Injury Compensation News

Family of Pensioner Seeks Compensation for Injuries after Fall in the Street

May 7, 2015

The son of a pensioner who tripped and fell over a raised paving stone believes that she is entitled to compensation for the injuries she sustained from the fall.

The incident occurred when Gwendoline Smith, seventy-six, of Noak Bridge, Essex tripped over the raised edge of a path after alighting from a bus in Southend. Several injuries were sustained as Mrs. Smith fell badly on her left side and hit her head on the path as she fell. An ambulance was called to the scene, and Mrs. Smith was then brought to Southend Hospital where she received medical attention for her injuries, including suspected fractures to her knee.

Mrs. Smith still seeks medical attention from her local hospital in Basildon for conditions resulting from her fall, including headaches, pains in her back, shoulders and legs and lumps on her head. Additionally, Mrs. Smith has experienced difficulty speaking since the incident, but doctors consider this to be a short-term ailment arising from injuries to her face.

Mrs. Smith’s son, Michael, believes that his mother should receive compensation for her injuries, as she was not at fault in the incident. However, making such a claim for compensation after tripping and falling in the street is not straight-forward, and the court will need to examine what sort of hazard was posed by the cracked paving stone and how close it was to the bus stop. The much-cited “one-inch” rule, where a successful compensation claim can only be made if a paving stone is raised by one inch, is mythical.

If the crack appeared not long before the incident, Mrs. Smith may not be entitled to compensation as the local council may not have had adequate time to carry out repairs on the path. If the crack was recent, the council may not be liable for any injuries caused by falling in the street. Additionally, the council does not have an outright duty to find and repair broken paving stones. A council spokesperson assures that the council take such matters seriously, and a representative of their Environmental Care team will assess the area where the accident occurred.


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Woman with Brain Damage Compensated for Childhood Swimming Pool Accident

February 23, 2015

A woman, who was injured as a child in a supervised pool, has been compensated for her near-death experience.

The accident occurred in 2000 when Annie Woodland, then aged ten, visited Gloucester Park Pool for swimming lessons with her school, Whitmore Junior School in Basildon. The pupil had to be rescued from the pool and resuscitated after experiencing difficulty in the water whilst participating in a lesson. Miss Woodland has since experienced learning difficulties as a result of the brain damage sustained during the accident.

Acting on his daughter’s behalf, Ian Woodland brought a compensation claim against Essex County Council, Paula Burlinson (who conducted the swimming lesson) and Deborah Maxwell, the attending lifeguard at the time of the event. Mr Woodland sought £3 million in compensation from the education authority. Vicarious liability was argued against the school in that it was liable for negligence of its employees -the lifeguard involved and the teacher.

Essex County Council denied liability for the injuries and when the case was heard in the High Court in 2011, the judge ruled in the council’s favour. Mr Woodland then took the case to the Court of Appeal, where Lord Justice Tomlinson supported the High Court’s verdict, expressing his concern regarding the broader and almost certainly negative effects an opposite finding would have on the services provided by schools at large.

Mr Woodland again appealed the decision to the Supreme Court in 2012 where Lord Sumption found that Essex County Council was accountable for the alleged negligence of Paula Burlinson and Deborah Maxwell. Even so, the latter parties had yet to be found negligent in their duty of care towards Miss Woodland. This year, the case was heard again in the High Court under Mr Justice Blake, who ruled that the defendants were negligent in their duty of care by failing to notice Miss Woodland was in difficulty sooner. The concept of reasonable expectations for level of supervision and a judgment on what was sufficient attention to pool users were deciding issues. An assessment will  be carried out in due course to determine Miss Woodland’s needs for the future, after which the compensation claim will be resolved.

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Review of PPI Settlements Ordered by the Financial Conduct Authority

August 31, 2014

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has decided that a review of PPI settlements from 2012/2013 needs to be carried out to ensure customers were adequately redressed.

The order follows a bout of recent allegations that claims for PPI compensation during the time period were rejected without cause, undervalued and miscalculated. The review ordered by the FCA will investigate PPI settlements that concern over two and a half million claims. They state the review is to ensure that compensation claims made by customers were handled properly and that adequate compensation was paid out. Undercover reporters for The Times printed an article stating that many PPI claims for refunds were unjustifiably rejected; during a training session as a claims handler, they were told that those making claims would often fail to pursue their claim after it had been initially rejected.

That article was followed by an investigation by the BBC, which allegedly discovered cases of miscalculated PPI claims. Credit providers neglected to include charges incurred by insurance premiums when calculating refunds, and “comparative redress” policies used by Lloyds Banking Group underpaid customers sold a PPI policy with one premium.

The Financial Services Ombudsman has received a considerable volume of complaints surrounding the issue, and after investigating any legitimate complaints, over two-thirds of the cases result in a reversal of the banks’ decisions. This serves to confirm any suspicions by the FCA that banks are handling PPI claims unfairly and are deliberately underpaying or rejecting customers without cause.

