Brain Injury in Ireland

In order to claim compensation for a brain injury in Ireland, it has to be established that you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the negligence of somebody who owed you a duty of care. Brain injury compensation can be awarded for traumatic or acquired brain injury and should take into account the potentially life-long consequences that such an injury can have of the quality of life of the victim. To receive impartial and accurate legal advice about claiming compensation for a brain injury in Ireland speak with one of our professional and courteous solicitors.

11-year-old Boy Settled Brain Injury Claim for Hotel Pool Accident for €2.5m

Posted on: October 28th, 2021

A High Court action in relation to a 17-year-old boy who sustained a serious brain injury when he was involved in a near-drowning accident in a hotel pool seven years ago has been  settled for €2.5m. 

The accident took place on December 24 2014 when the boy, who was unable to swim, was discovered submerged in the hotel pool. Senior counsel for the boy, who cannot be identified by order of the court, Liam Reidy informed the court that the then 11-year-old boy was on a Christmas holiday with his family at the time of the incident. He had gone to the hotel swimming pool, which was in a separate building to the hotel, with his mother. He had been using the children’s pool and the main pool with his mother, as he was unable to swim.

Mr Reidy referred to CCTV footage that was provided from the hotel which showed that the boy had joined his mother in the main pool on one or two occasions, after which she (his mother) had led him back to the children’s pool. He went on to inform the judge that the boy had been in the children’s pool as his mother emerged to get dressed. She assumed that he had followed her. The boy’s grandmother was also present at the poolside and said that she “momentarily could not see him”.

Another man, who was in the pool at the time, found the boy submerged in the swimming pool and he was resuscitated before being taken by helicopter to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where he stayed for nine weeks in Temple Street. Following this he was moved to another hospital for a longer stay.

The legal action for brain injury compensation was taken by the boy, through his mother, against the hotel operators due to the injuries that he sustained in the accident on December 24, 2014.

Mr Reidy informed the court that his clients were claiming that there should have been a pool attendant in place at the pool, despite the hotel claiming the mother had allegedly completed a form accepting she was taking full responsibility for her son when he was using the pool. Additionally it was claimed while using the hotel swimming pool the boy suffered a near-drowning accident and that there had been an alleged failure by the hotel operators to put in place adequate precautions for the safety of the child – such as having a lifeguard on duty. It was also alleged that there had been a failure to recognise that the boy had got into difficulties as he was swimming. The defendants denied all of the claims.

Mr Reidy informed the court that the boy had suffered with a mild learning difficulty prior to the hotel swimming pool accident and this has now exacerbated into a moderate difficulty. It was also submitted in court that the boy completed a remarkable physical recovery and can now walk without assistance.

Mr Reidy informed the court that the proposed €2.5m compensation settlement is 50% of the value of the claim. The Judge gave approval for the child brain injury settlement and stated that there were serious concerns voiced by counsel that the case may not be won if allowed to go to trial/

More than 100 Tram-Surfing Incidents Recorded by Irish Rail and Luas in last 4 Years

Posted on: December 2nd, 2018

Irish Rail and the operators of the the Luas have revealed that there have been in excess of 110 incidents of tram or train ‘surfing’ officially recorded by Irish Rail and on Luas in the last four years.

Tram surfing involves an individual clinging to the outside of a carriage as it leaves a station. The activity came to public attention earlier in 2018 when, in October, 20-year-old Rebecca Kelly was awarded €550,000 in compensation after sustaining a significant brain injury when she fell from a Luas carriage that she was clinging on to when she was a teenager.

At the time Ms Kelly banged her head on the tracks when she fell from the Luas carriage. She had to be dragged out of the way of an oncoming tram.

Recently, a Freedom of Information request has shown that there have been 35 cases of tram surfing recorded on Luas services since 2014.

Ms Dervla Brophy, spokesperson for Transdev, said: “Tram surfing can be fatal. We have had a very small number of incidents of people trying to ‘scut’ and all staff are trained to be vigilant, observe and report. The public have reported [cases] too. Any activity or even potential concern that is reported – trams will be stopped, security and or gardai called. The risk of serious injury is very high.”

She went on to say: “We show CCTV of various incidents that have occurred along the lines. The purpose is to request parents know where their kids are and if they are on the lines, they’re aware just how dangerous their playground might be.”

A different Freedom of Information request resulted in Irish Rail making public figures listing 87 incidents of train surfing since 2016. In the last three years 12 incidents were recorded on the Northern commuter route connecting Dublin and Dundalk. All of these incidents took place on the connections provided by the Dart commuter service.

