Child Injuries in Ireland

In order to claim compensation for child injuries in Ireland, it has to be established that your child sustained an injury due to the negligence of somebody who owed them a duty of care. Child injury compensation claims are made by a parent or guardian acting as a “next friend” and settlements of child injury compensation claims in Ireland have to be approved by a judge before payment can be made. To get impartial and accurate legal advice about claiming compensation for child injuries in Ireland speak with one of our professional and courteous solicitors.

€37,500 Hot Chocolate Burn Compensation Awarded to 10-Year-Old Girl

Posted on: June 25th, 2018

€37,500 in damages has been awarded to a Wexford girl, aged 10,  who was scaled by hot chocolate in a New Ross-based takeaway in 2014.

Kaya Caulfield, taking the burns injury compensation action through her mother Leann Kelly, of 21 Ard Mhicil, New Ross, brought the civil action against Cillgarman Ltd, trading as O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar, South Street, New Ross. The Court was told by Counsel Grainne Fahy, instructed by solicitor Martin Lawlor, that Leann Kelly had bought the beverage for her daughter Kaya at O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar. The young girl, who was aged six at the time, was inflicted with burns when the hot chocolate as she sat in her mother’s car.  It is claimed that the spillage occurred as the lid was not properly secured to the hot chocolate cup.

After the spillage Kaya was taken to the Care Doc and subsequently to Waterford Regional Hospital. From here she was transferred to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin where she was diagnosed with 2% superficial scalding to the medial aspect of both thighs. Her wounds were dressed and she was an in-patient at the hospital for 48 hours.

The Court was told that the scar had now healed and can no longer be seen which is not normally the case with burns injuries such as those suffered by Kaya.

Presiding Judge Alice Doyle said that a hot chocolate burns compensation offer of €37,500 with €900 special damages plus costs had been made by Cillgarman Ltd’s insurance company. Judge Doyle approved accept the compensation settlement, awarding Kaya the full amount.

Wrongful Birth Compensation of €1.8m Awarded Following Incorrect Foetus Test

Posted on: June 21st, 2018

The first ever wrongful birth case in Ireland has been settled for an interim payment of €1.8m after a mother, who is a carrier of a rare genetic condition,  claimed she was deprived of her right to travel for an abortion.

Her baby was delivered with the same disabling condition after a prenatal test on the foetus for that condition came back with a normal result.

This is the first ever case for wrongful birth, based upon the right to travel, that has been successful at the High Court.

The mother advised the High Court that she had planned to exercise her constitutional right to travel to the England for an abortion if the test had returned results showing that her unborn child had the same debilitating genetic condition. However, her child was born with the this condition and now requires 24-hour care. The mother alleges that, based on the test results, she was deprived of the ability to have an informed consent and to make an informed choice in respect of the continuance of her pregnancy.

Legal Counsel for the mother, Oonagh McCrann SC, told the High Court that the parents proceeded happily and joyfully with the pregnancy after the normal result came back on the test. Subsequently, they experienced much shock and grief when the baby was delivered and found to have the rare genetic condition with very significant and profound disability.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross placed a barring order in relation to reporting of details that may identify the mother and child. The mother had taken the wrongful birth compensation action against the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dublin. Complete liability in the case was officially accepted by latter on June 13 last.

It said that “in the particular circumstances of this case and in light of the outcome of the recent referendum repealing the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution”, liability was accepted and the public policy defence was withdrawn.

Mr Justice Cross, noting liability had been accepted, said he would have thought the result of the referendum had nothing to do with this.

 

Woodwork Student (15) Awarded €42,500 School Injury Compensation

Posted on: May 6th, 2018

A 15 year old boy has been awarded €42,500 School Injury Compensation after cutting his finger on a band saw during a woodwork class.

Robin Reinplu, The Drive, Meadowvale, Arklow, filed the personal injury compensation action against Arklow CBS in Co. Wicklow, in relation to the classroom accident that took place on January 13, 2016.

Mr Reinplu’s legal representative Michael Byrne SC, said he had been operating a band saw to cut a piece of wood when he was brushed against by another student in the class. His finger was cut by the band saw which was still running.

