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How to read the “news” on medical negligence

According to the Irish Independent, a High Court judge (Judge Irvine) has urged “an overhaul of negligence cases”. The newspaper goes on to report what the judge actually said; that she believes “new protocols and rules of disclosure would lead to early resolution and early admission of liability when justified” [in “medical negligence” cases]. There are two ideas in the judge’s beliefs, both good; that early resolution and early admission of liability are desirable goals, and that new protocols and […]

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The Ambulance Service

Medical negligence is somewhat of a specialist area for lawyers. Not every solicitor will firstly recognise a culpable act of commission or omission by a medical person and secondly will know how to create a case that will win in court. The ambulance service, the humblest element of the health care system is the exception to this. When you call for an ambulance, you need it urgently, usually. The despatcher will, usually, elicit the cause or nature of the emergency […]

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The Depuy hip recall US MDL settlement – FAQs

What is the issue? In August 2010, Depuy, a US conglomerate, owned by Johnson & Johnson “recalled” some of its medical products. The recall included the Depuy ASR XL Acetabular System, a type of artificial human hip. These hips are fitted to consumers in the course of major surgery in hospitals. The recall was of the unused products; the used products were in patients. In fact, many of the hips were failing early and the patients were undergoing early, avoidable, […]

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Injury claims are a political issue

Ohio quote

This website is about the law. That’s why it is also about politics. They go together. The Irish political class has wrecked Ireland economically, but its faults do not finish there. Political careers need money and other supports. A politician can trade public policy for that money and/or support. In other words, a policy can be promoted by people in circumstances where they appear to be independent; they do not appear to have any personal interest in the outcome, but […]

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Bad Pills

Pills

Many medicines are poisons. According to Paracelsus, everything is poisonous in some degree. This fact presents a legal problem, depending on how it is looked at; if a medicine damages the patient, how can the doctor or the manufacturer be held liable? It was generally known that the medicine was harmful, was it not? The doctor’s case is more straightforward. If the doctor follows general practice and the manufacturer’s instructions, in the prescribing and administering of the medicine she will not […]

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Beaumont Hospital and infections

Unwashed hands under UV light

HIQA has reported on the wholesale failure of staff in Beaumont hospital to wash their hands. (A pdf of their report is available here) The staff knows, in theory, about the germ theory of disease but like everybody else they experience its apparent refutation. We are surrounded by bacteria, we live in a sea of bacteria and few of us are seriously damaged by them. Why, then, is it unacceptable to fail to wash your hands? The answer lies in […]

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The Injuries Board pitfalls

clockfaces

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board was established and is operated on a flawed proposition; that it deals with matters of such simplicity that injured persons seeking an assessment have no need of legal advice or assistance in doing so. The proposition is flawed as a matter of commonsense. Before the introduction of the Injuries Board system (then known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or PIAB) almost every claimant for compensation for personal injury sought the assistance and advice of […]

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A Car Accident, Solicitors and the common good

Modern people, sportsmen/women excepted, are most at risk of serious injury when travelling on the road. The energy bundled in a motor car, or other vehicle, is considerable. If that energy is suddenly blocked, which is what happens in a typical car accident, it must go somewhere and, unfortunately, it sometimes goes into us. Then you are injured and the nature and extent of that injury is determined by chance. Make no mistake; as a society, we have planned these accidents. […]

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The Injuries Board steps up its War on “Thoughts”

The Injuries Board is also called the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. It was established by statute in 2003. Every person wishing to recover compensation for a personal injury inflicted by wrongdoers must first apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of the value of the claim. The Board has issued an article today (26th March 2013) and Patricia Byron, Chief Executive, went on Morning Ireland for an interview. The upshot of the article and the interview is this; personal […]

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Injuries, Injuries…

One in three accidents at work occurs in connection with “manual handling”. Employers owe a legal duty of care to their employees. The duty of care includes taking reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of employees and to avoid accidents at work. The precise terms of the duty of care may be found in the law of negligence or it may be found in a statute, as a precise legal rule. In the case of the obligation to […]

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