RETAINED PRODUCTS OF CONCEPTION MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS*

Retained Products of Conception Claims*

 

What are retained products of conception?

Retained products of conception (RPOC) is a term used to describe placenta and/or foetal tissues that remains in the uterus following childbirth, medical termination of pregnancy or a miscarriage.  RPOC can be caused when the uterus stops contracting which means that the placenta is not delivered or is only partially delivered.  This condition is known as uterine atony.

 

As retained products of conception can cause women serious health problems, it is essential that after childbirth the midwife examines the placenta carefully to check that it is complete and that no tissue has been left behind. Where a child has been delivered by caesarean section, it is essential that in addition to checking the placenta, the obstetrician examines the womb before suturing, to ensure none of the placenta is left behind.  If the midwife or obstetrician fails to check the placenta correctly, resulting in retained product, you may have a claim in medical negligence*.

 

Types of retained placenta

  1. Placenta adherents. This is when the placenta does not spontaneously separate from the uterus within 30 minutes of the baby being born.  This is the most common type of retained placenta.
  2. Trapped placenta. This occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus, but does not spontaneously leave the uterus.
  3. Placenta accreta. This is the most dangerous type of retained placenta.  It occurs when the placenta grows into the deeper layer of the uterus and is unable to spontaneously detach.  This condition is more common where a woman has had a previous caesarean section delivery; or has had multiple pregnancies; or where there is womb scarring from a previous surgery; or where the placenta is low lying.

Placenta accreta is a very serious condition and can lead to a hysterotomy or a blood transfusion.

 

 

Risks of RPOC are greater in termination and miscarriages. 

It is much more difficult to determine whether a patient has retained products of conception in terminations and miscarriages, as the placenta and foetal tissue has already been expelled from the womb.  In the UK, RPOC are reported in 17% of first trimester miscarriages and 40% of second trimester miscarriages, as opposed to 3% at full term deliveries. If you are dealing with a miscarriage, may we offer your are sincere condolences. The HSE has further information on dealing with the aftermath of a miscarriage’s, which you may find helpful.

 

What are the Risks of Retained Products of Conception?

 

If left untreated, RPOC can cause infection and/or sepsis, which can be life threatening.  It can also have implications on fertility and can make you more susceptible to future miscarriages.

 

What are the symptoms of Retained Products of Conception?

  1. Heavy and prolonged vaginal/uterine bleeding

After childbirth, a termination or a miscarriage some bleeding is normal. However, if this bleeding is very heavy or prolonged, you should seek immediate medical attention, as this could be a sign of RPOC.  Heaving bleeding, is that which is significantly heavier than your normal period and prolonged bleeding, is bleeding that continues for longer than three weeks.

  1. Late period.

If your period does not return within six weeks of childbirth, termination or miscarriage, it may be a symptom of RPOC and you should medical attention.

  1. Fever, pelvic pain or tenderness.

These can be symptoms not only of RPOC, but can also be signs of severe infection and require immediate medical attention.  It is important to note that in certain instances RPOC can lead to sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition.

How is RCOP diagnosed

Ideally the RPOC should be spotted when the placenta is examined.  Thereafter, there are a number of tests that can be done, including physical examinations, ultrasounds or hysteroscopy.

Treatment

If spotted early RPOC can often be dealt with by medication which encourages the uterus to expel the retained products.  However, in certain cases it may require surgery under general anaesthetic.

RPOC medical negligence claims

The mere fact that you have been left with RPOC after childbirth, miscarriage or termination, does not, in and of itself mean that you have claim in medical negligence*.  This will depend primarily on two factors:

 

  1. The size of the RPOC left in the uterus; and
  2. The length of time it has taken for the condition to be diagnosed.

As with all medical negligence claims*, the matter will depend entirely on the individual facts of each case. If you are concerned about your treatment with respect to RPOC and particularly where you have been unwell, we would suggest you contact an expert medical negligence solicitor*.

 

Hanahoe & Hanahoe have over 40 years’ experience in dealing with medical negligence claims* and represents clients from all across the country.

 

 

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

 

 

Luke Hanahoe solicitor interviewed on the increase of Divorces in Ireland

Divorces in Ireland

Luke Hanahoe solicitor interviewed on the increase of Divorces in Ireland

According to the Courts Services Annual Report the number of Divorce proceedings being issued by the Courts increased by 29%. This was extensively reported in the media, particularly in the Irish Times and the Journal.  This did not come as a surprise to our family law solicitors, as our Family Law Department has seen a marked increase in the number of instructions we are receiving from clients to issue to Divorce Proceedings, since the introduction of 2019 Family Law Act. Our managing partner, Luke Hanahoe, was recently interviewed by Will Faulkner on Midland 103,  to explain why he thinks we have seen such an increase in Divorces in Ireland and why he does not think Covid is a factor yet, but that it may have in years to come.

