€3m for paralysed Limerick woman who claims disease from pet-store parrot caused injuries

A severely disabled young woman who claimed her injuries resulted from contracting a rare disease most probably from a parrot in a pet store has secured a further €3m payout for the next three years, writes Ann O'Loughlin.

Patricia Ingle from Limerick six years ago secured a multi-million Euro structured settlement-believed to be about €7.5 million- which at the time was the highest ever in a High Court personal injuries action. She later received further payouts for her future care including €3 million a number of years ago.

In the High Court today Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told a further payout of €3 million was to be made to meet the young woman's care needs for the next three years.

Ms Ingle, now aged 28 suffered catastrophic injuries and is paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

The young woman from Clarina Avenue, Ballinacurra, Weston, Co Limerick had sued Petmania Limited, Jetlands Retail Park, Ennis Road, Limerick; its parent company, O'Keeffes of Kilkenny Limited, Springhill, Kilkenny, and the HSE.

Patricia Ingle and family.

It was claimed she suffered her injuries after contracting chlamydia psittacosis - an airborne infection which can be tranferred from birds to humans - while working at the Petmania stores, Ennis Road, Limerick, in 2008. She also alleged her condition was negligently mismanaged by the HSE.

Both defendants denied the claims against them in proceedings which had been listed to last several weeks but settled after talks on the fourth day of the case six years ago.

During the proceedings, the court heard chlamydia psittacosis can be passed from parrots to humans through inhalation of airborne dried faeces dust or from the feathers or respiratory secretions of the birds.

It was alleged Ms Ingle contracted the disease during July/August 2008 when a Cockatiel parrot was purchased by the store for Eu20. It was stated that class of bird was implicated in the disease.

It was claimed Ms Ingle received no training in health and safety matters when working with animals while working at the Petmania store in 2007 and 1008.

On August 12th 2008, she suffered violent headaches and vomiting, attended a doctor and was sent to the Midwestern Regional Hospital where she was treated and sent home to rest. There was a slight improvment but after a very bad night on August 31st with headaches and increased vomiting she went to her GP on September 1st and was sent to hospital.

By September 3rd, she was technically voiceless and had suffered irreversible brain damage, blurred vision and could not move along with difficulty in swallowing, it was claimed.

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