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Child Claims

Girl who Sustained Serious Injuries after Falling into Brambles has €90k High Court Compensation Settlement Approved

Posted: March 10th, 2021

A €90,000 High Court Injury Compensation settlement has been awarded for a child who was left with cuts to her face after falling into brambles at her Montessori school.

Cara Faye O’Brien O’Keeffe, now aged six, took the legal action via her father Mark, of The Paddocks, Portrane Road, Donabate, Co Dublin, the child had taken proceedings against the Representative Body of the Church of Ireland and Louise Fitzsimons, trading as Deerpark Montessori School, Swords, Co Dublin.

They were seeking the compensation in relation to the lacerations and abrasions that she sustained to her face on April 19th 2018 when she fell into brambles while playing at her school. She was just three and a half years old when the incident occurred. They alleged that the brambles at the centre of the accident had been allowed to grow at the side of the play area where children were present. Additionally Cara was not under supervision at the time the accident occurred.

David Burke BL who was seeking approval of the personal injury compensation settlement offer on Monday for the plaintiff informed the court that his side were satisfied with the offer. He said that he was recommending the approval for a number of reasons including the fact that the Court of Appeal, had in other similar cases, reduced a lesser settlement on appeal.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons, as he was delivering his ruling, said the settlement offer for  seemed “very generous” and he had no hesitation approving it. He added that this had been an unfortunate accident and the child suffered “quite nasty injuries”. He added that a number of the scars were permanent and he was told a larger scar was unlikely to be improved by surgical intervention. The child is still quite young and not very conscious of the scars now but may be conscious of them in her teenage years, he continued.

Recognising the Court of Appeal’s reduction of a lesser award in a case involving a scalding accident, the judge said the settlement offer was very good for a case like this and gave his approval to it.

Creche Accident Compensation Settlement of €32,500 Approved for Toddler

Posted: October 20th, 2020

At the Circuit Civil Court a 16-month-old toddler, who fell and struck her head against a piece of furniture in a Dublin creche, has had a €32,500 creche injuries settlement approved.

Presiding Judge John O’Connor heard in the Circuit Civil Court that the girl in question, two-year-old Jessica Nugent, sustained a permanent scar to the centre of her forehead. Jessica’s legal Counsel, barrister Graham Quinn , make the court aware the accident took place during August 2016 not long after Jessica had been left off at the Giraffe Childcare Creche at Milltown Road, Mount St Anne’s, Milltown, Dublin.

Mr Quinn said that the young girl, who will turn three in December, took the legal action against Giraffe Childcare via Limited through her father Ronan Nugent. The court was told that Jessica  was in a playroom at the Milltown creche when she fell against a piece of furniture and sustained a laceration to the middle of her forehead.

After the accident, Jessica was taken to hospital for further treatment. Here she underwent a procedure which involved the open laceration being closed with surgical glue. Despite their best efforts Jessica was left with a permanent, visible scar. When the accident occurred Jessica and her parents in Dublin had been living in Cork. However, since that time they have relocated to Rosehill, Castletreasure, Douglas, Co Cork.

Mr Quinn informed Judge O’Connor that there is no CCTV footage record of the accident. In addition to this the young child’s fall had not been witnessed by any employee at the creche. Due to this no one was certain as to how the accident actually occurred.

The Judge was advised, by Mr Quinn, that the creche owners had increased a previous creche accident compensation offer of €23,000 to €32,500. He added that he was recommending that this be approved by the court.

Judge O’Connor approved the settlement offer which he considered to be good and commented that said the scar could still be seen within conversational distance of Jessica.

Giraffe Childcare Limited, previously registered as Giraffe Childcare Unlimited Company with a registered address in Lucan, Co Dublin, was also directed to pay the legal costs of the plaintiff.

€65,000 Bicycle Accident Compensation for Boy

Posted: October 22nd, 2019

A High Court personal injury compensation action has been settled for €65,000 in favour of a young boy who injured his lip when he fell off his bike after the front wheel allegedly hit a pothole.

On July 14 2011 the then eight-year-old Malcolm Akpaka allegedly fell from his bicycle when his front wheel hit the deep pothole which was one foot deep at Cruise Park Close in Tyrrelstown, Dublin

Mr Justice Garret Simons fell off his bicycle and suffered a deep laceration to his upper lip. The court was told that the pothole in question was around one-foot deep. Following the accident he was taken to hospital to receive medical attention. There Malcolm was administered with stitches to his lip. As a result of the accident and fall from his bicycle the now -16-year-old youth has been left with a scar.

Malcolm Akpaka, with and address at Cruise Park Drive, Tyrrelstown, Dublin took the personal injury compensation action against Fisher Property Management Ltd, Main Street, Ongar, Dublin and Tyrrelstown No 8 Management Company Ltd care of Fisher Property Management, which were charged with maintaining the condition of the roads and areas of the estate common area. he also sued Earthwood Ltd, The Plaza, Tyrrelstown, Dublin, the company who were contracted to construct the roads in the estate where the accident in question occurred.

The accident took place on a piece of roadway which featured a cobblelock footway. The court was told that the pothole had appear in the area between the cobblelock and the tarmacadam. Creating the potential for a dangerous accident.

The presiding judge was informed that all three defendants refuted the allegations that were made against them were contesting the issue of liability in relation to the accident.

Due to this, Mr Justice Simons said he was satisfied to make an order ruling the settlement, without an admission of liability.

€35,000 Trampoline Accident Compensation for Girl who Fractured Ankle

Posted: July 17th, 2019

A schoolgirl who fractured her ankle jumping off a trampoline has settled her High Court action for €35,000.