During the interview Luke outlines his belief that societal changes, together changes in legislation, are responsible for the increase. Under the 2019 Family Law Act, the requirement for living separate and apart was reduced from 4 out of the last 5 years, to 2 out of the last 3 years. This coupled with the fact that you still have to live separate and apart for 1 year to obtain a judicial separation, has seen the number of Divorce applications increase and the number of judicial separation applications drop.

Hanahoe and Hanahoe Solicitors are an award winning law firm, with other 40 years experience advising clients on Divorces, Judicial Separations and all aspects of Family Law. With offices in Naas, Maynooth, Portlaoise and Dublin, Hanahoe and Hanahoe offer a national service and represent family law clients from across the country. If you would like to speak to one of our expert family law solicitors please feel free to contact us to arrange an appointment.

 

Sepsis and Medical Negligence Claims*

Sepsis

Sepsis and Medical Negligence Claims

 

Our medical negligence solicitors often get queries in relation to sepsis and medical negligence claims*. Sepsis is a serious life-threatening condition. In Ireland approximately 16,000 people are diagnosed with sepsis every year. While the survival rate is improving, approximately 18% of people diagnosed with sepsis still succumb to the infection. If you or a loved one has contracted sepsis and you believe it was as a result of medical negligence, it is important that you understand your legal options. This is something that one of our expert medical negligence solicitors will happily assist you with.

 

What is sepsis?

 

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by your body’s response to an infection. Our immune system protects us from illnesses and infections, sepsis occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages is own tissues. When the infection fighting process turns on the body this can cause organs to function poorly or abnormally. Sepsis develops when the chemicals in the immune system released into the bloodstream to fight infections causes inflammation throughout the entire body instead. Severe cases of sepsis can lead to septic shock. This is a medical emergency that can cause a drop in blood pressure that can lead to severe organ failure and indeed death.

 

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

 

There are three stages to sepsis—

  1. Sepsis
  2. Severe sepsis
  3. Septic shock

 

Like many medical conditions the earlier your condition is treated the greater your chances of survival. The main symptoms of sepsis are–

  1. Feeling generally very unwell.
  2. Difficulty urinating, having not urinated in 24 hours in adults or older children, or in the last 12 hours in babies or young children.
  3. Very high or low temperatures.
  4. Extreme shivering or muscle pain.
  5. Swelling, redness, pain around a cut or wound.
  6. Slurred speech or confusion.

 

Sepsis is much more prevalent in patients aged over 65, or under 1 years of age. It is also more common in patients who are pregnant or who have chronic health conditions. As well as being much more common, it is a much more serious condition for people in these categories.

 

When is sepsis the result of medical negligence?

 

Patients developing sepsis is quite common in hospitals and medical facilities. The mere development of sepsis does not in and of itself constitute medical negligence. However, if a medical practitioner fails in their duty of care to a patient, or fails to adhere to certain hygiene standards, which increases the risk of sepsis dramatically, that patient may well have a medical negligence claim.

 

Patients may contract sepsis due to poor sterilization of medical instruments, lack of hygiene – such as failure to regularly wash hands or replace surgical gloves, failure to provide proper room treatment, failure to monitor and regularly replace medical instruments such as cannulas, or by placing patients in close proximity to other patients likely to pass on infection. If a patient contracts sepsis in any of the above ways they may potentially have a medical negligence claim and they should consult with one of our expert medical negligence solicitors.

 

Failure by medical practitioner to detect the onset of sepsis may also result in the patient having a claim in medical negligence. This often happens when a GP or a healthcare worker in A&E fails to spot the signs of sepsis and make a correct diagnosis. Given the importance of early treatment and the speed at which sepsis can progress, any delay in diagnosis can make a huge difference in the manner which patient recovers or whether they recover at all.


Can I bring a medical negligence claim as a result of contracting sepsis?

 

In order to answer this question properly you would need to consult with one of our expert medical negligence solicitors. As a general rule, to bring a successful medical negligence claim you have to be able to prove that —

  1. That the care you received was below an acceptable standard
  2. That the negligent failure to provide this standard of care resulted in you contracting sepsis.

 

*In sepsis medical negligence claims, hygiene standards are generally the most important factor when there is reasonable delay in the development of symptoms. If either of these resulted in you contracting sepsis or resulted in the worsening of your condition you may have a potential medical negligence compensation claim.

 

How do I make a medical negligence claim?

 

To discuss this in greater detail you should contact one of our expert medical negligence solicitors. It is important to note that before bringing a medical negligence claim, we must first obtain an expert medical opinion from a suitable qualified medical practitioner stating that the care you received was below an appropriate standard and as such was negligent. The expert opinion will also have to prove causation, i.e., that the hospital or doctor’s negligence resulted in you either contracting sepsis, or your condition significantly worsening.

