Restaurant Working Injury Settlement for Student Employed by Chinese Restaurant

A restaurant work injury compensation settlement has been agreed between a student, who was burned by hot oil and the Chinese takeaway he was employed at.

The work injury compensation case, which was being heard at the High Court, was told that the young man suffered burns when he unknowingly sat on a bucket of freshly discarded hot oil.

The High Court was told that the young man, Umesh Maharjan, was working to finance his studies in Fine Arts when he suffered the devastating injuries as the oil fell on his back and arm. Umesh experienced significant pain and sustained “grossly disfiguring” scars and wounds.

A native of Kathmandu, Nepal, Mr Maharjan was working at the Rathnew Chinese Takeaway in County Wicklow in order to support his time in University. Mr Maharjan (29), who lives at Dock Road, Limerick, submitted his restaurant employee injury compensation action against Rathnew Restaurant and Takeaway Ltd as a result of the accident in which he was burned with hot oil on August 21, 2015.

Senior Counsel Declan Doyle, legal representative for Mr Maharjan, told the High Court that he was taking a break at the back of the takeaway in an area where plastic buckets were kept for storage. A different member of the restaurant staff had placed a bucket of hot cooking oil from a deep-fat fryer there, unbeknownst to Mr Maharjan, and he sat on top of upon it. When he did so the lid shifted and he (Mr Maharajan) fell backwards and the oil fell all over his back and left arm.

Due to the accident Mr Maharjan suffered significant injuries and burns that will stay with him for the rest of his life. His colleagues came to help him when the accident occurred and used water to cool the areas of his body that were burned before taking him to hospital.

Justice Michael Hanna was told by legal representatives that the issue of liability had been withdrawn and the case was before the court for assessment of damages. Mr Doyle SC told that Justice Hanna that the case had been settled and could be dismissed.

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Childbirth Death Compensation of €650,000 Awarded to Dead Woman’s Family for Nervous Shock

A High Court action for nervous shock has been settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of a woman who died at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) not long after having an emergency caesarean section.

31-year-old Nora Hyland, originally from Malaysia, passed away on the operating table at the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours following an emergency caesarean section procedure during the birth of her son Frederick. The hospital did not admit liability and denies the claims.

The Hylands’ legal representative, Sasha Louise Gayer, informed that the Hylands were satisfied with the settlement but were too upset to attend court. Ms Gayer informed the court that Frederick was delivered successfully but Ms Hyland began to quickly lose a lot of blood.

A subsequent inquest resulted in a verdict of medical misadventure.  The first-time mother had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she experienced severe bleeding after an emergency birth.

In presenting his ruling on the cause of death, Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell ruled that the chief factor was cardiac arrest which occurred due to severe post-partum haemorrhage. However, he was unable to confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” cause of her death.

In addition to this the inquest was told that a labelling mistake in the laboratory led to a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland having a blood transfusion. Another issue was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were stored in operating theatres at the National Maternity Hospital at the time. Measures were implemented in theatre and a request for blood was processed just after midnight.  A blood transfusion was carried out around 40 minutes later.

Mr Hyland, (42)  Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had sued the NMH for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances at the time of his wife’s death.

 

 

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Family of 52-Year Woman Who Died Following Hernia Operation Awarded €300,000

Yesterday at the High Court a private medical clinic apologised, for the failures in the care given to a 52-year old woman who died from sepsis after developing a rare infection following a hernia operation, as part of a €300,000 settlement to her family of the deceased Ms Susan McGee

Ms McGee, a mother of two, died eleven days after the hernia operation at the Hermitage Clinic in Dublin on July 24, 2013. Ms McGee had contracted a rare Clostridium Difficile infection in her bowel in the aftermath of the hernia operation. A verdict of medical misadventure was returned at the inquest into the death of Ms McGee.

Ms McGee’s daughter, Melissa Barry, spoke to the court revealing that the death of her mother had a significant effect on the family. She said: “Our mother is missed every day by her entire family and a large circle of friends. We owed it to our amazing mam to seek answers and justice. We hope she can now rest in peace while we can rebuild the rest of our lives.”

Ms Barry went on to say: “The Hermitage Medical Clinic has reassured us new procedures are in place for the handover of patients and we hope lessons have been learned. Patients need to be assured that details of their medical condition and care plan are properly communicated  if they are being put in to the hands of a different medical professional. Hospital staff must also listen to and act on the concerns of a patient’s family.”

