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.

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.

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.

€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.

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.

5-year-old Boy Awarded €20,000 Trauma Injury Compensation Following his Mother’s Glass Panel Injury

Posted on: February 20th, 2019

A boy (5) has been awarded €20,000 personal trauma injury compensation after he saw his mother being seriously injured and bleeding after she collided with a pane of glass when he was only 15-months-old.

Legal representatives for the young boy, Jude Johnson-Rice, informed the Circuit Civil Court that in December 2014 the he was visiting Terenure College Rugby Football Club with his mother, Jill, when he was witness to his mother’s injuries after she walked into a clear glass pane that did not have the required cautions or warning signs.

Even though he did not directly see the accident or the glass breaking, Jude had been extremely upset by seeing his mother covered in blood after the accident. The defendants, Panda Play Café Limited and Terenure College Rugby Football Club, had already agreed a trauma compensation settlement with the Jude’s claim of €20,000 for the five-year-old boy.

Legal representatives for the rugby club argued that the child had not experienced any recognised psychiatric injury. Along with this they argued that the mother had waited for two years after the incident to bring her son for medical treatment despite claiming in court that her son had been very nervous and anxious for six months in the aftermath of the incident.

After deliberations between the legal teams from both sides, the family solicitor John Murphy advised the defendants, after they denied liability, that they could incur additional serious costs arising out of inspections and the provision of cctv footage.  Following a settlement meeting a personal injury compensation offer of had been made.

Judge Garavan said that, while there was no recognised psychiatric illness diagnosed by any medical specialist, there were many cases that came before the court that did not measure up to post traumatic stress disorder and as such, he approved the settlement offer.

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.

€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.



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.