 

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    Hanahoe and Hanahoe are delighted to Open Portlaoise Solicitors Office

    Portlaoise Solicitors Office

     

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe are continuing to grow and expand their practice by opening up their fourth office, with the unveiling of their Portlaoise solicitor’s office. Our new Portlaoise solicitor’s office is located in Clonminam Business Park, Unit 5 Vision 85, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Considered the crossroads of Ireland, Portlaoise is one of Ireland’s fastest growing towns and is the perfect location for Hanahoe and Hanahoe to open the fourth branch of their award-winning solicitors’ practice, already having branches in Naas, Maynooth and Dublin.

    What can Hanahoe and Hanahoes can offer to the Portlaoise?

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe are an award-winning solicitors firm, who have been in practice for over 40 years. We have five main areas of expertise:

    1. Medical Negligence Claims* – Headed by managing partner Luke Hanahoe, Hanahoe and Hanahoe have extensive experience in medical negligence law. We advise clients from across the country on medical negligence claims. We already have a large Portlaoise medical negligence solicitors’ practice, so it seem natural to set up an office in the town. If you would like advice on a medical negligence matter please do not hesitate to contact one of our expert medical negligence solicitors.
    2. Personal Injuries Claims* – Every year Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitor’s advice hundreds of clients from across the country on all manner of personal injuries claims. We already have a large Portlaoise personal injury solicitors practice, so the natural progression was to set up a Portlaoise solicitors office.
    3. Divorce/Separation and Family Law – Our Family Law department in the fastest growing area of our practice. We now advice so many clients from the Portlaoise area on Divorce/Separation and Family Law issues generally, that setting up a Portlaoise solicitors office became essential.
    4. Conveyancing/Property and Commercial Law – Our Conveyancing department acts for many clients from Portlaoise, Portarlington and across Laois. We hope to expand our Portlaoise and Laois conveyancing and property practice, with the opening of our Portlaoise Solicitors Office.
    5. Wills and Probate – While we have a large Wills and Probate Solicitors Practice in Kildare and Dublin, it does not extend into Laois. By opening up our Portlaoise solicitors practice we hope to expand our Wills and Probate solicitors’ practice.

     

    Award Winning Solicitors

    Increasing our Portlaoise Solicitors Client Base.

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitors have always acted for a large number of Portlaoise and Laois based clients, however this has increased dramatically over the last number of years. We believe this is due to a variety of factors, must particularly, the growth of Portlaoise Town, Zoom, our reputation for providing an excellent service and our expertise.

    The Growth of Portlaoise Town

    The growth of Portlaoise town over the last number of years has been staggering. According to the 2016 census, the town’s population increased by 9.5% to 22,050, which was well above the national average of 3.8%. Such growth has inevitably seen an increase in demand for expert solicitors who can advise client in the Portlaoise area.

    Zoom

    Zoom has without doubt increased our ability to provide clients with expert legal advice. As a firm we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the latest legal technologies and as such we were using zoom long before the pandemic. While our solicitor’s office are in Naas, Dublin, Maynooth and now Portlaoise, we advise clients from across the country, particularly in areas of Medical Negligence Claims, Personal Injury Claims, Divorces and Probate Litigation. Zoom and other such legal technologies have allowed us do this more effectively. However, sometimes you need to meet clients face-to-face, particularly in areas such as complex medical negligence claims. This is why we are establishing a Portlaoise solicitors office.

    Our Reputation

    Like any growing business, Hanahoe and Hanahoe’s expansion has been based primarily on its reputation. This can be seen by the excellent reviews we have on goggle. We believe that the best source of new business is in your cabinets.  If you do a good job for your clients, they will instruct you again or indeed introduce you to new clients. We work exceptionally hard on client care and thankfully this is paying dividends. We have a really good reputation for providing expert legal advice, particularly in the areas of litigation and property law. Our excellent reputation was also evidenced by the fact that we have twice won Leinster Law Firm of the Year at the Irish Law Awards. This was a great honour. To win the award once was special, but to win it two years running was incredible. It was a testament to all the hard work of our team at Hanahoe and Hanahoe. Winning such a prestigious award  has certainly helped the firm grow. It undoubtedly increased our profile and highlighted the expert legal advice we have been providing our clients for the last 40 years.

     

    Personal Injury Solicitors

    Our Portlaoise Solicitors Office

    Our New Portlaoise Solicitors offices are based at the Clonminam Business Park, Unit 5 Vision 85, Portlaoise, Co. Laois R32F5T6 . We chose this location as it is a modern office building, which is easily accessible from Portlaoise, Portarlington and Tullow.

