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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 […]


Injury claims are a political issue

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 […]


Pyrite: Liability, compensation and time limits for claims

The cost of remediation of buildings damaged by the incorporation of pyrites into them is considerable. This is unavoidable where the construction works have been completed and, typically, the pyrites are in the sub-base of the construction. The pyrites expand in certain circumstances, deforming the floor and walls and other structural elements of the building. The current estimate is for 1,100 private dwellings affected. It has been estimated that each will cost €50,000 to repair. That’s a total of €50 million. […]


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 […]


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. […]


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 […]


Slip and Fall Accidents

Supermarkets are common locations of slips and falls. The customer numbers are high and the material to cause the slips is readily to hand. Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1995 an occupier is obliged to take;  “… such care as is reasonable in all the circumstances…….to ensure that a visitor to the premises does not suffer injury or damage by reason of any danger existing thereon” There is a danger in supermarkets that stuff will fall to the floor and […]


Our Risky Environment

We are rightly worried about our beef burgers. The supposed international criminal conspiracy undermining the meat industry is easily located; it is the meat industry. But the meat industry is not unique. Consider our bread. We have been suspicious about it for a long time. When white bread was invented or introduced it was popular with the rich; they felt more confident that they were not eating bread contaminated with mouse droppings or insects or their body parts. (Bleached excrement […]


How to read a newspaper (continued)

Noted in the Irish Times, 2nd February 2013, page 6. “Eoin was born in moderate condition at 6.35 am on July 30th, 2002, without any inherent defect or genetic abnormality, as the hospital, among various claims, had alleged”. This sentence means the hospital alleged Eoin … “was without any inherent defect or genetic abnormality”. This cannot have been the case; there would have been no proceedings, for the newspaper to report, otherwise. IT SHOULD READ: “Eoin was born in moderate […]


A Letter to Minister Shatter

In Ireland, and the UK, the judiciary, generally, follow a practice of awarding costs of the action to the victor.