Sisters Awarded Compensation for Boat Accident Injuries

Two sisters from New Jersey have been awarded $9.5 million compensation for boat accident injuries following a hearing at Bergen County Superior Court.

Gina and Jamie Franzino claimed compensation for boat accident injuries after the boat they were passengers in was hit by a much larger boat in the Manasquan Inlet in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Such was the force of the impact that the two women had to be cut from the wreckage of the boat, put into a coma, and airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center.

As a result of the accident, Gina (23) suffered a shattered pelvis, multiple spleen lacerations, a broken hip and broken ribs. She underwent a splenectomy – due to which her immune system has been compromised – and high dose radiation treatment after the surgery on her hip. Due to being exposed to radiation, Gina fears that she will never be able to have children.

Jamie (19) was treated for a collapsed right lung, three fractures of her pelvis, nerve damage to her left foot and an injury to her right shoulder. After her discharge from the medical center, Jamie also developed anosmia – the loss of her sense of smell. She attended the outpatients department of her local hospital and attended physiotherapy sessions for more than a year.

Along with several other passengers that had been injured in the incident, Gina and Jamie claimed compensation boat accident injuries against the Edward McCarthy – who had been in command of the boat that hit them – and his marine sales business. For the purpose of establishing liability, the claims were consolidated. In January 2016, McCarthy was found negligent in the operation of his vessel.

Once liability was determined, the claims for compensation for boat accident injuries were treated separately – with the exception of Jamie and Gina´s claims, which were heard recently by a jury at the Bergen County Superior Court before Judge Charles Powers Jr. At the hearing, the extent of the sisters´ injuries and their subsequent PTSD diagnoses were explained to the jury by an expert witness.

Lawyers represented McCarthy tried to play down the extent and the consequences of the women´s alleged injuries. They argued that both sisters had made full recoveries from the accident. However, after five hours of deliberations, the jury awarded Gina $5.1 million compensation for boat accident injuries and Jamie $3.9 million compensation. The jury also awarded Gina $500,000 towards her future medical costs.


Jury Increases Award of Compensation for Falling in a Hole Left by a Utility Company

A New Jersey jury has increased an award of compensation for falling in a hole left by a utility company after an arbitrated settlement was appealed.

In April 2012, the Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) removed a broken pole from outside the Barnegat Township property owned by Nancy Jacobs. The removal of the pole left a four-inch by six-inch hole by the bottom of Nancy´s driveway that the utility company highlighted with iridescent paint and placed a warning cone over.

Over the next two months, grass grew around the hole – obscuring the painted area – and the warning cone vanished. Nancy´s partner considered the open hole to be a hazard, and he wrote to JCP&L complaining about the condition of the hole. The utility company did not reply or take any action to isolate or fill the hazard.

On June 18th 2012, Nancy was walking down the driveway outside her home, when she was diverted from the driveway by an operating sprinkler system. As she approached the curb, her right foot went into the hole – causing her to fall backwards in a twisting motion that resulted in a torn meniscus cartilage in her knee and the aggravation of an existing back condition.

After seeking legal advice, Nancy claimed compensation for falling in a hole left by a utility company. JCP&L denied liability and argued that – within the scope and extent of industry maintenance standards – the company had acted reasonable. Mandated arbitration led to Nancy being awarded $400,000 compensation for falling in a hole left by a utility company.

JCP&L appealed the arbitrated settlement and the case was heard by a jury at Ocean County Superior Court before Judge James Den Uyl. The jury determined that the value of Nancy´s claim was $650,000, but attributed her 20% comparative negligence as she had known for two months that the hole existed. Consequently Nancy will receive $520,000 compensation for falling in a hole left by a utility company.


Woman Settles Marriott Hotel Injury Compensation Claim

A woman, who suffered a compound ankle fracture when she slipped and fell by the side of a pool, has settled her Marriott Hotel injury compensation claim.

In June 2013, sixty-two year old Michelle Hairston was staying at the Marriott Fairfield Inn in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when she slipped on the wet deck by the side of the swimming pool and fell – suffering a compound ankle fracture.

Michelle – a sales assistant for a major department store – required internal fixation surgery on the ankle; preventing her from driving to work and affecting her ability to stand for long periods of time or conduct her normal day-to-day activities.

After seeking legal advice, Michelle made a Marriott Hotel injury compensation claim against Beach Hotel LLC – the company responsible for the management of the hotel – alleging that the hotel had failed to install a slip-resistant surface by the side of the pool contrary to the local building code.

Beach Hotel LLC denied its liability for Michelle´s injury – contending that the poolside decking was covered by an adequate slip-resistant material, denying that a dangerous condition existed or that it had failed in its duty of care to warn hotel guests of the risk of slipping.

A hearing was scheduled to determine liability at the Horry County Court of Common Pleas. However, prior to the hearing, the two parties sat down to discuss a settlement. Michelle sought compensation for her pain and suffering, her loss of wages and $80,000 in medical expenses.

Beach Hotel LLC felt that the figure Michelle was asking for was too high. The company´s lawyers negotiated a $120,000 settlement of the Marriott Hotel injury compensation claim on the basis that there was no guarantee a jury hearing would find the hotel liable for Michelle´s injury.


Jury Awards $1.3 Million Compensation for a Trip and Fall Injury on a Cruise Ship

A jury in Florida has awarded a sixty-seven year old woman $1.3 million compensation for a trip and fall injury on a cruise ship on Christmas Eve 2014.

On the morning of 24th December 2014, Joan Higgs was a passenger on a Costa Cruise ship in the eastern Caribbean at Grand Turk when she tripped and fell over a bucket that had been left unattended in the dining area as she walked back from the ship’s breakfast buffet toward her daughter’s table.

As a result of her fall, Joan suffered injuries to her left arm and shoulder, including a broken elbow. She had to have twelve screws inserted to repair the broken elbow, additional surgery to heal the injury to her shoulder and six months of physiotherapy to regain the full facility of her arm.

After receiving treatment for her injuries, Joan claimed compensation for a trip and fall injury on a cruise ship against the owners of the Costa Cruise shipping line, Costa Crociere S.P.A. In her legal action, Joan alleged that there had been a failure to maintain the ship in a reasonably safe condition.

In support of her claim for compensation for a trip and fall injury on a cruise ship, Joan´s lawyer engaged the services of a maritime safety expert who gave the opinion that using cleaning buckets full of water violated cruise ship industry standards and that yellow hazard signs should have been placed beside the buckets to warn passengers of the risk of injury.

Costa Crociere S.P.A. denied liability for Joan´s injuries. The company argued that Joan could not prove that she tripped over a bucket nor identify exactly what had caused her fall. Lawyers for the defense claimed that Joan was the author of her own misfortune because she was not looking where she was going and that video surveillance proved she was overstating the extent of her ongoing pain and suffering.

The case went to the U.S. District Court, Southern District, in Fort Lauderdale, where a jury found in Joan´s favor. The jury awarded her $1,316,326 compensation for a trip and fall injury on a cruise ship – reducing the award by 15% to account for her comparative negligence.


Mom Agrees to Settlement of Compensation for a Child Falling Out of a Window

The mother of a girl, who fell from her third story bedroom, has agreed to a $5.5 million settlement of compensation for a child falling out of a window.

Rahniya Neal was just three years of age when, in December 2012, she fell from a third story unguarded bedroom window while playing on her bunk bed. Rahniya – from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania – fractured her skull in the fall and suffered brain damage. She was taken to hospital, where she underwent an emergency operation to relieve the pressure on her brain.

Rahniya has since returned to hospital for a second operation – this time to insert a prosthesis in order to fill the areas missing from her skull – and still needs speech, physical and occupational therapy sessions. It is debatable that she will ever be able to live an independent life as she grows older, and doctors are monitoring Rahniya´s progress closely.

Rahnisha Neal – Rahniya´s mother – claimed compensation for a child falling out of a window on her daughter´s behalf, alleging that the developer of the recently refurbished subsidized housing project, the owner, the contractor, architects and superintendent were all negligent for designing and constructing a property in which there was no alternative but to place a child´s bed next to an unguarded window,

The multiple defendants denied negligence and contested the claim for compensation for a child falling out of a window on the grounds that the building had not violated the city´s building code. The architects provided an alternate configuration of the room, showing how a child´s bed could be placed at a safe distance from the window, and it was argued that Rayniha had recovered well from her accident and was only showing mild cognitive defects that may be unrelated to her accident.

Despite the dispute over liability, the parties agreed to mediation. During the mediation, it was revealed that a jury could award as much as $22.5 million compensation for a child falling out of a window just for Rayniha´s potential loss of income. Worried about “significant juror sympathy”, the defendants made an offer of $5.5 million compensation – an offer that Rahniya´s mother agreed to on her lawyer´s advice.


Las Vegas Man Claiming Compensation for Burns from an E-Cigarette Battery

A Las Vegas man is claiming compensation for burns from an e-cigarette battery that exploded in his trouser pocket, leaving him hospitalized for two days.

Daniel King (22), a slot technician from Las Vegas, was writing up notes in his car on February 8 2016, when he heard a loud “air-releasing noise”. The next second, the battery for his vaping device – that was placed in his left trouser pocket – caught fire and burned Daniel from his hip down to his calf.

Daniel was taken to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where he received treatment for second and third degree burns on his leg, and a further burn on his hand from trying to extinguish the fire. He was kept in hospital for two days and continues to receive outpatient treatment at the hospital´s burns unit. Six weeks after the incident, Daniel is still unable to sleep on his left side.

