Recent Personal Injury Decisions:

We examine three recent decisions

June 29, 2018

Joan Dineen v Depuy International Limited

Personal injuries - Depuy hip  =  Damages €321,000

Facts: The plaintiff, Ms Dineen, applied to the High Court seeking damages for alleged personal injury as a result of the alleged failure of an ASR/XL replacement hip manufactured and supplied by the defendant, Depuy International Ltd, which was inserted on 6th February 2009 as a replacement for her right hip. The plaintiff claimed special damages being her future and past care needs, general damages for pain and suffering and aggravated damages. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant supplied a defective product within the meaning of s. 2 of the Liability for Defective Products Act 1991.

Held by Cross J that the threshold for aggravated damages had not been met.

Cross J assessed special damages (out of pocket expenses) as follows: Orthopaedic review €1,000; Past care €15,000; Future Care €150,000; Aids and Appliances €35,000.

Cross J assessed general damages (pain and suffering) as follows: General damages to date €85,000; General damages into the future €35,000.


Edward O'Connor v Wexford County Council - Case dismissed

Personal injuries – Slip and fall - Negligence in field of activity - Plaintiff’s own negligence - Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005

Facts: Edward O’Connor, the plaintiff, filed a claim for damages against the Wexford Co. Co., the defendant, after sustaining injuries to his back when he slipped on a steep grassy bank at the Ferns water reservoir. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant had failed in its duty to provide a safe place and system of work under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005. The defendant alleged that the plaintiff himself was responsible for his injury as there was no need for the plaintiff to go up the steep incline to reach the manhole cover.

Held: Mr. Justice Twomey dismissed the plaintiff’s claim. The Court held that the plaintiff did not take reasonable care for his own safety by using the steep incline to access the manhole when there was a flat route a modest distance away. The Court further held that the route taken by the plaintiff for fulfilling his duty was not approved by the defendant in any way.


Damien Jedruch v Tesco Ireland Limited

Damages – Claim of contributory negligence - Trip and fall - Failure to maintain the area – Damages €65,000

Facts: The plaintiff filed a claim for damages against the defendant for sustaining injury as a result of a fall on the floor at the defendant’s premises. The plaintiff contended that the defendant was negligent in three aspects. The plaintiff also contended that the defendant had failed to maintain the area in a safe and proper condition, due to which there was a large accumulation of water and dirt on the floor. The plaintiff also contended that the tiles used in the toilet were unsafe and dangerous. The plaintiff argued that the floor area was unsafe due to the presence of a broken AJ (access junction) cover. The defendant pleaded that the AJ cover was broken at the time of the accident but denied that the tiles were unsafe or unsuitable for use in a toilet. The defendant contended that the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence in which he had exposed himself to a risk of injury that he ought to have known and failed to keep an adequate lookout.

Held: Mr. Justice Barr awarded general damages to the plaintiff along with the agreed special damages. The Court was satisfied that the defendant was negligent in failing to repair or replace the broken tile on the AJ cover. The Court also noted that the plaintiff was not guilty of contributory negligence