Posted: December 4th, 2018
Luas and Irish Rail management have revealed, in response to separate Freedom of Information requests, that over 110 incidents of tram and train surfing have been recorded on the routes that they provided in and around Dublin since 2014.
This train/tram surfing activity refers to a person that holds onto the outside of a carriage as it departs a station. The activity came to public attention in October 2018 when 20-year-old Rebecca Kelly was awarded €550,000 in personal injury compensation due to sustaining major brain injuries in a fall from a Luas carriage. She was clinging onto Luas when the accident took place.
Recently, the response to a Freedom of Information request made public the fact that in excess of 35 cases of tram surfing have been registered on Luas services in the last three years.
“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. 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” Transdev Representative Ms Dervla Brophy said in a statement released following the Freedom of Information request.
In another Freedom of Information response Irish Rail revealed that 87 occurences of train surfing have been recorded in the last two years. Since 2015 twelve train surfing incidents took place on the Northern commuter route between Dublin and Dundalk. Every one of the officially recorded incidents took place on the routes operated by the Dart.
“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 spokesperson Barry Kenny stated commenting on the revelations.
Posted: April 12th, 2018
A child car accident compensation award of €37,500 settlement for two children injured has been referred to as ‘inadequate’ by their father.
The child car accident compensation award was split into €20,000 for his nine-year-old in relation to a suspected broken arm and €17,500 for his seven-year-old brother in relation to some soft tissue injuries.
The young boys were injured in a car accident which happened on March 26, 2016 and had sued the insured driver of the other vehicle, Dusan Gabor through their father Graham Comiskey
Through the boy’s Barrister John Nolan their father advised Judge Terence O’Sullivan in the Circuit Civil Court that was not satisfied with either road accident compensation settlement.
Mr Nolan remarked: “While the boys have sued through their father, Mr Comiskey, I have to consider the interests of the children and I do not believe they would gain higher awards in a full trial and may even be awarded much less”.
Mr Comiskey compared the settlement to the figures in the Book of Quantum in relation the compensation for injuries like these. He stated that they were at the lower end of suggested damages for these types of injuries.
He also asked if he would be able to appeal should the settlement should the judge approve the child road accident compensation.
Judge O’Sullivan outlined to Mr Comiskey that a separate different judge may award a smaller amount of road accident compensation to his boys. He went on to say that he was satisfied that the compensation settlement fell in the range of €15,000 and €20,000.
Legal representatives for the Comiskey family told Judge O’Sullivan that this had been made clear to Mr Comiskey. However, the boys’ father was still keen to reject accepting the settlement.
Judge O’Sullivan decided o approve both child road accident compensation settlement offers and said that the funds should be paid into court funds on behalf of the children that were injured.
He ended by saying that Mr Comiskey could appeal “any decision of the Circuit Court”.
Posted: October 8th, 2017
Izy and Amy Saul, two young sisters from Dublin have been awarded €33,000 in car accident damages due to a rear ending incident that saw the family car they were travelling in struck from behind in February 2016.
The two girls, aged seven and five years old, were travelling with their family when a car owned by defendant Tadgh Hartnett, collided with the back of their family car. Izy and Amy, from Rossberry Terrace, Lucan, Dublin were represented in court by Barrister Francis McGagh. Mr McGagh told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that the sisters were lucky to avoid serious injuries in the incident.
However, the girls were absent for one day of school following the accident to see their family doctor.
The girls mother, Claire Saul, made an affidavit to the court which said her daughters, who both have their birthdays later in October, now become nervous when travelling in a motor vehicle. Their family doctor said, in the official medical report, that this was a commonly experienced symptom following such a rear end collision.
The barrister, Mr McGagh advised Justice Groarke the Court that the family doctor found that the sisters had suffered minor psychological injuries due to the traffic accident. The official medical report from their family doctor was provided that said the girls’ had been inflicted with “a mild effect on the mental health”. The family doctor concluded that he expected this nervousness to fade over time.
The defendant Mr Hartnett, who was not present in Court, gave an address at AIG Insurance, North Wall, Dublin. The insurance provider made the road traffic compensation settlement offer of €16,500 each to the two girls, and their court expenses, on behalf of Mr Hartnett.
Claire Saul told the Judge that hat she was content with the €33,000 road traffic compensation offered to her daughters.
Posted: January 30th, 2017
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, President of Dublin’s Circuit Court, has ruled that a €31,000 settlement for a young girl’s broken leg is not sufficient for the injuries she sustained.
The young girl, who has remained anonymous, was injured in April 2015 whilst attending the Larkin Early Education Centre in Ballybough, Dublin. The girl – then just two years old – managed to climb on top of a wardrobe and fell to the floor. Staff from the care centre rushed her to hospital, where an x-ray showed that she had fractured her tibia. An emergency operation was required to reset the bone.
For many weeks after the accident, the toddler was required to wear a full-leg cast. Once this was removed, she had to wear a protective boot until her injury was completely healed. However, two years on, the little girl still complains of intense pain and soreness in the leg that was broken in the fall. Her mother consulted a personal injuries solicitor and made a claim for personal injuries compensation on her daughter’s behalf against the Larkin Early Education Centre.