Robin, now aged 17, was quickly taken to his family doctor, who sent him for further treatment to to Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin. The injuries he suffered included a two to three centimetre cut on his index finger, and a fracture on his finger tip. After surgery to mend his nail bed he was left with a six centimetre scar.

After the surgical treatment, Robin missed school for a number of weeks and underwent a program of hand therapy and, following further review, it was seen that he was suffering a loss of sensation and grip, and a difficulty playing basketball. The scar also was sore during periods of cold weather, the court was told. 

Reimo Reinplu, the boys’ father, who took the the schoolroom compensation action, argued that the school was negligent in not taking any safety precautions, providing proper guidance on using the machine and did not maintain adequate supervision in the classroom during the class period. As a result of these factors Robin was ‘jokingly’ knocked into by a classmate.  The safety guard on the band saw should have been set at a level which would have prevented the boy’s accident from happening.

The personal injury case was submitted against Edmund Rice Schools Trust, the owner and operator of the CBS school in Arklow. The Trust denied liability in the matter relating to the classroom injury compensation claim. 

The settlement offer of €42,500 for school accident injury compensation was approved by Judge Kevin Cross.

Bettystown Playground Accident Results in €975,000 Personal Injury Compensation Award

Posted on: January 25th, 2018

A young man who fell off a child’s swing in a Bettystown, Co Meath, playground resulting in paralysed from the waist down as a result of committing what a judge described as a ‘silly act’ has been awarded received €975,000 in personal injury settlement of his High Court action against the owners of a caravan park.

Liam Daly suffered a serious spine injury when he was aged 15 after landing heavily on his back. He had fallen from a swing in a playground at the caravan park where the family’s mobile home was located in Bettystown.

The High Court heard the teenager had been swinging on a swing designed for toddlers and young children. Mr Daly is now aged 20.

Taking the personal injury compensation action through his father John Daly, Mr Daly, with an address at Nephin Road, Dublin 7, sued David, Gerard, Kenneth and Michael Lynch trading as Lynch’s Caravan Park, Bettystown, as a result of the accident on July 24, 2013.

Mr Daly alleged that the cradle seat of the swing was caused to rotate at the maximum arc position and he was thrown off. Additionally, there was an allegation that enough was not done to see that teenagers did not use the swings.

The claims were denied by the legal representatives for Lynch’s who alleged there was contributory negligence by the plaintiff in getting on to a swing which was designed for younger children and unsuitable for someone of his age.

Legal counsel for Mr Daly, Bruce Antoniotti SC, advised the court that said the Daly family had been using a mobile home at the caravan park for 10 years before the accident occurred. Liam had gone to the playground at around 7pm on the day that he sustained his injuries.

He sat on the cradle of the swing in question but, as he swung, he fell back and sustained a very serious spinal injury. He (Liam) is now wheelchair bound. Despite his injuries Mr Daly is able to drive a car and is hopeful of being employed

It stated that the protective matting at the playground was not ‘state of the art’ by Counsel who also deemed this irrelevant as it would not have made a difference whether the matting was state of the art or not.

Mr Justice Cross, in approving the personal injury compensation settlement said in all the circumstances, it was a good settlement. He stated that Liam Daly was just 15 years old at the time of the accident but the outcome of that “silly act” were very serious for him and his family.

Dog Bite Compensation of €32,000 Paid after Schoolboy bitten by Neighbour’s dog

Posted on: November 2nd, 2017

Following being attacked and bitten in the face by a neighbour’s dog 15-year-old schoolboy, Adam Russell was today awarded €32,000 compensation for personal injuries.

Counsel for Adam Russell, Brian Sugrue, said the boy was visiting the home of Erica Deacon and Eoin Gibson in the Ballinclea Heights estate in Killiney when the dog, a Weimaraner short-haired German pointer, attacked him (Adam) at the defendant’s home.

Mr Sugrue advised Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke that Adam Russell, who was 12 at the time of the attack, was bitten on his face by the dog while playing with it.

Adam, taking the compensation case through his father Colm Russell, was playing at the residence of Deacon and Gibson on 28 September 2013 when the German Pointer dog suddenly attacked and bit him.