    Address: Clonminam Business Park, Unit 5 Vision 85, Portlaoise, Co. Laois R32F5T6

    Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00am – 5:30pm

    Maynooth Tel No: 01 5255637

    E-mail: info@hanahoeandhanahoe.com

    Request a Call Back

    *In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

     

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe open Maynooth Solicitors office

    Personal Injury Solicitors Main Office

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe are delighted to have opened their third office, with the unveiling of their Maynooth solicitor’s office. Managing Partner Luke Hanahoe says that Maynooth is the perfect location for the third branch of the award-winning solicitors’ firms, who already have branches in Naas and Dublin.

    “Maynooth is a vibrant expanding town, which we believe has room for a modern progressive solicitors practice like Hanahoe and Hanahoe. Maynooth is home to the National University of Ireland with 8,400 students attending the university. Not to mention numerous multinationals based in the proximity or located on the campus of Maynooth, including Schneider Electric, Capita, Intel, Hewlett Packard and Wyeth.”

    We have always considered ourselves as Maynooth solicitors

    “Hanahoe and Hanahoe always had large a Maynooth client base. While we opened our original office in Naas over 40 years ago, we never saw ourselves exclusively as Naas Solicitors. Over the last four decades we have been providing clients throughout Kildare with expert legal advice. A large portion of those clients have been from Maynooth, so in that respect we have always considered ourselves Maynooth solicitors”

    Increasing our Maynooth Solicitors Client Base.

    While, Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitors have always acted for a large number of Maynooth based clients, this has increased dramatically over the last number of years. Luke believes this is down to a number of factors. ‘In the last three years the number of clients we are receiving instructions from in North Kildare and particularly from Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip have markedly increased.

    Zoom

    ‘Zoom has certainly increased our ability to provide clients with expert legal advice. As a firm we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the latest legal technologies and as such we were using zoom long before the pandemic. While our solicitor’s office are in Naas, Dublin and now Maynooth, we advise clients from across the country, particularly in areas of Medical Negligence Claims, Personal Injury Claims, Divorces and Probate Litigation. Zoom and other such legal technologies have allowed us do this more effectively. However, sometimes you cannot beat a face-to-face meeting and this is why we are establishing a Maynooth solicitors office.

    Kildare Chamber of Commerce

    ‘Hanahoe and Hanahoe are heavily involved in Kildare Chamber of Commerce, and in fact I have been president of County Kildare Chamber for the last 2 years.’ County Kildare Chamber is an incredible organisation. It represent 400 businesses throughout Kildare who employ over 38,000 people across the county. County Kildare Chamber is the largest business organisation in the mid-east region of Ireland. Our firms involvement with the Chamber over the last 11 years and particularly since Luke been president, has undoubtedly increased the profile of our solicitors’ practice in Maynooth, Celbridge, Leixlip and indeed the entire of Kildare.’

    Leinster Law Firm of The Year

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe have twice won Leinster Law Firm of the Year at the Irish Law Awards. ‘This was a great honour. To win the award once was special, but to win it two years running was incredible. It was a testament to all the hard work of our team at Hanahoe and Hanahoe. Winning the award certainly helped the firm grow. It undoubtedly increased our profile and highlighted expert legal advice we have been providing our clients for the last 40 years.’

    The best source of new business is sitting in your cabinets.

    As with any industry, solicitors are a referral-based business. ‘I always say that your best source of new business is sitting in your cabinets. If you do a good job for your clients, they will instruct you again or indeed introduce you to new clients. We work exceptionally hard on client care and thankfully this is paying dividends. We have a really good reputation for providing expert legal advice, particularly in the areas of litigation and property law. This has seen a massive increase in client instructing us from Maynooth, Celbridge, Leixlip and the surrounding areas. It has now got to the stage that clients from these area’s represent such a portion of our business that we simply had to open a Maynooth Solicitors Practice.’

    Specialist Medical Negligence, Personal Injuries, Divorce and Probate Litigation Solicitors.

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe are a fully serviced law firm, however they have a particular expertise in litigation. Over the year we have built up a very large Medical Negligence and Personal Injuries practice. We have significant experience in Medical Negligence Claims and Personal Injuries Claims, and we would confidently consider ourselves one of the best medical negligence and personal injury solicitors in the country. We also have significant expertise in Family and Divorce and in Probate Litigation.

    Our Maynooth Solicitors Office

    Our New Maynooth Solicitors offices are based at the Digital Office Centre, Block B, Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth, Co Kildare. We chose this location as it is a modern office building, which is easily accessible from Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip.

    Address: Digital Office Centre, Block B, Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth, Co Kildare, W23 W5X7

    Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00am – 5:30pm

    Maynooth Tel No: 01 5255637

    E-mail: info@hanahoeandhanahoe.com

    *In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. Hanahoe and

    Curragh Camp Sexual Abuse Allegations

    Curragh Camp - sexual abuse claims

    Curragh Camp Sexual Abuse Allegations

    News of Curragh Camp sexual abuse allegations are yet another reminder of the historical failures of the institutions of the state to deal with claims of sexual abuse A number of former members of the Defence Forces have raised concerns about how allegations of sexual abuse and assault were handled.

