Personal Injury in Ireland

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

Massive $10.9bn RoundUp Settelment Agreed in US by Bayer

Posted on: June 25th, 2020

Bayer, the German drugs and pesticides producer has come to an agreement, following over a year of talks, to pay as much as $10.9bn to settle thousands of US-based legal actions taken connected with users of weedkiller Roundup developing cancer.

Bayer, the group that inherited the claims when it took over Monsanto in 2018, revealed in May that talks were coming close to an end. Three cases that have already gone to trial are not included in the settlement.

Of the settlement, $5bn must be paid prior to the end of 2020, with the same amount being paid in 2021. The settlement will be funded using the the company’s existing free cash flow and the proceeds of the recent sale of its Animal Health portfolio.

This settlement represents around three quarters of the claims taken in relation to Roundup. There were  almost 125,000 filed and unfiled claims.

Legal claim submitted stated that Roundup is to responsible for the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers in some users. However, Bayer refuted these claims and are supported in this by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In relation to the settlement Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann released a statement which said: “The Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end.”

He went on to say: “It is financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multiyear litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business.

“The decision to resolve the Roundup litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of healthcare and food. It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”

The settlement figure takes into account $1.25 billion for another class agreement in relation to possible future litigation and any other unresolved claims.

Bayer has always denied claims that Roundup or its active ingredient glyphosate can result in cancer based on the many years of independent studies being completed that indicate the product is safe for human use. In April the group were given Bayer shareholder approval in relation to its handling of the claims.

Settlement mediator Ken Feinberg also released a statement that revealed some 25,000 claims remain unsettled. He commented: “Bayer wisely decided to settle the litigation rather than roll the dice in American court.”

 

Aer Lingus Facing Compensation Action Due to Passenger Treatment

Posted on: April 26th, 2020

An American Aer Lingus passenger has submitted a lawsuit claiming she was injured due to their treatment of her in an incident that occurred just prior to departure.

Mary Oshana is alleges that Aer Lingus flight crew forcibly removed her from the cabin toilet and dragged her to her assigned seat while her pants were still below her knees, exposing her buttocks and genitalia to other passengers. She also claims that this course of events resulted in her sustaining a hip injury.

Ms Oshana, a resident of Skokie IL, submitted her damages claim as, she says, she was handled “unreasonably, carelessly, and negligently” by Aer Lingus flight crew.

The complaint was filed in District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in relation to the events that took place just before a flight from Chicago to Dublin departed on April 26, 2018. The claim details how the flight taxied from the departure gate at O’Hare International Airport. However, it came to a halt and remained in place on the tarmac for around half an hour before it moved on towards the runway for take-off. Ms Oshana, during this delay, decided to leave her seat to go to the toilet. The claims details her claims that, that about 20 seconds after entering the toilet, she became aware that one or more persons were banging on the door.

She was informed that she must return to her seat. As she was seated on the toilet with her pants down, she told these people that she would do as they wished “in just a minute”.

It is alleged that two Aer Lingus flight attendants “broke through the lavatory door, grabbed the plaintiff under her arms, dragged her to her seat while her pants were below her knees, and threw her with great force into the arm rest and seat. In the process of being thrown with great force into the armrest and seat, the plaintiff, Mary Oshana, suffered pain and bruising in her hip, thighs and buttocks.”

Legal counsel for Ms Oshana claim the incident falls under the terms of the Montreal Convention, a treaty covering damages for victims of incidents on airlines. Aer Lingus chose not to make any comments on the event that took place or the contents of the claim that was submitted.

The hearing it scheduled to go to court later this year in June.

 

Witness to Road Crash Awarded €87,000 in PTSD Compensation Claim

Posted on: April 16th, 2020

A PTSD compensation award of €87,000 has been approved for a woman who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to seeing a partly decapitated body of a motorist when she arrived at the scene of a road traffic accident.

The woman in question, Lisa Sheehan, began to experience moderately severe PTSD and had to resign from her hairdressing job two years after the accident took place. She did not believe that she was in a position to continue with her duties.

From Banteer in north Cork, 36-year-old married mother of two Mrs Sheean submitted the lawsuit against Bus Éireann and FBD insurance which provided cover for the deceased motorist.