Melissa Barry, Grange Rise, Stamullen, Co Meath and her brother John McGee , Bretton Woods, Skerries Road, Rush , Co Dublin had taken the medical negligence compensation case against the Hermitage and consultant surgeons Arnold Hill and Colm Power in relation to the manner of her treatment at clinic in 2013.

The High Court was told that the defendants accepted liability after McGee experienced complications following hernia surgery in July 2013. Ms McGee’s surgeon was on annual leave when she was readmitted to the clinic after becoming ill. The court was told that another doctor was not available to administer care to her as he was on duty in a separate hospital and a third doctor was not advised of Ms McGee’s condition. Following some attempted emergency surgery, she passed away on 22 July 2013.

In approving the medical negligence compensation settlement Mr Justice Robert Eagar offered his condolences to the McGee family.

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Daughter of HIV Victim wins Appeal on Compensation Claim

The rejection of an award for psychological suffering and shock by the Hepatitis C compensation tribunal to the daughter of a man who died from HIV infection from contaminated blood products has been overturned by the High Court.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton said it was hard to correlate making an award to the man’s spouse in 2009 in relation to what was referred to as the “horrific” circumstances of the death and then not make a similar finding in respect of his daughter using the same reasoning. He ordered the matter be sent back to the tribunal “for assessment and award”.

The daughter, now aged 44, who was in her teens when her father died and had appealed to the High Court against the Minister for Health and Children, with the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal as a notice party, over the ruling by the tribunal in February 2015 to dismiss her claim. Her father was one of more than 100 haemophilia sufferers who was given a blood transfusions that was contaminated. Due to this he contracted HIV and died from complications with the disease in 1989, aged just 40 at the time of his passing.

Nine years ago the tribunal made an award, in 2009. to his wife in relation to the trauma she suffered due to the circumstances leading up to her husband’s death. The tribunal had previously referred to his death as “one of the worst cases” before it.

Mr Justice Barton, who was presiding over the appeal filed by the daughter, said she became seriously depressed, and was taken to hospital in 2006 to be treated for the illness which she continues to suffer from. The Judge said he believed her testimony and evidence about the psychological impact that that death of her father had on her.

The judge ruled that her appeal was successful and sent the issue back to the tribunal “for assessment and award”.

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€9.1m Birth Injury Compensation Awarded to Boy (7) with Cerebral Palsy

The High Court has approved a €9.1m birth injury compensation settlement for a seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General Hospital in 2011.

The boy, Jarrah Folkman, is unable to talk or walk, and his mother – Elysha McCrudden – stated in the High Court on Tuesday she will never hear her son’s voice. Reacting to the settlement she said it will go a long way towards her son’s future treatment but she regretted that windows of opportunities for Jarrah had been lost.  She went on to say that she and Jarrah’s father Ben Folkman have been made feel that what happened was their fault at times over the last seven years.

Mr Justice Cross, in approving the birth injury compensation settlement against the Health Service Executive,  praised Jarrah’s parents for the care they have given him at all times since his birth.

Through his mother Jarrah, with an address at Station Road, Cootehill, Co Cavan, took the birth injury compensation action against the HSE in relation to the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General on April 19, 2011.

In the High Court it was stated that there was an alleged failure to correctly interpret the CTG trace which showed a number of decelerations when Ms McCrudden was admitted to the hospital on April 15, 2011. Ms McCrudden was sent home and she returned to the hospital two days later.

It was also alleged that after Ms McCrudden’s admission the initial CTG trace was not noted as decelerative and a plan was not put in place to continue close monitoring and and prepare for an expedited delivery.

Counsel for Jarrah, Denis McCollough SC, alleged that an unsafe set of conditions had persisted during the course of the labour.  The baby, it was claimed, should have been born on April 16. Mr McCollough told the court that Jarrah  was flat and unresponsive when he was finally delivered and required resuscitation.

Liability was accepted in the case which was before the court for assessment of final damages only.

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State Claims Agency Conference Hears Medical Negligence Represents 50% of Total State Payouts

Child-birth related medical negligence cases make up over half of the overall compensation awards issued by the State according to numbers released on Friday at a State Claims Agency (SCA) conference on patient safety.