    Curragh Camp Whistleblower

    These allegations were first brought to light when Kildare South TD, Patricia Ryan of Sinn Fein, alleged that a whistleblower had contacted the Defence Minister, Simon Coveney. Ms Ryan called for the establishment of an inquiry in to “allegations of systemic sexual abuse and the covering up of sexual abuse in the Curragh Camp. ” In answer to this, Minister Coveney urged any member of the Defence Forces, with information of alleged sexual assault or abuse to contact the Gardai.   Since then a whistleblower under the pseudonym ‘Michael’, joined Clem Ryan on KFM, asking the Justice Minister to apologise for ‘the system failures to protect personnel’ and called on the Minster to set up a redress scheme.

    Now, Mr Anthony O’Brien, a 64 year old former sergeant, who spent over 20 years in the defence forcers has come forward, and his accounts have been detailed in both the Irish Times. Since may of last year, Mr O’Brien has been gathering accounts from other veterans, of historical sexual abuse in the curragh camp, over a number of decades. The allegations relate to sexual abuse and assaults of both Male and Female members of the military, as well as children living in the residential area of the curragh camp.   Mr O’Brien has accused the Defence Forces of failing to act, on allegations of sexual abuse by Defence Forces personnel in the past and has called for a public inquiry and a redress scheme for the victims.

    Was there Systematic Sexual Abuse?

    ?An Garda Siochana say that officers from the National Protective Service Bureau, have met with Mr O’Brien since he first made his allegations in May of this year. According they Gardai they are not treating these allegations of evidence of a systemic culture of widespread sexual abuse, warranting a single large investigation. While the Gardai believe that the complaints are largely credible, they feel they are more a reflection of how claims of sexual abuse were dealt within Irish Society, rather that a culture innate to the defence forces. This was echoed by Minister Simon Convey who said there was no evidence of systematic or seismic sexual abuse in the armed forced. This is claim which was disputed by Tom Coleman of the Journal.ie, when he was interviewed this morning by Pat Kenny on News Talk.

    Gardai Investigation

    An Garda Siochana, say that they assessed the allegations put forward by the Mr O’Brein. They say that some have already been investigated and in some cases prosecutions have previously be brought. In other case the perpetrators have passed away.  A spokesman for An Garda Síochána stated that they had ‘both reviewed and formally investigated a number of individual complaints in the past,” He also appealed for any victims of sexual abuse to come forward to the Garda and make a report. “Irrespective of when that abuse occurred, anyone doing so will be dealt with in a confidential and sensitive manner.”

    Defence Forces reaction to claims of sexual abuse

     

    The Defence Forces have reiterated their commitment to providing their personnel with a save place to work. A spokesperson for the Defence Forces stated  “Óglaigh na hÉireann are a values-based organisation and we take the safety and well being of our personnel extremely seriously and we are committed to ensuring that all personnel are provided with a safe working environment as per the dignity charter for the Defence Forces.

    “In response to the cases outlined in your query, Óglaigh na hÉireann urges anyone with information of alleged criminality to present that information to an Garda Síochána.

    “There are a number of internal Defence Forces procedures available to serving personnel who seek to make a complaint. All members are regularly briefed and aware of the mechanisms available to them should they wish to make a complaint.”

    Harrowing Allegations Published on the Journal.ie

    Today, Orla Ryan of the journal.ie published the harrowing accounts of James Daly and Michael* from the Air Crops. Both gave a candid and brave account of their experiences in the arm forces, with Mr Daly stating that he had to ‘sleep with one eye open’ and comparing the army to the church. ‘“A lot of cases are swept underneath the carpet, files go missing a lot. The Army is like the Church – they do everything internally’

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Both Mr Daly and Michael*  detailed how they now suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety as a result of their experiences in the defence forces.  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. It is common for victims of sexual abuse to suffer from PTSB. Often victims of post traumatic stress can experience nightmares or intrusive thoughts or memories. They might feel as though they are always in danger or need to always be on guard, and may find in difficult to trust people or build relationship. PTSB can manifest itself in people suffering from anxiety, depression, eat disorders, substance abuse and other mental health conditions.

     

    What should you do if you have been the victim of sexual abuse.

