The Court of Appeal in Dublin has upheld a previous High Court award of a €100,000 to a woman injured in a Cold Room in Dunnes Stores in September 2006. Pamela Phoenix was a 26 year old university student working part-time for Dunnes Stores at the time when she slipped and fell heavily injuring her back.
While her immediate prognosis from her General Practitioner was that she had recovered and was fit for work she continued to suffer persistent lower back pain which became chronic and she became depressed. She found herself unable to work and had ongoing struggles with her education at University. It was also accepted that her accident significantly exacerbated a pre-existing underlying depressive condition which added to her cycle of back pain, restrictive movements, fatigue, loss of sleep and low mood.
The Court of Appeal held that Ms Phoenix was one of the small “percentage of persons with soft tissue injuries who has been unfortunate enough to develop chronic symptoms”. The Court held that the award made by the High Court of €100,000 was fair and appropriate and they were not going to interfere with it.
Speaking about the latest decision from the Court of Appeal in the assessment of damages for personal injury claims Liam Moloney Solicitor said today “it is very important when personal injury cases are being prepared that detailed medical reports are obtained from treating doctors. Injured people also must take steps to have their injuries treated promptly because failure to do so can lead to a reduction in the award.”
He added “if someone is injured in a road traffic accident and their GP recommends that they undergo physiotherapy this should immediately be arranged. All steps should be taken to ensure prompt recovery. However in many cases people are left with chronic future problems which may require medical intervention and it is important that such treatments are costed and compensation recovered for same”.