Barry Kenny, Irish Rail spokesperson said: “On board staff, station staff and security personnel are vigilant in ensuring we respond with security or garda support. Extra security patrols this year are yielding a reduction in the number of incidents.”

Irish Rail said it had has made changes to the Dart fleet of 76 carriages during refurbishment to try and make headlight units more difficult to grasp onto and bring an end to this activity.

€550,000 Brain Injury Compensation Settlement for Tram-Surfing Girl

Posted on: October 20th, 2018

€550,000 brain injury compensation has been awarded to a girl who sustained brain damaging injuries when she fell from a Luas while ‘tram-surfing’.

At the High Court Ms Rebecca Kelly was  awarded the compensation in relation to the accident which occurred when she was 13-years-old.

The fall occurred at the Fatima station on the Red Line eight years ago when Ms Kelly and a friend attempted to jump on and grip the outside of Luas tram doors as it departed. Ms Kelly fell backwards onto the tracks, hitting her head on the ground. She had to be dragged out of the path of an oncoming tram.

Legal Counsel for Ms Kelly, who recently gave birth to her first child, Bruce Antoniotti SC informed told the High Court that the young woman accepted the accident was her fault and she acknowledged she should not have been tram surfing. She added that she was aware that this was a very dangerous thing to do at the time of the accident. The High Court was told that Ms Kelly wanted no blame to be placed at the hands of the Luas driver who was on duty at the time of the accident.

Through her mother Elizabeth Kelly, Ms Kelly (20) took the Luas fall compensation action against Luas operators Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd and Veolia Transport Ireland Ltd of St John Rogerson’s Quay, due to the accident that happened on September 3, 2010.

As part of the compensation action she (Ms Kelly) alleged that there was a failure to have any or any adequate visual systems implemented on the tram and that the driver had no clear vision of the non-platform side of the tram before leaving the station. The tram, it was claimed, left the platform without first observing the non-platform side of the tram.

Luas operator, Veolia, denied all the claims and argued that there was contributory negligence on the part of the young girl as she had allegedly exposed herself to the risk of injury by tram surfing with a total disregard for her own safety. Legal representative for Ms Kelly, Mr Antoniotti SC told the High Court it was a tragic case. He told the Judge that tram surfing involved young people jumping on to the side door where there was a small ledge and holding on wit their fingers between the door and the body of the tram.

Mr Justice Cross, in approving the Luas accident compensation settlement said that Ms Kelly did not need to be told that she had done something silly. However, he commended her for being honesty.

Man Awarded of €750k Street Assault Compensation for Cork Shop Incident

Posted on: March 6th, 2018

A man has been awarded over €750,000 Street Assault Compensation by a High Court judge.

The man, Cian McCarthy, was attempting to get back into a Cork shop as he tried to escape from potential attackers.  The shop owner denied him entry and he was later struck with a massive fist blow to the head. Mr McCarthy had earlier been escorted from the Centra store after a disagreement at the deli counter when somebody jumped the queue.

According to Justice Kevin Cross, Cian McCarthy was an innocent party and had sustained a severe brain injury in the assault outside Centra supermarket on Grand Parade, Cork city during the Cork Jazz Festival in 2011.

The Judge commented that the security guard at the shop in question should have recognised that the three individuals involved in the queue-jumping row were following Mr McCarthy and advised the second security guard on the premises of this. Justice Cross defendants’ duty of care did not end at the door of the shop.

He also ruled that in denying Mr McCarthy entry and in pushing him in the direction of danger, the defendants knew or ought to have been aware that Mr McCarthy would suffer some assault and potentially some injury.

The three people involved in the row about the queue-jumping followed Mr McCarthy out of the shop, chased him and tried to strike him with a box to the head. The judge remarked that Mr McCarthy did not resistance and backed away trying to protect himself.

Mr McCarthy escaped from the attacker and ran towards the door of the shop seeking safety. The judge said the second security guard who was not aware that Mr McCarthy was the innocent party and did not witness him being beaten and pursued outside blocked Mr McCarthy’s re-entry to the premises. Mr Justice Cross concluded the security guard pushed Mr McCarthy back towards the crowd.

The judge held the best explanation for what occurred

a combination of the security guard’s push and the grapple with the other man which caused the clash knocking a young woman who was standing outside the shop.

He added: “Unfortunately the young woman’s boyfriend intervened with a massive fist to Mr McCarthy’s head causing him to fall to the ground, crack his head and suffer a serious head and brain injury”. That man was later sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to five years jail with the last two years suspended for the assault on Mr McCarthy.

Mr Justice Cross granted a stay in the event of an appeal.

