A woman who was left severely disabled after she claimed she contracted a rare disease from a pet shop parrot 14 years ago has secured a further payment of €1 million at the High Court.
It brings to €16.5 million the total awarded to Patricia Ingle from Co Limerick who suffered catastrophic brain injury after contracting chlamydia psittacosis - an airborne infection which can be transferred from birds to humans.
Six interim payments have been made so far and her case will return to court next year when her future care needs will be further assessed.
In 2011 Ms Ingle 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.
Ms Ingle from Ballinacurra, Weston, Co Limerick claimed she contracted the disease while working at the Petmania Store, Ennis Road, Limerick.
She also claimed that after her admission to hospital her condition was mismanaged by the HSE.
The now 34-year-old is paralysed and uses a wheelchair.
She sued Petmania Limited, Jetlands Retail Park, Ennis Road, Limerick; its parent company, O'Keeffes of Kilkenny Limited, Springhill, Kilkenny, and the HSE.
Both defendants denied the claims and the case settled without admission of liability after a four day hearing.
In 2011 the court was told 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 claimed that Ms Ingle contracted the disease in 2008 when a Cockatiel parrot was purchased by the store for €20.
She said she had not received training in health and safety matters when working with animals while working at the Petmania store.
On 12 August 2008, she suffered violent headaches and vomiting, and was treated at the Midwestern Regional Hospital and sent home to rest.
She was again sent to hospital on 1 September and two days later had lost her voice and could not move.
She had suffered severe irreversible brain damage.