He was rushed to the Swiftcare Clinic, Dundrum, Dublin, where the lacerations to his face were tended to. The injury inflicted to his nose was sutured and the wound just below his lower lip had been closed with surgical glue. The injury suffered to his tooth had later been treated by dentists at Dalkey Dental Clinic.

“Adam suffered three specific face wounds,” Sugrue stated.  “He sustained a significant laceration to the bridge of his nose, a puncture wound to his lower lip and a chip fracture to one of his upper teeth.”

Mr Sugrue said Adam Russell’s injured tooth would possibly need a crown in the future but part of the €32,000 dog attack compensation settlement offer took future dental work into account.

The court was told that Consultant Plastic Surgeon Patricia Eadie had examined Adam’s scars late in 2016 and said that revision surgery may be necessary. The scarring he suffered on his nose is permanent.

Judge Groarke was advised that Mr Sugrue was recommending acceptance of the €32,000 compensation offer.  He commented this was within the ball park of compensation for such injuries, though was not to be considered generous.  The compensation offer was approved will be invested in court funds until Adam Russell becomes 18 years of age in 2019 on 19 December.

Sisters´ Emotional Injury Compensation Settlement Approved

Posted on: October 5th, 2017

Two sisters, who escaped physical injury in a rear-end car accident, have had their emotional injury compensation settlement approved at the Circuit Court.

On 11th February 2016, the two girls – aged six years and four years at the time of the accident – were in the back seat of the family car, when it was rear-ended by a negligent driver on the Newcastle Road in Lucan, Dublin. The negligent driver admitted liability for causing the accident.

The two girls were examined by the family´s GP the following day, but no physical injuries were identified. However, shortly after the accident, the older of the two girls complained of having a headache and both sisters started showing symptoms of panic when large vehicles passed the car.

A subsequent review of their condition resulted in both girls being diagnosed with “a mild effect on the mental health” – the older girl in particular due to experiencing worry, panic and hyperventilation while travelling in the family car, especially close to where the accident had occurred.

On their behalf, the girls´ mother made an emotional injury compensation claim against the driver of the negligent vehicle and, on the advice of her solicitor, accepted an offer of settlement amounting to €33,000. As the claim had been made on behalf of plaintiffs unable to represent themselves, the emotional injury compensation settlement had to be approved by a judge.

Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident, the nature of the girls´ injuries and the fact that they had only missed one day from school as a result of the accident in order to be examined by the family´s GP.

The judge also heard the girls´ mother was satisfied with the amount offered and that the emotional injury compensation settlement was to be divided equally between the sisters. Approving the settlement, Judge Groarke ordered that it be paid into court funds until the girls reach the age of eighteen years.

€25,000 Tayto Park Fall Compensation for Boy (13)

Posted on: October 5th, 2017

The High Court has approved an injury compensation settlement of €25,000 for a boy, 13-year-old Conor Bolger, as a result of a the injuries his suffered following a fall from a playground tower at Tayto Park in March 2012.

Mr Bolger, who was just eight years old at the time of the fall, of Briarfield Road, Kilbarrack, filed the legal compensation claim against Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd, Co Meath trading as Tayto Park, through his father Brian Bolger due the the injuries he was inflicted with in the incident on March 25, 2012. The boy underwent a surgical procedure to place pins in his lower arm after he fractured his elbow

It was argued by Mr Bolger’s legal representation that tower he was climbing was overcrowded at this time and this caused the fall. In addition to this, it was claimed, the ground surrounding the tower did not have a sufficient amount of protective wood mulch as constant inspections and safety checks were not being carried out in the area. The legal team felt that, had these measures been in place, the plaintiff’s injuries may not have been as severe.

Counsel for Tayto Park (Ashbourne Visitor Centre) David McGrath SC denied these allegation and stated the boy  was climbing the Tayto Park tower when he “just fell” and this was not due to any issue with the tower itself. Mr McGrath advised the High Court Justice Kevin Cross that that boy’s family were happy to agree to a settlement of €25,000 for Tayto Park fall compensation.