Court Approves €5 Million Settlement of Compensation for a Wing Mirror Injury

Posted on: July 26th, 2016

The High Court has approved a €5 million settlement of compensation for a wing mirror injury that left a young boy with intellectual difficulties.

On 13th August 2008, Ryan Bastin was just five years of age and enjoying a family holiday at his grandparent´s home in Mitchelstown, County Cork, when he ran out into the road to follow his father, brother and sister, who had gone to look at cows grazing in a neighbouring field.

As he ran across the road, Ryan was struck by the wing mirror of a car driven by Hannah Murray from Ballyporeen in County Tipperary. Ryan picked himself up from the road, but immediately started vomiting. An ambulance was called and Ryan was taken to Cork University Hospital.

During his transfer to the hospital, Ryan lost consciousness. On his arrival he was diagnosed with a fractured skull and underwent a series of operations. Ryan remained in intensive care for several months before returning to his family home in Brussels.

After undergoing rehabilitation treatment in Brussels, Ryan claimed compensation for a wing mirror injury through his mother – Sinead Mullins. In the claim it was alleged that Hannah Murray had not been driving with due care and attention, and should have seen Ryan run into the road.

Murray denied her liability for Ryan´s injuries and said that she was driving within the speed limit at the time. A forensic expert supporting her defence calculated that Murray had a maximum of 1.75 seconds to react after Ryan had run into the road.

The case went to the High Court, where Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Ryan had been left intellectually impaired as a result of the accident. It was argued that, even with just 1.75 seconds to act, Murray could have swerved just enough to have avoided hitting the child.

Judge Cross found in Ryan´s favour, but attributed him with 40% contributory negligence. As a settlement had been agreed in principle subject to the determination of liability, this resulted in a settlement of compensation for a wing mirror injury amounting to €5 million.

The judge approved the settlement and wished Ryan and his family all the best for the future.

Brain Injury Claim for an Accident with a Lorry Resolved

Posted on: January 26th, 2016

A brain injury claim for an accident with a lorry has been resolved with the approval of a €750,000 settlement of compensation for the accident victim.

In January 2009, eighteen-year-old Francis Smith from Edgeworthstown in County Longford was driving along a road on the outskirts of his home town, when he had to take evasive action to avoid a car heading directly towards him. As Francis swerved to avoid crashing into the approaching car, he drove into the back of a lorry that was parked ahead of some council roadworks.

Francis (now twenty-five years of age) sustained severe brain damage in the accident. He now has cognitive difficulty and mobility issues and has had to give up his full-time job at a nearby factory. He is no longer able to live independently, and is cared for at the family home by his mother – Martina Dempsey.

Martina made a brain injury claim for an accident with a lorry on her son´s behalf against Longford County Council. She alleged in her legal action that the council´s failure to give adequate warning of the roadworks was responsible for Francis´ injury. She also claimed that the lorry into which he crashed was parked so far out into the road that it was a hazard to vehicles driving in a southbound direction.

Longford County Council contested the brain injury claim for an accident with a lorry, arguing that Francis was the author of his own misfortune due to driving at too high a speed for the road conditions. However, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that a €750,000 settlement of the brain injury claim for an accident with a lorry had been negotiated between the parties.

The judge approved the settlement after noting that it represented 25 percent of the full value of the claim. Judge Cross commented that it was a good settlement for Francis in the circumstances, and he closed the approval hearing by wishing Francis all the best for the future.

Injury Compensation Claim for a Fall in a Barn Resolved at High Court Hearing

Posted on: May 20th, 2015

A man who lost his senses of taste and smell after a farm accident has resolved his injury compensation claim for a fall in a barn at a hearing at the High Court.

On August 11th 2008, Con Oxley from Cullahill in County Laois was installing light fittings at a barn in nearby Ballacolla owned by farmer Mark Quigley. In preparation to install the lights, Con was rolling out electric cable and intending to use a plank suspended across two boxes to negotiate his way from fitting to fitting.

However, when Con stepped on the plank to move from the first fitting to the second, it gave way. Con fell eight feet onto the floor of the barn – hitting his head badly as he landed. As a result of his fall, Con has lost his senses of taste and smell and has been left with poor vision in his left eye.

Con made an injury compensation claim for a fall in a barn against Mark Quigley – alleging that the planks he had been provided with were unsuitable for the job and that the one he had stepped on had a crack in it. He also claimed that was a failure to provide intermediate support under the planks so that they were safe to walk on.

