Pet shop

Ex-pet shop worker awarded extra €1m for contracting rare disease – The Irish Times

A woman who was severely disabled after allegedly contracting a rare disease from a pet shop parrot 14 years ago has won an additional €1million payout from the High Court.

Patricia Ingle, from Co Limerick, was 19 when she suffered catastrophic injuries after allegedly contracting chlamydial psittacosis – an airborne infection which can be passed from birds to humans – while working at the Petmania store, Ennis Road , Limerick.

The latest interim payment which was approved by the High Court on Wednesday brings the total amount paid to Ms Ingle in the settlement of her legal action to €16.5 million.

His lawyer, Oonah McCrann SC, told Judge Paul Coffey that six interim payments had been made so far in the case.

Ms Ingle’s case will return to court in July next year when her future care needs are assessed.

In 2011, Ms Ingle secured a multimillion-euro structured settlement – ​​believed to be around €7.5million – which, at the time, was the highest ever recorded in a personal injury claim before the High Court. She then received further payments for her future care, including €3million several years ago.

Ms Ingle, now 34, suffered catastrophic injuries and is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.

Of Clarina Avenue, Ballinacurra, Weston, Co Limerick, she had sued Petmania Limited, Jetlands Retail Park, Ennis Road, Limerick; its parent company, O’Keeffes of Kilkenny Limited, Springhill, Kilkenny and the HSE.

It was claimed she suffered her injuries after contracting chlamydial psittacosis in 2008. She also alleged her condition was negligently mishandled by the HSE.

Both defendants denied the allegations against them in proceedings that were expected to last several weeks, but were settled after talks on the fourth day of the case.

During the proceedings, the court heard that chlamydia psittacosis can be transmitted from parrots to humans by inhaling dust from airborne dried faeces or feathers or respiratory secretions from birds.

It was alleged that Ms Ingle contracted the disease in July/August 2008 when a Cockatiel parrot was purchased by the store for €20. The bird class has been indicated to be involved in the disease.

It has been claimed Ms Ingle received no health and safety training when working with animals while working at the Petmania store in 2007 and 2008.

On August 12, 2008, she suffered severe headaches and vomiting, sought medical attention, and was sent to Midwest Regional Hospital where she was treated and discharged home to rest.

There was a slight improvement but after a very bad night on 31st August with increased headaches and vomiting, she went to see her GP on 1st September and was sent to hospital.

On September 3, she was technically speechless and had suffered irreversible brain damage, blurred vision and could not move with difficulty swallowing, it was claimed.

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