High Court Justice Cross approved the settlement, stating that Mr Bolger’s scarred elbow was not “too upsetting”. He also commented that Mr Bolger was known to enjoy playing basketball at the time of the incident and would have had difficulty doing this due to dexterity issues from the injuries.

Former Scout Leader Sentenced for Sexual Assault of a Teenager

Posted on: July 14th, 2017

A former scout leader has been given a suspended sentence for the historic sexual assault of a teenager that occurred during a camping trip near Waterford.

In June 1976, a small group of teenage boys arrived in Waterford to be taken on a camping trip to nearby Cheekpoint by their scout leader. When the camp was set up, the scout leader – who is now in his 70s and cannot be named as it would identify his victim – called one of the boys into his tent and started tickling him, touching the fourteen-year-old boy inappropriately in the process.

The incident was not reported until 2013, when the victim – now aged 54 years – made a complaint to the gardaí. He claimed that the sexual assault resulted in him suffering nightmares, drinking excessively and taking anti-depressants for 28 years. It was also alleged his business had suffered as a result of the inappropriate actions of his former scout leader.

When questioned by the gardaí, the former scout leader – who has no previous convictions of any nature – admitted the sexual assault of a teenager and was charged with the offence. He subsequently resigned from his position on the board of management at UCC and was placed on the sexual offenders list – due to which he no longer has access to his grandchildren.

At the sentencing hearing at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Eugene O´Kelly heard the defence´s barrister describe the event as “an isolated incident from many years ago” for which the former scout leader was extremely sorry. He was also told that the former scout leader has already paid his victim more than €7,500 compensation for the sexual assault of a teenager.

Judge O´Kelly said he believed there was a “significant element of remorse” by the former scout leader and, initially sentencing him to twenty months in prison, the judge reduced the sentence to fifteen months to take into account that the sexual assault of a teenager took place more than forty years ago and was a one-off offence. He subsequently suspended the sentence for three years.

Compensation for the Abuse of a Toddler at a Creche Approved at the Circuit Civil Court

Posted on: May 24th, 2017

A settlement of compensation for the abuse of a toddler at a creche has been approved by a judge at the Circuit Court in favour of a six-year-old girl.

Between September 2012 and January 2013, the young girl attended the Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre in Stepaside, County Dublin. During her time in the Toddlers Room at the creche, her parents were concerned the girl would cry “No creche. No creche” each morning as they were getting her ready to attend. Their concerns increased when she started showing signs of anxiety and distress.

Her mother discusses her concerns with the carer responsible, and told her the girl was often withdrawn and tired when she was collected from the creche and experienced sleep disturbances at night. The carer told the girl´s mother she was receiving an appropriate level of care under her supervision and there was no reason to be concerned.

However, a few months later, the RTE documentary “A Breach of Trust” showed the same carer abusing children at the creche. The girl´s parents sought legal advice and claimed compensation for the abuse of a toddler at a creche on the grounds she had suffered stress and emotional upset due to the negligence of the creche and the creche´s failure to adequately supervise its staff.

Liability was denied but, in July 2015, an offer to settle the claim for €15,000 without an admission of liability was made. The offer went to the Circuit Court for approval, but was thrown out by Judge James O´Donohue, who said the proposed settlement of compensation for the abuse of a toddler at a creche was inappropriate in relation to the level of injury the girl was alleged to have suffered.

After a period of renegotiation, a new offer of settlement was made – this time for €23,000. Details of the offer and the circumstances of the girl´s injury were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court earlier this week and – after he was assured there was no serious risk to the young girl´s future psychological development – the judge approved the settlement of compensation for the abuse of a toddler at a creche.

Birth Defect Claims against Sanofi made in France

Posted on: April 21st, 2017

Parents whose children were exposed to valproic acid in the womb have started making birth defect claims against Sanofi – the French manufacturer of Epilim.

Epilim is the trade name in Ireland for an anti-epilepsy drug (Depakine) introduced into France in the 1960s. Epilim contains sodium valproate and has also been prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, migraine and other chronic pain conditions because of an agent in valproate called GABA that stabilises electrical activity in the brain.