Quigley denied his alleged liability for Con´s injuries and the Injuries Board issued Con with an authorisation to pursue his claim through the courts. However, before a court date could be set, the two men negotiated a settlement to Con´s injury compensation claim for a fall in a barn – with Con accepting €300,000 compensation without an admission of liability from Quigley.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement after hearing that the €300,000 settlement was approximately half of what Con may have been awarded had his injury compensation claim for a fall in a barn gone to a full hearing. Judge Cross said that the settlement was a wise option as Con´s contributory negligence for failing to inspect the planks would have been called into question.

Hospital Negligence Claim against Kerry General Resolved at High Court

Posted on: February 17th, 2015

A hospital negligence claim against Kerry General has been resolved at the High Court with the approval of an interim compensation settlement.

On April 22nd 2011, Skye Worthington was born at the Kerry General Hospital after her mother – Colleen, from Castlegregory in County Kerry – had been administered syntocinon to speed up her labour. The syntocinon had the desired effect of accelerating Colleen´s contractions, but a prolonged deceleration of Skye´s heartbeat in the womb was ignored.

Skye – now three years of age – suffered brain damage due to being starved of oxygen in the womb and now suffers from cerebral palsy. Skye has difficulty sitting still, has to be fed through a tube and can only communicate with her eyes. An investigation into her birth revealed that if she had been delivered just fifteen minutes earlier, Skye would have suffered no birth injuries at all.

Through her mother, Skye made a hospital negligence claim against Kerry General and the HSE – alleging that her injuries were the direct result of hospital negligence in the maternity department of the hospital. The HSE admitted liability and an interim settlement of €2.32 million was negotiated pending an assessment of Skye´s future requirements.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard a statement read to Skye´s parents in which the HSE and Kerry General apologised unreservedly for the errors that led to Skye´s birth injuries. The statement also said that lessons had been learned from a review of Skye´s birth in which her parents had participated. Mr Justice Kevin Cross described the apology as “out of the ordinary”.

The judge then explained to Skye´s parents that the interim settlement of the hospital negligence claim against Kerry General was for three years. Once an assessment of Skye´s future requirements had been conducted, the family would either have the choice of a lump sum final settlement of the hospital negligence claim against Kerry General or – subject to legislation being introduced – annual periodic payments.

Claim against Dublin City Council Resolved in High Court

Posted on: August 20th, 2014

An injury compensation claim against Dublin City Council has been resolved at the High Court in favour of a man who suffered a severe brain injury when being run over by a refuse lorry.

Padraig Hearns´ night out in Dublin on 23rd April 2007 ended in tragedy when he was assaulted in Sycamore Street in the city´s Temple Bar area and, as he lay dazed and confused in the road, was run over by a Dublin City Council refuse lorry.

As a result of the refuse lorry running over him, thirty-nine year old Padraig from Hollywood in County Wicklow suffered a fractured skull and severe eye and arm injuries. He remained in hospital for several months recovering from his injuries – part of the time in an induced coma.

Due to the brain injury sustained when the refuse lorry ran over him, Padraig – a former Mr. Ireland who worked for British Airways as an air steward – now lives at home, cared for by his parents and siblings. He will never be able to work again or live an independent life.

Padraig´s parents made an injury compensation claim against Dublin City Council for the injuries he had sustained, but the local authority denied their responsibility for Padraig´s injuries – contesting the claim on the grounds that it was not the operators of the refuse lorry that were to blame for their son lying in the road in front of the truck.

The case went to the High Court, where Mr Justice Michael Peart found in Padraig´s favour after noting that Dublin City Council had breached its own by-laws by collecting commercial waste in the Temple Bar area between 12:00pm and 6:00pm – by-laws which had been implemented just three months before the tragic accident.

The judge commented “It makes complete sense from a public safety point of view that these large refuse trucks would not be permitted to try and negotiate their way through an area such as the narrow and crowded streets of Temple Bar when so many people are present”.

In the judge´s opinion the operators of the refuse lorry had a duty of care to have a man outside of the truck when it moved away in order to ensure that it was safe to do so. Judge Peart ruled that Dublin City Council´s refuse lorry operators had breached that duty of care by failing to notice Padraig lying in the street beneath the truck.

Mr Justice Michael Peart decided that Padraig´s injury compensation claim against Dublin City Council should be settled for €4,885,888, which included €350,000 for past and present pain and suffering, €266,341 for loss of earnings, €155,230 for care costs to date and €3,485,000 for care costs in the future.

Judge Approves €1 Million Settlement of Compensation for Brain Injury due to Road Traffic Accident

Posted on: July 31st, 2014

A High Court judge has approved a €1 million settlement of compensation for a brain injury due to a road traffic accident in favour of a 60-year-old woman.