This is a significant figures when it is considered that maternity services represent only 3% of the Health Service Executive (HSE) annual budget. The release also pointed to the fact that maternity related compensation settlements have also gone up by roughly 80%.

Speaking at the conference, Clinical Director of the HSE’s National Women and Infant Health Programme Dr Peter McKenna said that preventable brain damage in normally formed infants is the “single biggest risk” in the HSE nd referred to occurences of this as “the most egregious insult the heath service can cause to a service user”.

He (Dr McKenna) claimed that, by spending a relatively small percentage (5%) of the funds that are paid out in compensation settlements,  the HSE could cut these preventable incidents by half. This argument is further highlighted by the fact that  in 2014 the State made compensation payments of €58m in childbirth related negligence cases. Dr McKenna also said that this 2014 amount represents 54% of the totalical negligence compensation payouts by the State in that year.

He said, referring to the fact that only €500 million of the HSE’s €15 billion budget goes on maternity services: “This is massive for a part of the health service that accounts for 3 per cent of total expenditure.

“In the past, six, seven, eight million might have been a big settlement. Now the figure is running at €15 million. The number of cases hasn’t changed but the payout amount has. I don’t think that one cent of what the parents get will compensate them for having a child that does not live up to their expectations,” Dr McKenna said. “If you think I am complaining about the size of the payouts, I’m not.”

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Landlord who Refused Rent Allowance Payment from Family Ordered to Pay €14,000

Following denying a family the opportunity pay a percentage of their rent through rent allowance for a 15-month period, a landlord has been ordered to pay them €14,000 in compensation.

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudication officer Ewa Sobanska issued a ruling stating that the landlord must pay €7,000 to each parent as she found the discrimination “to be at the more serious end of the scale”. She  added that she was awarding the compensation after taking into account the financial suffering, stress, inconvenience and financial and emotional pressures sustained by the married couple due to the landlord’s refusal to participate in the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme.

The married couple had initially asked the landlord to allow them pay rent allowance through HAP in May 2017. Hap is a scheme where landlords must register to allow their tenants participate. However, the couple have alleged that in March 2018 they received a letter from their landlord with the words “there is your HAP” written on the envelope. Upon opening it they discovered that it was an eviction letter.

The couple had agreed to a long-term rent deal of €950 monthly in December 2015 with the landlord.

The couple – who have four children aged 13, nine, six and two – were having difficulty is paying the rent and asked the landlord in May 2017 about availing of HAP and he replied: “We can talk but it’s most unlikely that I will be doing HAP.”

Following this, in January 2017, the couple sent on to the landlord correspondence from the agency Threshold advising that “a landlord must accept HAP and to refuse this is considered discrimination”.

After the ‘termination’ letter that the landlord sent in March 2017, he (the landlord) wrote to the couple to inform them that he did not refuse to facilitate the HAP assistance application but could not do so due to not having a Tax Clearance Certificate. He further stated that he had been making attempts to address this and the request for HAP assistance “has absolutely nothing to do with ending your tenancy”.

The landlord has been given 42 days in which to make the €14,000 compensation payment to the couple in question.

 

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Medical Council President Slams Requests for Repeat Cervical Scans

The President of the Medical Council said today that requiring patients to undergo repeat cervical smears as their samples are going out of date is unacceptable.

Dr Rita Doyle, President of the Medical Council, released an official statement in reaction to revelations that a number of women being re-tested due to the CervicalCheck scandal might have to go through the procedure again as their samples have bceom outdated.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) stated that in some instances smears may have to be retaken as the samples obtained have been held for longer that their six-week period of use before they expire. It (the HSE) also revealed that all attempts are underway to try and prevent samples expiring. They added that there has been a considerable surge in the numbers of smears that contracted laboratories have to process.

Dr Doyle, reacting to the news, urged that doctors who carry out the screening receive as much support as possible in tllow them timely laboratory analysis.

Dr Doyle said: “This is unacceptable to both patients and doctors. This could have the potential to have a further negative impact on the public’s confidence in screening services which would be very concerning. I am aware of reports of a recent development of a bottleneck in the analysis of cervical smears, whereby smears are not analysed in a timely fashion thus forcing the woman to re-attend and the doctor to repeat the smear.

