All posts by imninfoadmin

€60k Caesarean Section Accident Compensation Sought by Boy (15) Due to Cheek Scar

15-year-old Rory Saunders has taken a €60,000 birth injury compensation action against the master of the National Maternity Hospital and Dr Stephen Carroll, the surgeon who performed the Cesarean section procedure as he medical negligence at childbirth inflicted him with a cut on his cheek.

Rory’s legal representative Barrister Mark O’Connell informed  Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that his (Rory’s) cheek was cut when he was being delivered by Cesarean Section on September 9, 2003.

O’Connell told the judge that the Caesarean delivery injury compensation action as Rory’s left cheek was cut by the scalpel used in the clinical procedure that Dr Carroll carried out. After the clinical procedure was completed the cut was cleaned out  and Steri-Strips were put implemented.

Rory’s permanent 2.5cm cheek scar can be seen when standing close by to him and is more visible during the summertime. The cheek scar has become stressful for Rory as he has been on the receiving end of negative comments during school and among his friends.

The claims were not accepted by Dr Carroll, who is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and an expert in high-risk pregnancies, and the National Maternity Hospital. Plastic surgeon Matt McHugh said that they were of the opinion that the scar was not going to improve in the future.

Judge Groarke considered the medical reports provided by two eminent consultants into court and was also told that a birth injury compensation offer of €25,000 had been put on the table.

He (Judge Groarke) said he was not happy with the compensation offer before the court. he was of the opinion that one of the medical reports appeared to give “a very blunt view” on the injury. He felt this particular expert, who had not seen his colleague’s medical report before formulating an opinion, should be asked to review the other medical report.

The birth injury compensation proceedings were adjourned until such time as the authors of the reports can reconsider the facts.

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Record Medical Negligence Award for Boy (9) who Sustained Brain Injury as an Infant

Benjamin Gillick, a nine year old boy who sustained permanent brain damage after medical staff made a delayed diagnosis of infection following surgery when he was just an infant, has been awarded €32 million medical negligence compensation at the High Court award has been approved for a nine-year-old boy – the largest award in the history of the State.

The parents of the boy, Miriam and Andrew Gillick, pleaded with the judge not to approve the proposed award as they believed the money was not a sufficient amount for the rest of his life. They told the Judge: “It leaves us with a shortfall that will be imposed on ourselves or our children, or possibly our grandchildren.”

The Judge commented in Court that , when added to the interim settlement of €7.4m made thee years previously, this brings to over €32m the total amount of the compensation that will be paid out to the boy.

Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross explained that only a small part of the the awarded compensation, under €500,000, was being handed over in relation to the tragic injuries inflicted on Benjamin. The vast majority of the compensation awarded is being made in relation to the cost of Benjamin’s complex treatment, educational and accommodation needs for the rest of his life.

Judge Cross, in giving his approval for a final settlement offer of €25m, commented: “When the headlines come to be written it should be noted that no one is getting a bonanza”.

He went on to explain that Benjamin would only have been awarded around  €450,000 in relation to general damages for the injuries he still suffers from. The rest of the money to be made by the Children’s University Hospital at Temple Street to cover the expenses related to his future medical treatment.

Judge Cross told those present that compensation figure was already very high as, in relation to Benjamin, “thankfully he has a higher life expectancy and would have to be cared for long after his parents have departed”. The judge said it was very difficult to tale into account his (Benjamin’s) position in life in 60 years’ time when calculating to figure to be awarded.

Andrew Gillick, the boy’s father, told the Judge that he is worried with regard to the money being insufficient when compared to rates of return on investment in England, where the family have moved to. He went on to say that there has recently been a similar case decided in the UK where the compensation award was approximately €45m due to the costs of carers, therapies, aids and appliances, transport and education.

Benjamin was delivered prematurely at his birth along with his identical twin brother. After delivery he had to undergo a clinical procedure when he was just  11 months  of age at Temple Street Children’s Hospital to drain fluid from his brain. A shunt was placed to deal with this and the boy was later returned to hospital due to vomiting and feeling quite sick.

