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Woman (54) awarded €192k after being hit by bus wing mirror as she crossed the road

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A woman who was injured when she was hit by the wing mirror of a minibus as she crossed a road has been awarded over €192,000 by the High Court.

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said there had been “a stark transformation” in Aideen O’Kelly’s working and social life since the accident and the 54-year old woman’s life is now “vastly different.”

Ms O’Kelly (54), she said was an expert sailor which she enjoyed at a very high competitive level three to four days a week during the sailing season, but cannot sail anymore.

The judge said the woman had said she was significantly involved in sailing and racing and had sailed in national championships before the accident but after the accident she could not balance properly on a boat.

independent.ie for full story

Hospital apologises after teenager dies from huge blood loss in routine surgery

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A hospital has apologised to the family of a teenager who died after suffering massive blood loss following an injury to her aorta during routine surgery.

Jessica Sheedy (18), from Bruff, Co Limerick, died on May 11, 2018, three days after undergoing the operation to have a benign tumour removed from her abdomen.

An inquest into her death heard that, during the surgery, which was carried out at University Hospital Limerick, she suffered a “significant bleed” and lost seven litres of blood.

A post-mortem examination gave her cause of death as “multi-organ failure secondary to the removal of the tumour”.

Several theatre staff who were assisting Ms Sheedy’s surgeon, Mr Ashish Lal, told how, following the bleed, he refused to act on their repeated calls to seek assistance from vascular consultant surgeons.

Theatre nurse Catherine Browne said she “witnessed a huge gush of blood” “filling up” Ms Sheedy’s abdomen.

She claimed Mr Lal “refused” offers from her to get other surgeons to help him.

Theatre nurse Elaine Lyons said she also asked Mr Lal if he needed help, but “he said no”.

She said she telephoned on-call consultant vascular surgeon Eamon Kavanagh, and told him “we are in trouble in Theatre Six, Mr Lal is refusing help”.

“Mr Lal said he didn’t want any help,” she told the inquest before returning to her seat where she broke down in tears.

Dr Eoin Fahey, who also assisted Mr Lal, said there was “a sudden rush of arterial blood” during the operation, and Ms Sheedy’s blood pressure “dropped rapidly”.

Junior registrar Dr Helen Earley said she also asked Mr Lal “if he needed help, and he said no”.

She added that, if she had been performing the surgery, her “response would have been to call for help from another vascular surgeon, but I was just a junior trainee”.

Mr Kavanagh said “a major transfusion protocol was activated” which involved the team contacting the bloodbank for extra blood. This happened 20 minutes after the “significant bleed”.

About 40 minutes after the bleed, Mr Kavanagh arrived and repaired the aorta.

He said he was “very surprised” to get a call from Ms Lyons, as he “had no prior knowledge” of the surgery.

He agreed it was “usual” that he would have been consulted prior to similar surgeries, and that it would have been usual that vascular surgical support would be arranged to be on standby.

Before reading his deposition into evidence, Mr Lal offered his “deepest sympathy and condolences” to the Sheedy family.

“Not a day has gone by in the last 18 months that I haven’t thought about Jessica,” he said.

Mr Lal said he “could not see where the blood was coming from” and he had concentrated his efforts on removing the tumour, as he felt it was “obscuring” his view of the location of the bleed.

“I think, in hindsight, I would have had a second surgeon scrubbed in surgery,” Mr Lal said.

He also agreed that, in hindsight, he would have “immediately called in” help.

Noreen Spillane, acting chief executive of UL Hospitals Group, apologised “unreservedly for the sorrow and distress caused to Jessica’s family over her untimely death”.

Recording a verdict of medical misadventure, Coroner John McNamara said there had been “missed opportunities” in the teenager’s care.

Irish Independent

Brain-damaged boy (14) agrees record €23m payout with health service

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Brain-damaged boy (14) agrees record €23m payout with health service

A 14-year-old boy who allegedly suffered brain damage at birth in a Cork hospital has settled his action against the HSE with a final once-off payment of €20m.

It brings to a record €23m the total paid to Lee Gibson, of Carrigaline, Co Cork, who has cerebral palsy, cannot talk and has to use a wheelchair.

The settlement against the HSE is the largest so far in the State for this type of action.

Approving the final figure, President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly paid tribute to the teenager’s mother, Aileen Gibson.

“Lee makes the best of a life that is possible because of the care of his mother, grandmother and other family support,” he said.

Four years ago, an interim settlement payment of €2m was approved for Lee and in 2017 a further interim payment of €1m was made. On those occasions, liability was also settled in the case.

Speaking outside court, Ms Gibson said that the day was “bittersweet”.