She informed the judge that she still has bad dreams and flashbacks of the incident. She said that her condition placed great strain on her relationships and she still attends counselling and medication sessions. She claimed that this suffering is a result of the negligent operation or control of both the bus and the car. Bus Éireann did not accept the negligence claims while FBD accepted that the accident was caused by the negligence of the deceased car driver.

However, both defendants informed the Court that they did not believe that Ms Sheehan’s psychiatric injuries did not give rise to any cause of action recognised by current legislation and, as such, they did not owe her a duty of care.

When the accident took place on January 28, 2017, Ms Sheehan was heading from work in Cork city to her home. When she was coming close to Mallow her car hit some debris and she came to a stop. She then saw the damaged bus and the severely damaged car which had hit it near by. When she went over to the the car she found “a badly disfigured and partly decapitated body”.

She contacted the emergency services and reviewed the surrounding area for others who might have been involved in the accident and eventually identified the bus driver whose face was covered in blood.

In relation to the legal claims that the defendants were registering, the judge said the law on primary/secondary victims is far from definitive in this jurisdiction. He went on to say that, while in his opinion nothing turned on that division in this case, he was happy Ms Sheehan was a primary victim as her car had been struck by debris from the crash.

He then awarded her €87,238 PTSD compensation in relation to her claim.

Tree Stump Accident leads to €55,000 Injury Compensation Award for Boy

Posted on: March 17th, 2020

A boy who cut his knee – when he was attending an Art Camp in Dundrum, Dublin – during a fall on a tree stump at a has had a compensation settlement of €55,000 approved in the High Court.

Just ten years old when the accident in question took place, Diarmuid O’Connor is now 15 and took the legal action via his mother Jacinta O’Connor of Ashton Avenue, Knocklyon, Dublin, against Artzone Ltd, the operators of an art camp at Taney Parish Hall, Dundrum, Dublin during February 2016

The accident took place during the break is classes at the camp when Diarmuid, now 15-years-old, and some of his friends were unsupervised as they wandered off among the bushes on the grounds of the camp. If was during this exploration that Diarmuid fell across the tree stump and cut his leg quite badly.

Camp staff were called to help him and they removed the other children from the scene and called an ambulance. The cut was so severe that it has left Diarmuid too self conscious to wear shorts during the summer months.

As he was giving his approval for the child accident compensation settlement, Justice Garrett Simons said that he was very happy with the agreed terms of the settlement. He made reference to the fact that there may have been many legal issues in relation to supervision and how the boy was permitted to wander off unsupervised if the case had gone to a full trial.

 

During break time, it was claimed, the boy went in an area with bushes after his friends and fell.

Assistants ushered the group away from the bushes and an ambulance was called.

The judge said the settlement was a good one. He noted that if the case had gone to trial there may have been issues in relation to the boy wandering off and to supervision.