The High Court was informed that a shunt infection is a common complication of the process and the cause of the negligence was that for up to three days this possibility was not investigated. The court was also informed that Benjamin suffers with cerebral palsy, is quadriplegic, and cannot communicate verbally like other children of the same age.

 

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€64,000 Awarded to Man after Bicycle Accident on Repaired Road

A 47-year-old man who sustained a serious back injury when his bicycle slipped on a road where a lot of bitumen sealant had been applied in repair work, has been awarded €64,000 Bike Accident Compensation at the High Court.

Mr Kearney, from Portlaw, Co Waterford took the road bike accident compensation action against Tipperary County Council as it is the body responsible for the upkeep of the road.  He took a separate action against Roadstone Wood Ltd, the company which carried out the repairs on the road.

Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon said it was obvious that the man, Joseph Kearney, experienced major pain and a loss of the amenities of life to a significant degree due to the accident that occurred at Ballinaraha, Kilsheelan, Cloneml, Co Tipperary, on St Stephen’s Day 2011.

In addition to this Mr Kearney had also suffered serious ongoing pain for nine months and had significant pain and suffering for another two years. According to the judge.

The judge, in ruling that both Tipperary Co Council and Roadstone Wood were liable, said it seemed to the court they accepted the testimony of Mr Kearney that there was faulty workmanship in terms of the original work on the road and the repair. Additionally, a similar incident had occurred elsewhere on the road which had been witnessed by a person who gave evidence in this case.

The Judge told the Court that Roadstone Wood had completed he remedial works without ensuring it was done to the correct standard in line with the correct specifications. She said Tipperary County Council was also negligent because it could have been reasonably foreseen that such patching negligently done, in breach of the regulations, would result in an accident. This should have been obvious after the other accident had occurred, she said.

The court was advised that Mr Kearney’s accident occurred when 17 people were cycling two abreast on the hard shoulder. Mr Kearney was a member of this group and was wearing a helmet. As he approached a curve on the road, he was suddenly slipped and fell from his bike. The judge said Mr Kearney had given his evidence carefully and honestly and did not exaggerate his accident or injuries.

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Medical Negligence Compensation Payouts of €268m Made by State Claims Agency in last two years

The overall amount of compensation paid out by the State Claims Agency (SCA) in relation to medical negligence claims totals over half a billion euro in the past two years.

New figures released by Minister for Health Simon Harris show that the amount of compensation paid out by the State Claims Agency (SCA) in 2018 was €268.45m for medical negligence cases – an increase of €18.6 million – or 7.5% – on the €249.77m paid out in 2017. This brings the total amount of compensation for medical negligence paid out in 2017-18 to €518.2m.

The figures were provided by the State Claims Agency (SCA)  in response to a a written Dáil question by Fianna Fáil’s Finance spokesman, Michael McGrath. It also reveals that the highest sum paid out last year under medical negligence was €15.5m in relation to a cerebral palsy case compensation claim.

Cases linked to birth negligence or cerebral palsy accounted for seven of the top ten medical negligence payouts in 2018. The figures release indicate that, in the seven cerebral palsy cases, a total of €60.3m compensation was paid out in order to provide adequate treatment for the individuals concerned for the remainder of their lives.

The remainder of the top ten was made up of cases that in the top ten payments concerned a pay-out of €6.3 million for a clinical procedure at surgery and a separate payout of €5.9m under the same category.

The lowest payout in the top ten was €4.37 million paid out concerning a clinical procedure in the Gynaecology service.

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‘Delay’ on CT Scan for Bleed on Brain Assault Victim Leads to €750k Medical Negligence Compensation Award

A individual who took a medical negligence compensation action against a hospital in relation to the care he was given after he was assaulted has settled his High Court damages action for €750,000.

