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Asbestos Injury

Compensation Claims Against the State Up by Almost a Fifth

Posted: October 21st, 2017

A recent report issued by the State Claims Agency has shown that there was a rise in the cost of compensation claims taken against the State, bringing the overall cost of these compensation actions to almost €2.2 billion last year.

This is equivalent to 22% increase on the 2016 figures according to the agency responsible for legal actions taken against the State.  The total number of cases encountered throughout 2016 was 8,900 up to the end of the year, up from 6,000 in 2015.

Main Factors Behind the Increase in Compensation Paid Out by the State

  1. The Department of Education settled/paid out legal compensation claims for an estimated €50 million.
  2. €1.9 billion of the €2.2 billion overall State compensation paid out was by Tusla and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
  3. Any individual who is successful in a legal action is now entitled to a higher pay out following a Supreme Court ruling to make up for falling returns on the cash awarded.
  4. The Department of Justice and Defence paid out State compensation claims worth around €175 million compared to €27 million of compensation claims for the Department of Health.

The State Claims Agency, part of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), was established to address the continual increases in compensation actions being made against the State.

Séamus McCarthy Comptroller and Auditor General for the NTMA commented on the increase of 22% saying “The number of claims under management has increased significantly since 2011”.

Inquest Rules Worker Died from Asbestos-Induced Cancer

Posted: December 9th, 2014

An investigation into the death of a man has revealed that his mesothelioma cancer was the result of exposure to asbestos as a teenager.

In September 2013, sixty-five year-old Charlie Glass passed away at St Vincent’s Hospital. Four years earlier, Charlie – from Ballinteer in Dublin – had been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, the cause of his death.

The diagnosis came after an accident in Charlie’s workplace, where he had fallen and damaged his ribs. He was then taken to the VHI Swiftcare Clinic. There, an X-ray showed that he had excess fluid on his lungs. Once this had been drained, a CT scan showed that Charlie had mesothelioma cancer.

Due to the nature of the cancer, Charlie travelled to London for chemotherapy and surgery. His cancer was then in remission, and Charlie had a few years of good health before his cancer returned. From there, his condition worsened.

When Charlie was discussing his illness with his doctor, it came up that as a teenager, Charlie had a job cutting asbestos sheets to be used to fireproof doors at the Brook Thomas Building Suppliers. However, Charlie had not been provided with any protective equipment as the dangers associated with asbestos were not well known when Charlie was a teenager. Additionally, Charlie and his colleagues often ate lunch in the same place where asbestos were being handled.

Dr Brian Farrell, the Coroner for Dublin, was informed at an inquest into Charlie’s death that when he was first diagnosed, he had been given a prognosis of less that a year to live. However, he had lived for four more years after that. At the inquest, it was also shown that both of Charlie’s siblings had died because of asbestos-related cancer. However, their contact with asbestos was not related to Charlie’s.

The autopsy showed that Charlie’s lungs had “numerous asbestos bodies”, which confirmed that he was suffering from disseminated mesothelioma. After all of the evidence, Dr Farrell ruled that Charlie had died because of asbestos-related cancer. He also expressed regret that all of the Glass siblings died from what could be considered a rare disease.

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