Having sought legal advice, Daniel is claiming compensation for burns from an e-cigarette battery from the battery manufacturer and the vape shop at which it was purchased. He alleges that the manufacturer is aware of the risk of lithium ion batteries catching fight, yet the batteries contain no warnings nor safety instructions.

Lawyers supporting Daniel believe that his claim for compensation for burns from an e-cigarette battery has a solid chance of success. They claim that the batteries are not fit for purpose and point to the FAA´s endorsement of a ban on in-flight e-cigarette batteries which are known to have been responsible for several fires.

The claim for compensation for burns from an e-cigarette battery is also being supported by Daniel´s mother, Jane. She spoke with the Las Vegas Review Journal and said that the ordeal was devastating for her son. Jane explained that, after Daniel had been discharged from hospital, he spent a further three weeks recovering at home before he was able to work again.


Jury Awards $72 Million Compensation for Ovarian Cancer Caused by Talc

A jury at the Missouri Circuit Court has awarded the estate of a Birmingham, Alabama woman $72 million compensation for ovarian cancer caused by talc.

In October 2015, Jackie Fox (62) lost her battle against ovarian cancer two years after being diagnosed with the condition. Before she died, Jackie – who had used Johnson & Johnson baby powder for most of her life – discovered research that suggested there may be a connection between the talcum powder used in the product and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Jackie sought legal advice and claimed compensation for ovarian cancer caused by talc. She was joined in her legal action by almost sixty other cases, and her claim became the lead case in a class action against Johnson & Johnson. Following her death, the claim for compensation for ovarian cancer was pursued on her behalf by her estate.

At the Missouri Circuit Court in St Louis, Johnson & Johnson contested the claim on the grounds that the cause of Jackie´s cancer was not known and therefore could not be attributed to her use of baby powder. However, lawyers for Jackie´s estate produced an internal memo suggesting that the company had been aware of the risk of cancer since 1997.

At the end of the three-week hearing, the jury found in Jackie´s favor. It awarded the estate $72 million compensation for ovarian cancer caused by talc – $10 million for Jackie´s wrongful death and $62 million in punitive damages. Jury foreman Krista Smith later told reporters: “It was really clear they were hiding something. All they had to do was put a warning label on.”

The company has already said it will appeal the jury verdict and the award. In a written statement, Johnson & Johnson spokesperson Carol Goodrich said “the verdict goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products.” She cited research by the FDA and National Cancer Institute that contradicted research presented in court.

Should Johnson & Johnson´s appeal be unsuccessful, it is likely that the award of compensation for ovarian cancer caused by talc will be significantly reduced. Stanford University law professor Nora Freeman Engstrom told the Associated Press: “Big jury verdicts do tend to be reined in during the course of the appellate process, and I expect that to be the case here.”


Compensation for being Attacked by an Animal Upheld on Appeal

A settlement of compensation for being attacked by an animal – reduced 35% due to comparative negligence – has been upheld by the Missouri Court of Appeals.

In March 2013, Fernando the bull broke through a fence dividing his owner´s land and a heifer breeding center. Concerned for the safety of his livestock, the owner of the breeding center – Ronald Coble – drove his ATV at the bull to scare it away.

However, rather than being frightened by the ATV, Fernando attacked it and flipped it over, trapping Coble inside. The bull continued its attack on the upturned ATV, with Coble sustaining a serious back injury and torn cartilages in his knee.

Coble claimed compensation for being attacked by an animal against the bull´s owner – Robert Taylor – stating that Taylor was liable for his injuries as Fernando had trespassed on his land in breach of Section 272.030 of Missouri´s fencing laws.

Taylor contested the claim for compensation for being attacked by an animal on the grounds that he had personally not been negligent in allowing the bull to escape, and that Section 272.030 of the fencing laws only applied to fences that divided a property from a road rather a neighbor.

In December 2014 the case was heard by a jury at the Circuit Court of Green County. The jury found in Coble´s favor and awarded him $1.8 million compensation for being attacked by an animal, before reducing it 35% to account for his comparative negligence in driving the ATV directly at the bull.

Both Taylor and Coble appealed the decision – Taylor arguing that the jury was wrong to attribute him with strict liability, and Coble arguing that the Green County judge had been wrong to instruct the jury to consider comparative negligence.

However the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld the verdict of the Green County jury. After reviewing the case, Judges Scott, Bates and Sheffield agreed that Taylor was strictly liable for Coble´s injuries and that the judge´s instructions to the jury were appropriate in the circumstances.


Cyclist´s Broken Hip Compensation Settlement Upheld on Appeal

A cyclist´s $439,000 broken hip compensation settlement – originally awarded by a jury in 2013 – has been upheld by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

On 6th August 2011, John Currier was cycling in the Lloyd District of Portland, when he had to take evasive action to avoid a car that was waiting to pull out from the Washman car wash on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, and was blocking both the cycle lane and the sidewalk.

Rather than pull out from the cycle lane into the heavy traffic, John cycled around the rear of the vehicle and onto the forecourt of the car wash. Unfortunately the forecourt of the car wash was particularly slippery and John fell from his bike – breaking his hip and suffering a serious elbow injury.

John claimed compensation from Washman LLC for his injuries, and in 2013 an Oregon jury awarded him $439,000 compensation after finding that the driver of the car – Dorothy Williams – had done nothing wrong, and that John was 30% responsible for his injuries due to his comparative negligence.

Washman LLC appealed the broken hip compensation settlement on the grounds that, by choosing to cycle onto the forecourt of the car wash, John was effectively trespassing. Lawyers for the company argued that it was not established at the original hearing that John had any right to be on the property.

At the Appeals Court hearing, the panel of judges heard John´s lawyer argue that it was “community custom” for cyclists and walkers to cross the parking lots and driveways of businesses — and to assume they were allowed to do so.

The panel of judges agreed with John´s lawyer and upheld the jury´s broken hip compensation settlement. Presiding Judge Timothy Sercombe told the court that despite Washman LLC´s arguments, John was not trespassing and the car wash had a duty of care to keep its pavement safe.


Jones Act Used to Support Compensation Claim for the Partial Loss of a Kidney

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 has been used in a Florida court case to successfully support a compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney.

The Merchant Marine Act (also known as the Jones Act after its author Wesley Jones) was enacted almost a century ago as a protection measure for the domestic shipping industry. Within its chapters is a section that allows workers to sue their employers when they have been injured at sea and their injuries can be attributed to the negligence of an employer or coworker.

The Act was recently used in Florida to support a compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney. The claim was made by an employee of Royal Caribbean Cruises, who alleged that the cruise company´s medical personnel had failed to order diagnostic testing or warn her of the risks of kidney damage after she had undergone treatment for hypertension and proteinuria.

The Background to the Claim

In 2004, Teresa Di Trapani – a loyalty sales ambassador for Royal Caribbean Cruises – had undergone treatment for hypertension and proteinuria at the company´s expense while her ship was docked in Miami. Despite her symptoms being an early warning sign for kidney damage, no diagnostic tests were ordered and the recommendation that Teresa should be referred to a nephrologist for follow-up care was never passed onto her.

Consequently, Teresa went five years without a follow-up – and would have gone without a follow-up for longer had she not been taken ill when, on October 10, 2009, the cruise ship docked in Lisbon, Portugal. Teresa was taken to a local hospital where she was examined and discharged with pain medication. The pain in her abdomen continued and the following day – when the cruise ship docked in Spain – she was taken off the ship and hospitalized.

Teresa was diagnosed with hemorrhaging in the right kidney and was flown home to Canada, where a tumor was discovered. Surgeons removed part of Teresa´s right kidney, but she subsequently suffered an umbilical hernia and a right-flank incisional hernia. Unable to lift weights, Teresa was limited to what day-to-day activities she could pursue and was unable to return to her job on the cruise ship.

The Compensation Claim for the Partial Loss of a Kidney Goes to Court

Alleging that she would not have suffered such severe injuries if her employers had ordered diagnostic tests and referred her to a nephrologist in 2004, Teresa made a compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney against Royal Caribbean Cruises – using the provisions within the Jones Act to support her claim.

The cruise company denied it was liable for Teresa´s injuries and argued that they were due to unforeseeable causes which it had no duty of care to protect against. Royal Caribbean Cruises further argued that Teresa did not exercise “ordinary care, caution or prudence for her welfare” and that she had contributed to the extent and severity of her injuries due to her comparative negligence.

With no resolution possible by negotiation, the compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney went to the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, where it was heard by a jury before Judge Jerald Bagley. After five days of testimony, the jury took just one hour to unanimously find in Teresa´s favor.

The jury awarded Teresa $1,991,149 in settlement of her compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney to account for her past and future pain and suffering, her past and future medical expenses and her past and future loss of income.


Costco Injury Compensation Claim Resolved at Court Hearing

A jury has awarded a shopper more than $2.5 million compensation in settlement of her Costco injury compensation claim made after a slip and fall accident.

On 8 June 2011, Yvette Gastello (35) was walking into her local Costco at Van Nuys in Los Angeles, when she slipped on fluid outside of the store that had accumulated due to a subcontractor washing out a temporary porta potty stall.

Although she did not feel any immediate injury, Yvette started to experience pain in her lower back three days later. She visited a chiropractor and an acupuncturist, but her pain persisted and Yvette was ultimately referred for an MRI by her doctor.

Yvette was diagnosed with an aggravation of a pre-existing spondylosis condition in her lumbar vertebrae. She underwent anterior and posterior lumbar fusion surgery, and made a Costco injury compensation claim after learning that the surgery would have been unnecessary had she not been hurt in the slip and fall accident.

