. After this she was returned home to California. In the claim it was stated that the alleged failure of the cabin crew to act lead to the burns suffered being exacerbated. In particular, it was alleged that there was no attempt to provide any or any appropriate means of cooling the burns worsened the injuries considerably. Ryanair denied all the claims. That were made in the legal action. Mr Justice Kevin Cross , in approving the settlement, told the Court that it must have been extremely painful when Sriya was scalded and also pointed to the fact that the young girl has also been left with scarring despite making a good recovery.

Cork Co & City Council pay out €15m in Compensation Payments Since 2016

Posted on: May 2nd, 2019

€15m in compensation payment has has been made by Cork City and County councils for slips, trips, and falls since 2016. Information obtained using a Freedom of Information Act request also indicates that there are hundreds of cases yet to be settled.

So far in 2019, up to March 31, €1,144,594 for personal injury claims by Cork City Council in relation to slips, trips, and falls in the public realm, including parks and common areas in council-owned housing estates. This compares to the totals amount paid out in over the last couple of years as follows:

  • €4,350,550 in 2018
  • €4,254,068 in 2017
  • €3,999,606 in 2016.

For the same time periods Cork County Council paid:

  • €129,626 in 2018
  • €667,754 in 2017
  • €782,035 in 2016

Currently for Cork City Council there are 455 personal injury claims unsettled as of March 31, 2019. Cork County Council have 230 unsettled cases as of the same date.

Fianna Fáil councillor Terry Shannon, a former lord mayor of Cork, claims that this is the result of years of poor investment in the public realm.

He said: “It is a direct result of the decline of the condition of the public realm: potholes, cracked footpaths, and so on. The issue is getting worse and the amount paid each year is getting bigger, because we haven’t been able to fix long-standing issues, because national government hasn’t invested the money.”

He claimed (Mr Shannon) that Cork City Council has allocated €5m in 2019 for potential personal injury compensation payouts.

To address this the Council has been allocated €200,000 is due to the council this year to, according to Mr Shannon “upgrade and repair footpaths that have fallen into bad condition and have been the subject of a number of liability claims”.

He described this amount as insufficient saying the funds will be “used to patch up areas that have been the result of multiple claims but, ultimately, it won’t go far enough to make a real difference.”

€35,000 Personal Injury Compensation Award for Girl Follow Ankle Break at Own Home

Posted on: April 12th, 2019

€35,000 damages personal injury compensation has been awarded to a 17-year-old schoolgirl who broke her ankle when she stepped in a pothole while playing in her backyard.

The personal injury compensation award was made against Maria Collin’s mother’s landlord, Dublin City Council. Her mother, Caroline Collins, told the court that  complaints had been made to the council prior to the accident about the unsafe nature of the backyard on the property.

Esther Earley, legal representative for Maria Collins, of Avila Park, Cappagh Drive, Finglas, Dublin, informed the Circuit Civil Court that the accident took place just over 18 months ago when Maria was 14 years old. Ms Earley, appearing with Niamh O’Brien of O’Brien Murphy Solicitors, told the judge that Maria’s ankle twisted in a hole in the tarmacadam surface of the backyard of the local authority home.

Ms Earley said: “She (Maria) suffered a non-­displaced intra-articular fracture which has a higher risk of developing post-traumatic osteoarthritis.”

She added that Maria had been brought to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she was treated by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Conor Hurson. X-rays showed a fracture of the right ankle bone and she had been placed in a temporary backslab immobilising cast. Following this was appoint was arranged for her with to the fracture clinic where she received further treatment.

Ms Earley said Maria had shortly afterwards been converted from a temporary immobilising backslab to a full fibreglass case. Maria had to use this for five weeks and was prescribed with a course of paracetamol for pain relief.

Ms Earley informed the court that Dublin City Council was not only the local authority responsible for the area, but was the landlords for the development and had an inspection and maintenance duty in relation to the property.

The court was told that Mr Hurson is unlikely to suffer post-traumatic osteoarthritis and Judge Groarke app­roved the settlement offer of €35,000

Five-year-old Girl Awarded €30,000 Personal Injury Compensation Following Restaurant Table Accident

Posted on: April 3rd, 2019

A young girl who had her nose broken when a table blew over outside on O’Brien’s Sandwich shop has been awarded €30,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

At the time of the incident Lily Spratt was just three-years-old. Legal representative for Lily, who is now aged five, Barrister Ivan Daly informed the court that she had suffered the injury when a table in an outdoors seating area struck her in the face after being blown in the wind outside the outlet on Lower Grand Canal Street, Dublin.

Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke was told that Lily was taken to Temple Street Children’s Hospital after the accident. Here her nose had been treated and Lily had been put under general anaesthetic.

Taking the sandwich shop compensation action was taken against Adleo Limited through her mother, Emma Kelly, Lily has since completely recovered from the injuries that she suffered in the accident which took place in April 2018.

Mr Daly informed the court that the young girl had been inflicted with no permanent damage to her nose. He commented: “Certainly there is no question of any disfigurement of her nose.” he was recommending that the court accept the settlement offer that was being made by Adleo Ltd.

Circuit Court President Judge Judge Groarke gave his approval to the sandwich shop compensation settlement and added that thought it was a very good offer.