In September 2011, Elena Schiopu from Dublin was pushing her granddaughter in a buggy across Morehampton Road when she was struck by a car whose driver was attempting to undertake the vehicle that had given way to the sixty-year-old woman.

Elena was knocked to the ground, and although she had been injured in the accident she went home with her unharmed granddaughter. She later developed slurred speech and a weakness in her upper and lower limbs.

Elena´s family insisted that she went to hospital, where she was admitted and remained in intensive care for seventeen days as her condition deteriorated and she was unable to communicate. Elena was diagnosed with a quadriplegic brain injury and transferred to a nursing home in 2012.

Through her daughter, Elena claimed compensation for a brain injury due to a road traffic accident against the driver of the car who had struck her as she was crossing the road – Eamon McElwain of Donnybrook in Dublin.

McElwain contested the claim on the grounds that he had not been speeding or driving dangerously and that Elena had not been looking as she attempted to cross the road. Elena´s family argued that McElwain had undertaken the stationary vehicle when he should have known it might be unsafe to do so.

A settlement of compensation for a brain injury due to a traffic accident was negotiated between the two parties and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told of the circumstances that led to Elena´s tragic injury, after which she approved the settlement and extended her sympathies to the family.

Compensation Claim for Brain Injuries Sustained in Drink Driving Accident Resolved at Court

Posted on: July 16th, 2014

A compensation claim for brain injuries sustained in a drink driving accident has been resolved at the High Court after a judge approved a €1.2 million settlement.

On June 20th 2009, Laura Byrne (26) – a veterinary student living in New Ross in County Wexford – was talking with friends on John Street in New Ross, when she was hit by a car driven by Polish national Karol Chrzan.

When Chrzan hit Laura, she landed on the bonnet of the vehicle and cracked her head against the windscreen of the car and suffered traumatic brain injuries. Laura was taken by ambulance to Waterford Regional Hospital, and afterwards transferred to Cork for specialist treatment.

As a result of the brain injuries Laura sustained in the accident, she had to abandon the veterinary course she was studying due to attacks of double vision and problems with her balance. Five years after the accident, and despite intensive therapy, her left arm is still weaker than her right arm.

Immediately after the accident, Chrzan drove off with Laura lying on the road. He was later tracked down by the Garda and admitted to panicking after the accident due to drinking six beers and some vodka. The Garda also discovered he had been driving his partner´s car, for which he was not insured.

Chrzan was sentenced to three years in prison for dangerous driving and was also banned from driving for six years, after which Laura made a compensation claim for brain injuries sustained in a drink driving accident against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – the organisation that settles claims against uninsured drivers.

A €1.2 settlement of Laura´s compensation claim for brain injuries sustained in a drink driving accident was negotiated to account for her injuries and lost opportunities; and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement – commenting that it was a very good one in the circumstances.

The judge closed the case by adding that although no amount of money could compensate for the trauma Laura had suffered, she hoped that the extra money would make life better.

Family Settles Compensation Claim for Injuries due to a Mismanaged Birth

Posted on: November 27th, 2013

A family from County Laois have settled their compensation claim for injuries due the mismanaged birth of their daughter – Roisin – who suffers from cerebral palsy due to medical negligence.

On 10th November 2001, Mary Conroy attended the Midland Regional Hospital in Portloaise believing that her membranes had ruptured. She was reassured that they had not and sent home. Three days later, Mary attended the clinic of Dr John Corristine – her private consultant obstetrician attached to the Midland Regional Hospital – for an ultrasound.

Mary insisted that she be admitted to hospital following the ultrasound, and underwent a CTG scan which failed to show evidence of contractions. Dr Corristine ordered the administration of medicine to help induce labour, but the consultant was not seen again – either throughout Mary´s labour or during the birth of her daughter.

Roisin Conroy was born on 14th November 2001, but in a poor condition and suffered seizures shortly after her birth. She was transferred to a hospital in Dublin, but her condition failed to improve and Roisin was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy. As a result of her birth injuries, Roisin (now 12) is permanently disabled and can only communicate through her eyes.

Mary and Kevin Conroy both gave up their jobs to care for their daughter; believing for many years that they had been “just unlucky”, as no explanation for Roisin´s injuries had been provided either by the hospital or by Dr Corristine. However, after seeking legal advice and initiating an investigation into the circumstances prior to Roisin´s delivery, the couple discovered that they were entitled to make a compensation claim for injuries due to a mismanaged birth.

