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.

€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.

High Court Awards Garda €8,000 for Workplace Shoulder Injury

Posted on: November 24th, 2018

€8,000 Garda work injury compensation has been awarded at the High Court to Garda Ronan Leonard in relation to a soft tissue shoulder injury which he suffered as part of his required work duties.

This was substantially lower than the €20,000 personal injury damages originally sought in the action. Garda Ronan Leonard submitted the injury compensation claim against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform after he sustained the injury when he fell on July 11, 2014, while chasing a suspect.

Due the injuries that he suffered, Garda Leonard decided to go to an out of hours doctor service and, following this, was treated at an A&E hospital department. X-rays revealed that, luckily, he had experienced no fractures. He was allowed to return home with a course of painkillers and anti-inflammatories, but was not allowed to return to work for five days.

As he was still experiencing constant pain, on July 21 Garda Leonard made an appointment with his family GP. The Doctor diagnosed him as having a sprain to the joint at the top of his shoulder and given an injection of steroid anti-inflammatories. As there was no improvement in his condition this course of treatment was repeated in October 2014.

Garda Leonard, the court was told, has now a full recovery from the soft tissue injury and has never made a previous workplace injury claim under the Garda Compensation Acts.

Counsel for Garda Leonard said that Garda he should receive workplace injury compensation of  €20,000 based on the Book of Quantum recommendations. In spite of this, the court ruled that the proper compensation award was €8000, plus another €60 agreed special damages.

The Judge remarked in his ruling that the compensation award was properly €8,000 due to the recent binding decisions made by the Court of Appeal for personal injury cases. This decision stated damages awards be lowered in certain personal injury actions of roughly 45-50 per cent must be applied.

The judge also said, in his remarks, that he felt that €8,000 personal injury compensation was appropriate in this case for to Garda Leonard and proportionate to the injury suffered.

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

Posted on: October 20th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Night Club Assault by Girlfriend’s Brother Results in €4,000 Workplace Compensation for Garda

Posted on: October 16th, 2018

A Garda has been awarded €4,000 workplace injury compensation after being attacked by his now brother-in-law outside a Letterkenny nightclub.

Garda Fintan Smith told High Court Judge Justice Michael Twomey that he was headbutted by the individual causing him to suffer a black eye and nose bleed. He added that following the initial attack he was sitting in the front of the Garda car when the same person, who was restrained in handcuffs in the in the rear seat, kicked him to the side of the head.

The Judge was informed that Garda Smith no longer has anything to do with his now brother-in-law, despite having ideal relations with the rest of his in-laws. Earlier this year he married the man’s sister and, despite being invited he (the assailant) his not turn up to the event. Due to the incident Garda Smith tries to avoid any family occasion if he knows that his brother-in-law is planning to be in attendance.

Legal counsel for Garda Smith, Ms Fiona Crawford, told the High Court her client had been unfortunate to have sustained an injured nose. Subsequent X-rays had revealed that Garda Smith had not suffered a bone injury.

The incident, the High Court was told, had lead to a significant amount of stress between Garda Smith and his partner. Due to the attack he missed a month of work due to the embarrassment caused. He then sought, and received, a transfer from Letterkenny to Ballybofey Garda Station. The entire episode caused Garda Smith to feel a lot of anger. He told the Judge that his now brother-in-law had been a known troublemaker at the time of the incident and was not the sort of person who would respect the gardaí or the work that they do.

Judge Twomey awarded Garda Smith workplace compensation of €4,000 for the injuries he sustained and said that believed Garda Smith’s contention that brother-in-law had a negative attitude towards gardai.

Specsavers Ordered to Pay Former Staff Member €12,000 Wrongful Sacking Compensation

Posted on: September 20th, 2018

The Letterkenny Specsavers branch has been directed to pay €12,000 wrongful dismissal compensation by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to a Muslim woman who was sacked from her job the day after the Manchester terrorist attack in 2017.

The WRC delivered a ruling against the Specsavers Ltd based in Letterkenny that said it had discriminated against Amina Ferrah, using her religion as justification. Adjudication Officer Emer O’Shea said she was happy to make the ruling as the evidence pointed to the fact that Ms Ferrah’s sacking before the expiration of the standard three-month review represented less favourable treatment on the grounds of religious discrimination.

Ms Ferrah advised the WRC that she was fired from her job on discriminatory grounds as a knee-jerk reaction to her being a Muslim. She went on to say that her employer “may have been overly concerned about public sentiment following the Manchester terror attack and the impact it might have on their business”.

