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Garda Workplace Injury Compensation of €8,000 Awarded in High Court

Posted: November 23rd, 2018

Garda Ronan Leonard has been awarded €8,000 workplace injury compensation at the High Court due to a soft tissue shoulder injury which he sustained while in pursuit of a suspect as part of his work duties.

The compensation legal action that was submitted by Garda Leonard sought €20,000 Garda workplace injury compensation against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Garda Leonard suffered the shoulder injury in the fall that occurred on July 11, 2014, while he was chasing the suspect.

In the aftermath of the fall Garda Leonard attended with an out-of-hours doctor service and, from here, he was sent to an Accident and Emergency hospital department. The X-rays that were conducted show that Garda Leonard suffered no bone breaks. Garda Leonard was allowed to go home with a prescription for painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Due to the injury in the fall he could not attend work for a period of five days.

Due to constant pain Garda Leonard  was suffering with, he went to his local Doctor where he was diagnosed with a sprain to the joint at the top of his left shoulder. His doctor treated him a steroid injection and a course of anti-inflammatories.  Due to the pain remaining Garda Leonard was treated with the same medication and steroid injection in October 2014.

The High Court was advised that Garda Leonard has now fully recovered from the soft tissue injury. Additionally, the Court was informed that he has never previously claimed under the Garda Compensation Acts.

Legal representatives for Garda Leonard told the High Court that he should be awarded €20,000 workplace injury compensation based on the Book of Quantum. However, the Judge ruled that €8,000 was the appropriate figure of compensation, plus €60 agreed special damages. He, the Judge, went on to say that as part of his ruling, that the appropriate figure is €8,000 due to the recent binding decisions of the Court of Appeal in relation to personal injury cases. This decision directed that a downwards recalibration of damages for personal injury workplace compensation actions of approximately 45-50% must be applied.

The Judge also stated that €8,000 Garda work injury compensation was the proper figure for Garda Leonard and proportionate to the injuries in question.

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

Posted: October 17th, 2018

Following being attacked by his no brother-in-law outside a Letterkenny nightclub, a Garda has been awarded €4,000 workplace injury compensation.

Garda Fintan Smith told High Court Judge Justice Michael Twomey that he was attacked and headbutted by the man. The initial attack left him with a black eye and nose bleed and lead to him falling on the footpath. Following this Garda Smith was sitting in the front seat of the Garda car and the attacker restrained in handcuffs in the back seat, awaiting transfer to Letterkenny Garda Station. At this point Garda Smith was kicked to the side of his head by the same man.

Garda Smith informed Judge Twomey that he no longer maintains a relationship with his now brother-in-law. He does have excellent relations with the other members of his wife’s family. Earlier in 2017, Garda Smith married his girlfriend and his attacker had been invited to the celebration but he did not attend on the day. In the aftermath of the incident Garda Smith said that he does his best to avoid any family occasion if he knows that his brother-in-law is also planning to be present.

Ms Fiona Crawford, legal counsel for Garda Smith, told the High Court her client had sustained an injured nose. X-rays showed that Garda Smith had not sustained a bone injury.

The incident, the High Court was told, had lead to a major amount of tension between Garda Smith and his then girlfriend. He was unable to attend work for a month due to the embarrassment the episode caused him. He said that he felt a lot of anger for a while after the attack. He then requested, and received, a transfer from Letterkenny to Ballybofey Garda Station. Garda Smith told the Judge that his now brother-in-law had been a known troublemaker when the attack occurred and was not the type of person who would respect the gardai.

In awarding workplace compensation of €4,000 for the injuries Garda Smith suffered, Judge Twomey stated that he believed Garda Smith’s opinion that brother-in-law had a negative attitude towards gardai.

Right to Claim Garda Finger Injury Compensation Ruling is Appealed

Posted: January 26th, 2018

A Garda has appealed a refusal, by the Minister for Justice to allow him pursue a claim for Finger Injury Compensation for a injury he sustained in the line of duty.

Garda Noel Callan suffered a disfigured fingernail injury when a Garda car door slammed shut on his left small finger. He was, at the time of the incident, apprehending a drunk and violent man. His legal team are arguing that the Ministers refusal to allow him pursue a compensation claim as the injury was minor was incorrect and should be overturned.

Counsel for Garda Callan, Richard Kean SC, told the Hight Court that, as per the Garda Compensation Act, a member of the force who suffers an injury in the line of work may claim personal injury compensation through the courts.

Mr Kean argued that, though the injury suffered could not be termed profound or significant, it still should not be termed a minor injury. He added that the Justice Minister’s ruling was not sound and did not adequately take into account the medical reports that were produced at the initial hearing into the case.

The court was told that Garda Callan was also absent from work for the seven days immediately after the incident happened. He is right handed and received treatment on his left hand’s smallest finger.