Their compensation claim for injuries due to a mismanaged birth was filed in 2011, but the Health Service Executive (HSE) only admitted liability five weeks before a hearing was scheduled to take place. The Conroy´s legal advisors then negotiated a preliminary settlement of compensation which would cover the cost of Roisin´s care and provide medical and educational support for the next two years – in lieu of a structured compensation system being introduced.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the interim settlement of €2.6 million after an apology had been read out to the family by Dr Corristine and a representative of the HSE. However, in a statement made outside the court after the compensation claim for injuries due to a mismanaged birth had been heard, Kevin Conroy said that if the HSE had admitted liability earlier, Roisin would have received a better level of care which would have improved her condition sooner.

High Court Awards Plaintiff Compensation for an Accident in a Meat Factory

Posted on: October 26th, 2013

A man who was injured when a conveyor bench fell on him has been awarded €257,000 compensation for an accident in a meat factory by the High Court.

The plaintiff – a resident of County Tipperary – was employed at the AIBP meat processing centre as a cleaner who washed the knives and trays which had been used by the butchers when, in 25th May 2007, he was asked to help a colleague move a meat conveyor bench.

As he and his colleague moved the bench onto two trolleys to move the equipment, the bench dropped on him, striking him on the head. The plaintiff was taken to hospital, where he received treatment for a severe head trauma but, due to the nature of his injury, he has been unable to work since.

The injured plaintiff claimed compensation for an accident in a meat factory on the grounds that he had been placed in a vulnerable position and in a situation for which he had not been trained or instructed adequately. However, his employers denied their liability and, according to Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill, took an “antagonistic approach” towards their employee´s situation.

After hearing evidence at the High Court, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill said that a “trivialised and an inaccurate account” of the accident had been fed in to the company’s accident reporting system and that the significance of the plaintiff´s injury had never been appreciated by his employers.

Finding in the plaintiff´s favour and awarding him €257,000 compensation for an accident in a meat factory, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill said that he had believed the plaintiff´s account of how the accident had happened, and was satisfied that he had not been “malingering” since 2007 as had been alleged by the defence.

Compensation for Flu Jab Side Effects Approved in UK

Posted on: September 23rd, 2013

Four families in the UK have been informed that they can apply for compensation for flu jab side effects caused by the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine.

The four families each have children who developed narcolepsy as a direct result of being given the Pandemrix vaccine during the 2009-2010 pandemic, which has now been accepted as increasing the risk of narcolepsy tenfold.

Compensation for the flu jab side effects is expected to be up to £120,000 for each child, provided that it can be shown that the children have suffered severe disability. If individual claims fail, the parents will still be entitled to take court action on behalf of their children.

The Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the UK and a spokesperson said “The Department for Work and Pensions  has looked at some vaccine damage payments cases again in light of new information regarding swine flu and narcolepsy provided by the Department for Health”.

No Compensation for Flu Jab Side Effects in Ireland

The news of compensation for flu jab side effects in the UK comes a week after the Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder (Sound) support group objected to remarks made by Health Minister James Reilly in a radio interview. The minister said that to his knowledge, all the financial and personal assistance that had been requested by families whose children had contracted narcolepsy in Ireland had been provided.

However, Sound committee member Eilish Plunkett – whose son Sean is one of the children affected – said the minister’s statement is not supported by the facts. Ms Plunkett claimed that, although some services were in place, the assistance that was being provided was only temporary.

She said that the provision of financial and personal services could be taken away at any time and that her son had a life-long illness which needed permanent support.  Furthermore, she added, a package of support measures recommended in an official 2012 report was still waiting to go before the government for approval.

The History of Pandemrix in Ireland

More than 800,000 doses of Pandemrix were administered in Ireland after the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009. The Health Service Executive said it had identified thirty cases of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy among children who received the vaccine, but Sound claim to represent fifty-four families in which children are suffering from the side effects of the flu jab.

In April 2012, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan published his “Investigation of an Increase in the Incidence of Narcolepsy in Children and Adolescents in 2009 and 2010” on behalf of the Minister for Health, after which James Reilly gave a commitment to SOUND that a package of support measures would be brought to government for approval prior to the summer recess in 2012.

Passenger to Receive Compensation for a Brain Injury in a Car Crash

Posted on: July 9th, 2013

A former honours university student, who had to abandon her plans to become a teacher after a horrific road traffic accident, is to receive 3 million €uros in compensation for a brain injury in a car crash.

Rhona Murphy (34) from Newcastle in County Galway suffered her traumatic injury in February 1999 when she was a front seat passenger in a car which attempted to undertake a slower moving vehicle on the Galway to Headford Road.

The driver of the car lost control of the vehicle and collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction – causing 20-year-old Rhona to sustain life-threatening injuries which, the High Court heard, she was lucky to survive.