Trial of Man for Sexual Assault of Four Girls at Creche Begins

Posted on: February 25th, 2020

A 29-year-old male is currently on trial after being accused of the sexual assault of four girls at the creché where he was working. Claims have been made that the man in question, from February 2015 to December 2016, sexually assault the group of girls on up to 23 occasions. The man pleaded not guilty in relation to the allegations that have been made by young girls who were aged between five and eight-years-old when the attacks occurred. The allegations include ten counts of sexual assault in relation to the first girl, eight in relation to the second girl, three in relation to the third and two in relation to the fourth. The offences are all alleged to have occurred in different places at the crèche and on a bus owned by the crèche. In order to safeguard the identities of the children involved, the man’s name and details of the location of the crèche cannot be made public. Prosecuting Counsel Orla Crowe said the man was first hired to cook in the kitchen of the crèche during 2013. However, a short time following this he began was given duties supervising after-school children. His tasks included taking children to school in the early mornings and picking them up after school ended for the day. He also supervised the older after-school children during the afternoons. Ms Crowe said the man had been accused of committing sexual misconduct on 12 December 2016. This happened after one of the young girls told another child about the incident and that child then informed a staff member about it. The child’s parents and the Gardaí were made aware of the situation and an official investigation. As part of the trial the children will be available for cross-examination by the defence via video link, and videos of previously-conducted interviews, carried out by specialist garda interviewers, were filmed during January 2017. These interviews will be shown to the court during the trial. The children’s parents and the specialist garda interviewers will also take the stand during the trial. The court was advised that the owner of the crèche where the man was working was aware that the man had no official qualification in child care when assumed the role but had begun his official training. He had completed a one-day child safeguarding workshop and was attempting to get the appropriate FETAC level 5 qualification that was legally required. Speaking about the man’s suitability for the position the proprietor said that she felt it would be good to have a male authoritative figure in the crèche and he was trying to become properly qualified, albeit this was taking a considerable amount of time. The woman went on to say that, as the law had been amended, anyone working in a crèche after 31 December 2016 had to have a FETAC level 5 qualification. The Man had been aware that he would not be able to continue in his role after this date as he was not qualified. On 12 December 2016 she was in the creche office when a staff member advised her that one of the after school children had told a separate child that she had kissed the man in his private area and then giggled. As, she informed the court, she was unsure what course of action to follow as she was wary that it could be a case of children being fanciful and talking about such things. She contacted the parents of the children affected. The next day a father of one of the girls advised her that he was going to get in touch with the gardaí in relation to the issue. Following this she contacted the man and advised his that he was suspended from his position as there was a serious allegation against him. The Gardaí then attended the crèche that afternoon with a warrant and retrieved footage from the CCTV system. Next Monday the trial continues.

Catholic Church Braced for Compensation Claims in Relation to Illegal Adoption Cases

Posted on: January 31st, 2020

At the High Court in Belfast a compensation case has been submitted in relation to illegal Catholic Church adoptions, arranged by the Catholic Church of children born in the Republic of Ireland, the first of many such cases that are expected to be submitted.

The plaintiff is Patrick FitzSymons, a Belfast-born actor known for his roles in Game of Thrones and Line of Duty. Mr FitzSymons was born to an unmarried couple in Co Clare in the 1960s. His parents wish to avoid the stigma of having a child out of wedlock and allowed the Catholic church agency St Patrick’s Guild to arrange his adoption to a married couple in Co Antrim. 

148 people are now involved in the cases about the adoptions which involved forging birth certificates and other baptismal records. The legal firm handling mr FitzSymon’s case, Coleman Legal Partners, are responsible for 25 similar cases and are expecting that number to grow even more. Since the original number has revealed as 126 by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar 20 months in May 2018 it was grown substantially. At the time the Taoiseach told the Dáil that the disclosures of the adoptions amounted to “another chapter from the very dark history of our country” which had “robbed children – our fellow citizens – of their identity”.

Mr FitzSymons solicitor, Norman Spicer of Coleman Legal Partners said that the firm is handling many similar cases but there is no plans to apply for a “class action” order because of the complexity of the individual cases. He said: “There is no provision for the North American-style of ‘class action’ under Irish law. However, a court has discretion to grant an order which may mirror to some extent the other system for a specific case or set of cases. We do not envisage making such an application. These are complex cases involving many different defendants, as a result it is difficult to say how long these cases will take as it depends on all of the parties involved and how quickly responses, replies and motions, and so on, can be turned around. Three years (the estimated time the case will take to process) would not be an unreasonable time frame but this is dependent upon many factors and is really only a ‘ballpark’ estimate.”

Mr Fitzsymons was born to parents in Co Clare. It was arranged, by St Patrick Guild. for him to be adopted by John FitzSymons, a pharmaceutical chemist from Warrenpoint in Co Down and Patricia Bradley, a qualified social worker native to Co Tyrone. In an earlier interview Mr FitzSymons detailed his relationship with his adoptive parents, who are now both deceased. He said that they “had loved me and provided for me as best they could’ and that his “natural parents, my birth mother in particular, had endured the institutional shaming and disapproval of Ireland at that time to do what she thought to be the right thing”.

In summer 2018, FitzSymons was informed by Tusla that he was just one of 126 people whose births were mistakenly registered between 1946 and 1969 by the Dublin-based St Patrick’s Guild. In a an earlier interview he described the severe emotional suffering that both sets of parents experienced due to the entire case. He remarked: “My natural parents, my birth mother in particular, had endured the institutional shaming and disapproval of Ireland at that time to do what she thought to be the right thing.”