Mr Callan lacerated his fingernail bed and his fingernail had to be removed. Following this he felt constant pain over the following eight months including a loss of sensation and tenderness when he was driving his car and completing other menial and non-work related duties.

The incident when he (Garda Callan) was on duty at Swords, Co Dublin, on August 26 2011.  Following a drunk man becoming violent, having being arrested in relation to public order offences, he struggled and a car door slammed down on Garda Callan’s left hand inflicting the fingernail injury.

The medical report referred to the fact that the fingernail was now irregular and deformed when it grew back. Garda Callan still suffers continual pain and tenderness, more so during times of colder weather.

The challenge was heard in the High Court last Wednesday. Judgement has been reserved judgment in relation to it.

Garda Awarded €30,000 Workplace Injury Compensation for Injury to Mouth

Posted: December 4th, 2017

Garda Sean Kelly (31) who is due to be wed this coming weekend, has been awarded €30,000 Garda Workplace Injury Compensation following an assaulted where he suffered a severe cut to his mouth.

Garda Kelly told the High Court that he is still sensitive in relation to the laceration on his upper lip and remarked to Mr Justice Bernard Barton he was still paranoid regarding the star-shaped scar. He was still able to find amusement with the presiding judge that he may have to wear some make-up when he gets married to his fiancé next Saturday.

The incident happened while he was at work on January 7 2012. As part of his duties, Garda Kelly had been called to a house in Finglas. Here a man, who had just been released from a psychiatric institution where he had been treated, was threatening to self harm. Garda Kelly was accompanied by two colleagues on the call in question

Garda Kelly told the court that the individual, who had swallowed a lot of non-prescriptive medication, had locked himself in his bathroom. From there he was threatening to throw himself out the bathroom window. Garda Kelly was struck on his mouth with a toilet brush holder, which lacerated his lip, when they tried to apprehend the man.

Garda Kelly had to be rushed to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown to tend to the bleeding. When he was treated, a portion of porcelain was found in his upper lip. X-rays clearly displayed that he had not suffered any major fractures.

He was also given an anaesthetic injection and received seven stitches, a number of them on the inside of his mouth. When the scar later became infected, he had to follows a course of antibiotics until the infection had cleared up. The scar on the exterior of his lip was identifiable at close quarters.

Barrister Derek Ryan, representing the Minister for Public Expenditure, remarked to the High Court that, due to conflicting medical reports, he did not believe Garda Kelly had suffered Post Traumatic Stress to the degree that it would justify an exceptional workplace compensation award.

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”.

Big Jump in Workplace Injury Compensation Settlements

Posted: April 3rd, 2015

The Injuries Board Annual Review for 2014 has revealed a substantial increase in the average value of workplace injury compensation settlements.

Although the Injuries Board Annual Review for 2014 indicated a general stabilisation in the number of workplace injury claims, the average value of workplace injury settlements increased by almost 12% from €28,886 in 2013 to €32,134 in 2014.

One exceptional employer liability claim – which resulted in an assessment of €972,898 – was partially responsible for increasing the average value of workplace injury compensation settlements, which over the course of the year totalled €20.1 million.

The Injuries Board figures do not account for any workplace injury compensation settlements that were resolved by negotiation prior to the Injuries Board completing its assessment, or any workplace injury claims in which liability was contested and the claim had to be resolved in court.

31,576 applications for assessment were received by the Injuries Board last year (including motor liability and public liability claims) and, after the Injuries Board had completed its assessments, 12,420 settlements were accepted (39%).

The acceptance rate is significantly higher than the previous year due to a large volume of applications being received towards the end of 2013 which were only resolved last year. Nonetheless, Patricia Byron – the Chief Executive of the Injuries Board was satisfied with the performance of her organisation over 2014. She said:

“While the volume of new claims stabilized last year, the increase in the number of awards made by the Board is a clear indication that more respondents, typically insurers, are opting to engage with our low cost claims resolution service and recognize the real value of avoiding unnecessary and costly litigation where uncontested claims are concerned”.

Ms Byron continued: “2014 was an important year for us as we marked a decade in operation. As a result of our journey, personal injury compensation is now delivered in 7 months and at a processing cost of 6.7%, compared to almost 3 years and a cost of 58% for litigated claims. With over €1 billion in savings delivered to date and a ten year track record behind us, the benefits of non-adversarial claims resolution are unequivocal.”

Delivery Man Dog Bite Compensation Awarded

Posted: February 19th, 2013

A pizza delivery man, who suffered a finger injury when delivering promotional leaflets, has been awarded €7,000 in delivery man dog bit compensation after successfully appealing his case.

Arpit Khurana, aged 23, took his claim for a delivery man compensation after being bitten by an Alsatian-type dog belonging to Vincent and Bernie Fitzgerald of Portobello, Dublin, in October 2009. Arpit had to undergo a surgical procedure for his finger injury and a tetanus injection, after which he spoke to a solicitor in respect of claiming dog bite compensation for the injuries he suffered.