Rhona had to give up her studies and her potential teaching career because of the brain damage she suffered, and has been cared for by her father since the accident. Rhona is still under medication to help her cope with her loss of memory and loss of balance.

Through her father, Rhona made a claim for compensation for a brain injury in a car crash against the driver of the vehicle – alleging that they had been driving in a reckless manner and had attempted a dangerous manoeuvre at an excessive speed.

Liability for the claim was accepted by the driver and, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that an offer of 3 million €uros had been made in settlement of the claim for a brain injury in a car crash which Rhona´s family had agreed to.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of compensation for a brain injury in a car crash, commenting that it was a good settlement in the circumstances considering the doubt that Rhona had been wearing a seatbelt at the time and that she had consciously travelled as a passenger in a car which was being driven under the influence of alcohol.

Teenager Awarded Compensation for Brain Damage at Birth after High Court Hearing

Posted on: June 10th, 2013

A thirteen-year-old boy has been awarded compensation for brain damage at birth following a hearing at the High Court in Dublin.

Ryan Brennan from Cahir, County Tipperary, was born in January 2000 at the St Joseph´s Hospital in Clonmel several hours after a foetal trace had discovered abnormalities in his heart rate. Ryan had to be resuscitated after he was born and throughout the day suffered seizures.

Ryan developed cerebral palsy as a result of the complications during his birth and it was alleged by his parents – Lorraine and Raymond – that his injuries could have been avoided if the hospital´s consultant obstetrician – Dr Brendan Powell – and staff at the hospital had acted with greater care.

On behalf of their son, Lorraine and Raymond made a claim for brain damage at birth against Dr Powell and the Health Service Executive (HSE), claiming that Ryan´s irreversible brain damage was attributable to a failure to act, negligence, a breach of duty by Dr Powell and a breach of contract by the hospital.

Both Dr Powell and the HSE denied responsibility for the brain damage suffered by Ryan but, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that an interim settlement of compensation for brain damage at birth had been agreed upon without admission of liability from either of the two allegedly negligent party and that the claim against Dr Powell could be struck out.

The interim payment, which is for two years to allow for a review of Ryan´s future needs or the introduction of a structured payment system, amounts to €1.7 million – a sum which Ms Justine Mary Irvine described as ‘in the upper parameters of these types of cases’ as she approved the temporary settlement.

Court Approves Compensation for a Fatal Delayed Diagnosis

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013

The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for a fatal delayed diagnosis which led to the wrongful death of a child.

Six-month-old Kaiden Costello was admitted to Temple Street Children´s Hospital in April 2009 when his concerned mother – Kate – had noticed her son was not eating his food. Kaiden was diagnosed with a failure to thrive, but two months later was re-admitted and underwent an MRI scan which revealed that his condition was due to a brain tumour. Kaiden underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumour, but died three days later.

Kaiden´s mother made a compensation claim for a fatal delayed diagnosis against the hospital and HSE; alleging that, had an MRI scan been conducted when Kaiden was first admitted to the hospital and the tumour diagnosed sooner, her son could have received chemotherapy treatment or undergone surgery earlier to remove the tumour and extend his life.

In the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that responsibility for the failure to diagnose Kaiden when he was first admitted to hospital had been admitted by Temple Street Children´s Hospital and a settlement of compensation for a fatal delayed diagnosis had been agreed upon in the amount of €180,000.

As part of the settlement agreement, an apology was read out by Mona Baker – CEO of Temple Street Children´s Hospital – who said she understood that “no apology or compensation arising from Kaiden´s death could negate the continuing heartache that the family must feel every day”.

Judge Cross thereafter approved the settlement of compensation for a fatal delayed diagnosis, which comprised of €145,000 for Kate Costello´s nervous shock as a result of her son´s death and €35,000 relating to the wrongful death due to a delayed diagnosis.

Settlement of Compensation for Serious Road Traffic Accident Injuries Approved in Court

Posted on: March 13th, 2013

A man who suffered quadriplegic injuries and severe brain damage following a head-on crash has had a €6.5 million settlement of compensation for serious road traffic accident injuries approved in the High Court.

Alan Kavanagh (41) from New Ross, County Wexford, suffered his serious injuries when he and his daughter were involved in a head-on crash with a van recklessly being driven by Liam Toohey of Nenagh, County Tipperary in November 2004.