45-year-old Francis Cunningham, who is now restricted to a wheelchair, had a wound on the back of his head when he had been taken to St James’s Hospital in Dubln after the assault, which took place in 2010. His legal representative, barrister Oisin Quinn SC, argued that Mr Cunningham, who was found to have bleeding on the brain after having a CT scan, should have had the scan earlier. Is this course of action had been followed he would have had brain surgery earlier and, more than likely, he would have been able to walk and live independently

Mr Cunningham, of Casement Park, Finglas, Dublin, via his brother James, of the same address, took the failure to act compensation case against St James’s Hospital over the tretment he was given on October 2, 2010, following an assault that had happened nearby.

It was claimed by Mr Cunningham’s legal team that:

  1. There was a failure to properly examine Mr Cunningham when he was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
  2. There was an alleged failure to treat him with proper urgency, particularly due to his head injuries.
  3. There was a failure to conduct any suitable observation or monitoring of his condition.

It was noted that when Mr Cunningham was taken to the hospital A&E at 3.26pm that his primary complaint was alcohol and his secondary complaint a wound. Two hours later when he was further examined, it was noted Mr Cunningham was intoxicated and not verbalising and had a wound on the back of the head.

It was alleged that a CT scan three hours later indicated bleeding on the brain and he was taken to a different hospital for brain surgery. It was claimed at this stage his clinical condition had greatly deteriorated.

St James’s Hospital accepted that it was in breach of duty in that an examination of Mr Cunningham at 5.20pm should have resulted in a request for a CT brain scan to be conducted at that point i time. All other claims were denied by the defendants.

In approving the medical negligence compensation settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was an appropriate amount and he wished Mr Cunningham well for the future.

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Woman Left with Forehead Scar after ‘Negligence’ in Care Awarded €63,000 Medical Negligence Compensation

A woman has been awarded €63,000 medical negligence compensation at the High Court in relation to the standard of her post-operative care at St James’s Hospital in Dublin following a procedure to remove of a heart pacemaker.

58-year-old Concepta Anderson, of Sooey, Co Sligo, took the legal action against the hospital after she experienced an episode of syncope (heart stoppage leading to a blackout) and fell when she was in a hospital toilet on May 18th, 2014.

The incident took place at a time when she was rehabilitating from a procedure to take out her permanent pacemaker and was waiting for her new pacemaker to be inserted. She suffered a head injury and has a permanent cut on her forehead.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr noted in his reserved judgment that, prior to having a pacemaker, Ms Anderson had a history of falls and syncope and was a fall risk following the removal of her pacemaker.

However, he ruled that there was negligence by her consultant cardiologist in not making sure that clear instructions were provided to nursing staff that Ms Anderson was a fall risk and therefore should be restricted to bed and only permitted to walk about with proper supervision.

Due to that failure, Ms Anderson was not told that she should remain bed and was allowed move freely within the range of her telemetry monitor. He said that this left hers in danger of serious injury.

The judge said the claimant was lucky that, when she did have the syncope episode, she was located in the toilet. He dismissed additional claims of negligence in relation to a decision not to insert a temporary wire following the removal of the pacemaker and before the insertion of the replacement device. Ms Anderson suffered a moderate head injury as a result of the fall, he said.

He said that he believed that Ms Anderson is embarrassed by her forehead wound which, while not ugly, was permanent. In considering all of these factor he assessed total medical negligence compensation of €63,112.

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Family of Woman (42) Who Died of Heart Attack Hours after Visiting GP with Cardiac-Like Symptoms Settle Case for €750k

A medical negligence High Court compensation settlement of €750,000 has been awarded to the family of a 42-year old mother of three who died of a heart attack not long after visiting her local doctor due to cardiac arrest-like symptoms.

Sheila Tymon was found by her three young daughters after she had collapsed on her bed at home. The girls called their father Michael who sped to the house at Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim.

Following a post mortem examination on June 29, 2013, it was found that Mrs Tymon had extensive cardiovascular disease  and her heart was enlarged. The cause of death was officially recorded as acute cardiac failure.

The claimants alleged that there was there was a failure to care for her properly or at all and an alleged failure to treat her adequately or at all in their medical negligence compensation case.