The claim against Costco and the sub-contractor who had been washing out the temporary porta potty stall was heard at the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, where the jury was told that both defendants were jointly negligent due to their failure to warn customers of the hazard and divert them away from the slippery area.

Defense lawyers argued that Yvette was the author of her own misfortune by failing to look where she was walking when she entered the store. As Yvette could not remember under questioning whether she had seen the subcontractor using a hose before or after she fell, defense lawyers argued that she might not have noticed any sign warning of the hazard either.

The jury found in Yvette´s favor, and awarded her $2,856,000 compensation in settlement of her Costco injury compensation claim – subsequently reducing the award by 10 percent to reflect her comparative negligence. 50 percent liability for Yvette´s injury was attributed to the subcontractor, with the remaining 40 percent liability attributed to Costco.


Passengers Claim Compensation for Las Vegas Airport Injuries

Passengers who were injured when a plane caught fire on the runway of McCarran International are claiming compensation for Las Vegas airport injuries.

On September 8th, a British Airways Boeing 777-200 was engulfed in flames as it prepared to take off from McCarran International, bound for London Gatwick. The cause of the fire is still officially under investigation, but it is understood that a turbine blade detached from the left engine of the plane and sliced through fuel and hydraulic pipes – the fuel igniting and causing the fire.

All 172 people on board the plane, including 13 crew, managed to escape the inferno. However, some passengers suffered injuries during the evacuation and – according to the British press – are now claiming compensation for Las Vegas airport injuries against a number of potential defendants.

One of the passengers – Steve Bingham (35) from County Down in Northern Ireland – suffered an arm injury and the effects of smoke inhalation. He has also been prescribed medication to help him cope with the emotional trauma. Steve told the British Daily Mirror:

“I’m still suffering from the incident and have regular flashbacks. You simply never expect something like this to happen. I am continuing to suffer from the effects of what happened but I know we are all incredibly lucky not to have been more seriously injured.”

Lawyers representing the passengers believe that they could be entitled to significant compensation for Las Vegas airport injuries. In addition to their physical injuries and the potential long-term harm caused by smoke inhalation, the lawyers say that the psychological injuries suffered by the passengers should not be underestimated.

The lawyers have urged the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to conclude their investigation quickly so that “appropriate measures can be implemented to improve flight safety” and in order that the passengers claiming compensation for Las Vegas airport injuries can have their claims resolved without unnecessary delays.


Woman Claims Compensation for an Accident at Dollywood

A woman is claiming compensation for an accident at Dollywood in which she suffered multiple injuries due to allegedly falling from an amusement ride.

In December 2014, Tedi Brown, her husband Derryl and five of the couple´s children visited the Dollywood amusement park in Tennessee. Despite the inclement weather, the family was assured that the Waltzing Swinger amusement – a revolving ride with individual seats ascending and tilting outwards 25 feet into the air – was safe to go on.

When she believed the ride was over, Tedi lifted the lap bar to exit her seat. However, she quickly realized that she was too far up in the air to exit safely; but, due to the wet conditions, Tedi lost her grip and fell ten feet head first onto the pavement below.

As a result of her fall, Tedi suffered a brain injury, a broken coccyx, a broken jaw torn ligaments and soft tissue injuries to her spine and neck. After Tedi had received medical treatment, Darryl sought legal advice and made a claim for compensation for an accident at Dollywood on his wife´s behalf.

In the legal action it is claimed that Dollywood failed to exercise due care by keeping the Waltzing Swinger operational during wintry weather “which rendered the seats and lap bars of that ride dangerously slick”. It is also alleged that the operators failed to warn Tedi against raising the lap bar until the ride was safely on the ground.

The owners of Dollywood – Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. and Dolly Parton Productions Inc. – have denied liability for Tedi´s injuries and moved to have the claim for compensation for an accident at Dollywood dismissed. They argue that the ride was safe to operate, that Tedi had to intentionally unlatch her lap bar to get off of her seat, and that she jumped at the end of the ride, rather than fell.

The claim is now waiting for a decision from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville.


Injury Claim for a Cyclist Hit by a Truck Settled for $21 Million

An injury claim for a cyclist hit by a truck on Interstate 100 in Southwest Virginia has been settled for approximately $21 million during mediation.

On October 8th 2011, Michael Sprick (44) – a cross-country cyclist from Germany – was part way through his dream cycling holiday. Having arrived in Chicago a month earlier, Michael was on his way to Miami, from where he planned to fly home to Germany.

However, as he cycled along the shoulder of Interstate 100 in Pulaski County, Southwest Virginia, he was hit by a freightliner truck traveling at 55mph. Michael was thrown from his cycle and landed about 100 feet away from the point of impact.

Michael suffered severe injuries in the accident and went into cardiac arrest before he could be airlifted to hospital. As a result he suffered anoxic brain damage, and he remained in hospital for three months on a ventilator before being flown home on a medically equipped plane.

While Michael was receiving further treatment in Germany, his family made an injury claim for a cyclist hit by a truck on his behalf. The driver of the truck – Norman Merchant – initially denied liability for Michael´s injuries and said that he was forced to maneuver onto the shoulder by an oncoming vehicle.

Witnesses to the accident disagreed with Merchant´s version of events and, in December 2011, was convicted of reckless driving, fined and given a suspended sentence. With liability confirmed, the injury claim for a cyclist hit by a truck proceeded against Merchant´s employers – Hostess Brands Inc.

However, there was to be another twist in the injury claim for a cyclist hit by a truck when Hostess Brands Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Michael´s lawyers successfully moved to have the stay lifted, and refiled the claim in Virginia´s federal district court.

After an accurate assessment of Michael´s future needs was compiled, the two parties agreed on a settlement of approximately $21 million – with $13 million of the settlement being put aside to set up a fund for Michael´s future medical and life care costs.


Court Says No New Trial in Pedestrian Bus Accident Claim

The New York Supreme Court has refused plaintiffs in a pedestrian bus accident claim a new trial after a jury award of compensation was considered modest.

Leslie Lariviere (39) suffered a head injury on 9th December 2008 when she was hit on the head by a bus´s side view mirror as she crossed a street in Brooklyn. Leslie was taken to hospital by ambulance, where a CT scan failed to reveal any brain injury and she was diagnosed with concussion.

Told to go home and rest, Leslie experienced dizzy spells and feelings of nausea over the following weeks. In January 2009 she suffered a seizure and was hospitalized for four days. As she was often suffering headaches and migraines, Leslie was unable to return to her job as a restaurant hostess and became a recluse.

To recover compensation for her medical bills and loss of income, Leslie made a pedestrian bus accident claim against the New York City Transport Authority. She was granted a summary judgement on liability in 2011, and – after a failed appeal by the New York City Transport Authority – her pedestrian bus accident claim was heard at the New York Appellant Court for the assessment of damages.

At the Appellant Court, expert witnesses gave evidence that Leslie had a significant and ongoing brain injury. However, lawyers for the New York City Transit Authority argued that she was not being honest about her symptoms and persuaded the jury that Leslie´s injury was relatively minor and exaggerated by a pre-existing condition.

The jury awarded Leslie $152,000 compensation in settlement of her bus accident claim to account for her past pain and suffering as well as her medical bills and loss of income. Leslie´s husband, David, was also awarded compensation for the loss of services by his wife.

Leslie´s lawyers were unhappy with the award and entered a motion for a new hearing. They claimed that comments made by defense lawyers were prejudicial to the settlement of compensation awarded by the jury. However, the New York Supreme Court denied the motion – saying that in the context of the hearing, the comments had not denied Leslie a fair trial.


Senator Makes Compensation Claim for an Injury from Faulty Exercise Equipment

Nevada Senator Harry Reid has made a compensation claim for an injury from faulty exercise equipment against the makers of the TheraBand resistance band.

According to documents filed with the Clark County District Court, the compensation claim for an injury from faulty exercise equipment was filed by both Senator Reid and his wife – Landra Gould – and relate to events that occurred in the Senator´s Anthem Country Club home in Henderson on January 1st 2015.

In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Senator Reid was using a TheraBand resistance band to exercise in his bathroom, when the band snapped or slipped out of his hand – causing him to spin around and strike his face on a bathroom cabinet.

The Senator suffered terrible facial injuries including a loss of vision in his right eye, broken bones around his eye, severe disfigurement and bruising. He had to undergo several surgeries to repair the damage to his face and prevent blood from pooling in his damaged eye.

The compensation claim for an injury from faulty exercise equipment is being made against the manufacturers, marketers and distributors of the resistance band – Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Co., The Hygenic Corp. and Performance Health LLC for negligence and failure to warn.

Senator Reid alleges that the defendants knew or had constructive knowledge that there was a risk of injury to users – especially elderly users (Senator Reid is 75 years of age) who may not have such as strong hands and feet as a younger user of the resistance band.

An appropriate warning – Senator Reid states in his compensation claim for an injury from faulty exercise equipment – would have prompted him “to take precautions to avoid his injuries”. Senator Reid is seeking in excess of $50,000 compensation for his injuries.


Family Awarded Compensation for Burn Injuries due to Heater Safety Failings

A Californian jury has awarded a family compensation for injuries due to heater safety failings following a fire at their home which a woman died.

On 5th January 2011, Kenneth and Amy Shinedling were sleeping in the master bedroom of their home in Piñon Hills, Los Angeles, when a fire started in the room. Kenneth escaped from the fire with minor burn injuries and was able to rescue the couple´s three children, but Amy died from severe burns and the inhalation of toxic fumes.

An investigation into the cause of the fire discovered that the automatic safety switch on the couple´s Sunbeam quartz-style space heater had failed to operate when bedding had come within three feet of the heater, and it was this heater safety failing which had caused the fire to start.