The dogs owners refuted Arpit’s allegations and, when the case was first heard in the Circuit Civil Court in February 2012, Mr Justice Deery ruled that Arpit had no legal right to put his hand through the letterbox to deliver the advertising material. Mr Justice Deery also therw out a claim by Arpit against his employers – Apache Pizzas Ltd.

However Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley, at the High Court in Dublin, permitted Arpit´s appeal on the basis that the flap at the rear of the mailbox did not extend the full depth of the aperture and commented “It seems to me entirely possible the dog in fact got its nose under the flap and managed to bite his hand.” She found that this was sufficient to prove that the Fitzgerald’s had been negligent.

The judge awarded Arpit €7,000 in delivery man dog bit compensation plus costs for his two court cases.

Scottish Workplace Injury Claims Increase by 24 Percent

Posted: November 5th, 2012

Figures published by the Department of Work and Pensions compensation recovery unit have indicated that workplace injury claims in Scotland increased by almost a quarter in the twelve months to March 2012.

6,191 personal injury compensation claims were recorded by the Department of Work and Pensions during the year, as opposed to 4,955 throughout the previous twelve months and in spite of workplace accidents in Scotland reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) declining by almost 7 percent in the same period.

The percentage increase in workplace injury compensation claims in Scotland is six times that recorded in England and Wales and, according to a leading Scottish solicitor, could increase still further. Fear of losing their job and not getting another one – particularly in the current economic climate – may have held workers back from making compensation claims in the past he claimed but “given the preponderance of employment in agriculture and construction, plus the significant rates of accidents in this country, we would expect a lot more claims.”

Commenting on the increase of almost 50 percent in workplace deaths in Scotland, Alistair McNab – HSE head of operations in Scotland – stated: “While there has been a welcome drop in injury and ill-health in Scotland, the increase in workplace deaths proves that there is no room for complacency. It is important that efforts are concentrated on managing the risks that lead to serious harm in workplaces throughout Scotland. It is unacceptable that Scottish workers are still failing to come home from work safe”.

There are two significant factors which should be considered when comparing the number of injuries reported to the HSE against the number of workplace injury claims in Scotland. First, as unemployment continues to increasse in Scotland, the percentage decrease in workplace accidents in Scotland is much lower if measured in injuries per 100 employees.

Secondly, only reportable injuries under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) are registered by the HSE. If an employer does not inform the HSE of an incident – or it does not qualify under RIDDOR regulations – that accident and injury is not considered in the annual report.

Compensation Claim for Soldier´s Loss of Hearing Settled Out of Court

Posted: July 6th, 2012

A former soldier, who had to leave the armed forces due to suffering a hearing injury, is to receive compensation for soldier´s loss of hearing after an out of court settlement was agreed between his solicitors and the Ministry of Defence.

Michael Lee (26) had joined the armed forces in 2003 when he was eighteen and had fully intended to be a career soldier until age forty. However, in 2009 the Lance Corporal was found to have permanent bilateral hearing loss of 15dB and downgraded for promotional purposes. He was discharged from the armed services in 2011.

After deciding to seek legal advice, Michael made a claim for soldier´s loss of hearing compensation as, he alleged in his claim, his injury was attributable to excessive levels of noise at prolonged drum and bugle practice between 2004 and 2008.

The Ministry of Defence admitted liability for Michael´s injury and a settlement (negotiated) of compensation for soldier´s loss of hearing was agreed to account for Michael´s relatively young age, his loss of future earnings and pension, and future expenses related to hearing aids.

The award of 300,000 pounds is in line with other recent settlements for compensation for soldier´s loss of hearing, including Charles Bradlaugh (22) – who received 330,000 pounds after suffering a hearing injury on a practise exercise in which ear plugs were not provided in 2004.

Soldier Hearing Loss Compensation Award of 40,000 Pounds Made

Posted: June 25th, 2011

A young soldier, whose hearing was permanently damaged during a training exercise, has been awarded 40,000 pounds soldier hearing loss compensation by the Ministry of Defence in an out-of-court settlement.

Liam Bell (20) from Morecambe, Lancashire, was taking part in an exercise at the Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire with the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster´s Regiment when the incident happened.

Provided with only one ear plug due to a shortage of safety equipment, Liam was exposed to a high level of noise generated by grenade explosions and light machine gun fire. As he was just a new recruit at the time, Liam did not question the provision of just one ear plug and did as he was told.

Liam, who now has the hearing equivalent to that of an 80 year old, claimed in an action against the Ministry of Defence that he had not been advised of the dangers posed by a high volume of noise, and will permanently experience a buzzing in his ear which prevents him from sleeping and which affects conversations with friends.

The Ministry of Defence accepted liability for Liam´s hearing injury, and agreed on a 40,000 pounds out of court compensation settlement.

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