€20,000 Personal Injury Compensation Award for Boy (5)

Posted on: March 17th, 2019

A young child has been awarded €20,000 personal injury compensation damages after he tripped and fell near in a gully near his home in Co Donegal.

The child fractured his arm in two places. He was just five-years old at the time that the accident happened close to his home in Dungloe, Co Donegal on July 3rd, 2015. The boy, through his mother and father, took the personal injury compensation legal action against Donegal County Council at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court.

Presiding Judge James O’Donoghue said he was of the opinion that Irish Water were the body charged with the responsibility of maintain the integrity of the water service. He quired is this was actually the case. He said: “I thought Irish water took over all that?” However, Barrister Patricia McCallum, instructed by solicitor Cormac Hartnett, told the court that this area was still governed by Donegal County Council in relation to personal injury compensation claims such as this.

At Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court, the boy’s parents were in attendance. When they were given the chance they advised the Judge that their son, who is now aged nine-years-old, had made a full recovery from the gully trap and fall incident.

Judge O’Donoghue gave his approval for €20,000 personal injury compensation offer. In addition to this he also awarded the costs to the young boy’s legal team.

€150,000 Assault Injury Compensation Awarded to Mother Following Violent Attack

Posted on: March 9th, 2019

A mother of two has been awarded €150,000 in violent attack compensation at the High Court after she was assaulted by the father of her two children, her former partner.

Jonathan McSherry (36), with a previous address of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, went to prison to three and a half years for the assault on Jessica Bowes. He was allowed to go free after serving 22 months of the sentence. Mr McSherry confirmed that he broke almost every bone in Ms Bowes face and kicked her many times during the attack that happened on December 2015.

Mr McSherry, a former soldier, apologised to Ms Bowes and her civil action was now being heard by the High Court for a final assessment of compensation damages. Mr McSherry assaulted Ms Bowes after she arrived at her Clondalkin house in a taxi following a Christmas night out on December 20, 2015, to find him waiting there for her. Closed circuit camera footage of the attack displayed McSherry dragging Ms Bowes from the taxi, punching, kicking and dragging her. She was knocked out twice during the attack which lasted over one minute and a half before she managed to escape into a closeby house.

After the award was announced Ms Bowes made a statement in which she said that she hopes the ruling and compensation award will lead to more and more victims of domestic violence to  initiate legal actions.

She stated: “I hope this will act as a deterrent, that people will realise there are possible large financial consequences as well as the threat of prison for this sort of violence. I’ve already had people write to me about it. One woman sent me a letter and a holy medal on Tuesday thanking me for my courage and asking me to pray for her so that she could find courage to tell the truth too. “She went to the bother of writing the letter, getting a stamp and posting it”.

“I was very upset for her and I will pray for her. She signed the letter ‘an old lady’, and it shows this can happen to anyone from any background. I just hope now that with International Women’s Day coming tomorrow, women everywhere will find the courage to speak out” Ms Bowes went on to say.

Finally she commented: “I hope women young and old will that find strength. It’s important for women to realise help is there for them – from places like Women’s Aid – [and] that legal advice and professional help is available.”

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon told the High Court said that she felt that Ms Bowes’ account was authentic. The went on to say that this was an extremely serious case that led to the woman experiencing difficulties which were ongoing and permanent.

The judge said that it was also noted that Mr McSherry’s admissions and apology for the violent assault did not come immediately. It was also noted that it was not the function of the civil court to punish the defendant but rather to assess the proposed amount of compensation. However, the judge also took into account the measures that McSherry had taken to rehabilitate himself, but did not reduce the compensation damages that Ms Bowes was to be awarded. The Judge awarded €150,000 appropriate given the circumstances to Ms Bowes.

School Door Injury Compensation of €55,000 Awarded to Schoolgirl (9)

Posted on: February 24th, 2019

School accident injury compensation of €55,000 has been awarded to a nine-year-old girl who caught her finger in a school door and will no longer be able to grow her nail long.

Legal counsel for the the child Fiona Crawford told the court that the girl had been using the door of a classroom when it had closed back on to her finger. She was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital and, subsequently, to Galway, where an operation was carried out on her finger by surgeon Michael O’Sullivan.

Ms Crawford informed Judge John Aylmer that, due to the school door accident injury, the child was quite sensitive in cold weather and would not allow anyone to touch the affected finger as she had become very self conscious about the pain it could cause.  The tip of her finger was lost in the accident and it cannot be replaced, Letterkenny Circuit Court was told.

Ms Crawford told the presiding Judge that the girl in question experienced considerable discomfort and said she would not be allowed to have her nails grow long due to the injury. In addition to this, she has been left with a scar on the top of her finger and her writing had also been affected following the incident.

The girl was initially offered school injury compensation of €35,000 in the aftermath of the accident that happened in April 2017 at a Donegal primary school. Ms Crawford said this first €35,000 was much too low when the full extent of the injuries the life long effects that they will have were taken in account.

Judge Aylmer concurred with this sentiment and directed that an improved personal injury compensation offer should be made to the girl.

The legal teams returned later in the day and the Judge was informed that an improved school door injury compensation settlement offer of €55,000 has been agreed between the parties. The Judge gave his approval for the improved offer.



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