Irish Independent

Irish Aviation Authority to pay ‘substantial damages’ to Aer Lingus pilot it defamed in series of emails

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Irish Aviation Authority to pay ‘substantial damages’ to Aer Lingus pilot it defamed in series of emails

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has apologised in the High Court to an Aer Lingus pilot it defamed in emails the authority sent to organisations including the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

The IAA has accepted that the statements circulated were “false and defamatory”.

The defamatory emails emerged from communications sent by the Civil Aviation Authority about an incident involving Padraig Higgins when he was flying a microlight aircraft in the UK.

“In 2013, the Irish Aviation Authority published several statements internally and to external agencies which contained false and defamatory statements concerning Captain Higgins,” noted the apology, which was read out in court today after a jury was sworn in this week to assess damages in the case.

“The IAA accepts that these statements were unsubstantiated and caused Captain Higgins upset and reputational damage,” it added.

The apology continued: “The IAA acknowledges that Captain Higgins is a person of high personal and professional integrity and did nothing to warrant this unwanted attention. The IAA acknowledges Captain Higgins’ role in contributing to improvements in air safety.”

The IAA formally retracted all the defamatory statements and said it apologised “unreservedly” for them. It also said it “regrets the length of time it took to reach a resolution”.

The authority has agreed to pay Mr Higgins “substantial damages”.

The amount will be determined by the jury.

The apology read out in court will be circulated to 13 individuals as well as the Commissioner for the Garda Síochána, and the chairman of the Revenue Commissioners.

Mr Higgins had originally accepted an offer of amends from the IAA under the 2009 defamation act, but the parties were unable to subsequently agree the terms of the offer.

If an offer of amends is refused, the matter can then be referred to the High Court for resolution.

The offer of amends by the IAA had included the intention by the authority to publish a correction and apology, and to pay damages and costs as might be determined or agreed.

With the two sides unable to agree to terms, Mr Higgins then requested that a High Court jury assess the amount of damages he was entitled to.

The IAA opposed that move.

However, the High Court ruled in 2016 that Mr Higgins was entitled to have a jury determine how much he should receive in damages.

The IAA appealed that to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the High Court’s ruling.

The IAA then brought the matter to the Supreme Court which ultimately said the jury should decide.

Irish Independent

Hospital apologises after teenager dies from huge blood loss in routine surgery

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Hospital apologises after teenager dies from huge blood loss in routine surgery

A hospital has apologised to the family of a teenager who died after suffering massive blood loss following an injury to her aorta during routine surgery.

Jessica Sheedy (18), from Bruff, Co Limerick, died on May 11, 2018, three days after undergoing the operation to have a benign tumour removed from her abdomen.

An inquest into her death heard that, during the surgery, which was carried out at University Hospital Limerick, she suffered a “significant bleed” and lost seven litres of blood.

A post-mortem examination gave her cause of death as “multi-organ failure secondary to the removal of the tumour”.

Several theatre staff who were assisting Ms Sheedy’s surgeon, Mr Ashish Lal, told how, following the bleed, he refused to act on their repeated calls to seek assistance from vascular consultant surgeons.

Theatre nurse Catherine Browne said she “witnessed a huge gush of blood” “filling up” Ms Sheedy’s abdomen.

She claimed Mr Lal “refused” offers from her to get other surgeons to help him.

Theatre nurse Elaine Lyons said she also asked Mr Lal if he needed help, but “he said no”.

She said she telephoned on-call consultant vascular surgeon Eamon Kavanagh, and told him “we are in trouble in Theatre Six, Mr Lal is refusing help”.

“Mr Lal said he didn’t want any help,” she told the inquest before returning to her seat where she broke down in tears.

Dr Eoin Fahey, who also assisted Mr Lal, said there was “a sudden rush of arterial blood” during the operation, and Ms Sheedy’s blood pressure “dropped rapidly”.

Junior registrar Dr Helen Earley said she also asked Mr Lal “if he needed help, and he said no”.

She added that, if she had been performing the surgery, her “response would have been to call for help from another vascular surgeon, but I was just a junior trainee”.

Mr Kavanagh said “a major transfusion protocol was activated” which involved the team contacting the bloodbank for extra blood. This happened 20 minutes after the “significant bleed”.

About 40 minutes after the bleed, Mr Kavanagh arrived and repaired the aorta.

He said he was “very surprised” to get a call from Ms Lyons, as he “had no prior knowledge” of the surgery.

He agreed it was “usual” that he would have been consulted prior to similar surgeries, and that it would have been usual that vascular surgical support would be arranged to be on standby.