Kenneth and his three children claimed compensation for burn injuries due to heater safety failings for their own injuries and for Amy´s wrongful death. In their action it was claimed that no warnings were given against leaving the heater on all night and that the heater failed the consumer expectation test for design defect and failed the risk-benefit test for design defect.

Sunbeam Products denied their product was responsible for causing Amy´s death and the family´s injuries and argued that the Shinedlings were at fault for allowing bedding to get within three feet of the heater. The company claimed that more than 10 million of their heaters had been sold without any other report of a serious fire.

The claim for compensation for burn injuries due to heater safety failings went to the United States Central District Court in Los Angeles, where it was heard by a jury before Judge Cormac Carney. During the six-day hearing, the jury heard a Sunbeam safety engineer testified that the automatic safety switch had a known fault.

After two days of deliberations, the jury found that Sunbeam’s heater failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would have expected it to and found 80% in the Shinedling family´s favor. They awarded Kenneth and his three children a total of $46.92 million compensation for burn injuries due to heater safety failings to account for their own personal injuries and the loss of Amy Shinedling as a wife and mother.


Injury Claim for a Slip in a Nevada Hotel Allowed to Proceed

The Nevada Supreme Court has allowed an injury claim for a slip in a Nevada Hotel to proceed after it was originally dismissed by a Nevada District Court.

On 9th October 2010, Sandra Biscay (79) was travelling with her family from California to visit her sister in Las Vegas. Rather than arrive at the sister´s residence late in the evening, Sandra and her family chose to book into the Gold Strike Hotel in Jean, NV, which would leave them a short journey to Las Vegas the following morning.

Due to her mature years, Sandra requested a suite that was suitable for the handicapped. When the family retired later that night, Sandra decided to take a shower; but, as she came out of the shower, she started to slip when she stepped onto the mat. Sandra reached out for something to hold onto, but the bathroom had no railing and she fell.

Initially, Sandra did not think that the slip and fall had caused her any injury; but, when her breathing was labored the following morning, Sandra reported the accident to the front desk, who summoned paramedics. The paramedics suggested that Sandra go to hospital, but as it was unlikely that the Las Vegas hospital would accept Sandra´s Californian insurance, she declined.

Instead Sandra filed an accident report and checked-out of the hotel to continue the journey to her sister. Because of the pain she was experiencing, Sandra was only able to stay in Las Vegas for two days, before returning to California. When she got home, she immediately visited her doctor, who diagnosed her with multiple rib fractures and a sprained shoulder.

After seeking legal advice, Sandra made an injury claim for a slip in a Nevada hotel against the owners of the Gold Strike Hotel – MGM Resorts International. In her legal action Sandra alleged that the disabled suite she had requested was not suit for purpose, and she supported her claim with the copy of the accident report on which a hotel employee had voluntarily added that the hotel was at fault.

As they were entitled to, MGM Resorts filed a demand for the security of costs in September 2012. Sandra did not file the security until March 2013, and nine days later MGM Resorts moved to have the injury claim for a slip in a Nevada hotel dismissed – alleging that Sandra had failed to file the security bond within thirty days of the demand notice contrary to NRS 18.130(4).

The Nevada District Court found in MGM Resorts favour and dismissed the injury claim for a slip in a Nevada hotel; but Sandra appealed the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court – who ruled that MGM Resorts´ motion to dismiss should have been denied, and that the District Court´s decision was an abuse of its discretion.

The injury claim for a slip in a Nevada hotel has now been returned to the District Court for a hearing to be scheduled later this year.


Student Awarded $26 Million Compensation for Car Crash Injuries

A student from South Carolina has been awarded $26 million compensation for car crash injuries after only barely surviving a rollover accident in 2009.

In July 2009, Jeremy Vangsnes (21) from Spartanburg in South Carolina was returning to the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board in Yellowstone National Park, after having visited relatives staying in the Glacier National Park with his two brothers – Ryan (19) and Daniel (23) – and a fellow missionary student Scott Minear (20), .

As the Jeep Cherokee driven by Minear approached Billings in Montana, the vehicle drifted over onto the grass on the side of the Interstate 90. Minear tried to correct the direction of the vehicle, but he over-compensated when trying to get the Jeep Cherokee back on the road and spun the vehicle over.

Jeremy was the most severely injured of the vehicle´s four occupants, sustaining a severe blunt force trauma to the head. He was initially declared dead at the scene of the accident before being airlifted to St. Vincent´s Hospital in Billings after paramedics noticed some brain activity.

After recovering sufficiently to be allowed home to continue his rehabilitation, Jeremy´s father claimed compensation for car crash injuries on behalf of his son. In his action against the North American Mission Board it was alleged that Jeremy was acting within the course and scope of his association with the mission group at the time.

The claim for compensation for car crash injuries was disputed by the North American Mission Board, and the case proceeded to the District Court in Montana where it was heard by District Judge Mike Salvagni.

At the hearing, Judge Salvagni heard Val Simmons – the head of student missionaries for the North American Mission Board – testify that the students had been allowed to make the journey to visit relatives subject to them maintaining the board´s lifestyle and policy guidelines at all times.

Based on Simmons´ testimony, the judge ruled in Jeremy´s favor and awarded him $26 million compensation for car crash injuries. The award was made without an admission of liability by the North American Mission Board, and the Board´s insurers have said that it will not contest the award.


Judge Awards $1.3 Million Compensation for an Injury due to a Dog Bite

A judge from Harris County in Texas has awarded a former owner of a dog boarding business $1.3 million compensation for an injury due to a dog bite.

Amber Rickles was running a dog boarding business in Spring, Harris County, when she received a request from Jennifer Romano in January 2013 to board her pit bull. Romano told Amber that the dog had no behavioral problems while it had been in her possession, and Amber accepted the request.

After four days of looking after the dog, Amber left a message on Romano´s phone asking to ask her to retrieve the dog because it was being aggressive towards the other dogs. On 7th February – one week after entering the boarding kennels – the dog attacked Amber and fractured her wrist when it bit her.

Amber was taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where surgeons attempted an internal fixation of her right ulna. Unfortunately Amber developed an infection in her wrist which delayed her recovery for six months, after which Amber underwent a year of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

As a result of the pit bull attack, Amber has lost grip strength in her dominant right hand and has permanent scars down her forearm. She was forced to close her dog boarding business and was out of work for a year before she found employment where the weakness in her right wrist has not a handicap.

After seeking legal advice, Amber claimed compensation for an injury due to a dog bite against Romano – alleging that she had been misled about the dog´s aggressive tendencies. Romano´s disputed the claim and said that Amber had advertised herself as a fully-qualified dog trainer when she was not.

The claim for compensation for an injury due to a dog bite went to the Harris County District Court, where it was schedule to be heard by Judge Patricia J Kerrigan. However, after Romano failed to appear in court, the Judge found in Amber´s favor and awarded her $1,302,296 compensation for an injury due to a dog bite to account for her past and future pain and suffering, her loss of earnings and her medical costs.


Man Settles Claim for the Loss of a Leg in a Construction Accident

A man has settled his claim for the loss of a leg in a construction accident just as the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed an order granting a new trial.

In the summer of 2009, Ruick Rolland from Delaware County in Pennsylvania was a contractor working for Senn Landscaping when the company was engaged to construct a replica of Augusta National Golf Course´s iconic Hogan Bridge over a pond at the home of Bruce Irrgang.

To assist with the construction work, Irrgang had arranged for the hire of a five-ton bulldozer through his company – United Construction Service Inc. – but, when the bulldozer was delivered to the construction site, the ten-year-old son of Steven Senn climbed into the cab and started operating it.

The driver who dropped off the bulldozer reported it to his supervisor – who opted not to ask any questions – and the young boy continued to drive around the estate in the bulldozer until he drove too close to Ruick and crushed the contractor´s left leg as he was working.

Ruick had to have the leg amputated, after which he sought legal advice and made a claim for the loss of a leg in a construction accident against Senn Landscaping, United Construction Services and Modern Equipment Sales and Renting Co – the company that had delivered the bulldozer and whose supervisor had not taken any action to prevent the ten-year-old boy from operating the machine.

A summary judgement was made in favor of Ruick, but a proposed $6 million offer of settlement was declined, and the claim for the loss of a leg in a construction accident was heard by a Delaware County jury in March 2013 for the assessment of damages only.

The jury awarded Ruick $18 million compensation and his wife $2 million for her loss of consortium, but the award was appealed by the defendants on the grounds that summary judgement was improvidently granted, a workers´ compensation file with information about the accident was excluded from the trial and that Ruick had been comparatively negligent by not stopping the boy from operating the bulldozer.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld the appeal, and ordered that a new trial should be held to assess a more appropriate award of damages. However, before a new hearing date could be arranged, Ruick settled his claim for the loss of a leg in a construction accident for $12 million – $5.5 million of which will be paid by both United Construction Service Inc. and Modern Equipment Sales and Renting, with the remaining $1 million being paid by Senn Landscaping.


1,867 Dog Bite Injury Claims in California Last Year Recorded by Insurance Institute

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 1,867 dog bite injury claims in California last year, more than 10% of the national total.

Cal. Civil Code §3342 makes dog owners who fail to control their pets and prevent them from biting members of the public strictly liable for dog bite injury claims in California, except in cases in which members of the public are trespassing on the owner´s land.

Unlike in some other States, there is no “one-free-bite” rule; where the dog owner is only liable for a dog bite injury if the owner is aware that their dog has an inclination to bite humans – i.e. the dog is known to have bitten somebody else already.