As part of the child injury compensation action legal representation for Shauna O’Gorman (13) claimed there was a failure to direct the activity on the trampoline properly, a failure to ensure the matting was properly and appropriately placed and that a hazard was allegedly allowed to be exposed in the activity area.

All of these allegations were denied by the defendants and it was argued that there was alleged negligence on the part of the little girl. The argument was that the girl landed on a crash mat in an awkward manner. In addition to this the defence claimed that the girl had not advised them that she had previously broken her left foot.

They also stated that she (Shauna) failed to follow the specific and repeated instructions given to her regarding the correct way to land on the mats.

Shauna was attending a gymnastic event as part of an annual school tour and children were taking turns jumping on the trampoline. Ms O’Gorman, who had already jumped on the trampoline once, was just completing her second go when the accident took place.

Ms O’Gorman’s counsel, Sara Moorehead SC, informed the court that the children were jumping on to matting on the floor. A different parent said that she felt the mats on the floor were not close enough together.

In relation to her injuries, Justice Kevin Cross was informed that an MRI last year showed the child’s ankle was back to normal. Following the accident Shauna had a plaster on her ankle and could not go on the first week of a family in Turkey that year. However she was allowed to fly for the second week.

Ms O’Gorman, took the trampoline injury compensation action through her father Joseph O’Gorman, against Irish Gymnastics Ltd, trading as Gymnastics Ireland with offices at Blanchardstown, Dublin and which operates as Excel Gymnastics, Celbridge Industrial Estate, Celbridge, Co Kildare as a result of the accident on June 12, 2015.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, in approving the child injury compensation settlement,  said it was a good settlement and there was a danger that Ms O’Gorman would not succeed if the case went on.

Eight-year-old Girl Awarded €150,000 Ryanair Burn Compensation

Posted: May 30th, 2019

A young girl (8) who experienced second-degree  burns after a cup of hot chocolate fell onto her lap and scalded her when she was on Ryanair flight has settled her High Court personal injury compensation action for €150,000.

When the accident happened, U.S. citizen Sriya Venkata Neti was travelling from Rome to Krakow on Ryanair flight with her parents. When she was attempting to drink the hot chocolate some of the beverage spilled and the paper cup fell on to her knee.

The court was provided with a medical report that said the hot liquid pooled on the seat leading to significant burning pain and the Sriya’s mother had to take off the young girl’s clothes after undoing her belt. Sriya’s skin was burned, according to her mother,  and blisters were forming in other areas. The child was also crying due to the suffering she was feeling.

Sriya Venkata Neti, who is now 11-years-old and living in Freemont, California, submitted the legal action through her father Srinivas Neti against Ryanair in relation to the incident that occurred on the Rome Krakow flight on June 25, 2016. Ryanair refuted all the claims that were submitted.

Hugh Mohan SC, acting on behalf of Sriya and her father, advised the court that this was a very out-of-the-ordinary incident as, under the Warsaw Convention, if a passenger on an international flight can display that bodily injuries were inflicted due to an accident, an unexpected or unusual event that is external to the passenger’s control, then the passenger is not necessary to show negligence or fault as against the airline.

An affidavit provided to the court by the child’s father stated that  that the scarring has now improved. In addition it said that Sriya has made a good recovery and the condition of her injuries has improved.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the Ryanair injury compensation award.

€63,000 for Child Sustain Kidney Injury in Tayto Park Accident

Posted: February 1st, 2019

A €63,000 injury compensation settlement in relation to a young boy’s fall from a slide in Tayto Park on August 26, 2013.  in which he sustained a kidney injury was approved at the High Court heard yesterday.

16-year-old Seán Kelly was 11-years-old when the incident occurred at the park in Ashbourne, Co. Meath. Presiding Judge Garrett Simons was informed that Seán, from Coolkill, Sandyford, Dublin, was advised to don shoe covers to lessen friction on the slide when he fell in the ‘hazardous’ run-off area, and landed painfully on the edge of tubing.

Judge Simons was informed that Seán was ‘doubled up’ in agony due to the pain he was suffering from in the fall. He was given first aid and he got sick a number of times before being carried to his car.

He was taken to his family doctor for further treatment later and he was then referred to Tallaght Paediatric Emergency Department where a CT scan showed he had a grade two injury to his kidney.

Seán’s kidney injuries were treated with a course of antibiotics and he had made a complete recovery by January 2014.

Seán’s legal representative Patrick O’Connell SC told the court that the park failed to provide adequate supervision to the children when they were walking off the runoff area. He added that the slide was highly polished and slippery at that point. In addition to this it was suggested that the edges should have been coated with foam or rubber to minimise the chance of injury if a child fell on it. There was also a claim that the slide should have been designed so that users would complete the entire run and not be able to jump off earlier.

Mr O’Connell told Judge Simons that  an offer had been made to settle the case for just under €63,000 in amusement park compensation. The Judge approved the settlement, which included €9,000 in medical expenses.

Transport Operators Record Over 110 Tram Surfing Incidents in last 3 Years

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.


€37,500 Car Accident Compensation for Two Boys Inadequate according to Father

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”.


Dublin Sisters Awarded €33,000 Motor Accident Compensation

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.

Settlement for Child’s Leg Injury Ruled Insufficient

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.

Dublin Child Compensated for Accident as Toddler

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. 

Seventeen Year-Old Compensated for Childhood Holiday Injury

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.

Ombudsman Criticises Residential Care Homes for Children

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.”

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