Having sustained multiple fractures and brain damage which left him in a quadriplegic condition, Alan is completely dependent on others for nursing care, is unable to feed himself and is confined to a wheelchair. Fortunately for Alan´s daughter, the only injury she sustained in the accident was a broken finger.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Alan had made a claim for serious road traffic accident injuries compensation through his brother against Toohey and the owner of the van – John Heffernan, a haulage contractor, also of Nenagh, County Tipperary. Responsibility for Alan´s injuries had been accepted before the court hearing, and the case was before the judge for assessment of damages only.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told in court that Alan was currently living in a nursing home for the elderly which was not suitable for his needs; however a settlement of €6.5 million had been proposed in settlement of the claim for compensation for serious road traffic accident injuries which would provide financial security for the rest of Alan´s life and enable the family to afford the level of care he required.

After hearing evidence from Loretto Power – Alan´s partner and the mother of his daughter – that the family was happy with the proposed settlement of compensation, Ms Justice Mary Irvine gave the settlement her approval – saying that it was an excellent settlement which gave Alan the best chance of meeting his future requirements.

Coombe Hospital Liable in Compensation Claim for Birth Injuries due to a Lack of Care

Posted on: February 6th, 2013

The Coombe Hospital in Dublin has been found liable in a compensation claim for birth injuries due to a lack of care after a High Court hearing.

The compensation claim for birth injuries due to a lack of care was brought by Fiona Murphy of Malahide, County Dublin, on behalf of her son Eoin (10), who suffers from severe dyskinetic cerebral palsy due to an ‘unacceptable’ delay occurring when vital medical treatment was needed in the minutes after his birth.

Eoin was born on 12th July at the Coombe Hospital suffering from near total acute hypoxic ischaemia which had developed several minutes before his delivery. However, a delay of seventeen minutes occurred before a paediatric registrar was available to resuscitate him and Eoin suffered irreversible brain damage as a result.

Eion´s mother made a compensation claim for birth injuries due to a lack of care against the Coombe Women´s and Infant´s University Hospital, who denied the claim against them. However, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine ruled that there was no justifiable reason why Eoin could not have been ventilated within the first nine minutes of his life which would have prevented such grave injuries being sustained.

The judge said that the hospital had failed to act within a reasonable period of time and that “the delay was unacceptable and the hospital was negligent in failing to ensure the child received the type of intubation and ventilation mandated in the first 10 minutes of his life”.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine adjourned the claim for birth injuries due to a lack of care until May to allow for a comprehensive assessment of compensation.

UPDATE May 2013: Eoin was awarded an interim settlement of compensation for birth injuries due to a lack of care amounting to €1.9 million. The case has now been adjourned for a further two years to allow for the proposed introduction of structured compensation settlements and a review of Eoin´s future requirements.

Compensation for Delayed Brain Tumour Diagnosis Approved in Court

Posted on: October 31st, 2012

A family whose life was turned “upside down” following the alleged late diagnosis of their son´s brain tumour have heard a settlement of compensation for delayed brain tumour diagnosis approved in the High Court.

Seamus Walshe Jnr (27) of Taylor´s Hill, Galway, was a twenty-one year old third-level construction studies student when he started experiencing problems with his eyes whenever he looked upwards. His symptoms deteriorated throughout 2006 to include feeling nauseous and vomiting whenever he tilted his head backwards but, when Seamus attended the Galway University Hospital with his symptoms, he was told that there was no problem after a neurological examination.

Seamus´ condition deteriorated and, as the tumour in his brain spread into surrounding tissues, he returned to Galway University Hospital, where a brain scan revealed a tumour. Seamus was referred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where he underwent surgery in May 2007, but due to the nature of the growth, there were complications during the operation and Seamus was in intensive care for nine weeks due to serious haemorrhaging.

Six months later Seamus was transferred back to Galway University Hospital and then entered the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dún Laoghaire in September 2008 – by which time he was confined to wheelchair and suffered severe spasticity of the limbs.

 Through his father – Seamus Walshe Snr – Seamus made a claim against the Galway University Hospital for compensation for the delayed brain tumour diagnosis, claiming that had the brain scans been carried out when he first attended the hospital, he would have been referred to the Beaumont Hospital much sooner.

Seamus´ claim also included the Beaumont Hospital on the grounds that the Dublin hospital had performed surgery rather than treat the tumour with radiotherapy and chemotherapy even though history showed the latter treatment had long-term survival rates of up to 90 percent.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that a settlement of compensation for the delayed brain tumour diagnosis amounting to 2.5 million Euros had been agreed without admission of liability to account for Seamus´ care for the next three years. Thereafter, periodic payments would provide for Seamus´ care should legislation enabling a structured payment system be introduced in time.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement, but stated there was no guarantee that legislation allowing the payment of periodic payments would be introduced within three years as there has been a “deathly silence” on the matter from the Government.

This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.