Woman settles case against Navy over injuries

A woman brought a case against the Navy to the High Court arising out of injuries she suffered during a simulation of an emergency at sea.

Amy Deady, aged 28, of Midleton, Co Cork, said at the High Court sitting in Cork that the sea survival exercise took place at the National Maritime College on January 29, 2013.

Ms Deady began to give her direct evidence yesterday morning. By the afternoon there were discussions between the legal parties and the case settled out of court on undisclosed terms.

Tom Creed, for Ms Deady, had attributed her shoulder injury to the life jacket she was using on the day. He said the simulated stormy water conditions forced her arm back as she was trying to adjust a strap on the jacket. He said she dislocated her shoulder and that by the time the exercise was over, the shoulder had returned into its correct position.

Mr Creed said: “The plaintiff was not a good candidate for this type of accident. When subsequently examined it was found that she had hyper-mobility in many of her joints. If she was not hyper-mobile, she may not have suffered this injury.”

Mr Creed said the Navy maintained it did nothing wrong. “They maintain there was no complaint at the time of the exercise.”

Ms Deady said it was subsequent to the exercise that she felt unable to continue with a workout that included running and push-ups. She said it was because of her injury that she was discharged from the Navy. The defence was that not everyone was being recruited and she would have been discharged irrespective of her medical condition, said Mr Creed.

Ms Deady testified that the exercise in the water was a simulation of abandoning a capsizing ship in stormy conditions. Wind turbines were used, the water was made turbulent, and rain and lighting were also simulated.

Ms Deady said she had to dive several times from the diving platform in the exercise related to a capsized ship. She said there was a problem with her life jacket and she had to reach behind herself to adjust a splashguard so that she could see properly.

“My shoulder came out of place. We were told to put out two hands on your head if you were in difficulty and we would be assisted.

“My left arm was dislocated. I was banging my head with my right hand. I could not get my other hand up. Nobody was jumping in to help me. Panic was setting in. Everyone else was forming a circle (the protocol for this emergency). Someone dragged me in to the circle. I don’t know who it was.

“They pulled me by the dislocated arm. Subsequently my arm went back into place,” she said.

The case before Mr Justice Robert Haughton settled before any further evidence could be given.


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