Before reading his deposition into evidence, Mr Lal offered his “deepest sympathy and condolences” to the Sheedy family.

“Not a day has gone by in the last 18 months that I haven’t thought about Jessica,” he said.

Mr Lal said he “could not see where the blood was coming from” and he had concentrated his efforts on removing the tumour, as he felt it was “obscuring” his view of the location of the bleed.

“I think, in hindsight, I would have had a second surgeon scrubbed in surgery,” Mr Lal said.

He also agreed that, in hindsight, he would have “immediately called in” help.

Noreen Spillane, acting chief executive of UL Hospitals Group, apologised “unreservedly for the sorrow and distress caused to Jessica’s family over her untimely death”.

Recording a verdict of medical misadventure, Coroner John McNamara said there had been “missed opportunities” in the teenager’s care.

Irish Independent

Partygoer left disabled after incident at workmate’s home settles claim for €550,000

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A partygoer who allegedly fell when he stayed at a colleague’s house after an office night out has settled his High Court action for €550,000.

Edmund O’Shea (61), of Ballitore, Athy, Co Kildare, suffered a head injury and was left with a serious and permanent disability in the incident in December 2012.

He sued Eithne Hobbs, the work colleague in whose home he stayed, and David Doyle, who also attended the office party and stayed at the house afterwards.

It was claimed in court that Mr O’Shea was intoxicated and others thought that he was sleeping off the effects of drink when he was found at the bottom of the stairs in the hallway of the house.

Ms Hobbs claimed she was not liable for any alleged injury sustained during the hospitality shown to what she alleged was a drunken fellow worker who had been offered a bed for the night.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, approving the settlement, noted it was only one-tenth of the full value of the case.

It was claimed that there was a failure to call an ambulance or other medical assistance following Mr O’Shea having fallen at Ms Hobbs’s home in Riverchapel Close, Courtown Harbour, Gorey, Co Wexford.

There was also an alleged failure to note he was unconscious, bleeding from the head and seriously injured. He further claimed there was a failure to take proper care of him and that he was in an intoxicated state when he arrived at Riverchapel Close.

Mr Doyle, in his defence of the action, denied the claims and alleged that considerable amounts of alcohol were consumed at the work party.

Mr Doyle claimed when he got up the next morning at the house, he found Mr O’Shea at the bottom of the stairs and he believed he was “sleeping off” the effects of the alcohol consumed the previous evening.

Mr Doyle and Ms Hobbs, it was claimed, were under pressure to leave to go to work but Ms Hobbs was reluctant to leave Mr O’Shea alone in her residence.

Mr O’Shea, it was claimed, having failed to wake up, was placed in his car outside the house so that when he woke up he could drive home.

Ms Hobbs claimed that she remained genuinely concerned for the welfare of Mr O’Shea and checked with a neighbour if he had driven away.

She claimed she then contacted Mr O’Shea’s work manager, who went to the house and Mr O’Shea was transferred to hospital.

Mr O’Shea later underwent a craniotomy.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said it was a “close to hopeless case from a legal point of view”.

He added that the legal teams had done well to get the settlement.

Irish Independent

‘If you’re injured, then I’m injured’ – Woman filmed jogging despite €60,000 claim for crash injuries

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A WOMAN who lost a €60,000 injury claim after she was filmed jogging says too many people are taking civil cases in Ireland.

Esther Lamidi (35) had her Circuit Civil Court action thrown out two years ago after a judge said she had “not just exaggerated her complaints but was telling blatant lies” in her case against Zurich Insurance and motorist John Lowry following a car crash in Dublin city centre.

Independent.ie for full story

All six people who sued a driver they said injured them in a rear-ending each lose their claims for €60k

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All six people who sued a driver they said injured them in a rear-ending each lose their claims for €60k

SIX people who brought personal injury claims of €60,000 each against a driver, have been unsuccessful in their claims after five last-minute refusals and a dismissal.

They had each sued Pauline Kavanagh, who had addresses at Clonmore, Ballingar, Tullamore, Co Offaly, Rhyl in Wales and in Manchester, whose car, during a period of residence in Ireland, rear ended another vehicle.

The personal injury claims, which amounted to a total of €360,000, had been brought against her and Allianz by Lisa Kavanagh (31) and Martin Kavanagh (43) – both with addresses in Heyscroft Road, Withington, Manchester – as well as Sinead Kelly (43) and Patrick Geoghegan – both with addresses at Corballis Demesne, Ashbourne Road, Ratoath, Co Meath – and John Jason McDonagh (38), of Church View, Tullamore.