However, considering that a large percentage of all dogs kept as pets in the U.S. reside in the Golden State, it is actually surprising that there were “only” 1,867 dog bite injury claims in California last year out of a national total of 16,550.

The dog bite injury claims resulted in the payment of $62.8 million in compensation settlements in California in 2014 (the national total was $530.8 million) but, due to higher jury settlements elsewhere, the average settlement value was only slightly higher than the national average at $33,649 per claim.

Not included among the dog bite injury claims in California were dog attacks on postal carriers. Postal carriers injured while they are delivering mail can claim workers compensation for their injuries, rather than have to go through civil procedures to make dog bite injury claims in California.

The large number of successful dog bite injury claims in California paints a slightly misleading picture as the figure could be much higher. Courts in California have recently tended to dismiss dog bite injury claims that are not strongly supported by evidence of negligence and compensation has been denied to victims who are considered to have provoked a dog, caused an attack by their own negligence or assumed the risk of an attack by a dog.

Consequently, it is in your best possible interests to consult with a lawyer at the earliest possible moment if you or your child have been attacked by a dog and intend making dog bite injury claims in California.


Jury Awards $2.8 Million Compensation for Dental Negligence after Court Hearing

A jury in Georgia has awarded a woman $2.8 million compensation for dental negligence after a hearing at the DeKalb County State Court.

In February 2008, Haley Buice attended the Coast Dental of Georgia practice in Acworth, DeKalb County and was evaluated by James Cauley DMD. Cauley recommended the placement of multiple crowns and veneer implants – a course of treatment that would cost in excess of $20,000.

Cauley agreed to discount the cost of the treatment in return for being paid in cash but, when Caulet resigned from Coast Dental the following year, the dental practice refused to continue Haley´s treatment as there was no record of her cash payments.

Over the course of the next few months, the crowns inserted by Cauley began to fall out of Haley´s mouth. An evaluation by another dentist revealed that Cauley had failed to treat many of Haley´s teeth that were in poor condition and had instead placed crowns on perfectly healthy teeth.

Haley claimed compensation for dental negligence against Cauley and Coast Dental of Georgia – alleging that Cauley had failed to meet the required standard of dental care and that the dental practice was vicariously liable as his employer.

According to Haley´s lawsuit, Cauley had failed to treat teeth that were in obvious need of repair and had improperly fitted more than a dozen crowns – many unnecessarily. Cauley settled the claim against him for an undisclosed amount of compensation for dental negligence, but Coast Dental argued that Haley´s condition was caused by a pre-existing condition and was not the result of dental malpractice.

The dental negligence compensation claim proceeded to the DeKalb County State Court – where it was heard by a twelve-member jury before Judge Stacey Hydrick. At the hearing, Haley claimed that she was embarrassed by the condition of her teeth and had suffered depression as a result.

The jury was told that Haley sought compensation for her emotional trauma, the unnecessary pain she had suffered, and the cost of repairing the damage to her teeth. At the end of the four-day hearing, the jury deliberated for just forty minutes before finding unanimously in Haley´s favor and awarding her $2.8 million compensation for dental negligence.


Compensation Claim for a Skiing Injury Resolved after Court Hearing

A compensation claim for a skiing injury – brought by a woman who was paralyzed in an accident on a beginner ski slope – has been resolved following a hearing at the Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

In March 2012, Leslie McLaughlin went skiing at the Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood, Southern California, with her friend James Tollins. For their fourth run of the day, the couple chose to ski down a beginner slope into Woodworth Gulch – a run which neither of the skiers had attempted before.

As the couple approached an uphill portion of the ski run, which extended across the width of the gulch and which Leslie believed was part of the natural terrain, she was suddenly launched into the air and fell backwards – landing on her upper back.

The impact of her fall caused Leslie to suffer a burst C6 vertebra, and she was airlifted to the Huntingdon Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where she was diagnosed with multiple fractures of her neck and spine. Leslie spent six months at the Pasadena hospital, before undergoing three months of rehabilitation at the Craig Hospital in Denver.

As a result of the accident, Leslie is now a quadriplegic and is paralyzed from the chest down. Although she has use of her arms and hands, and is able to get around using a wheelchair, Leslie requires a substantial amount of care and she will never be able to work again in her profession as an equine veterinarian.

Leslie made a compensation claim for a skiing injury against the Mountain High Resort; alleging that the uphill portion of the ski run – which was actually a staging area intended for skiers and snowboarders to perform jumps – had “unreasonably increased the risks inherent in the sport of skiing” as it had been constructed across a beginner ski slope and was not signposted as a hazard.

The Mountain High Resort denied its liability for Leslie´s injuries – arguing that the “all-terrain features” throughout the park are well signposted and that, since this particular staging area had been constructed in 2004, almost 3 million visitors to the park had used the ski runs without sustaining a similar injury.

The compensation claim for a skiing injury claim went to the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, where lawyers on behalf of the resort produced a forensic witness who testified that Leslie had been skiing too fast in a designated “slow zone”. The expert gave evidence that Leslie had been travelling at between 39mph and 45 mph, and should have slowed down as she approached the uphill portion of the ski run until she had determined what it was and that it was safe to continue.

After a case lasting thirty-six days, the jury found in Leslie´s favor; but due to her comparative fault as described by the resort´s forensic expert, reduced a compensation settlement of $21,987,215 by 82 percent to account for the contribution Leslie had made to her own injuries – thus resolving the settlement of the compensation claim for a skiing injury for $3,957,698.


Supreme Court Rules in Dog Bite Injury Claim

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the defendant in a dog bite injury claim which claimed the owner of a property had responsibility for a dog that was not theirs.

The dog bite injury claim was made by Julie Augsburger who, on 21 June 2008, was bitten by her friend´s dogs when she visited her in the town of Larsen, Wisconsin. On arrival at her friend´s house, Julie was directed to the barn at the rear of the property by her friend´s husband; but as she entered the enclosed area at the rear of the house, Julie was bitten on both legs by four dogs that attacked her.

Julie suffer severe lacerations on each leg and made a dog bite injury claim against George Kontos – the owner of the property and father of her friend. In her legal action against Kontos, Julie claimed that he had an obligation to ensure the dogs were controlled as he was the owner of the property and thereby the “statutory owner” of the dogs as he was the one providing them with accommodation.

Kontos defended the claim made against him, and the case was first heard at the Fond du Lac County Circuit Court, where Judge Gary Sharpe found in Julie´s favor. Kontos appealed the verdict, but at the Appeal Court hearing, Judge Paul Reilly upheld the original decision – despite acknowledging that “hypertechnical application of the law” had gotten in the way of a common sense decision.

Kontos continued to defend against the dog bite injury claim and – with the support of his insurance company Homestead Mutual Insurance – took the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. At the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Judge Ann Walsh Bradley found in Kontos´ favor, ruling that:

“Kontos is not an “owner” under the statute. A statutory owner includes one who “owns, harbors or keeps a dog.” Wis. Stat. § 174.001(5). It is undisputed that Kontos did not legally own the dogs and did not “keep” them. Additionally, we conclude that he was not a harborer as evidenced by the totality of the circumstances. He neither lived in the same household as the dogs nor exercised control over the property on which the dogs were kept. Accordingly, we reverse the court of appeals decision.


Man Awarded Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Tree Branch

A man, who sustained multiple injuries when a rotted tree branch fell on his car, has been awarded $765,000 compensation for catastrophic injuries by a Columbia County jury.

Bill Kocher from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, was driving to work along the main road in the village of Lightstreet when, in July 2010, a branch separated from a rotted tree stem and crashed down on top of his car.

Bill spent sixteen days in intensive care receiving treatment for a series of catastrophic injuries which included a collapsed lung, a fractured sternum, a broken humerus and broken ribs. He had to undergo surgery to insert an intramedullary nail rod and skin grafts on his chest.

After his discharge from hospital, Bill sought legal advice and claimed compensation for catastrophic injuries against the owner of the property outside which the tree was located, and the township of Lightstreet – alleging that both had a duty of care to remove dangerous branches that posed a threat to public safety.

Both defendants denied their liability for Bill´s injuries. The homeowners stated that it was not their responsibility to maintain a tree outside of their property – the tree being situated between the sidewalk and the main road – and the township claiming that they had a responsibility to maintain the roads but not the trees that grew alongside them.

However, at Columbia County Court, the jury was told that the tree in question was located five feet away from the homeowner´s front porch and that they had conducted maintenance on it previously. The jury also heard that, under the township´s maintenance program, crews routinely removed dangerous branches that were a public hazard.

The jury found both defendants jointly liable for the injuries that Bill sustained, and awarded him $765,000 compensation for the catastrophic injuries he had suffered due to the defendants´ negligence – the second largest settlement of a personal injury claim to be awarded in Columbia County.


Man Recovers Compensation for Crushed Legs in Tow Truck Accident after Claim

A man from Dakota County in Minnesota has recovered $1.745 million compensation for crushed legs in a tow truck accident that happened on the day that he retired from his business.

On July 19 2011, Dean Bauer´s pickup would not start, and he called AAA for assistance. When the tow truck arrived, Dean and the driver of the truck decided to try one further time to see if they could get Dean´s vehicle to start and Dean popped the hood. While Dean stood looking into the engine compartment, the tow truck rolled backwards into him, crushing him against the front of his pickup and breaking both his legs.

Dean (now 68 years of age) had just retired from his commercial and residential trade business on the day the accident happened and, after seeking legal advice, he made a compensation claim for crushed legs on a tow truck accident against the company that owned the tow truck – Onamia Service Center. Onamia admitted liability for Dean´s injury and settled out of court for $765,000 in October 2013.

