Psychiatric patient awarded £126,000 personal injury compensation

One psychiatric patient has just been awarded in excess of a  £126,000 personal injury compensation following the serious injuries he sustained after leaping from a second storey window.

The man, remaining anonymous for legal reasons, had been underging treatment for a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia at Dublin’s St Brendan’s Hospital when the accident claim occurred.  When the man jumped from a window on the second floor of the hospital, he sustained serious injury claims, including damage to his wrist and heel alongside a fracture to his hip.  As a result of his injuries the man now cannot be without the use of a zimmer frame and a wheelchair.

The man told the court that while he had been originally voluntarily admitted to the hospital, he later found himself unhappy with the level of care he was receiving during his treatment. After becoming agitated, the man was then transferred to a secure ward on the hospital’s second floor.

The man claims that when he jumped from the second storey window, there was no supervision in the locked ward.  The man, who has a medical history of harming himself, also claims that St Brendan’s was negligent by unsuitably placing him in the secure unit and then neglecting to institute any preventative measures to discourage patients from defenestrating themselves.

While there was no admission of liability, the High Court approved a settlement in favor of the man for slightly in excess of £126,000.

After his experiences with St Brendan’s Hospital, the man has since transferred to a different facility where he is receiving his clinical long-term care.

The presiding judge, Mr Justice Quirke, decided to approve the settlement without engaging in any investigative processes.  Stating that the settlement approval would be in the best interests for the man, the judge pointed out that he might end up with a smaller compensation award if the case were to go to a full hearing.

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