Specsavers strongly denied the discrimination claim and alleged at the hearing, that the decision to fire Ms Ferrah’s from her job on the spot was solely due to her professional performance in the job.

Adjudication Officers of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) are statutorily independent in their decision-making responsibilities as they relate to adjudicating on complaints sent to them by the WRC Director General.

Ms O’Shea said that, in finding that Letterkenny Specsavers did discriminate against Ms Ferrah, it was accepted by the company that reviews of new staff members would be carried out after an initial period of three months employment.

On this occasion, however, there was no official accounts of any professional reviews taking place to back up the company’s contention of ongoing reviews being held. Neither were there any documented accounts of any performance deficits recorded during the period that Ms Ferrah was working at Specsavers Letterkenny shown to the WRC.


Woman from Belfast ‘Abused’ due to her Accent Awarded €1,118 Compensation

Posted on: September 11th, 2018

A workplace industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland has awarded compensation to a woman after she was made fun of due to her west Belfast accent along with being harassed for being female.

The workplace bullying incident happened at the Four Winds pub in Castlereagh where Caroline Curran was working as an assistant manager. She advised the tribunal that she was teased and verbally abused due to her history and gender. She alleged that one manager told her she was “not in the Devenish now”, referring to a pub in west Belfast. She also informed them that another time a male co-worker shouted at her: “Would you women f*** up!… you’re never done moaning.”

Ms Curran advised the industrial tribunal: “I’m a strong person, but I found it extremely difficult to deal with mentally and I can only imagine if it was a younger woman or someone maybe not as strong as myself, what sort of state they would be in? I just didn’t want to let that go or allow them to treat anybody else like that.”

Ms Curran was employed as assistant manager of the bar in March 2017, under the supervision of manager Dermott McGinn and assistant manager Conor Magee. By July 2017 she handed in a formal grievance after becoming displeased at the treatment she was receiving and told that tribunal that Mr Magee “constantly undermines me in front of staff”.

Ms Curran also registered an official complaint in relation to amendments to staff rotas, which she said he lied about making her to feel “as if I’m going insane, sometimes he lies to me to make me think I’m wrong”. After this incident she was signed out of work for two weeks and never went back to work at the pub again. However, she was in attendance for a grievance meeting in August during which she stated that Mr Magee made pointed jokes towards her including: “You’re not in the Devenish now.”

Mr Magee refuted all of Ms Curran’s claims, stating that “he hadn’t exactly a posh voice himself”, before going on to say that he thought he had the same accent and he is also from west Belfast originally. As the grievance meeting did not concur with her complaints Ms Curran took the issue to the workplace industrial tribunal.

At the tribunal legal representatives for Four Winds said the company refuted Ms Curran’s allegations that her gender was an “overarching theme” in her complaints against co-workers and that she did not pursue sex discrimination in her officially filed grievance.

When delivering their final ruling the tribunal said that Ms Curran was, more than likely, teased due to her accent but this was not due to her sex. Along with this they added that her claims of being undermined by Mr Magee were not because of her gender.

On the allegations against Mr McGinn they found that this was due to “bad staff management”, however her sex was not the cause of this. It did rule that the comment, “Would you women just f*** up” as a clear example of sexual harassment. The workplace industrial tribunal awarded Ms Curran £1,080 (€1,118) workplace harassment compensation.

Mother and Son Kept Apart for 51 years Sue Adoption Agency for Wrongful Separation Compensation

Posted on: August 14th, 2018

A mother who claims her son had been illegally adopted, has said she hoped the settlement in her wrongful separation compensation legal action would encourage others to act, and that the authorities would support and assist them.

Tressa Reeves, formerly Donnelly and her son Patrick Paddy Farrell, originally named Andre Donnelly, had taken the action against St Patrick’s Guild (Incorporated) adoption society which was run by the Sisters of Charity Nuns, and the State followin of her long search for him following his adoption in 1961.

The defendants in the compensation action denied the claims that Ms Reeves made.

On the what was the fourth day of the hearing, following lengthy talks between the side, Eanna Mulloy SC, instructed by Neil Cosgrave solicitor, for the mother and son told the court late this evening the parties had reached “a comprehensive agreement”.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald said he was “really delighted” the case had been resolved and agreed to strike out the proceedings, with liberty to apply to have the action reentered.

The terms of the settlement are were not made public.