Dean also had UIM coverage, and because the maximum settlement available from Onamia Service Center was $1 million, he also sued his own insurers. Dean´s insurance carrier made an offer of $100,000 compensation for crushed legs in a tow truck accident, but – on advice – Dean rejected the offer and the case went to a jury hearing at Dakota County District Court before Judge Thomas M. Pugh.

At the hearing, the jury awarded Dean a further $980,309 for bodily injury and the impact that the accident would have on Dean´s future quality of life – bringing the total amount of compensation recovered to $1.745 million over the two claims.


Plaintiff Injured in Roof Collapse Awarded $5Million Compensation for Pelvis Injury

A jury in Florida has awarded $5 million compensation for a pelvis injury to a man who was seriously hurt when the roof of a self-storage unit collapsed on top of him.

In January 2009, Stephen Wolkoff (70) from Deerfield Beach in Broward County was inside his rented self-storage unit when the framed ceiling collapsed on top of him – trapping him under 3,000 pounds of debris. When he was released from the building, he was taken to North Broward General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis, a ruptured urethra and nerve damage to both legs.

Stephen remained in hospital for two months recovering from his injuries, after which he was transferred to the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore where he underwent surgery to realign his pelvis, reconnect his urethra and implant an artificial sphincter to help drain his bladder. He also underwent a colostomy procedure and had to wear a colostomy bag for three years after his discharge from hospital.

After being discharged from hospital, Stephen sought legal advice and made a claim for pelvis injury compensation against the owner of the self-storage unit – Sunshine Storage Inc. – claiming that the company had failed to maintain the unit in a safe condition and that a loft had been constructed above the unit without a permit and not in conformity with the building code.

Sunshine Storage contested the claim for pelvis injury compensation on the grounds that Stephen had removed beams from the unit´s walls which were supporting the roof, and that this is what caused the roof to collapse on him. However, they also added the engineer who designed the loft and the contractor who built it as Fabre defendants (a defendant that is not named in the compensation claim, but who can still be blamed for an accident occurring).

As the two parties were unable to come to an agreement, the case was heard at Broward County Circuit Court before Judge Jack Tuter. After eight days of evidence and four days of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in Stephen´s favor – although finding him 10 percent liable through his own contributory negligence. Therefore, the pre-determined compensation for pelvis injury was reduced to $5,091,000, with liability shared between the three defendants.


Judge Upholds Settlement of Surgical Complications Compensation Claim

A Pennsylvania judge has upheld the $19.5 million settlement of a surgical complications compensation claim made by the widower of a woman who underwent polyp removal surgery and later died from complications.

Mariann Pomroy (57) from Langhorne in Pennsylvania attended the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on 22 October 2008 to have a polyp removed from her colon. At the time of her surgery, Mariann had a number of health problems including renal disease, and had a previous medical history of multiple abdominal surgeries.

After the operation, Mariann´s surgeon – Dr Ernest Rosato – noted that the surgery had been more complicated than had been anticipated due to extensive adhesions from previous procedures, but gave no indication that the operation had not been successful.

However, while she was recovery from the surgical procedure, Mariann started to experience abdominal pain, had elevated blood potassium and decreased urine output. Her medical records showed that, as her health deteriorated, Mariann was transferred to intensive care and – on 2 November 2008 – underwent emergency surgery for intra-abdominal sepsis and gastrointestinal bleeding.

The second operation revealed an area of separation between Mariann´s right colon and terminal ileum which exposed some of her bowel. Because the bowel had swollen through the edema, Mariann´s abdominal cavity could not be closed until a third operation on 8 December 2008 – after which she remained hospitalized until March 2009, when she was considered sufficiently stable to be transferred to a long-term care facility.

While she was at the long-term care facility, Mariann had to undergo several surgical revisions for the treatment she had received at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She suffered a stroke, developed acute renal failure and ventilation dependent respiratory failure – all of which caused her severe and permanent disabilities. Mariann passed away on 12 August 2010.

After seeking legal advice, Mariann´s widower – George Pomroy – made a surgical complications compensation claim against Dr Rosato and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, claiming that Mariann´s death had been caused by medical malpractice and that the defendants had failed to conduct appropriate consultations prior to surgery, failed to properly close the anastomosis and failed to recognized the breach in the bowel which resulted in the second and subsequent surgeries.

The hospital and the executors for Dr Rosato – who had died since performing the procedure – denied the surgical complications compensation claim and the case was heard at the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court in February 2013. After a week-long trial, the jury delivered a verdict in favour of George Pomroy, and awarded him $19.5 million in compensation for the wrongful death of his wife due to surgical complications.

The defendants appealed the verdict, but earlier this week Judge Mary Collins upheld the jury´s decision to award George Pomroy $19.5 million in settlement of his surgical complications compensation claim – stating that Dr Rosato (by way of his executors) had breached his duty of care to Mariann by performing colon surgery instead of a less-risky endoscopic procedure, which would have been more appropriate considering Mariann´s previous medical history.


Student Settles Injury Claim for Falling through a Skylight for $11.6 Million

A University of Pennsylvania student, who suffered devastating injuries in an off-campus accident, has settled her injury claim for falling through a skylight just days before the case was due to go to trial.

Lorna Bernhoft was just 20 years of age and a junior student at the University of Pennsylvania when, in October 2010, she attended an a cappella gathering at a student residence on South 42nd Street, Philadelphia. Later in the evening, Lorna moved up to a fourth storey attic room, where she went to sit on a board on the floor, not realizing that the board covered an open skylight.

As Lorna sat, the ¾ inch flex board slipped from underneath her, and Lorna fell fifteen feet through the open skylight, landing on her tailbone on the staircase below, and then continuing to fall down the stairs – hitting her head as she landed at the foot of the stairs. Lorna was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with a broken back and head injuries, and was kept alive with the help of a breathing tube and oxygen mask.

Unfortunately for Lorna, the accident resulted in her losing the use of her legs; and, although she recovered sufficiently to graduate from Stanford University and take a job in Boston, she is now confined to a wheelchair.

After being discharged from hospital, Lorna sought legal advice and made an injury claim for falling through a skylight against the owners of the property – Joseph, Irene and Jennifer Palmer, trading as Palmer Apartments – on the grounds that the Palmers were aware of the hazard and had done nothing to repair the condition of the floor where the skylight was situated.

The Palmers denied sole liability for Lorna´s injuries, and filed a joinder complaint against thirteen previous tenants of the property who – it was claimed – had failed to report the hazard to the property owners as was a condition of the lease agreement. Lorna´s injury claim for falling through a skylight was further complicated by the fact that, on arrival at hospital, she had a 0.26 blood alcohol level and marijuana in her system.

Lorna´s lawyers persevered through an extensive period of mediation in order to conclude the case without it having to go to trial and, after negotiations between Lorna´s lawyers, fourteen defendants and eleven insurance companies, a settlement was reached which will see Lorna´s injury claim for falling the a skylight resolved for $11.7 million.


Jury Awards Teenage Driver $14 Million in Airbag Injury Compensation

A jury has awarded a teenage driver, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when his car hit a tree, $14 million in airbag injury compensation after a hearing in the State of Virginia Circuit Court.

Zachary Duncan from Radford, Virginia, was just sixteen years of age when the Hyundai Tiberon he was driving left the road and crashed into a tree in February 2010. The passenger accompanying Zachary escaped unhurt, but the teenage driver suffered a traumatic brain injury which left him in a coma for a week.

Zachary (now 20 years of age) had to learn to walk and talk again after his accident and, although he graduated from High School with a modified program, will need placement in a long-term care facility as he suffers from cognitive deficiencies which make him forgetful and emotionally unstable.

Through his parents, Zachary made a claim for airbag injury compensation against the manufacturers of the car – Hyundai Motor Co – claiming that the side airbag had failed to deploy which would have in all probability prevented Zachary from sustaining his injury.

The Hyundai Motor Co denied their liability, claiming that side airbags were designed to protect the driver from side impact and that the side airbags fitted in Zachary´s Tiberon were not legislated by the industry at the time the car had been manufactured, but had been fitted by Hyundai anyway.

However, at the State of Virginia Circuit Court in Pulaski County, the jury was told that the sensors for the side airbags were located under the driver´s seat and in the wrong position for the deployment of the side airbag.

The jury deliberated for ten hours before returning a verdict in favor of Zachary on the grounds that Hyundai had breached the implied warranty of merchantability and supplied a vehicle which was “unreasonably dangerous”. Zachary was awarded $14 million in general damages, with his family receiving a further $140,000 in respect of the medical expenses they had already incurred.


Changes to Personal Injury Claims Procedures will Speed up Compensation

Changes to personal injury claims procedures introduced on 1st August 2013 will speed up compensation settlements in claims with a value of up to £25,000.

The second of two changes to the Civil Procedure Rules took effect on 1st August 2013, and whereas the changes to the personal injury claims procedures in April of this year took away some of the benefits of making “Contingency Fee” compensation claims, the most recent changes should allow claimants to receive their compensation settlements within a shorter time frame.

The new procedures will see the length of time negligent parties and their insurance companies have to acknowledge “Letters of Claim” reduced to one day from twenty-one days, and the number of days available for them to conduct their own investigations into a claim reduced from ninety days to thirty days (forty days in the event of a compensation claim for an accident at work).

The aim of the new procedures is to reduce the costs of pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation when the value of the claim is less than £25,000 and when liability is not disputed. Any negligent party or insurance company who fails to adhere to these guidelines will not be able to take advantage of the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal and will face higher costs in defending the claim.