When taken by woman during pregnancy, the sodium valproate is broken down into valproic acid which – when it enters the bloodstream – can have an adverse effect on the health of the unborn child. Children born with “foetal valproate syndrome” have been known to suffer from a range of congenital and development issues including autism and spina bifida.

The risks of foetal valproate syndrome due to taking Epilim during pregnancy were first identified in the 1980s, but the evidence was considered not sufficiently conclusive and was allegedly covered up to prevent “fruitless anxiety”. Sanofi, the manufacturer of Epilim, later informed the medical profession of the risks in 2006 but in a manner that left many medical professionals in the dark.

Only recently has France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) looked deeper into the birth defect claims against Sanofi, and the agency has just published a report revealing that up to 4,100 children were born between 2007 and 2014 with “severe malformations” due to their mothers having taken the French version of Epilim. Hundreds more died in the womb.

The report has prompted the children´s parents to form a class action making birth defect claims against Sanofi on the grounds that the drug manufacturer failed to adequately advise the medical professional of the risks associated with Epilim or print warnings on the outside of the packets. The French government has also got involved and is discussing a compensation package.

In Ireland, Epilim is still sold without a warning on the front of the packet, and it is not known how many children have been diagnosed with foetal valproate syndrome due to being exposed to valproic acid in the womb. If a family member has been affected by this issue, and you would like to know more about birth defect claims against Sanofi, please do not hesitate to speak with a solicitor.

Boy´s Claim for an Erb´s Palsy Birth Injury Resolved

Posted on: February 20th, 2017

A boy´s claim for an Erb´s palsy birth injury against the HSE has been resolved at the High Court with the approval of a €530,000 compensation settlement.

The six-year-old boy was born via a natural delivery on 22nd March 2010 at Kerry General Hospital despite his mother having requested a birth by Caesarean section because of his size in the womb. During the delivery process, the boy´s shoulder got trapped in the birth canal and he had to be extracted with the assistance of a vacuum cup.

Due to the force applied to free his shoulder, the boy suffered a brachial plexus injury and has since been diagnosed with Erb´s palsy. Due to his birth injury, the boy has a weak right arm that will permanently affect him for the rest of his life. After seeking legal advice, the boy´s father made a claim for an Erb´s palsy birth injury against the HSE on his son´s behalf.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) initially denied liability for the boy´s birth injury but after a period of negotiation agreed to a €530,000 settlement of the claim for an Erb´s palsy birth injury without an admission of liability. As the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in the child´s best interests.

Consequently at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that the boy had been identified as a big baby two months before his birth and that his mother had requested a Caesarean section delivery on two consultations and again when she was admitted to Kerry General Hospital in labour.

Judge Cross also heard that the boy attends mainstream school, has learned to write with his left hand and is very good at maths. An expert witness testified that the boy is unable to tie shoes or close buttons and will struggle at sports, after which the judge approved the settlement of the boy´s claim for an Erb´s palsy birth injury against the HSE and wished the family well for the future.

Judge Declines to Approve Settlement of Injury Compensation for an Accident at Playschool

Posted on: January 25th, 2017

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke has declined to approve a settlement of injury compensation for an accident at playschool and sent the case for a full trial.

The claim for injury compensation for an accident at playschool was made on behalf of a five-year-old girl from Dublin who, in April 2015, was unsupervised when she climbed onto an open wardrobe and broke her right leg when she fell.

The girl was taken to hospital where she had surgery under a general anaesthetic to manipulate her bones back into position. She was discharged from hospital in a leg cast, and subsequently had to wear a walking boot for several weeks.

Through her mother, the girl made a claim against the Larkin Early Education Centre in Ballybough, Dublin. The claim was assessed by the Injuries Board, following which the playschool made an offer of compensation amounting to €31,000.

On the advice of a solicitor, the family rejected the offer of settlement and the case went to the Circuit Civil Court, where Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident and details of the offer.

After hearing that the girl still experiences pain in her right leg as a result of her accident, Judge Groarke agreed that the offer of injury compensation for an accident at playschool was indeed inadequate, and said that the case should be heard in full at a later date to be fixed by the Circuit Court office.

Although the Injuries Board conducted an assessment of the girl´s claim, the offer of injury compensation for an accident at playschool probably did not reflect the true amount of the Injuries Board´s assessment.