Both Farrell (aged 57) and Reeves (aged 79) said his ‘adoption’ was illegal and claimed his placement with the Farrells was done without the legal safeguards provided under the adoption laws. Additionally they claimed false birth and baptism certs were produced for baby Andre.

During the case it was alleged that false misrepresentations made in relation to Patrick’s location and claims were made that St Patrick’s engaged in a conspiracy, deceit and did not provide them with information about each other in a timely manner.

Additionally it was claimed that the State did not recognise the mother and son’s rights. The claims were all denied.

Ms Reeves gave birth to her son at a clinic in Dublin on 13 March 1961 and just days later he was taken and placed with a family in Co Carlow and given the name Patrick Farrell. The Court was told that Ms Reeves spent decades looking for him and they were reunited in 2013 – Mr Farrell only discovered in 2012 that he had been illegally adopted.

Speaking outside the Four Courts following the completion of the legal action, Ms Reeves said that when her search began there had not ‘even been a landing on the moon’ and that since then there had been many advances in technology that made the task easier.

However, Ms Reeves stated that said things had not improved for the men and women affected by illegal adoption, some of whom she said, did not even know their own identity.


Krystle Nightclub Bouncer Assault Compensation of €50,000 Awarded to Two Brothers

Posted on: August 1st, 2018

Two brothers who were assualted and beaten up by security staff outside Krystle Nightclub in Dublin have been awarded more than €50,000 personal injury compensation.

Judge Sarah Berkeley who described the assualt as a very disturbing incident, was advised by Barrister Esther Earley, counsel for the two men, that they had been queueing to get into the club in the Russell Court Hotel, Harcourt Street, Dublin in September 2015. It was at this point in time that the two brothers were assaulted by bouncers.

Ms Earley informed the court that liability had been accepted by owners of the club, Triglen Holdings Limited, and the compensation case was before the court for assessment of personal injury damages.

Legal representative for the defendents, Moira Flahive, said judgment had already been made in favour of the two plaintiffs against Senture Security Limited, Castle Drive, Citywest Road, Dublin. She also informed the court that Triglen would subsequently be taking a legal action against Senture in an attempt to recuperate damages and costs.

26-year-old James Butler, with an address at Glendown Avenue, Templeogue, Dublin, said he the attack that he had been subjected to happened when one of the bouncers assaulted suddenly and with no provocation.  He said that he believed he suffered and broken nose following a punch to the face. Mr Butler was unconscious for a short time and had been taken to St James’s Hospital for medical treatment. At hospital he was told that he may have suffered a concussion, Due to this he had to give up playing rugby regularly for his club Terenure. Judge Berkeley awarded him just under €21,000 jointly and severally against both defendants.

Conor Butler, James’ older brother, who was said to have suffered a more serious attack had also sued both defendants. He (Conor) accepted a settlement offer of €31,000. Costs were also awarded in both personal injury compensation cases.

Conor, who is employed as a tyre fitter, had submitted his compensation claim against both defendants. He claimed that he had also been struck in the face by one of the bouncers and knocked unconscious to the ground.  Following this he had been pounced upon by a number of members of the security staff.

Ms Flahive announced a personal injury compensation settlement of €31,000 in Conor’s case.

€256k PTSD Awarded to Chinese Woman Knocked Down by Car in Dublin

Posted on: July 17th, 2018

An accountancy student has been awarded more than €250,000 in personal injury compensation damages after a High Court judge found she experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after being struck by a car in Dublin in 2011.

The total award to Cheng Zhang (36) by Mr Justice Anthony Barr was €465,526 but this was reduced as contributory negligence. The contributory negligence attributed to her was assessed at 45pc as she had opted to cross the junction when the pedestrian light was red.

The judge said that due to the car crash Ms Zhang became profoundly mentally unhealthy and could no longer work. Her job was her only source of income and, as a result, she fell into rent arrears, became homeless and required local authority emergency accommodation.

Due to the level of intelligence, ambition and high level functioning which Ms Zhang displayed prior to the accident, Judge Barr said that was satisfied that she would have gone on to qualify as a certified accountant and would have secured full employment if it was not for the accident.

Ms Zhang, a native of the Liaoning province of China came to Ireland in 2003 to study English. When the accident occurred she was studying accountancy.