     

    We would recommend the you immediately contact the Gardai National Protective Service Bureau on 01 6663430. If you need help, support is available and you can contact any of the below helplines, alternatively you can contact your GP

     

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe – We can Help

    If you, or a loved one wants to talk to a solicitor about your experience we can assist you.  Victims of sexual abuse may be able to bring civil sexual abuse. All enquires will be dealt with sensitively and in the strictest confidence. We have over 40 years litigation experience and over 25 years’ experience in bring sexual abuse claims on behave of survivors. Not only do we do we have extensive experience in this area, but we understand the sensitive and compassionate manner in which these sexual abuse claims need to be dealt with. Hanahoe and Hanahoe are an award-winning law firm, having twice been named Leinster Law Firm of the Year at the Irish Law Awards..

    To contact us please call our Naas office on 045897784 or Dublin office on 015255637

    An independent review has been commissioned into the handling of historical child sex abuse allegations in St John Ambulance’.

    St John Ambulance

     

    The Irish Times are reporting that ‘an independent review has been commissioned into the handling of historical child sex abuse allegations in St John Ambulance’. This is yet another report of historical failures of our institutions to protect children that were in trusted in their care. In the last number of weeks, we have seen the first sets of proceedings being issued with respect to the Mother and Baby Homes, the conviction of John McClean, Belvedre College issuing a statement about Fr Joseph Marmion SJ and Simon Coveney issuing a statement about alleged sexual abuse in the Curragh Camp.

    The Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman, has welcomed an independent review into the management of historical child sexual abuse allegations at St John Ambulance. It is understood that St John Ambulance have asked Roderic O’Gorma, an internationally recognised expert in child protection, to undertake an independent review. The report is to focus on how St John Ambulances handled of past allegations of child sexual abuse relating to one volunteer. Tulsa have already deemed the allegations of abuse made against this individual founded.

    According to the Irish Times, the abuser, who is now in his 80s, ‘was a senior figure in the Old Kilmainham division, and a member of the organisation from the 1950s until at least 2000, leaving under pressure to resign.’ The Irish times further reports that ‘Two further alleged victims have since come forward claiming they were also sexually abused as children by the same man. Two of the five survivors, who spoke to The Irish Times, said they had reported the alleged abuse to other senior figures in the voluntary paramedic organisation at the time.

     

    We Can Help

    If you, or a loved one has been affected by historical sexual abuse, we can help you. We have over 25 years’ experience in bring sexual abuse claims on behave of survivors. Not only do we do we have extensive experience in this area, but we understand the sensitive and compassionate manner in which these sexual abuse claims need to be dealt with.

    We understand how important and Hanahoe and Hanahoe are an award-winning law firm, having twice been named Leinster Law Firm of the Year at the Irish Law Awards. We have over 40 years’ experience litigation experience and over 25 years-experience in dealing with sexual abuse claims

    LOW IMPACT CAR ACCIDENTS & PERSONAL INJURIES

    Car Crash Personal Injury test Dummy

    There is a myth being perpetuated by the insurance industry and certain sections of the media, that low impact car crashes cannot result in the occupants sustaining personal injuries*.  Our specialist personal injury solicitors* are continually seeing this myth being used by both insurers and defence solicitors, in the defence of car accident personal injury claims*.  However, the claims of the insurance industry ignores the voluminous clinical evidence, medical research and indeed engineering research on low impact car crashes and the personal injuries* that can occur, even in the absence of any significant vehicle damage.  Our personal injury solicitors* find that when the scientific and medical evidence is put to the insurance company, or indeed their solicitors, that very often they are willing to enter into settlement negotiations, as opposed to run their arguments before the Court.

     

    IGNORING THE CREDIBLE RESEARCH OR SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS

     

    One cannot rationally deny the likelihood of an occupant sustaining personal injuries in a motor traffic accident*, based on the amount of vehicle damage alone.  To do so ignores all the credible evidence and the scientific research.  As far as I can see, the low impact defence is based on the theory that 1) anyone who sustains personal injuries* in a low impact car crash is a fraudster and that 2) there is no such thing as whiplash* or soft tissue injuries*.  I have yet to see any scientific or medical evidence that supports such a claim.

     

    There are many people who are in minor car accidents* who do not sustain personal injuries*.  The vast majority of these do not bring personal injury claims* and all the statistics, be it from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, the Road Safety Authority or the Court Services bear this out.  Of course, there is a fraction of people who do bring fraudulent claims and some of these have been in minor impact car crashes*.  Needless to say, our personal injury solicitors* will have nothing to do with anyone who we deem to be bringing a suspicious or fraudulent claim, or indeed whom we do not believe has sustained personal injuries*.  But the vast majority of people who bring personal injury compensation claims* as a result of low impact car accidents*, have impact been injured and are entitled to be properly compensated for their injuries.