Mr Tymon, who had been driving at 70km in a 50km zone with his lights flashing, had been followed by an off duty detective who later tried to  help him resuscitate his wife as her three daughters, aged between five and ten, stood watching.

Mr Tymon, along with his daughters  Rachel, Rebecca and Katelyn, with an address at Kilboderry, Summerhill, Carrick on Shannon. Co Leitrim, took the compensation action against GP Martina Cogan who was practising at Keadue Health Centre, Keadue, Boyle, Co Roscommon when his wife’s death occurred in 2013.

Legal Counsel for the Tymons family, Pearse Sreenan SC, said the family believed that the GP should have sent Mrs Tymon on for further investigation and treatment and that this course of action may have prevented her death.

It was alleged that Mrs Tymon attended Dr Cogan on June 10 due to having abnormal sensations in her chest and down both arms which were very unpleasant and causing her discomfort and pain. Dr Cogan, it was claimed, found that Mrs Tymon’s blood pressure was high and diagnosed a possible case of shingles.

A 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor was applied when Mrs Tymon attended the doctor’s surgery again two days later. An antihypertensive medication was prescribed and a further review was pencilled for later in July 2013. Despite taking the prescribed medication Mrs Tymon continued to get pain on exertion and at rest.

She (Mrs Tymon) called the doctor’s surgery to see if they could bring the review appointment forward on June 25 but she was advised that there was no appointment available until June 27.

On June 27, she attended the doctor’s surgery and it was noted she had constant jabs in the front of the chest, shoulders, the top of her back and down her arms. A working diagnosis of a musculoskeletal issue was the conclusion and the doctor prescribed anti inflammatories to treat this

After she returned home from the GP on June 27 Mrs Tymon, it was claimed, felt reassured. However, later that evening she felt some pain in her neck spreading into her head. At 19.45 pm, her children discovered her lying motionless on her bed.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the medical negligence compensation settlement without an admission of liability.

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Majority of €28,000 Distress for Wrongful Death Compensation Paid to Niece of 89-year-old who Allegedly Died Due to Bacterial Infection

The bulk of a €28,000 distress for wrongful death compensation payment is being made to the niece of an 89-year-old woman who allegedly died due to a bacterial infection.

Presiding Judge Justice Garrett Simons ruled that, once €7,890 for funeral expenses is accounted for, the niece should get the remainder of the compensation pay out.

The niece submitted a fatal injuries claim against the nursing home her aunt had been living in, and also a Dublin hospital shortly, before she passed away in 2009. The overall total of the claim being €33,290.

Her Aunt, allegedly died due to a bacterial infection which causes diarrhoea and colitis. Officially, the coroner recorded death as due to “health care-acquired” clostridium difficile infection.

Prior to her death, her aunt resided in a nursing home up until a month before her passing. At this time, in October 2009, she was admitted to a Dublin hospital. She was sent back to the nursing home in early November before being returned to the hospital on November 23 shortly before she passed away later that day.

Her niece took the wrongful death compensation action against the nursing home and the hospital pleading due to severe mental distress due to the death. The defence fully contested the claims that were made.

A settlement offer of €28,000 was made and accepted in 2015 and the High Court was then asked to rule on whether the offer was reasonable. However, as the deceased woman’s sister died in the interim, August 2016, the court also had to rule whether the settlement should go entirely to the niece or to the aunt’s sister. This was due to the fact that, as a surviving dependent at the time the woman died, the sister was entitled to a share of the solatium.

Mr Justice Simons said that he  believed the best course of action in this case would be to direct the full amount of compensation to be paid to the niece as sole surviving statutory dependent. He ruled the €28,000 settlement was reasonable and after the €7,890 has been paid out for the funeral, the balance of the stress in relation to wrongful death should go to the niece.

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Delayed Delivery may Have Caused Brain Injury High Court Told in Birth Injury Compensation Action

The High Court has been told that a girl with cerebral palsy may not have been inflicted with any brain injury had she been delivered ten minutes earlier.