 

 

 

 

PTSD Disclosure Statement Issued to External Facebook & YouTube Content Moderators

Posted on: January 26th, 2020

Reports have been filed in the US and Europe revealing that Accenture, a professional services company that provides external professional services globally, has sent disclosure forms to new hires and existing staff that state that they are fully aware of the possibility that the content they must view as part of the duties may result in them suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The disclosure statement is said to read: “I understand the content I will be reviewing may be disturbing. It is possible that reviewing such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

Accenture contractors are employed as external outside monitors for social media sites. The are typically given duties including deleting any inappropriate content. In order to accomplish this task they must view and hear disturbing posts of a violent or sexual in nature. A normal day’s work would include these moderators considering the inappropriate nature of objectionable materials and having to look over hundreds of disturbing images.

This move comes as Facebook is readying itself for coming legal battles with former content moderators that were submitted due to the PTSD they are suffering from due to the content they had to view as part of their daily duties. Legal actions have been initiated in California and Ireland.

The disclosure statements were sent out to Accenture employees in the United States and Europe to complete. Exiting members of staff were issued with the statement in the form of an update. Accenture has three content moderation offices for Facebook in Europe based in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin, where workplace safety rules are some of the most stringent globally and include protections for mental health issues.

The form states that “no job is worth sacrificing my mental or emotional health” and that “this job is not for everyone” and includes suggesting that individuals who suffer with mental health struggles due to work might not fit in at at Accenture. There is no provision made, in that statement, to say that Accenture will, as required by federal law, make reasonable accommodations for employees who become disabled due to the duties of their job.

Facebook and Google, YouTube’s parent company have both released statements claiming that they were not asked to approve or review Accenture’s new disclosure form. However, both stated that they direct their professional service suppliers to provide psychological support for content moderators.

The disclosure forms included details of support services that are provided by Accenture such as a hotline and a wellness coach. However it was detailed that these services are not managed by professionally trained experts as, according to Accenture, they “cannot diagnose or treat mental disorders”.

Accenture has also issued a statement in relation to the move which claims the health and said the wellbeing of its contractors is was a “top priority” and added that only new joiners were being asked to complete the forms, whereas current employees were being sent the form as an update. The statement outlined: “We regularly update the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do”.

Social media moderators should not complete this form without consulting with a solicitor first as doing so may impinge on their right to pursue a compensation claim for any future suffering caused by their work duties.

Coffee Accident Compensation Settlement of €41,000 Approved for Boy (5)

Posted on: January 8th, 2020

A coffee shop compensation claim action has been approved at the High Court €41,000 due to baby being allowed to pull a bowl of hot soup on top of himself in a coffee shop and sustained major burns.

The boy, Otto Devine, was aged just six months when the accident occurred, leaving the boy with superficial scald burns to his arms and legs at a coffee shop at the Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin. The accident occurred when the boy was with his father and grandfather on May 10, 2015. The legal representative, Carl Hanahoe BL, advised Justice Kevin Cross that the hot soup and sandwiches were put down in front of the baby on the table. The young child was able to pull the bowl down on top of himself, spilling the hot liquid.

Otto was brought by ambulance to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin to have his injuries treated. Medics diagnosed him with partial thickness burns to his hands, his left leg and right foot. There was also a redness to the right side of his face right hand and the inside of his left elbow. it was found that 3% of the boy’s body were covered with burns. He attended a subsequent appointment with the plastic surgery department . Here, his wounds were cleaned out and sterile dressings were placed on them.

Otto spent eight days in hospital. He suffered early toxic shock syndrome and developed a fever two days after his admission. Once the fever alleviated he was sent home on May 18, 2015. Due to the incident, Otto was left with three areas of minor scarring, the court was informed.

His (Otto’s) legal representatives told the judge that the soup should not have been brought to the table, and placed in front of the child, at a temperature which would inflict serious burns. The personal injury compensation claim was taken on behalf of Otto by his father, Conor Devine, against the Airfield Estate due to the accident. Justice Kevin Cross gave his approval for the settlement that was mediated and said that he was satisfied happy that Otto had made a good recovery from significant burns.