The Chief Executive Officer of the FCA, Martin Wheatley, has asserted his belief that the review is a “positive move”. He claims the scandal in unprecedented, and believes the review will assist efforts to rekindle trust between consumers and financial institutions.

The result of the current review will map out the necessity of any future reviews. Any customers who have been affected by the mis-selling of PPI should have been sent information pertaining to the review and the investigation of their claim. Anyone who has not yet received such advice, but has lodged a claim for a PI refund during the years of 2012/2013 should seek legal advice.


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Child Awarded Injury Compensation for Tripping on Pavement

May 5, 2012

A twelve year old girl has been awarded 20,000 Euros in Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court as injury compensation for tripping on pavement and sustaining a permanent cut from her accident.

Kodie Geoghegan Dowdall, from Ballymun in Dublin, was just seven years of age when the accident occurred in December 2006 as she was on the way to visiting her aunt who lived close by. Passing by a construction site managed by SIAC Construction of Clondalkin, Dublin, Kodie tripped and fell into a hole dug by the construction company.

Kodie suffered cuts and bruises in the accident, one of which became a permanent scar. Through her mother, Kodie brought a tripped on pavement compensation claim against SIAC Construction and, though they denied liability for her injuries, an offer of compensation for tripping on pavement was made without admission of liability.

In the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery was told that the proposed settlement was sufficient to restructure the scar when Kodie turns eighteen years of age and, as all compensation settlements for minors in Ireland have to be endorsed by a judge, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the compensation for tripping on pavement agreement.

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£28,000 Radial Nerve Injury Compensation Awarded in Uncontested Claim

May 3, 2012

A man, who suffered nerve damage in his arm after it was hit by a pub door, has been awarded £28,000 after his claim for radial nerve injury compensation was uncontested.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery in the Circuit Civil Court heard that Radoslaw Wojtkow (31), had been leaving The Living Room pub in Dublin on May 27th 2009 when an emergency door which had been opened to allow customers to come in and out of the pub fell from its hinges and struck him on the arm.

Radoslaw sought a medical attention the next day, but no fracture was diagnosed. Due to the continual pain, Radoslaw later attended a neurologist who conducted a scan on his arm and found that the door accident had caused damage to his radial nerve. After seeking legal advice, Radoslaw brought a claim for radial nerve injury compensation against Murraywalsh Ltd trading as The Living Room for damages.

Radoslaw´s legal representation advised Mr Justice Matthew Deery that the pub owners had failed to enter a defence to Radoslaw´s claim for radial nerve injury compensation and that a judgement had already been made against them. Consequently the case was before the judge for assessment of damages only.

Having taken medical reports into accounts and the fact that The Living Room had not argued the radial nerve injury claim, Mr Justice Matthew Deery awarded Radoslaw £28,000.

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Claim Settled for Low Hanging Poster Injury Compensation

February 10, 2012

A woman who walked into a Dublin advertising poster, and sustained head and neck injuries, has settled her claim for low hanging poster injury compensation for 38,000 Euros.

Sandra Memery (48)  was leaving her local MacDonald´s with her daughter on 16th September 2009 when the accident occurred. Having turned back towards her daughter to give her a bag, she began walking forward again, and immediately hit her head on the corner of the low hanging poster campaigning on behalf of Fianna Fail for a “Yes” vote in the second Lisbon Treaty referendum.

After feeling ill for a day, Sandra visited her doctor, where she was diagnosed with lacerations to her scalp, a swelling over her right temporal and soft tissue damage to her neck. Sandra, who is 5 ft 5 in tall (1.65m) took a compensation claim for low hanging poster injury, stating that the campaign poster should have a minimum of three metres clearance from the floor.

Contesting the claim, Fianna Fail and Executive Posters Ltd jointly argued that Sandra was responsible for her own injuries through contributory negligence and should have paid more attention to where she was walking. However, shortly before Sandra´s case was about to be heard at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court, her legal team announced to the court that a compensation settlement had been agreed upon in the amount of 38,000 Euros.

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Child Trip and Fall Injury Compensation Approved for Schoolgirl

February 4, 2012

A girl, who tripped and fell in a hole due to the alleged negligence of an international construction company, has had her settlement of child trip and fall injury compensation approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Kodie Geoghegan Dowdall, aged 12, was on her way to visit her aunt in December 2006, when she tripped and fell into a hole which had been dug by the construction company SIAC. Sustaining a cut to her head which has since developed into a permanent scar, Kodie made a child accident injury compensation claim against the company through her mother.

Cirthe judge was told that SIAC Construction denied that they had been negligent but were willing to offer a settlement of £16,000 in child trip and fall compensation. After hearing that the scar could be treated with excision and restructuring once Kodie became eighteen, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the compensation settlement.

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