There are numerous exceptions to the new Civil Procedure Rules and there will be no change to the personal injury claims procedures in the following events:-

  • If an injury has been sustained due to the negligence of a private individual – for example if a homeowner has damaged the pavement outside their house over which you have tripped and fallen
  • If the injury which is being claimed for is an acquired disease either at work (for example COPD due to your working environment) or a place of public access (for example food poisoning in a restaurant)
  • If an injury has been sustained in an accident or scenario involving more than one party – for example a car accident in which more than one person was to blame
  • If an injury was sustained in an accident for which you were partly to blame or if your injury was exacerbated due to your own lack of care (also known as “Contributory Negligence”).
  • If a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition was due to medical negligence – either at a hospital or in private practice such as at the dentist
  • If you have developed mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos, or if you are claiming on behalf of an individual who has died due to mesothelioma cancer
  • If you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of a party who is uninsured, insolvent or untraceable – such as if you are injured in a hit and run accident.

The changes apply to injuries which have been sustained or diagnosed in England or Wales from 1st August onwards, and do not affect the length of time you have after an injury has been discovered in which to claim personal injury compensation – currently three years in the UK.

Should you require further information about how the changes to the personal injury claims procedures may affect you in your particular circumstances, you are advised to speak with a personal injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity.


Claim for Assault Course Accident Resolved at the High Court

A claim for an assault course accident, in which a Hampshire scout leader fractured a vertebra in his back, has been resolved in the High Court for £167,514.

Robert Wilson (49) from Bordon in Hampshire made his claim for assault course accident compensation after sustaining an injury while leading his scout troop on the Challenge Valley assault course at the Clyne Farm Centre near Swansea in August 2009.

To get down from the “Burma Bridge” obstacle, Robert was required to descend a fireman´s pole despite voicing concerns for his safety in the wet conditions. His worries were justified, as he landed awkwardly at the base of the pole and fractured a vertebra in the base of his spine.

Robert was taken by helicopter to hospital where he underwent surgery. But, as Mrs Justice Swift heard at the High Court in London, his injury prevented him from driving his taxi or caring for his wheelchair-bound wife and four-year-old son.

After seeking legal advice, Robert made a claim for assault course accident compensation on the grounds that he had not been given proper instruction on how to safely descend the fireman´s pole and that the landing cushion had been compacted by the previous participants on the assault course.

Clyne Farm Centre denied their liability for Robert´s injuries, and alleged that Robert had removed his hand from the pole to “show off” to his scout troop. It was also claimed that a ladder was situated nearby in case a participant did not want to depart the “Burma Bridge” obstacle via the fireman´s pole.

After hearing evidence from both Robert and the instructor who was with him when the accident occurred, Mrs Justice Swift found in Robert´s favour and rejected claims made by the Clyne Farm Centre that “[Robert] was the author of his own misfortune”.

Awarding Robert £167,514 compensation in settlement of his claim for assault course accident, Mrs Justice Swift said she had no doubt that Robert “is a genuine hard-working man” who had devoted himself to the care of his wife and their four-year-old son.


Government Figures Reveal Fewer Claims for Whiplash Injury Compensation

Figures released by the Department for Works and Pensions Compensation Recovery Unit have revealed that claims for whiplash injury compensation have fallen year-on-year by more than 4 percent.

A total of 547,405 claims for whiplash injury compensation were recorded by the Compensation Recovery Unit in 2011/2012, whereas in the previous twelve months 571,111 whiplash injury compensation claims were registered.

The fall in the volume of claims for whiplash injury compensation was noted by president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) – Karl Tonks – when he was giving evidence to a Transport Select Committee ahead of the latest amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2012.

Mr Tonks also produced the results of a survey prepared on behalf of APIL by market research company Canadean which showed that 40 percent of people eligible to make claims for whiplash injury compensation declined to do so. The survey also revealed that 1 percent of respondents to the survey had suffered a whiplash injury in the past twelve months, while 20 percent of those had experienced a whiplash injury in the past suffered symptoms of their whiplash injury for more than twelve months.

The Government is expected to announce plans for new specialist medical panels to support improvements in the diagnosis of whiplash and to increase from 1,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds the value up to which claims can be handled by the small claims court, but Mr Tonks warned the Transport Select Committee that the Government could be embarking on a potentially damaging reform agenda.

Acknowledging that a “universal commitment was required to reduce the number of fraudulent claims for whiplash injury compensation, Mr Tonks added “But it’s even more important to stand firm against any move to put barriers in the way of the majority of people who have genuine injuries and who need to make genuine claims.” Mr Tonks presented a ten point plan to the Transport Select Committee which he hoped could be discussed with the Government.

1. Information on fraud to be freely available to all parties to help identify fraudsters

2. Claimants to be subject to a legally binding statement of truth

3. Ban insurers from paying compensation without medical evidence

4. No offers of gifts or cash to potential clients to be made by any party

5. Enforcement of future ban preventing insurers from selling claimants´ details

6. Identities of potential expert witnesses to be shared by both sides

7. New guidance to help medics identify and understand whiplash injury

8. Photo ID to be provided when attending a medical

9. Claimant´s lawyer to organise access to relevant medical records

10. Spam texting to be banned


Compensation Fall Moving Walkway Awarded to Pensioner

A pensioner, who fell and broke her shoulder on a shopping centre travelator, has been awarded 30,000 Euros in compensation for fall on the moving walkway by a judge in Dublin.

At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard how Rosaleen Hill (79) of Terenure in Dublin had been returning to the underground parking lot of the Ashleaf Shopping Centre in Dublin, when the shopping trolley she was taking down to her car started to run away from her. As Rosaleen struggled to hold on to the shopping trolley, she fell and was dragged along the moving walkway – severely lacerating her knee and breaking her right shoulder in three places.

After receiving treatment for her injuries, Rosaleen sought legal advice and made a claim for fall on moving walkway compensation against the Ashleaf Shopping Centre, the company responsible for managing the shopping centre – Kessow Limited – and Dunnes Stores, the store in which she had been doing her shopping. Dunnes Stores denied their liability, claiming that the trolley which had been responsible for Rosaleen´s injuries was not one of theirs.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard testimony in court from a forensic engineer that the rogue trolley selected by Rosaleen from a shared shopping trolley area was fitted with smooth wheels and unsuitable for a downhill moving walkway. The forensic engineer explained that the type of shopping trolleys supplied by Dunnes Stores were fitted with corrugated rubber wheels which locked into the surface grooves on the moving walkway.

His evidence was supported by the testimony of the manufacturer which supplies Dunnes Stores with their shopping trolleys who explained to the court that their company had never supplied Dunnes Stores with the type of trolley responsible for Rosaleen´s accident. Judge Jacqueline Linnane determined that the likelihood was that Rosaleen had collected a trolley which had been deposited by shopfitters working at the store and dismissed the case against Dunnes Stores.

However, the judge found Gary Smith, trading as The Ashleaf Shopping Centre and Kessow Limited jointly negligent for failing to provide Rosaleen with a safe environment in which to shop and ordered them to pay Rosaleen 30,000 Euros in compensation for a fall on a moving walkway.


Fall from Scaffolding Tower Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A man who suffered permanent brain injuries after falling from scaffolding while attempting to help his brother repair the roof of his house has been awarded 750,000 Euros after the settlement of his claim for fall from scaffolding tower injury compensation was approved in court.

Patrick Rayner from Mitchelstown in County Cork was helping his brother John replace displaced slates on the roof of his home in Killmallock, County Limerick, when the tragedy occurred in December 2008.

While situated on top of the scaffolding tower which had been erected to gain access to the roof, Patrick fell three metres to the ground while attempting to take hold of a roofing ladder which was being passed to him.

Patrick suffered a fractured skull as a result of the accident and such significant brain damage occurred that he has since lost the senses of taste, smell and hearing.

Patrick made a claim for fall from scaffolding tower injury compensation through his wife Julia, claiming that John had failed to secure the scaffolding tower to a permanent structure, had failed to brace the scaffolding tower and had failed to take adequate precautions to ensure his safety while repairing the roof.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that liability was not in dispute, a 750,000 Euros settlement of fall from scaffolding tower injury compensation had been agreed and the case was before her for approval of damages only.

After hearing an explanation of the accident, the judge approved the settlement, stating that this was a sad story in which the deeds of a Good Samaritan had ended in tragic circumstances.


Bank Accident Injury Compensation Claim Settled out of Court

A woman who sustained head, neck and shoulder injuries when part of the ceiling fell on her at her local bank has settled her bank accident injury compensation claim out of court for 1,500 pounds.

The unnamed 47 year old woman had been standing at the counter of her local Barclays Bank when a brick fell from the ceiling and struck her on the head. As she fell forward, more bricks and a light fitting fell from the ceiling – hitting the woman on the base of her neck and across the shoulders.

The woman suffered a laceration to her scalp, bruising and a minor head injury. Soreness in her shoulders restricted movement in her upper limbs and the woman suffered headaches and frequent nausea attacks over the next two weeks.

After seeking legal advice, the woman made a claim for bank accident injury compensation against Barclays Bank on the grounds that the bank had breached statutory duty in failing to ensure that the premises were adequately maintained and structurally safe.

Barclays admitted liability for the bank accident and a settlement of bank accident injury compensation amounting to 1,500 pounds was negotiated between the woman´s lawyers and Barclays public liability insurers without the need for the claim to be heard in court.


Woman´s Beach Injury Compensation Claim Settled in Court

A woman, who sustained serious injuries when run over by a car while on Dublin´s popular Dollymount Beach, has been awarded 79,000 Euros in respect of her beach injury compensation claim by a High Court judge in Dublin.

