Readers will have seen reference HERE to a plea in a medical negligence case as to the meaning of a “consent” signed by the patient (who was having an operation to make her sterile). In Fitzpatrick v National Maternity Hospital  IEHC 62 the Defendant claimed that the mother (in labour) declined an episiotomy or a forceps-assisted birth (leading to the damage to the infant). The court rejected this plea, and rejected the evidence of the Defendant, intended to evidence […]
Failure to settle a case, or failure to settle until “the door of the court” may be caused by a failure to assess where the balance in the case lies, or it may be evidence of a deferment of settlement to the day of trial to maximize the compensation discount a defendant would like to get from an injured plaintiff.
Road traffic accidents are common, but we rarely witness them happening. If we made a judgment of their frequency based on our experience, we would be wrong.
a collision took place between a car and a lorry. It occurred on a straight stretch of road at night with no witnesses. The drivers and other occupants died. The available evidence was inconclusive as to fault. The court apportioned blame equally between the two drivers.
The courts have frequently rejected arguments that claims have been settled, as purportedly evidenced by “releases” signed by Plaintiffs.
The court, accepting a calculation that the car that hit her had been traveling at not more than 30 mph and was about 75 ft. from the crossing when the Plaintiff began to cross decided she had not been guilty of contributory negligence. She was 10 ft. onto the crossing when she was hit.
The Defendant driver admitted he did not see the Plaintiff pedestrian. The Plaintiff was an admirable witness, given that he was thrown into the air by the Defendant’s taxi. The Defendant gave evidence of the Plaintiff’s head hitting his windscreen. The judgment does not record the Plaintiff’s evidence in detail on the point, but if it was tendered it would probably have been in terms of the Defendant’s windscreen hitting him on the head.
I imagine the reason for this is the tendency for failures to detect bone damage in x-rays to come to light by the pathetic return of the patient to the hospital with exacerbated injuries from neglect of the original injury.
The mother claimed that the time within which the Plaintiff could effectively and successfully issue proceedings against her had long since expired. The Supreme Court agreed with her. It found that the Plaintiff could not avail of the provisions of the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 in circumstances where not only could he easily find out the relevant facts (that the mother was the only occupier) but that he actually knew this when he instructed his solicitor (and failed to tell him).