Dr Doyle continued saying that the Medical Council is keen to see the results of the soon to be published Scally Report. Additionally the Medical Council has engaged in correspondence with the HSE to request information from any reports commissioned into the matter which are of relevance to the Medical Council’s remit.

She finished by saying: “If there are issues around professional performance or conduct relating to individual doctors they will be investigated and dealt with by the Medical Council in a fair manner according to our procedures and regulatory powers”.

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Whooping Cough Death Compensation Settlement of €100k for Mother Approved

A medical negligence compesnation settlement of €100,000 has been approved in the High Court for a mother whose two-month-old son died two weeks after she brought him to hospital with what it was claimed were the classic signs of whooping cough.

The family’s counsel Dr John O’Mahony told the High Court a diagnosis of bronchiolitis was made at Cork University Hospital on Romi Betak, from Cork, when the baby actually was suffering from the whooping cough.

Maria Mullins (33), of Presentation Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, had taken the whooping cough compensation acttion against the Health Service Executive in relation to the death of Romi in August 2012.

Dr O’Mahony said the child’s condition deteriorated and a blood sample taken coagulated and could not be tested. It was argued that Counsel said if a repeat blood test had been completed, the course of treatment for Romi would have been different, as a diagnosis could have been reached. The High Court was told that the child was kept at Cork University Hospital (CUH) and his condition worsened.

Dr O’Mahon said “His heart was racing, his breath was racing. The penny never dropped until it was too late”.

Romi has initially been taken to Cork University Hospital on August 3 2012, it was claimed, by his parents as he seemed to be suffering from the usual symptons of whooping cough infection. These symptoms included episodes of breath holding, coughing spasms and thick copious secretions.

Despite the baby’s condition worsening it is claimed that his health was not reviewed again by a doctor until August 5. By the time of this review his breathing was more laboured but the probability of whooping cough was allegedly not considered.

It was claimed there was a failure at that stage to carry out a chest X-ray and a failure to discuss the possibility of the provision of antibiotics.

On August 9 and 10 Romi was tube fed consistent with his deteriorating respiratory status.

On August 11, it was claimed, the possibility of whooping cough infection was noted for the first time following another deterioration in the child’s condition. However there was still no medical intervention. A chest X-ray showed significant areas of lung infection

The next day, August 12, the Romi suffered a respiratory arrest and was resuscitated, intubated and transferred to a Dublin hospital where he sadly passed away on August 14.

The High Court was told liability remained an issue in the case while Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the whooping cough compensation settlement.

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Nine New Cases in CervicalCheck Scandal

There have been an additional nine legal cases filed against the National Screening Service by women alleging that their cervical cancer was misdiagnosed.

It has been confirmed by the State Claims Agency that the number of legal claims has risen to 28, with an additional two potential challenges and one closed case.

The figures on new cervical cancer cases communicated to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee are for the period up to June 18th and do not include the case of Emma Mhic Mhathúna, who settled her case for €7.5 million.

Director of the State Claims Agency Ciarán Breen said that the objective of his agency is to enter into mediation with all claimants, adding that four terminally-ill women have entered such a process. He went on to say that the figures are continually evolving as new claims are being received every day and cases are being settled.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has brought the Heads of the Patient Safety Bill to Cabinet , which obliges medical professionals to report “serious reportable safety incidents” to those who have been harmed by them and to the Health Information and Quality Authority. Under the Minister for Health’s Bill, examples of the serious patient-safety incidents that must be reported will be set down in ministerial regulations. The list should include wrong-site surgery, patient death or serious disability associated with a medication or diagnostic mistakes, serious errors that emerge in screening programmes and maternal deaths.

A spokeswoman for the Minister said Mr Harris “strongly believes that creating a culture of mandatory open disclosure and learning from things that go wrong is the bedrock of making services safer. The general scheme of this Bill also provides for the mandatory external notification of those same events to the appropriate body. The Bill sets out the requirement for HIQA and the Mental Health Commission to develop standards on notification of patient-safety incidents.”

The spokeswoman confirmed the Minister had signed into effect new regulations that would make provision for legal, voluntary open disclosure of patient-safety issues. The regulations are the next step on from the Civil Liability (Amendment) Act which was passed by the Oireachtas and signed into law by the President in November 2017.

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