According to the Book of Quantum, compensation settlements for a moderate lower leg fracture in which the bones have been displaced range from €40,500 to €70,400. As injuries to the tibia are considered more serious than those to the fibula, the final settlement of injury compensation for an accident at playschool will likely be at the higher end of the range.

Settlement of Compensation for a Cut Finger Injury Approved in Court

Posted on: December 12th, 2016

A €30,000 settlement of compensation for a cut finger injury has been approved at the Circuit Civil Court in favour of a six-year-old boy.

The young boy was only sixteen months old when he cut the middle finger of his right hand on the sharp edge of a wall-mounted fire while playing in the family home. The boy was taken to the Accident & Emergency Department of Crumlin Hospital, where damage to two tendons, a nerve and an artery was identified.

The boy underwent surgery to repair the tendons and nerve damage, and he was discharged from hospital in a cast that he had to wear for six weeks. Fortunately the boy has recovered full functionality of his right hand and the scars he has from the accident are likely to improve over the next few years – leaving no significant impact.

Through his father, the boy claimed compensation for a cut finger injury against B&Q Ireland Limited – the store at which the fire had been purchased – and the manufacturers of the fire, Focal Point Fires of Frampton Street in London. Both defendants acknowledged liability for the fault that had caused the injury, and an offer of compensation for a cut finger injury was made amounting to €30,000.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge James O´Donohoe heard how the young boy had sustained his injury and the action that had been taken by his parents to get him to hospital in a timely manner. He was told his parents had been concerned about the cosmetic appearance of scars on his fingers and that he now uses his hand for all functions without difficulty or pain.

After inspecting the boy´s hand and hearing from a Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon about the low possibility of permanent scarring, Judge O´Donohoe approved the settlement of compensation for a cut finger injury, commenting that it was adequate in the circumstances.

Settlement of Compensation for a Broken Clavicle Approved in Court

Posted on: October 21st, 2016

A €19,000 settlement of compensation for a broken clavicle has been approved by a judge at the Circuit Civil Court in favour of a nine-year-old boy.

Joel Gannon was just two-and-a-half years old in May 2010, when his head got caught between the railings of an electric gate as it was closing outside of his family´s Homestead Court home in Cabra, Dublin. As the gate closed, Joel´s head and shoulders were dragged along the ground, and only his father´s quick actions to remove him saved the young boy from further injury.

Joel was taken to the emergency department of Temple Street children´s hospital, where an x-ray revealed a broken left clavicle. Joel was also treated for bruising and abrasions to the left side of his face. Joel´s parents sought legal advice and subsequently claimed compensation for a broken clavicle against the housing association responsible for the Homestead Court complex on their son´s behalf.

In their claim against Tuath Housing Association, Joel´s parents alleged that a metallic net should have been placed across the railings of the electric gate to prevent accidents like Joel´s from happening. Liability for Joel´s injuries was denied, but the housing association made an offer of settlement amounting to €19,000. The family agreed to accept the offer on the advice of their solicitor.

However, as the claim for compensation for a broken clavicle had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement offer had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Joel´s best interests. Consequently the details of Joel´s accident and injuries were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at a special approval hearing of the Circuit Civil Court.

After hearing that Joel – who is now nine years of age – had made a full recovery from the accident, Judge Groarke approved the settlement of compensation for a broken clavicle. As is usual with settlements of compensation for legal minors, the settlement will be paid into court funds until Joel reaches the age of eighteen. Judge Groarke closed the hearing by commenting Joel was lucky his father was close at hand at the time of the incident.

Settlement Approved in Injury Claim for Falling from an Unsafe Window

Posted on: October 4th, 2016

The €46,000 settlement of a young girl´s injury claim for falling from an unsafe window was approved yesterday by a judge at the Circuit Civil Court.

In August 2012, fifteen-month old Róisín Byrne was playing in her parent´s temporary one-bedroom flat when she fell out of the large Georgian sash window and fell eleven feet onto the emergency fire casing below. Róisín fracture a rib when she landed and punctured a lung.

