Woman hit by mobility scooter in hospital corridor settles damages action

Maureen Burke (78) said incident involving staff member affected her mobility and quality of life

A woman attending a hospital outpatient department for a back injury assessment was knocked down in a corridor by a mobility scooter driven by a member of staff, the High Court heard.

Maureen Burke (78), of Lismoy, Newtownforbes, Co Longford, settled her action for damages on Friday against the HSE arising out of the accident at Tullamore Hospital on September 18th, 2019.

Her hip was fractured in the incident and Ms Burke, who had led an independent life prior to it, had to use a Zimmer frame and crutches when she was discharged to her daughter’s home after 13 days in hospital, it was claimed.

Ms Burke sued the HSE and Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds was told by Richard Kean SC, with Esther Earley BL, instructed by Michele Beirne of Beirne Gannon & Co Solicitors, that the matter had been settled. Liability was accepted.

In her action, Ms Burke claimed she was attending outpatients in Tullamore for assessment of a back injury and was walking back from a CT scan along a corridor outside the orthopaedic department.

She claimed she was hit by a mobility scooter driven by a member of staff. She was knocked to the floor and suffered the fracture to her hip. She alleged the scooter was driven in an unsafe and dangerous manner and the driver failed to keep a proper lookout, among other things.

It was also claimed that Ms Burke did not require any walking aids before the incident but it had adversely affected all aspects of her quality of life and resulted in loss of social contact. She continues to use a walking aid and is very nervous in case she has another fall, it was claimed.

Welcoming the settlement and wishing Ms Burke well, Ms Justice Reynolds said it was “most unfortunate the lady was in hospital for one injury and picked up a second injury”.