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HSE - Settlement without admission of liability

  • 18-11-2021 9:50pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,037 ✭✭✭

    A disclaimer before I say this: I do not begrudge any of the people the compensation they received from the state for the horrific conditions suffered under the care of the public system.

    However, nearly every day we hear case after case of people recieving huge settlements without an admission of liability from the state. The settlements seem to get higher and higher every time and don't appear to be linked to any logic, reasoning or even a plan for how the money will be used for the person's care.

    I can't help but feel public money is yet again being plundered for the sake of keeping people quiet, when it could be used more appropriately and sensibly to leave more funds available to go into improving the very system that is causing the horrific situations in the first place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,022 ✭✭✭standardg60

    I'm pretty aghast at the amounts awarded too if i'm honest. 30 million quid just seems to be an insane amount of money, i just don't see how anyone would require that amount to receive the care they need, especially when a lot of it will be state provided anyway.

    I would particularly feel for those who have disabled children through no fault of anyone who have to struggle along without recourse to compensation.

    It doesn't sit right with me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 40,289 ✭✭✭✭Gatling

    There difficult cases involving children who will need life long care and may or may not live through adulthood ,

    But I've seen the awards go from below 10 million to 30 or 40 million lately ,I'd be wondering how the figures are calculated , considering the state are picking up the full cost ,

    I don't mean disclose what's in a settlement agreement , but they could publish it's going to cost this much for full time Nurses in the home over a number of years ,and other specialist care ,

    Again its quite complex

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,337 ✭✭✭corner of hells

    I think in calculation of these awards it's based on care factoring in inflation , further procedures, physo , needs over the length of the individuals lifespan etc, so if an award is made to a 10 year old conceivably they could live up 60 or 70 years of age.

    It's also worth bearing in mind a lot of these children ,when the awards are made becomecwards of court so any award made to them is used solely in their best interest .

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,037 ✭✭✭Markus Antonius

    I missed that prime time special on the wards of court but would be interested to know what kind of conditions are attached to recieving the funds. I think in most cases, if the person can look after themselves independantly, there are no conditions

    I remember when I was in school, a boy a class ahead of me lost the use of a hand after a complication at birth. They successfully sued the hospital and were awarded 2 million in damages. This was back in the early 90s. The only condition attached was that his parents were to recieve 500k to spend on him and then he would get the rest as soon as he turned 18. I always remember (even as a child) being shocked at how much he was being awarded as he was as able bodied, if not more able-bodied most people. A great footballer too.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,037 ✭✭✭Markus Antonius

    I think a lot of the time the judges want to be seen to penalise with large rewards. They almost wear it as a badge of pride. I can't see how anyone could tot up figures to arrive at 30 million either

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,452 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Won’t be coming out of the pockets of the medical practitioner so they’ll probably only get a slap on the wrist...

    They deserve more then just care... they deserve a quality of life that won’t be just attainable by their own means considering what happened to them..

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I'm always curious if you get a large award from the State are you still entitled to State funded care or does everything have to come out of that award?

    I never understand why the State continously pays out these massive awards for birth injuries but we never hear of any change to maternity care. Surely the HSE could calculate how much they pay on birth injuries that they are liable for every year and put that extra money into maternity units would help combat birth injuries, give people better care and prevent huge pay outs. If you estimated that birth injury cases will cost the state 100m or more a year, why are maternity services not more of a priority.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,337 ✭✭✭corner of hells

    I really don't think any judge would get pleasure of being the one who gets to oversee the biggest awards being given out.

    Theses cases often drag on for years , to the detriment of everyone being involved.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,337 ✭✭✭corner of hells

    I imagine a lot of any award is probably for specialist care and support maybe not readily available here , you do often hear of children travelling abroad for surgery or treatment. The logistics of that alone must cost a small fortune.

    If you're prepared to try calculate a cost , are you not then putting a value on the individual, how would you estimate what you would pay out over a year .

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  • Registered Users Posts: 516 ✭✭✭BattleCorp1

    Back of the envelope calculations here off the top of my head but lets go with it for the moment.

    Lets look at a worst case scenario. Say a child is left brain damaged and needs 24 hour a day care.

    That could equate to three nurses working 8 hour shifts @ €50k each = €150k per annum.

    Then they need weekend cover/holiday cover etc. and that could equate to another €150k per annum. = approx €300k per year.

    That's for one year. Lets say the kid lives to be 50. That could add up to €15 million......not even taking inflation into account.

    Then they might need a specialist house or an extension built onto the house = €500k - €1,000,000.

    They might need specialist transport that has to be updated every two/four years = €50k every two to 4 years.

    Then there's specialist medical equipment etc. .............

    Then there's social/educational equipment/needs ...................

    That's more than likely how some of these figures are arrived at.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,037 ✭✭✭Markus Antonius

    I'm not denying that cases would require millions for care needed. But some of the payouts just seem incredibly excessive. Even if a million was shaved off each of these cases and put back into the very system that failed the person, it would improve the lives of many people or prevent further horrific cases.

    What might be a better approach is for the legal teams to determine an amount for pain and suffering only, say 1 million but then let the person submit expense claims for the care needed throughout their lives. It may end up being cheaper or more expensive but at least funds would be more appropriately used.

  • Registered Users Posts: 516 ✭✭✭BattleCorp1

    The problem with submitting expense claims is that you have to pay for something first, then get a receipt, and then submit your claim for reimbursement. How would an ordinary working person be able to afford to pay maybe €100k for care for their sick child and then claim it back at the end of the year.

    By the way, when a family is awarded a large sum for their sick child, they usually don't get it all at once. They usually get it in staged payments, based on the child's immediate needs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 516 ✭✭✭BattleCorp1

    While I think of it, you are actually being more generous than the law currently allows in your example above.

    General damages (compensation for pain and suffering) is capped at €550,000 here in Ireland for even the most horrific, catastrophic injury.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,037 ✭✭✭Markus Antonius

    You could have a system where the treatment sought is investigated and then the funds provided in advance. This would also save the patient from quack therapies they might otherwise fall victim to.

    I'm not saying there is a perfect solution to this but simply anything is better than giving someone 30 million+ with no knowledge of the true impact the disability will have on the person's life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,337 ✭✭✭corner of hells

    I don't think any claimant is handed the sum total of their award, most are wards of court .

    An initial interim payment is often made and then as needed payments are addressed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,686 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Have a think about it there for a while and come back with a genuine figure which you would choose to receive in return for accepting that fella's injury.

    Never mind having to go through his teenage years and early adulthood with some sort of deformity. How much would you sell your own hand for currently?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    What sickens me is the length of time it takes to settle a lot these cases. Families having to fight for years in the courts until it seems the HSE decides to settle.

    I'm curious as to not admitting liability and still paying though??? Is it that a judgement of liability against them in court would cost more or there would be harsher consequences for those involved?

  • Registered Users Posts: 43,001 ✭✭✭✭SEPT 23 1989

    We used to hear these cases reported in the media once or twice a month

    for the last month it’s been nearly everyday

    what’s going on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,916 ✭✭✭Grab All Association

    Mostly fake dubious doctors. Pay peanuts, get monkeys

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,856 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    Given that social care is generally provided by the State (although patchy), what is the money used for?