Australian Tourist Awarded €67,000 Museum Accident Compensation

Posted on: September 7th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public Service Card Data Breach could lead to Compensation Claims

Posted on: August 17th, 2019

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

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

In a statement released on the finding of the reports the DPC said “Ultimately, we were struck by the extent to which the scheme, as implemented in practice, is far-removed from its original concept,” the DPC said in a statement published on its website.

“Whereas the scheme was conceived as one that would make it easier to access (and deliver) public services, with chip-and-pin type cards being used for actual card-based transactions, the true position is that no public sector body has invested in the technology capable of reading the chip that contains the encrypted elements of the Public Sector Identity dataset. Instead, the card has been reduced to a limited form of photo-ID, for which alternative uses have then had to be found.”

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

The PSC will, however, continue to be an acceptable form of identification for a range of services. Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said: “Any cards that have been issued, their validity is not in question by anything we’ve found in this report,” she said. “They can continue to be used in the context of availing of free travel or availing of benefits that a person is claiming from the department.”

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

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

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

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

 

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.

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

Posted on: March 17th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on: March 9th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on: February 24th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Librarian Awarded €60k Compensation for Crash Involving Former BoI Governor

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019

A car crash compensation settlement of €60,000 has been approved in the Circuit Civil Court between a 64-year-old librarian and the former Bank of Ireland Governor Laurence Crowley after the latter admitted liability for road traffic accident that occurred in August 2015.

The librarian, Richard Barrett who has an address at Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin, submitted the personal injury compensation action against Mr Crowley and O’Flaherty Holdings Limited (the registered owners of the car) as a result of the injuries he suffered in the car crash at Monkstown Crescent, Dublin.

The court sitting was scheduled to hear Mr Barrett’s testimony regarding his injuries following the incident and the medical reports. Mr Crowley was not in the Circuit Civil Court for the legal proceedings. Mr Barratt advised presiding Judge Mr Justice Groarke that he had experienced shock and trauma due to the collision. Mr Barrett had a prior history of suffering from anxiety disorder and the accident brought on subsequent attacks. Mr Barrett was taken to the emergency department of St Vincent’s University Hospital where Dr Nigel Salter, consultant in emergency medicine, treated him. Mr Barrett told Justice Groarke that he did not suffer any bone fractures due to the car collision in Monkstown. Despite this he was still prescribed a course of anti-inflammatory and pain killing medication to tackle injuries on his chest and abdomen.

Mr Crowley had been driving the Mercedes 300 car in a negligent fashion when the crash took place according to the allegations of Mr Barrett. Mr Barrett informed the Judge that on August 29th 2015 he was a passenger in a vehicle when a car driven by Mr Crowley came out from a minor road and crashed into the car he was in. Mr Barrett said that he was of the opinion that Mr Crowley was driving at an excessive speed and that the driver had not shown an appropriate level of awareness for other road users.

Mr Barratt’s legal representative in the Circuit Civil Court, Barrister Ivan Daly appearing with HJ Ward Solicitors, told Judge Justice Raymond Groarke that there had been an acceptance of liability by the defendants. Due to this, and following an assessment of damages, there had been an agreement to settle the case which could now be struck out with an order for costs.

 

Car Crash Involving 8 People Leads to Compensation Claims of Almost €500k

Posted on: January 21st, 2019

Following a car crash involving eight Polish people where two cars collided on an approach to a roundabout at Lusk, Co Dublin – personal injury claims totalling up to approximately €500,000 were lodged on Monday

Arkadiusz Rokicki (23);  Daniel Kutszal (24) and his sister, Majal Kutszal (34), all with addresses in the village of Lusk, suffered injuries when they were passengers in a car crash. The car was being driven by the defendant Dariusz Chudyk who is now living in Poland but was indemnified through his insurance policy with Axa.

Legal counsel for the claimants, Barrister Paul Gallagher who was appearing with Robert Anderson of Anderson and Gallagher Solicitors, informed the court they were injured when Mr Chudyk’s car crashed into the back of another vehicle as he was driving near a roundabout in Lusk. It was alleged that all of the claimants had suffered whiplash injuries as a result of the crash.