     

    BATTERMAN & BATTERMAN RESEARCH ON MINOR IMPACT CAR CRASHES AND PERSONAL INJURIES*

     

    In 2002 Batterman & Batterman Accident Re-Constructionists, published their report Delta-V Spinal Trauma and the Myth of Minimal Damage Accident in the Journal for Whiplash and Related Disorders.  The studies show that “in a no damage accident the struck, or target vehicle, can obtain a delta-V of 10 mph or greater, which is well within the injury producing range”.  Furthermore, the paper scientifically dispels the myth that a minimal or no damage vehicle collision implies that the delta-V of the target vehicle has to be 5 mph or less.  For those interested delta-V is the long-standing metric for crash severity.

     

    Medical evidence regarding low impact car accidents and personal injuries*

     

    The medical evidence also dispels the notion that low impact car accidents* cannot cause personal injuries*.  The study published in the Medical Journal Patient’s Safety in Surgery 2009 authored by German orthopaedic surgeons, concluded that “in real life accidents, cervical spine injuries may occur at low delta-V values, while it is possible to escape unscathed from collisions with high delta-V values.”  They further state in relation to whiplash* type injuries, that “it is impossible to make meaningful statements about the existence of WAD (Whiplash Associated Disorders) solely on the assessment of the property damage value.  This finding might be of importance for surgeon’s assessment and patient safety after a car accident.  Diagnostic and therapeutic management should not be based solely on information related to trauma impact”.

     

    Other studies such as Risk Factors for Prolonged Disability after Whiplash Injury published on the 15th of February 2005 indicated that in relation to whiplash* type injuries caused in motor traffic accidents* “the degree of damage of the vehicle was not a predictor of the outcome”.  Similar studies in relation to whiplash type injuries* were published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry in August 2005 which stated “there is little evidence that the severity of the impact predicts the early onset of neck pain or pain at one year”.  Sturzenegger M, Radanov BP and Di Stefano G, in their study in relation to whiplash type injuries* sustained in motor traffic accidents* concluded:-  attempts to correlate outcome, with the extent of damage to the involved cars and their speed, has precisely shown to be of little prognostic value”.

     

    A VARIETY OF FACTORS CAN RESULT IN PERSONAL INJURIES*

     

    A case report called Whiplash Associated Disorder from a Low-Velocity Bumper Car Collision published in the History, Evaluation, and Surgery; Spine: Volume 29, stated that you had to take into account a myriad of factors, when considering whether someone could sustain personal injuries* in a low impact car accident.  These factors include “the occupant’s awareness or head position in the colliding vehicle, defines the risk of neck injury to passengers in colliding vehicles.  One can only conclude that the threshold of injury is a complex dynamic relying on velocity, force, head position, head torso angles, restraint placement, anticipation, tissue elasticity, tissue strength and any multitude of variables that evade accurate determination.”

     

    Essentially, it says that force of the accident, is only one factor, in determining whether someone can sustain personal injuries in a minor motor traffic accident.  You have to take into account whether the occupant of the vehicle was anticipating the accident, how their head was positioned, how their torso was angled, their individual tissue strength to name just a number of factors.

     

    PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS* FOR LOW IMPACT CAR CRASHES

     

    According to Maria Krafft Anders Kullgren, in their study Influence of Crash Severity on various Whiplash Injuries Symptoms, they state that the risk of whiplash/soft tissue personal injuries*, in minor vehicle collisions of a velocity of approximately 8 kph/5 mph, saw that approximately 20% of occupants still had whiplash type symptoms after one month.  In our 40 years’ experience as personal injury lawyers, these figures would seem to correlate with the percentage of clients that instruct us to bring personal injury claims*.

     

    Expert Personal Injury and Car Accidents Claims* Solicitors

     

    Hanahoe & Hanahoe, Solicitors are award winning personal injury solicitors. We have over 40 years’ experience in bringing personal injury and car accident claims*.  If you have been in a car accident and have sustained a whiplash type injury or indeed any type of injury, one of our expert personal injury solicitors will be happy to advice you. Please contact us   

    on 045 897784 (Naas) or  01 5255637 (Dublin) or @ info@hanahoeandhanahoe.com

     

    *In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

     

     

     

    Hanahoe And Hanahoe’s Medical Negligence Solicitors Welcome New Recommendations On The Management Of Medical Negligence Claims*

    Medical Negligence Claims

    New Report on Medical Negligence Claims*

     

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe’s team of medical negligence solicitors, welcome the findings of a new report on medial negligence claims* and their management.  The Expert Group Report to Review the Law of Torts and the Current Systems for the Management of Clinical Negligence Claims chaired by Mr Justice Charles Meenan, published their report on the 16th December 2020. Our team of medical negligence solicitors have been eagerly awaiting the outcome of this report. We believe the reports findings will have a positive impact in allowing the Courts deal with medical negligence claims* proactively and compassionately.