The claims by all five were withdrawn prior to the hearing of the sixth claim by Judge Mary O’Malley Costello in the Circuit Civil Court. Judge O’Malley Costello dismissed the sixth claim, of Peter O’Connell (47) Cherry Orchard, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10.

All six had claimed they had been injured in a rear-ending accident on the Ashbourne to Dublin Road on September 23, 2014.

Barrister John Martin, who appeared with John Carroll of Crowley Millar Solicitors, for Allianz and Pauline Kavanagh, led a detailed cross-examination of Peter O’Connell about how, where and when the accident had occurred.

Judge O’Malley Costello, dismissing O’Connell’s claim with costs in favour of Allianz Ireland, said he had not been able to recall a lot. He had a number of medical issues which he had not clarified in his evidence about what she described as a minimal-impact collision.

The judge said his injuries had not been supported by the medical evidence before the court. No orders were made in the five cases which had earlier been withdrawn.

Following the case in the Circuit Civil Court, Trim, Co Meath, the CEO of Allianz Ireland, Mr Sean McGrath, said he was delighted with the outcome which, he claimed, vindicated the company’s zero tolerance stance with plaintiffs who may have made exaggerated claims.

He said that last year Allianz had challenged more than 1,500 claimants in the courts and each case the insurance company had won had delivered an average saving of €20,000 per claimant.

Irish Independent

Former burger restaurant manager denies stealing €1,000 from his work

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Former burger restaurant manager denies stealing €1,000 from his work

A FORMER burger restaurant manager has denied stealing more than €1,000 in cash from his workplace over the course of three days.

Eduards Babinjans (32) pleaded not guilty to stealing the money last year and is facing trial by judge and jury.

Judge David McHugh adjourned the case against him at Blanchardstown District Court for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Mr Babinjans, of The Maltings, Dublin 8, is charged with three counts of theft.

It is alleged he stole the money from Gourmet Burger in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Clondalkin, on three consecutive days last year.

He is accused of stealing €26.80 on May 22, €61.88 the next day and €920 the day after that.

The accused entered a not guilty plea.

When a date for the hearing was to be fixed, his lawyer told the court the accused was opting for jury trial.

The DPP had consented to the case being dealt with at district court level and a judge had already accepted jurisdiction, but the charge is one in which the accused has the right to choose a trial in the circuit court instead.

Mr Babinjans will be sent forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court when the book of evidence is ready.

Sgt Maria Callaghan previously said the accused was the manager in Gourmet Burger at the time of the alleged offences.

It was alleged he stole money on three occasions, totalling €1,008.

An order for disclosure of prosecution documents to the defence was previously made by the court.

Free legal aid was granted after a statement of Mr Babinjans’s financial means was submitted.

Irish Independent

Virgin to take action against Eir over new TV service

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Virgin to take action against Eir over new TV service

Internet and television provider Virgin Media is preparing for a High Court showdown with rival operator Eir.

The dispute centres on the inclusion of Virgin Media’s free-to-air television channels on Eir’s new Apple TV 4K set- top box, which was launched last week.

Virgin has claimed the channels were included in the newly revamped service without its approval, but it is understood Eir does not believe approval was needed.

Legal proceedings were initiated by Virgin Media Television Limited against Eircom Limited in the High Court on Tuesday.

In a statement to the Irish Independent, a spokesperson for Virgin Media said: “Eir’s insistence to include Virgin Media Television channels on their new Apple TV service, without prior approval, has left us with no other option but to issue legal proceedings to protect our rights and the rights of our content providers.”

An Eir spokesman said it could not comment as the matter is before the courts.

Virgin Media is being represented by heavyweight Dublin law firm Mason, Hayes and Curran in the matter.

The disagreement came to light within days of Eir formally announcing it would be using Apple TV boxes.

The announcement was accompanied by new offers which are expected to spark a price war with rival providers. According to an industry source the nub of the dispute is whether the new Eir TV product should be considered a television service or an “over the top” offering like Netflix and other similar streaming services.

It is understood Eir believes its new service should be considered a traditional television service, meaning Virgin would be obliged by regulations to allow its free-to-air channels to be carried.

However, it is thought the opposite view has been taken by Virgin.

The case is set to be mentioned before the fast-track commercial wing of the High Court early next month.

Further details are expected to be outlined then.

The row is not the first time that Virgin and Eir have clashed.

In 2016 Virgin Media decided to no longer carry Eir Sport (formerly Setanta Sports) and BT Sport channels due to a disagreement over the cost of carrying the then newly branded Eir Sport channels.

However, Virgin and Eir did agree a deal last August to carry each other’s sports channels. This gave Eir subscribers access to Virgin Media Sport and Virgin subscribers access to Eir Sport 1.

Irish Independent