LIMERICK, Ireland – A pet store worker suffering from a rare brain disease she claims to have contracted from a parrot was granted a record settlement by Ireland's High Court, the Irish Times reported Friday.
Patricia Ingle, aged 22 and from Limerick, was awarded an upfront payment of $4.4 million from the Health Service Executive (HSE) and another $10.9 million in structured payments to pay the cost of lifetime care.
Previously, the highest award for a personal injuries claim in Ireland was for a child with cerebral palsy at $108.5 million.
Ingle took action against the HSE for its failure to diagnose her in time, and against Petmania, the pet store where she worked, for its lack of safety procedures. She received no specific safety training nor equipment.
Lawyers for the HSE said they would pursue their own case against Petmania, the Irish Times reported.
Ingle says she picked up chlamydia psittacosis from breathing the dust of parrot feces while working for Petmania in 2008.
The disease left her paralyzed and with blurred vision. She uses a wheelchair to move, an artificial voicebox to speak, a ventilator to breathe and a tube to eat.