Pet store worker in record multi-million deal with HSE
Published 30/06/2011 | 17:49
A woman who claimed she contracted a rare brain disease from parrots while working in a pet shop has won a record settlement of as much as €7.5m from the Health Service Executive (HSE).
It is understood Patricia Ingle (22), from Murroe, Co Limerick, will also receive a €3m upfront payment after she was left paralysed and brain damaged after contracting the disease in 2008.
She had been working at the Petmania store in Limerick.
Ms Ingle took the action against the HSE over its failure to diagnose her condition in time and she had also sued the pet shop.
Her former employer denied liability in the case and lawyers for the HSE said it would be pursuing the pet shop separately.
Her lawyers said she was given no health and safety training and had not been given any gloves or masks while dealing with animals.
Counsel for Ms Ingle, Dermot Gleeson, said a safety booklet issued to staff was 'remarkable' because it did not mention anything about the risks of working with animals.
It is alleged she contracted the disease after inhaling dust from the faeces of parrots suffering from chlamydia psittacosis - an airborne infection that can be passed onto humans.