Róisín´s parents – Ronan Byrne and Chloe Murphy – had previously complained to the caretaker of the flats in Blackrock, County Dublin, that the window was dangerous as it opened just twenty-one inches from the floor and lacked a security mechanism to lock it shut.

On Róisín´s behalf, her mother made an injury claim for falling from an unsafe window against the owner of the property – Enda Woods – alleging negligence. Chloe applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim, and the Injuries Board´s assessment of €46,000 was agreed by both parties.

As the injury claim for falling from an unsafe window was made on behalf of a child, the Injuries Board´s assessment had to be approved by a judge to ensure the settlement was in Róisín´s best interests. Consequently, the circumstances of Róisín´s accident were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the approval hearing, Judge Groarke heard that Róisín is now five years of age and lives with her parents in Balbriggan. The judge was also told that Róisín had made a full recovery from her accident except from a scar on her forehead that remained from when she hit her head on landing.

After reviewing the circumstances of the case and the Injuries Board´s assessment, Judge Groarke approved the settlement of the injury claim for falling from an unsafe window. The settlement will now be paid into court funds where it will remain in an interest-bearing account until Róisín is eighteen years of age.

Court Approves Settlement of Claim for a Creche Eye Injury

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016

The Circuit Civil Court has approved the settlement of a young boy´s claim for a creche eye injury that related to an accident dating back to 2007.

In July 2007, Calum Lawless from Dunshaughlin in County Meath was just three years of age when he tripped and fell on an uneven floor surface at the Happy Days Creche in Clonee, Dublin. Calum was taken to the VH1 Swiftcare Clinic at Dublin City University, bleeding profusely from a cut close to his right eye.

At the hospital, a three-centimetre laceration was closed using glue and steri-strips. Calum´s eye remained closed for a week after his accident and, for more than a month, he had significant bruising around the area. Now twelve years old, Calum has a permanent visible scar that – due to its location – cannot be disguised with plastic surgery.

On her son´s behalf, Calum´s mother – Lorraine – made a claim for a creche eye injury against the owner of the Happy Days facility – Hansfield Company Ltd, of Castleknock, Dublin. In the legal action, Lorraine claimed that the owner of the creche was liable for Calum´s injury due to its negligence in failing to provide a safe play environment.

Hansfield Company Ltd admitted its liability for Calum´s injury and offered to settle the claim for a creche eye injury for €45,000. The settlement offer was agreed by Calum´s family but, to ensure it was in Calum´s best interests, the settlement offer also had to be approved by a judge as the claim was made on behalf of a minor.

Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, the circumstances of Calum´s accident and its consequences were told to Judge James O´Donohoe. After inspecting the two-centimetre scar and hearing that the family was satisfied with the proposed offer of compensation, the judge approved the settlement of the claim for a creche eye injury.

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.

Settlement of Compensation for an Injury at a Caravan Park Approved at Court

Posted on: July 2nd, 2016

A €106,000 settlement of compensation for an injury at a caravan park has been approved at the High Court in favour of a seventeen-year-old girl.

When she was just ten years of age, Shauna Burke from Corbally in County Limerick went on holiday with her family to Slattery´s Caravan Park in Lahinch, County Clare. On 17th August 2009, Shauna was playing with friends near the family´s mobile home when she cut her leg on a nail that was alleged to be protruding from a metal box mounted on a pole.

Despite receiving medical attention at the time, Shauna (now seventeen years old) has a visible scar above her knee. Through her father, John, Shauna claimed compensation for an injury at a caravan park against Austin Francis Slattery – the owner of the venue. Slattery denied negligence but, after a period of negotiation, an offer of settlement was made.

As the claim for compensation for an injury at a caravan park was made on behalf of a minor, the offer of settlement first had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Shauna´s best interests. Consequently the circumstances of Shauna´s injury were related to Mr Justice Anthony Barr at the High Court.

At the approval hearing, Judge Barr was told that the nail allegedly responsible for Shauna´s injury was a hazard located in an area that was frequented by visitors to the caravan park and should have been removed or replaced. The judge also heard that the €106,000 offer of settlement was comprised of €90,000 compensation for Shauna´s pain and suffering and €16,000 special damages towards future medical treatment.