Taking the birth injury compensation action through her mother Martine, Faye Walsh (7) sued the Health Service Executive and two consultant obstetricians, claiming that medical negligence and a breach of agreement in relation to the management and circumstances of her birth took place at University Hospital Galway on August 15, 2011. The defendants deny the allegations.

Mrs Walsh was a private patient of Dr Una Conway, a consultant obstetrician, throughout her pregnancy with Fay, Dr Conway and Dr Declan Egan, the second defendant obstetrician, run their own private medical practices at Brooklawn Practice, Brooklawn House, Galway West Business Park, and also practice as consultants in the Galway hospital.

Mrs Walsh opted for a private obstetrician as she had one previous birth by caesarean section and experienced serious abdominal injuries following a road accident in 2008. One of the main disputes in the legal action relates to the information that Mrs Walsh was given regarding the risks of a vaginal delivery. The defendants claim that the options and risks were explained and argue that Mrs Walsh wanted, and agreed to, a vaginal delivery.

The HSE denies that delivery was unreasonably delayed and said that vacuum assisted delivery using a plastic or metal cup attached to the baby’s head was also reasonable.

In her legal action Mrs Walsh says that she was aware that Dr Conway was on annual leave in August 2011 and would not be present at the delivery but claims that she had been advised by Dr Conway that Dr Egan would be there and was familiar with her history.

The defendants do not agree that Mrs Walsh was told Dr Egan would be present. They argue that Mrs Walsh was given an information sheet stating her delivery would be supervised, in the event of Dr Conway being absent, by a covering consultant obstetrician on call for the hospital.

Mrs Walsh claims that neither defendant obstetrician was called to the hospital when, or after, Ms Walsh went into labour about 11pm on Sunday August 14, 2011, despite requests for this by both her and her husband. The court was informed that the on call hospital obstetrician was called to the hospital from his home around 4.30am on the morning of August 15.

The official record of the birth shows that an obstetric registrar was also called and used a Kiwi cup to the baby’s head and that the on-call obstetrician completed the delivery of the baby at 4.55am. Faye was delivered in very poor health and had to be immediately resuscitated. She has spastic quadriplegia, is non verbal, a full time wheelchair user and will require 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Most of her care is provided by her parents and she is a “happy, content and smiling child” who gets on well at her community primary school and loves the TV cartoon Peppa Pig, the judge was told.

The case is expected to last a number of weeks.

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€9.9k Workplace Discrimination Compensation for Non-Irish National who was not given Holidays

A man, originally from Eastern Europe has been awarded almost €10,000 following a hearing at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) after it emerged that he was the only staff member at his company not receiving paid annual leave.

The WRC was advised that since he had begun working with the agricultural company, the man in question have received neither paid holidays nor payment in lieu. He told the WRC that he was the only non-Irish national working with the company.

The company under scrutiny did not appear to contest the claims that were being made by the man who claimed that he had suffered a work-related injury which caused him to leave his job, despite his employers arguing that incident had not occurred while he was at work. In addition to this he was not given a P45 after he left the role.

The man claimed in his submission that constantly worked for longer that 48 hours every week and would often be there long after other staff members had gone home. He said was only given paid leave once during his time at the company, during his first year in the job when he visited his home country.

The WRC adjudicator said: “He assumed that due to the plant being so busy that all the employees were treated like this, however this was not the case. In 2017 his Irish work colleague told him that if he were him, he would not continue to work for the respondent. This work colleague said that all workers are entitled to and received paid holidays. This was the first time that the complainant discovered this discrepancy in terms of less favourable employment terms.”

He told the WRC that his former employer claimed, in a meeting, that he was owed no money whatsoever. The WRC ruled that, due to the uncontested evidence regarding excessive working hours, the man was to be awarded €1,000 workplace discrimination compensation. Along with this he was also awarded €900 for the holiday pay he was not in receipt of.

Finally, the worker was awarded a sum of €8,000 for being treated differently to other workers. The adjudicator said: “I make this award taking into account the effects of the discriminatory conduct had upon the complainant, the fact that he suffered loss in terms of payment in lieu of holidays and to penalise the respondent in order that this conduct is not repeated in the future.”

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