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OK, Boss. Boss?

Sometimes it is difficult for lawyers to recognize who is the boss.

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You Know What I Mean…

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 [2008] 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 it. […]

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Accident; No witnesses (Requiescat in Pace)

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.

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Accident: Settlement (Sign Here…)

The courts have frequently rejected arguments that claims have been settled, as purportedly evidenced by “releases” signed by Plaintiffs.

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Accident: Pedestrian (Hello!)

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.

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Car Accident (Gotcha?)

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.

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Injury, accident, instructions (You said what?)

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).

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Willie O’Dea

But we should see him as he is, warts and all. We should not have to endure the consequence of more mythical thinking by the judiciary (and the Law Library). The Attorney General is down in the arena with everybody else. He fights for his clients. He represents their interests. He should not be accorded the deference he gets from the judiciary and the Law Library.

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Book of Quantum

The Supreme Court decided the award of €90,000 by the High Court for the injury was too low. It increased the award to €120,000.

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Strict Liability?

Many claims against employers can and will fail when the claim is made as one of negligence by the employer. However, because of the multitude of duties imposed on employers by statute, it is common for the employer to be found liable to the employee for an injury even where the employer has not been “at fault” (meaning, here, “negligent”).

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