Mr Gallagher told the court that each of his clients had experienced pain and stiffness to the neck and in their lower back following the road traffic accident and had been prescribed medication to deal with the pain.

Judge Groarke said he was satisfied the accident was a genuine one and that there was no question left in his mind other than that it was a genuine accident and the claimants were equally authentic. He said: “There is nothing in that evidence to compel me to accept that these people do know one another or that there is any association between them. I don’t blame the insurance company for adopting a very defensive attitude to this case which had the hallmarks of something that warrants that degree of investigation.  Every case of this nature warrants a degree of investigation.”

Judge Groarke awarded each claimant damages of €10,000 with District Court costs due to the extent of their injuries.  There are still five remaining car accident compensation actions to be heard due to this accident. Each claimant is also suing for personal injury compensation of €60,000 amounting to a total compensation claim value of €480,000.

Student Settles Injury at Work Compensation with Chinese Restaurant

Posted on: December 8th, 2018

A student who was burned by hot oil, when he unknowingly sat on a bucket of freshly discarded bucket of it, has settled his an injury at work compensation against the Chinese takeaway he worked at the High Court action.

The 29-year-old man, Umesh Maharjan, sustained major burns injuries when the oil splashed on his back and arm, Justice Michael Hanna was advised in the High Court. Mr Maharjan had to deal with significant pain and has been left with “grossly disfiguring” wounds due to the accident at the restaurant he was employed at in Co Wicklow.

A Fine Arts student, Mr Maharjan is originally from Kathmandu in Nepal and was working at the Rathnew Chinese Takeaway in Co Wicklow in order to finance his time in university. He is now living at the Dock Road, Limerick, and filed his Takeaway Injury Compensation action against Rathnew Restaurant and Takeaway Ltd in relation to the accident that took place on August 21, 2015.

Mr Maharjan’s legal team told Justice Hanna that he (Umesh) was taking a break outside the back of the Chinese takeaway where plastic buckets were stored. One of his colleagues had put a bucket full of hot cooking oil from a deep-fat fryer in the vicinity. Unfortunately, Mr Maharjan sat on top of the bucket in question and the lid shifted resulting in him falling  backwards and the oil spilling along his back and over his left arm.

The other people working at the Chinese restaurant came to his aid and applied water to the parts of his body that were burned before taking him to hospital. Sadly, Mr Maharjan suffered injuries and significant burns that will leave him carrying scars and wounds for the remainder of his life.

Justice Michael Hanna was told that liability had been withdrawn and the case in question was before the court for assessment of damages only due to the fact that legal representatives for both parties had agreed on a settlement and the case could be now be dismissed.

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.

Meath Woman Settles Injury Compensation Claim after Falling on ‘Defective Tile’

Posted on: November 28th, 2018

A 39-year-old Co Meath woman, who experienced injuries in a fall in at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, has settled her personal injury compensation claim against the hospital.

In addition to this Justice Raymond Groarke stated that the woman, Mrs Morgan, was entitled to succeed in a personal injury claim and to have her name cleared of alleged fraud and dishonesty. Justice Groarke told the Court that the hospital had used a defence in which it had accused Joanne Shelly, of Birch Close, Johnstown Wood, Navan, of fraud.

Judge Groarke said the defence used by the Finglas hospital claimed that she placed her foot on defective tiling on a corridor floor and tripped on purpose so she could bring a fraudulent personal injury compensation claim. Ms Morgan had slipped and fallen on the very same defective tiles many years previously and had been astonished and flabbergasted on this day in January 2014 to find the defect had never been addressed.

The Judge said: “That is their defence and I am putting it as bluntly as the defendant would not put it. As she gets to it the inference I am being asked to draw is that Ms Morgan was a party to this fraud by pointing it out and that Ms Shelly managed to get her toe into it and fell. I find the defence to be outrageous and not supported by the evidence.”

Judge Groarke went on to say that not only was Ms Shelly entitled to succeed against the hospital, she was also entitled to have her name cleared in the manner he had described in court.

Barrister Darach MacNamara, counsel for Ms Shelly, told Judge Groarke today that following his ruling on liability in the case the proceedings had been settled and could be dismissed with an order for Ms Shelly’s legal costs.



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.