Footpath Injury in Ireland

In order to claim compensation for a footpath injury in Ireland, it has to be established that you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the negligence of a person or persons who had responsibility for maintaining the footpath in a safe condition. Compensation claims for footpath injury in Ireland are frequently contested, with defendants claiming that they were provided with insufficient opportunity to deal with the hazard or that the victim contributed to their injury by their own lack of care. Consequently it is your best interests to speak with one of our professional and courteous solicitors and receive impartial and accurate legal advice about claiming compensation for a footpath injury in Ireland .

€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.

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.

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.

Wexford-based Garda Awarded €25,000 in Work Assault Compensation

Posted on: February 8th, 2018

A garda sergeant, who suffered a head-butt injury in the course of his work resulting in serious snoring issues has been awarded €25,000 Work Assault Compensation.

Sergeant Noel McSweeney suffered the workplace injury while on a missing person search in May 2012.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey was told by Barrister Ellen Gleeson that Sergeant McSweeney, had been taking part in a missing person search in May 2012 when the incident happened.

The court was told that the missing woman had been found in a car where she was very intoxicated, drugs were found on the scene, and behaving aggressively.

Sergeant McSweeney told the Court that the woman struggled when they tried to take her into custody. He said: “She jumped back and threw her head backwards, hitting me in the nose and upper teeth”. In addition, he said that he suffered cuts to four of his upper front teeth and his nose had also been injured. He now had an airflow restriction in his nose as he suffered a deviated septum.

The woman was taken into custody.

Sgt McSweeney told the court that, after the head butt attack, his snoring affected his wife’s sleep to the extent that he had to sleep in the spare room on a number of occasions.

He added: “The appearance of my nose wasn’t upsetting to me so I decided not to have surgery correcting it.  Perhaps if I was a model it would be different”.

He also said that he had decided against corrective surgery as he had only experienced physical slight discomfort.

When it came to calculating the sum of compensation to be awarded to Sgt McSweeney, Judge Twomey referred to the Book of Quantum and approved work attack compensation award of  €7,500 with regard to the minor dental injuries and another €18,000 in Garda workplace nose injury damages.

Limerick Woman Awarded €25k for Finger Damaged on Water Meter Cover

Posted on: January 29th, 2018

A Limerick woman has been awarded €25,000 in damages in personal injury compensation following a fall on a damaged water meter cover outside her home in 2012.

The woman, Kirdwin Johnson (30) stated that she could not fully extend her thumb after the incident. She fractured her wrist in the incident which happened while she was cleaning on August 4, 2012.

Presiding Judge Gerald Keys was advised by Johnson that her foot became stuck as she “fell back on my arm”. He arm remained in a cast for the following five to six weeks.

Legal representative for Ms Johnson Jack Nicholas BL, asked her show the extent her injury by extending both thumbs. He (Mr Nicholas) also stated that: “The right thumb doesn’t extend as far back as the left thumb.”

It was noted in court that Ms Johnson had previously lodged a number of personal injury claims in the Circuit Court.

When asked by the legal team defending Limerick City County if she had noticed the stopcock on the footpath prior to the incident, she answered: “I have seen it but I never paid attention to it before.”

The orthopaedic consultant who examined Ms Johnson after the initial incident did not “make an issue” of the injured thumb in his report after the accident. He was not present in court.  Ms Johnson claims that she was at a graduation ceremony for her son in 2015 when she first noticed a “weakness in her thumbs”.

Ms Johnson’s injuries were reviewed by Dr Jim Fehily twice, once in September 2016 and once in December 2017. Dr Fehily said that he was of the opinion, following the examination that her (Ms Johnson’s) thumb injury was “unlikely” to be due to the fall near her house in 2012.

There was no official record of any other complaints about damage to the stopcock/meter and Judge Keys noted that there were no dates included on the original photographs presented in court. He remarked that: “I am not saying that this lady is making this up, but I have to be satisfied.” Judge Keys went on to say that the damaged stopcock was “trap for anybody and anyone who walks by” and that “you can’t leave a situation like that unattended”.

Given the evidence and arguments Judge Keys said he had “no choice but to conclude that the plaintiff succeeds” but was “not satisfied” the thumb injury was related to the fall.