    The Report can be accessed here, and details 17 recommendations which we summarize as follows:

    • Actions, practices and procedures must be introduced to reflect that medical negligence claims* involve issues not arising in other personal injury claims*;
    • Pre-action protocols are to be implemented, together with the commencement of the provision extending the Statute of Limitations period for medical negligence claims* from two years to three years;
    • Procedures allowing for the case management of medical negligence claims* are to be implemented;
    • That there should be a dedicated list in the High Court to deal with the management and hearing of medical negligence claims*;
    • That medical records, when requested, are provided in a timely way and in a legible form;
    • That failure to comply with the requirements of pre-action protocols should be penalized with costs or, in cases of persistent non-compliance, an order to dismiss the claim or defence;
    • The amending of Section. 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 is recommended in order to provide for sanctions where a defendant files a defence containing matters in respect of which there is no supportive expert report.
    • The Expert Group does not recommend the introduction of a no-fault system to deal with certain clinical negligence claims*;
    • The establishment of a compensation scheme to deal with certain vaccine damage medical negligence claims*;
    • The Expert Group does not recommend the establishment of a Medical Injuries Assessment Board (MIAB), similar to that of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, which was established to deal with personal injury claims*.
    • That a system for the “restoration of trust”, as provided for in Chapter 5 of the CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019 be made available for other clinical negligence claims*;
    • Ex gratia payment schemes only have limited application;
    • That care packages provided by the HSE be funded so as to reduce the difference between what the HSE can offer and what a court would award;
    • That the disclosure of certain patient safety incidents be made mandatory;
    • That failure to make a disclosure, when required by law to do so, should be considered to be either professional misconduct or poor professional performance by the healthcare provider involved, and should be the subject of an inquiry by the relevant professional body;
    • It should be a criminal offence for a healthcare provider: – (i) to deliberately fail to make a disclosure of a serious reportable patient safety incident when required by law to do so; (ii) to alter medical records with the intent to mislead or deceive;
    • That the provisions of the Health Act 2007 be amended so as to enable HIQA to carry out investigations other than those currently provided for.

    Extension of the Statute in Medical Negligence Claims* and Pre-action protocols

    One of the major findings of the report is the need to establish pre-action protocols in medical negligence case*. This, together with the extension of time limits under the statute of limitations would certainly be welcomed by our medical negligence solicitors*.  Efficient and speedy reforms are now needed to bring these recommendations to fruition, in order to achieve additional effectiveness in the management of complex medical negligence claims. The protocols encourage co-operation and provide for the narrowing of issues in dispute between the parties. However, in order for the protocols to work effectively, it is also important for the parties to be compelled to address the issue of quantum in a meaningful way at the pre-action stage which in turn will allow for realistic offers of settlement much earlier in the life of the claim.

    The Admission of Witness Statements in Medical Negligence Claims*

    The Report also recommends the provision of witness statements in medical negligence claims*. This will avoid claimants having to give evidence of a personal or intimate nature in open court. The Report posits that the adversarial aspect of a court hearing could be confined to resolving disputes between suitably qualified experts. This practice is already accepted in a number of common law jurisdictions, where they can play a crucial role in a case. The provision of witness statements allows advance notice of the evidence to be relied on at a clinical negligence claim* trial, resulting in better prepared experts.

    The Report suggests that the use of witness statements could potentially remove the need for the claimant to give evidence in court unless he or she wishes to do so, but it is more likely that such statements would only replace the evidence-in-chief of the witness. The medical negligence lawyers for  each party would still to retain the right to cross-examine their opponent’s witness, in order to “test” the cogency of the evidence and the witness’s credibility. In such circumstances, the claimant would still have to submit to cross-examination on his or her evidence.

    Case management of Medical Negligence Claims

    The Expert Group recommended the implementation of the excellent case management proposals set out in the report of the Working Group on Medical Negligence and Periodic Payments (Module 3) which, the Expert Group say, would considerably improve the current system to the benefit of the litigants involved. However, The Expert Group also notes that, “whilst proposed rules have been circulated for the implementation of pretrial protocols and a Statutory Instrument is being drafted, there has been no such progress in the introduction of case management”.

    Case management is an essential tool for medical negligence solicitors and lawyers for the purposes of controlling lengthy, complex and potentially unwieldy medical negligence, including GP negligence or hospital negligence claims.

    Hanahoe and Hanahoe solicitors are an award-winning solicitors firm, with over 40 years’ experience in dealing with complex medical negligence claims*. If you have a query about a possible medical negligence claim*, please contact our office to speak with one of our medical negligence solicitors* today.

     

    *In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

    COVID-19 Update

    Would like to assure all our existing and new clients that our offices will remain open.

    We are facilitating consultations with all existing and new clients by telephone or video conferencing.

    We are also of course available by email.

    To minimise the risk of Covid-19 and to ensure the safety of both our staff and our clients we will not be facilitating person to person consultations in our offices, except in extremely urgent circumstances, however other than this precaution, we will be operating as usual.

    Stay Safe.