Judge Barr inspected the scar above Shauna´s knee and approved the settlement of compensation for an injury at a caravan park, commenting that it was a very good offer. The judge then instructed that the compensation settlement should be paid into court funds, where it will remain until Shauna turns eighteen years of age and becomes a legal adult.

Settlement of Compensation for an Injury in a Hotel Pool Approved in Court

Posted on: May 4th, 2016

The Circuit Civil Court has approved a €21,000 settlement of compensation for an injury in a hotel pool made by the father of an injured six-year-old girl.

Emma Olteanu was just four years of age when she went swimming at the Clarion Hotel in Clondalkin in October 2014 with her father, Marius. Emma was wearing special swimming socks to prevent her from slipping by the pool, but despite this precaution against the risk of injury, Emma tripped on the raised edge of a pool mat and hit her chin against the side of the pool.

Emma was taken by her father to the A&E Department at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght, where the cut on her chin was cleaned and stitched. However, as a consequence of the cut, Emma has a two-centimetre scar on her chin of which she is very conscious according to her parents.

Marius – from Lucan in County Dublin – claimed compensation for an injury in a hotel pool on behalf of his daughter against Kingsoak Taverns Ltd. trading as Clarion Hotels – claiming that the pool mat over which Emma had tripped was worn and presented a hazard. Liability was admitted by Kingsoak Taverns Ltd., and a €21,000 settlement of compensation for an injury in a hotel pool was negotiated.

As the compensation claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the €21,000 negotiated settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Emma´s best interests. Consequently, the case was brought before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court, who was told the circumstances of Emma´s accident and about the visible scar she had as a result.

Judge Groarke approved the settlement of compensation for an injury in a hotel pool and the compensation will now be paid into court. The funds will remain in an interest-bearing account until Emma reaches the age of eighteen unless an application is made to the court to release some of the money for Emma´s education or for medical reasons.

Settlement of Claim for an Injury Caused by a Product Defect Approved in Court

Posted on: February 27th, 2016

The settlement of a young child´s claim for an injury caused by a product defect made against clothing designer Ralph Lauren has been approved in court.

In April 2010, newborn Amelia Duhy was given the gift of a Ralph Lauren branded dress and pants combination by a friend of the family. When Amelia was ten weeks of age, her parents – Julie and Robert Duhy from Drogheda, County Louth – took her on holiday and, during one of the days during their vacation, dressed Amelia in the designer label combination.

That evening, Julie noticed red marks on the outside of Amelia´s thighs as she was preparing her daughter for bed. When the family returned to Drogheda, the marks were still visible, and Julie took Amelia to the family GP. The GP told Julie that the marks were not attributable to an allergic reaction and referred Amelia to a consultant plastic surgeon.

The consultant´s opinion of the injury was that it was “secondary to a tight constriction band”. As the Ralph Lauren dress and pants combination was the only possible cause of the injury, Julie sent them for examination by an expert in the technology of elastic fabrics. His opinion was that the elastic that had been used around the leg of the pants was more powerful than would be used in an adult garment.

Julie sought legal advice and, on behalf of her daughter, made a claim for an injury caused by a product defect against Ralph Lauren Ireland Ltd. The company denied it´s responsibility for Amelia´s injury and entered a full defence against the claim for an injury caused by a product defect. However, after a period of negotiation, an offer of settlement was made amounting to €17,500.

As the marks on Amelia´s thigh had now disappeared, Julie was advised to accept the offer. Julie agreed, but as the claim for an injury caused by a product defect had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement offer first had to be approved by a judge. Consequently, details of the case were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the approval hearing, Judge Groarke was told that the dress and pants combination had been manufactured in China and then imported to Ireland with a Ralph Lauren label stitched into the garment. He also heard that, although the marks on Amelia´s thighs had remained for two and a half years, they had never wept and the elastic had never broken the skin.

Julie told the judge that she had photographed the marks over the two and a half year period, but the only treatment Amelia had needed while the marks were still present was the massaging of Bio oil into the top of her thighs. Judge Groarke approved the offer of settlement and closed the hearing.



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.