He awarded Ms Johnson €25,000 in personal injury compensation.

Galway City Council Pays Out Over €4m for Personal Injury Compensation Claims Over Three Years

Posted on: December 15th, 2017

A recent report in the Galway City Tribune has revealed that the city has paid over in excess of €4 million in personal injury claim compensation since the beginning of 2015.

The huge expenditure on insurance covers public areas, as well as paying the excess on all claims that are made.

The official figures, obtained by the newspaper through a Freedom of Information request show that the cost of public liability insurance for Galway City Council was  €3.4 million over the same time period. Breaking the costs down year by year gives a figures for 2014 of €1.5 million, €1.4 million in 2015 and just less than €500,000 in 2016.

Along with to paying for insurance cover, Galway City Council also had to pay for the excess on personal injury claims. The figures for this excess amounted to €142,000 in 2016; €242,000 in 2015; and €205,000 in 2014.

A large proportion of the personal injury compensation claims are for injuries suffered in falls on the streets of the city.

As an effort to address this, it was revealed in August 2017 that the paving and cobbles on the Shop Street thoroughfare are to be replaced due to the number of people falling over and hurting themselves.

Galway City Council Representative said, at the time, that plans were in place to solve the uneven paving on the street which has been the subject of many compensation claims.

This comes on the back of a report, in March 2017 which highlighted the fact that more than €63 million was paid out in personal injury compensation by Dublin’s four local authorities in just five years.

Dublin City Council paid out the most – totaling €41,322,784.12 to 3,853 claimants from 2012 until 2016. At the time of the report a South Dublin County Council  spokeswoman said: “The majority of cases in relation to public liability cases are trips, slips and falls on footpaths/roads, or in public parks. A small number of claims are in regard to damage to property, i.e. car tyres.”


Sharp Rise in Compensation Claims Against the State

Posted on: October 8th, 2017

Recent figures released show that the cost of compensation claims taken against the State rose by a massive 22% during 2016.

The increase, which brings the total cost of compensation claims to €2.2 billion, was included in 2016 accounts produced by the State Claims Agency, the Government entity which handles legal actions taken against the State. It is clear from these figures that there has been a surge in the amount of costs incurred due to legal actions involving the State in recent years.

Séamus McCarthy Comptroller and Auditor General for  the Government’s financial watchdog remarked on the consistent increase in compensation claims saying, “The number of claims under management has increased significantly since 2011”.

The figures included in this latest release show that the number of legal actions against the State given a ‘pending’ status numbered 8,900 at the end of 2016. At the end of 2011 this number was 6,000.

The total amount of compensation and legal costs paid out for legal actions against the State in 2016 was €256.2 million. In 2015 the figure was €219.3 million, showing a growth of 20% year on year. This correlates with the total number of actions taken, which grew by 24% to 2,300. There were a number of factors that contributed to this rise.

Factors Leading to Rise in Compensation Claims Against the State

  1. Compensation pay outs for legal actions taken against the child protection agency Tusla and the Health Service Executive (HSE) made up the majority (€1.9 billion) of the €2.2 billion total amount paid out.
  2. The Department of Justice and Defence, including the Gardaí, prison service and Army, was responsible for claims worth €175 million compared to €27 million for to the Department of Health.
  3. The compensation bill for the Department of Education was approximately €50 million.

The State Claims Agency was established as part of the National Treasury Management Agency(NTMA), to tackle at the increase in compensation claims being taken against the State.

Compensation for an Injured Jogger Awarded by Court

Posted on: June 25th, 2016

The High Court has awarded €134,000 compensation for an injured jogger who suffered a fracture wrist when she was hit by the wing mirror of an oncoming van.

In January 2013, Donna Woods – a forty-seven year old teacher from Mullingar in County Westmeath – was jogging along the Ballynacarragy to Mullingar road with a friend, when she was hit by the wing mirror of a passing van.

Donna was taken to hospital, where she received treatment for injuries to her right hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder, and an injury to her jaw. Donna´s wrist was also put into a cast when it was discovered that she had sustained a flake fracture.

After seeking legal advice, Donna claimed compensation for an injured jogger – alleging that the driver of the van – Joseph Tyrell – had driven dangerously close to her and her friend. Tyrell denied liability for Donna´s injuries, and Donna was issued with an authorisation to take her claim to court.