Siofra O´Loughlin (24) from Rolestown in Dublin had been playing on the extensive Dollymount Beach with friends in July 2006, when she slipped on the wet sand and fell. As Siofra lay face down in the sand, a car reversed back and over her – causing abrasions to her back and breaking the humerus bone in her arm. After briefly stopping a short distance away, the driver of the car left the scene without acknowledging the accident.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill heard that both an ambulance and the police attended the scene, but the driver responsible for Siofra´s injuries was never traced. After undergoing surgery for her arm when the broken bone failed to heal properly, Siofra made a beach injury compensation claim against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland – the body responsible for paying accident injury compensation to the victims of injury for which an uninsured or untraceable driver is liable.

The Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland contested the beach injury compensation claim – alleging that Siofra had given an alternate version of events to police when they first arrived at the scene of the accident. However, having heard Siofra´s testimony and that of her friends, Mr Justice O´Neill judged that Siofra had been an accurate and honest witness and awarded her 79,000 Euros in compensation and the costs of pursuing her beach injury compensation claim.


Scalding Claims for Tassimo Coffee Machine Result in Product Recall

Over 160 scald claims for Tassimo coffee machine injuries investigated by the American Consumer Product Safety Commission have resulted in the popular coffee making machine being withdrawn from sale in the United States and Canada.

The Tassimo coffee machine recall affects more than 1.7 million coffee makers sold in North America along with 4 million Gevalia, Maxwell House and Nabob espresso T-discs still believed to be in circulation. Indeed it is the discs which are believed to be the problem – responsible for exploding under pressure, and showering those in close proximity with scalding water.

Thirty seven of the scald claims for Tassimo coffee machine injuries were made due to people suffering second-degree burns which required hospital treatment, including a ten-year-old girl from Minnesota who received such severe scalds to her face and neck that she required emergency hospital treatment.

No Tassimo coffee machine recall has yet been announced in the UK, although the product is sold in a number of high street electrical and department stores and the T-discs in many leading grocery stores. People who sustain scalds due to accidents with their Tassimo coffee maker are entitled to make burn injury claims for compensation but, as the injuries were sustained from a recalled product, not against the store from which the coffee making machines or the T-discs  were purchased

As the manufacturer of the recalled Tassimo coffee machine is the Californian, scald claims for Tassimo coffee machine injuries will need to be made in the United States using a UK personal injury lawyer, and one should consulted as soon as you have receive medical treatment to discuss scald claims for Tassimo coffee machine injuries.


Pensioner Receives Compensation from Tesco for Slip on Wet Floor

A pensioner, who fractured a metatarsal bone in his foot after slipping in his local Tesco grocery store, has been awarded compensation from Tesco for a slip on a wet floor.

Ronald Fryer from Whittington in Worcestershire was visiting his local Tesco grocery store in St. Peter´s in October 2009 when his unfortunate accident occurred. On entering the grocery store, he slipped on a wet floor and fell heavily.

X-rays taken at the nearby Worcestershire Royal Hospital revealed that Ronald had sustained a fractured metatarsal bone in his foot – leaving the eighty-year-old immobile and in a significant amount of pain.

Ronald spoke with a lawyer after his discharge from hospital and discovered that he was entitled to make an accident in Tesco claim for Tesco´s breach in their duty of care to provide customers with a safe environment in which to shop.

Tesco initially denied their liability for Ronald´s injury but, after several years of negotiations, Ronald received an offer of compensation from Tesco for a slip on a wet floor which he accepted under advice from his lawyer.


Ship Accident Compensation Claims Likely to Exceed Initial Compensation Offer

Ship accident compensation claims following the Costa Concordia tragedy on January 13, 2012, are likely to exceed the company´s initial compensation offer of 11,000 Euros (14,460 dollars/9,180 pounds) according to the Carlo Rienzi, the president of the Italian consumer group Codacons.

Rienzi´s statement was made in response to several other consumer groups signing an agreement with Costa Crociere SpA to offer 11,000 Euros ship accident compensation in lieu of psychological trauma and loss of personal effects.

Costa Crociere´s offer is in addition to a refund of the cost of the holiday and any expenses incurred by passengers in arranging transport home after the disaster. Those passengers who accept the ship accident compensation settlement will receive their compensation with one week.

Signore Rienzi believes that each passenger should have a psychological evaluation prior to accepting the offer and advocates that passengers should make ship accident compensation claims for a minimum of 125,000 Euros (164,300 dollars/104,300 pounds).

He went on to condemn the proviso in the offer of compensation that any passenger accepting the settlement would lose their right to make further ship accident compensation claims against the cruise company.

The offer of compensation does not apply to those who sustained a physical injury during the capsizing of the Costa Concordia or the rescue effort. Those injury compensation claims will be dealt with on an individual basis.


Passenger in car crash awarded over £4m

Caroline Bogue of Belturbet, County Cavan, a passenger in a car crash, was awarded a settlement of over €5 million in a High Court settlement after an uninsured car in which she was travelling as a passenger crashed into a tree, resulting in severe injuries. Ms Bogue suffered brain damage and will require assistance throughout the rest of her life.

Ms Bogue’s accident accident occured on May 1st, 2003, when she was 17 years old.

The case was taken against the driver of the car Declan Brogue, the car ower Ciaran Bogue, and the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. Liability was denied in the case on the grounds that Caroline Bogue was aware that car was not insured and was allegedly taken without the permission of the owner. The settlement was reached without liability being admitted.

Mr Justice John Quirke said that the case marked the need for a new system of staged payments in personal injuries cases.


Dentist Negligence Litigation results in £255,000 award

A woman, who claimed her dental treatment had been negligent and resulted in years of pain and suffering, has won her claim and been awarded £211,000 in a dentist negligence litigation case.

Esther Hammond (61), made her dental negligence claim against dental surgeon Brendan Bastible from whom she had first been treated in May 1991 for a loose crown that had been fitted by a different dentist.

Mr Bastible had treated Ms Hammond for the loose crown, filled some cavities in other teeth and treated her for the gum disease periodontitis. However, it was when Mr Bastible put braces to her upper jaw in November 1991, and bottom jaw in 1993, that Esther’s issues began.

The judge was also told that the wires which held the braces together regularly snapped, causing lacerations within Esther’s mouth which resulted in significant pain and affected her day to day life. Esther also said that her dental maladies also affected her relationship with her family and led to psychological problems, which still persist today.

Expert witnesses told the court that the fitting of the braces was inappropriate at the time and Esther’s legal representatives advised the judge that Mr Bastible was not qualified to perform orthodontic treatment of this nature. It was also confirmed by a medical expert that it would take around five more years of dental treatment until the physical damage done by Mr Bastible would be eradicated.

In telling the court his judgement, Mr Justice John Quirke stated that he was satisfied that the treatment Esther was given was indeed negligent and that it fell below the standards required of a practicing dental surgeon. He awarded Esther £140,000 in general damages, £41,000 to take future pain and suffering into account while undergoing remedial treatment and £29,000 to compensate for past and future special damages – a total of £211,000.


Horse Collision Injury Claim leads to £560k pay out

A GP, who sustained serious neck and back injuries after his car was in collision with a stray horse, has been awarded £560,238 in a horse collision injury claim.

Thomas Breslin (46) was driving along the road outside his home town when the collision occurred in January 2007. The horse, which become free from a nearby field, collided with his car with such impact that the animal landed on the roof of Dr Breslin´s car – trapping him inside for more than two hours until he was released by emergency services.

Mr Justice Eamon de Valera at the High Court heard that as a consequence of the accident Dr Breslin had to undergo surgery on his back and have a plate inserted in his neck. He suffered psychologically as a result of the accident and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. The court also heard that Dr. Breslin will only be able to work part-time due to his ailments and may even have to retire from his practise.

The negligent party in the action was named as Richard Johnston, who admitted liability for not securing the horse’s holdings and the case was before Mr Justice Eamon de Valera for assessment of damages only.

Announcing the award of £560,238, the judge said that it was clear that Dr Breslin would continue to suffer physically and mentally as a result of the incident.


Sofa Rash Injury Claim settled in court

A six year old girl has had a sofa rash injury claim settlement approved in the Circuit Civil Court after developing a skin condition due to chemicals used in the manufacture of a sofa.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard in court how Holly David was just two years old when her family purchased the sofa in 2006 from Argos Ltd. Holly and her family started to develop skin issues and tingly rashes shortly after the purchase of the sofa, and Holly had to receive medical treatment for dermatitis.

Holly’s family replaced the sofa, which was later discovered to contain the mould inhibitor dimethyl fumarate – a chemical which has since been banned in the EU for use in sofas, and which prompted Argos Ltd to recall the product in 2009.

Holly’s mother, Gabriela, sought legal advice and an application was made for compensation due to product liability. Following assessment of Holly’s case damages of £8335 were recommended – a figure accepted by both Holly’s family and Argos Ltd, but one which had to be approved in court due to Holly being a minor.


Whiplash Injury Case nets £13,300 for man

A man, who claimed that injuries from a head-on car crash affected his weight loss program, has been awarded almost £13,300 compensation in a whiplash injury case.

The judge heard how Declan O’Hora (45) had suffered injuries to his neck and shoulders following a road traffic accident in October 2008.

These injuries, it was claimed, prevented Mr. O’Hora from continuing with swimming training designed to assist with a weight loss problem, and had also been responsible for the development of sleep apnoea – a condition where the sufferer experiences abnormal pauses in breathing while sleeping, leading to daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

As liability had been conceded by the negligent driver the only issue remaining to be determined was the amount of personal injury compensation to be awarded. This was set by Mr Justice Matthew Deery at just under £13,300