She had sued the driver of the car Stephen Farrell of Shelbourne Park Apartments,  Ringsend, Dublin as a result of the accident  April 17 2011. She was crossing at the junction of Merrion Row and Merrion Street Upper when she was thrown into the air having been hit by a car which was turning left from Merrion Street Upper into Merrion Row.

It was stated in Court that she suffered soft tissue injury to her knees and pelvis and a blow to the head. This meant that she was unable to move or communicate for about an hour after the accident occurred. The Court was also told that Ms Zhang went on to develop severe and persistant mental illness in the form of post traumatic stress disorder  as well as the condition referred to as fibromyalgia.

Legal representative for Mr Farrell argued that Ms Zhang had listed a number of physical complaints for which no organic basis could be established and that she now suffers from an anxiety disorder.

Mr Justice Barr accepted the evidence of Ms Zhang’s psychiatrist that she suffered significant and serious mental health issues due to the road accident and that following the accident there was a catastrophic change to her mental stability.

He also accepted the evidence of the psychiatrist Ms Zhang’s symptoms are severe, chronic and enduring despite treatment efforts to date.


Bus Passenger Awarded €25k for Injuries Sustained in Sudden Braking Incident

Posted on: July 4th, 2018

A bus passenger who was injured after a bus she was travelling was involved in a crash has been awarded €25,000 in the Circuit Civil Court.

The accident occurred when a man ran onto a road in front of a bus to attack a group of Asian people, forcing the bus drover to suddenly brake.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan was advised that the man had flung a bottle at group of people and then “turned on a sixpence in a millisecond” giving a Dublin Bus driver no chance to swerve and avoid hitting him. Susan Lennox BL told the court Rachel Hardiman (28) was a passenger on the bus at the time and was thrown forward sustaining injuries to her face, neck, shoulders and arm in the incident that took place on September 23, 2012.

Judge O’Sullivan, in approving an award to Ms Hardiman of €25,000 bus injury compensation and costs against Dublin Bus, said although the driver had lifted his foot off the accelerator after spotting the man on the road, the court did not believe this to have been a sufficient course of action. He also granted Dublin Bus an order for €25,000 and costs against Mr Richardson, the individual who threw the bottle in the incident that resulted in the bus traffic accident.

Gerard O’Herlihy, legal representative for Dublin Bus, told Judge O’Sullivan James Richardson had been joined to the proceedings as a third party but was not present in court despite having been served with the proceedings.

The judge felt any competent driver would have had enough time to slow down as drivers could not always expect pedestrians to do exactly what they expected. The bus driver had incorrectly predicted that the pedestrian was going to continue across the road instead of turning around and this was not what happened.

€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.

Donegal Widow Awarded Compensation for Sea Death of Husband and Son in 1981

Posted on: May 20th, 2018

Winifred Byrne, a Donegal widow, has finally been awarded €245,570 in lost at sea compensation.

Ms Byrne secured Ombudsman’s support for State compensation in 2009 after she was excluded from a scheme over exclusion from a Government scheme by the n Minister for the Marine Frank Fahey during the 1990s. Mr Fahey launched a restricted scheme to encourage families who had lost vessels between 1980 and 1989 to stay in fishing, by awarding compensatory them “tonnage”

Ms Byrne, a resident of Bruckless in Co Donegal, has been awarded an ex-gratia payment from current Minister for Marine Michael Creed, after a 14-year dispute when she was left out of the scheme. Despite there being 67 applications through the scheme, only six were approved and 75% of the funds paid were to constituents of the then Minister Fahey.

Ms Byrne’s husband Francis and her 16-year-old son Jimmy were lost along with three other crewmen after their fishing boat Skifjord perished off the coast in 1981.

As the scheme had not been widely publicised the Byrne family brought an official complaint in 2004 after their initial application had been rejected. Ombudsman Ms Emily O’Reilly ruled in their favour in December 2009, commenting that the scheme had been improperly managed.

Danny Byrne said that his mother has now received the payment, and praised Minister of the Marine Mr Michael Creed, and to former Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins who had supported the family’s cause over the years.

Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West commented on the case saying, “I want to extend my congratulations to the Byrne family for the sheer determination and perseverance they exhibited in seeing through their campaign against successive Irish Governments on the Lost at Sea scheme.  I am delighted that they have now finally received the compensation that was legislatively owed to them and hope that this will close what I am sure has been a difficult, and at times frustrating, case.

“The Byrnes, who tragically lost two members of their family, three crew members and their entire livelihood had been fighting against their exclusion from the scheme for over 3 decades.”


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.

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.