The claim alleged that the play centre had failed in their duty of care towards the young girl. After initial assessment by the Injuries Board, on offer of €31,000 was made. Her mother’s solicitors advised against accepting this offer, believing it inadequate for the nature of the injury sustained. Acting on this advice, the offer was refused and since no other was forthcoming, the case proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court.
At the court hearing, which took place earlier this month, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was detailed the nature of the accident and the long-term impact the injury has had on the young girl. The judge agreed that the settlement was inadequate and has ordered the case to go to a full hearing.
How much compensation a victim is due is based on figures in the Book of Quantum, which has recently been revised. The book rules that the minimum compensation to be awarded for a fracture such as the little girl’s – where a bone had been displaced – was €40,500. Additionally, it states that injuries to the tibia are more serious than similar injuries to the fibula, and the fact that the child is still suffering dictates a higher settlement is due.
Posted: October 9th, 2016
A young girl from Dublin, who punctured a lung after falling from an unsafe window, has had her compensation settlement approved by a Circuit Court judge.
In August 2012, when Róisín Byrne was just fifteen months old, she was living with her parents in an old Georgian building in Blackrock. However, whilst at the property, the little girl fell from a large sash window, falling nearly three metres before landing on a fire escape. Little Róisín was extensively injured, with lacerations to her head, broken ribs and a punctured lung. Róisín, now five years old, has recovered from her injuries though still bears a scar on her head.
Chloe Murphy and Ronan Byrne, Róisín’s parents, had previously expressed concerns about the window to the caretaker of the property. They felt that it was dangerous, as it opened very close to the ground and they had a young daughter. As such, they requested that the caretaker put an extra latch or lock on the window such that it would be more secure and an accident would not happen.
Róisín’s parents, Ronan Byrne and Chloe Murphy, had complained before the accident to the property’s caretaker that the window through which Róisín fell posed a hazard for the little girl, as it opened very close to the ground. As such, they requested that an extra lock be put on it. This request was never heeded.
Chloe Murphy, acting on Róisín’s behalf, made a claim for assessment of injuries with the Injuries Board. The owner of the Blackrock property, Enda Woods, consented to the assessment, after which the Injuries Board recommended a settlement of €46,000.
Though both parties agreed upon the sum, the claim for compensation was made on behalf of a child. As such, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be awarded. As the value of the assessment exceeded €15,000, it proceeded to Dublin’s Circuit Court.
The case was overseen by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. After he was detailed the circumstances of the accident and Róisín’s injuries, he approved the sum. The €46,000 will now be held in court funds until Róisín reaches adulthood.
Posted: July 8th, 2016
A teenage girl, who sustained a deep cut to her knee whilst she was on holiday with her family as a child, has received a six-figure settlement of compensation for the injury.
The accident occurred in August 2009, when Shauna Burke – then aged ten – was holidaying in the Slattery Caravan Park, Co. Clare, with her family. Whilst playing with her friends, Shauna ran past a pole that had a nail jutting from it. This nail caused a deep laceration to Shauna’s leg.
Though Shuana received immediate medical attention, the nature of the deep wound meant that she had a very noticeable scar above her knee. John Burke, acting on Shauna’s behalf, consumed a solicitor and proceeded to make a personal injuries claim against Austin Francis Slattery, who owned the holiday facility.
In the claim, Slattery was accused of negligence. It was alleged that he was aware of the nail and knew that it was a potential hazard for the guests of the park. Though Slattery denied that he was liable for Shauna’s accident and subsequent scar, he offered a €106,000 personal injury settlement for Shauna’s suffering and future medical procedures.
However, as Shauna is a minor, the claim had to be approved by a judge in the High Court before it could be awarded. Mr Justice Anthony Barr oversaw the hearing, who approved the settlement after seeing Shauna’s scar and hearing the details of the case.
However, as Shuana is just seventeen, the settlement will be paid into court funds until her eighteenth birthday.
Posted: August 10th, 2015
The critical comments, which claimed that children in residential care homes are put in a “vulnerable situation”, were made by the Ombudsman for Children whilst on national television.
Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children, was interviewed as part of RTE1’s “Morning Ireland” programme earlier this week when he criticised the HSE’s Child and Family Service (“TUSLA). During the programme, he claimed that the scheme was allowing both voluntary and private residential homes for children to continue running, despite evidence that those who ran them were breaching regulations.
The Ombudsman said that the shortage of staff at TUSLA was largely to blame for the “inconsistencies and discrepancies” across the country. He said that his office conducted their own investigation, which uncovered that there was often a fourteen month delay after registration for an investigation. Muldoon said that it was this delay that caused children in the homes to be put in a “vulnerable situation”.
Mr Muldoon went on the explain that the inconsistencies were a result of the HSE having four different regions that grew over two decades. Each separate regions have its own regulations and procedures, which means that the standards across the different regions varies. This concerns the Ombudsman, who says that his office would like to see the same standards across the country.
The Ombudsman has initiated proposals with TUSLA that aims to amalgamate the body into the Health and Information and Quality Authority (HIQA, who currently monitor state-run residential care homes). They hope that the agency will be independent, in line with recommendations made by the 2009 Ryan Report.
Brian Lee, TUSLA’s Director of Quality Assurance, spoke later on RTE’s News at One, saying that “We are working very closing with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and with HIQA to move this along. There’s nothing impeding us from supporting this process but it’s in the hands of the Department and HIQA to move this forward.”