Tralee court awards girl with delayed diagnosis compensation of €45,000

A girl whose dislocated elbow was not diagnosed until her third visit to University Hospital Kerry has been awarded €45,000 in compensation.

Tralee Circuit Court heard the six-year-old girl was playing on a trampoline with her brother in April 2011 when she fell and injured her left arm.

The court heard the girl was initially taken to South Doc where it was suspected she had a fracture; she was later brought to University Hospital Kerry for xrays; nerve damage was diagnosed but no fracture.

The girl later returned to the hospital when a fracture was diagnosed and a cast was put on.

During a third visit on May 18th dislocation of the elbow was diagnosed.

Barrister Katie O’Connell told the court that the application of a cast to a dislocation was incorrect and could lead to arthritis in later life.

In June, the girl was seen in Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she had surgery involving the stitching of ligaments back onto the bone; due to being double jointed the girl has made a good recovery but has been left with a scar.

Ms O’Connell said the HSE, which admitted liability, had put forward a compensation offer of €35,000 on the basis the girl would have needed surgery anyway.

Ms O’Connell claimed the family had been informed by a doctor that the majority of these injuries can be dealt with by manipulation, if caught in time.

Ms O’Connell said the girl had to visit Temple Street up to ten times.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said if the case had gone to a hearing it would wind up in a battle royale between medical experts and the focus on the girl would be lost.

He refused the HSE offer saying he didn’t think it is enough.

Judge O’Donnell approved compensation of €45,000 and €3,000 for special damages.

Meanwhile, several other compensation cases involving children also came before Tralee Circuit Court.

Judge Tom O’Donnell approved some offers with the remainder being refused.

A girl who was involved in a serious car accident on the Limerick Bypass in 2013 was awarded €29,000.

€15,000 in compensation was approved for a child who was in a car that was reversed into by another car in Manor West carpark in 2016.

A three-and-a-half boy who was knocked unconscious after colliding with a car door in Killarney was given over €30,000 in compensation.

Judge O’Donnell formally refused compensation offers from the Personal Injuries Board totalling almost €33,000 for a sister and brother who suffered injuries when the car they were travelling in was hit from behind by another car in May 2013.

The children were 11 and 9 years old at the time.

Another compensation offer of €24,000 for a boy left with physical and pyschological injuries after a fall was also formally refused.