At the High Court hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that, as the two friends were jogging along the road against the traffic, a tractor and trailer had passed them on the far side of the road. Tyrell had given the tractor a wide berth by moving onto the grass verge, but had failed to rejoin the carriageway once the tractor had passed.

In his defence, Tyrell claimed that he had not seen Donna because she was not wearing high-visibility sportswear. He also claimed that Donna must take some of the responsibility for her injuries as she and her friend were running along a busy road two abreast.

Judge Cross dismissed Tyrell´s defence. He said that, on the day in question, Donna had been wearing bright clothing and there would have been plenty of room to avoid the two runners had Tyrell rejoined the carriageway rather than continuing along the grass verge.

The judge awarded Donna €134,000 compensation for an injured jogger – commenting that Donna had suffered quite significant injuries that would persist and prevent her from competing in triathlons and other physically demanding activities.

Claim for Pony Trek Accident Compensation Resolved during Hearing

Posted on: April 25th, 2016

A claim for pony trek accident compensation, made by a woman unable to work for eight weeks because of her injuries, has been resolved during a hearing.

Thirty-five year old Maria Gray – a dentist from Belfast – was among a party of friends on a pony trek at Feeney’s Riding School in Galway on 15th July 2013 as part of a hen weekend. The trek started with a trot through nearby countryside and slowed as the party approached a steep downhill incline.

As the party descended the incline, the legs of Maria´s pony buckled and Maria fell from the saddle onto the hard tarmac surface. Maria sustained a cut chin – from which she still has a scar – and a wrist injury that prevented her from working as a dentist.

Maria made a claim for pony trek accident compensation against Gerard and Siobhan Feeney – the owners of the riding school. In her claim, Maria alleged that the pony she had been given to ride was unsuitably small for her 5 foot 8½ inches frame. She also alleged that she had not been instructed on how to ride the pony.

The Feeney´s contested the claim for pony trek accident compensation. They denied the pony was too small for Maria and that it was on its last legs and hungry due to having been used on another pony trek earlier in the day. They claimed that Maria had been offered a different pony to ride, but had declined, and been given inadequate instruction on how to ride a pony.

Without the Feeney´s consent to conduct an assessment, the Injuries Board issued Maria with an authorisation to pursue her claim for pony trek accident compensation through the courts process. Her case opened last week at the High Court before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam.

At the hearing, Maria explained to the judge it was her belief that the pony had already been out on a trek earlier on that very hot day. Consequently it was hungry and kept stopping to eat grass. She also said that the pony was only suitable for a child under fourteen years of age because of its age.

The case was due to continue last Friday. However, prior to the hearing getting underway, Judge Fullam was told that the claim for pony trek accident compensation had been resolved following discussions and the case could be struck.

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.

Moving Walkway Shopping Centre Compensation for Woman

Posted on: December 18th, 2012

A woman who caught the heel of her shoe in a hole on a travelator in a Dublin shopping centre has been awarded €13.150 in moving walkway shopping centre compensation after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Nuala Holloway Casey (60) from Blackrock in Dublin filed her compensation action against Secret Retail Holdings (trading as Superquinn Shopping Centre) and Kine (Ireland) Limited, travelator and escalator fitters, of Ballymount, County Dublin, after sustaining an ankle injury at the Superquinn Shopping Centre in December 2007.

Judge Barry Hickson in the Circuit Civil Court was advised that on December 21st 2007, Nuala’s high heel of her shoe had become caught in a hole at the entrance to a descending moving walkway and fallen badly – damaging her left ankle. Nuala informed the court that she still experienced pain in the ankle and could no longer play tennis because of the injury.

The court was also advised that liability for the injury had been accepted by the joint defendants but how much compensation for a fall on a moving travelator Nuala should receive was in dispute as Nuala neglected to visit her doctor for 10 days following the accident and exacerbated her injury by a different fall in 2009.

After examining the medical evidence in support of Nuala´s claim, Judge Hickson awarded €12,000 moving walkway shopping centre compensation for the fall plus an additional €1,250 to account for the expenses she had incurred which were directly attributable to her the fall.

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.