64-year-old Librarian Awarded €60k Car Accident Compensation following Monkstown Crash

A €60,000 car accident compensation settlement has been agreed at the Circuit Civil Court between a 64-year-old librarian and the former Bank of Ireland Governor Laurence Crowley in relation to a car crash that occurred in August 2015.

The librarian, Mr Richard Barrett with an address at The Turrets, Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin, filed the car accident compensation claim against Mr Crowley and O’Flaherty Holdings Limited, the registered owners of the car, for injuries he sustained in the road traffic accident at Monkstown Crescent, Dublin.

There was also a claim, made by Mr Barrett, that Mr Crowley had been driving the car – a Mercedes 300 – in a negligent manner. Mr Barrett’s legal counsel Barrister Ivan Daly, appearing with HJ Ward Solicitors, advised presiding Judge Justice Raymond Groarke that the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for costs. This was following the case being reduced to an assessment of damages after an admission of liability by the defendants.

During the hearing Mr Barrett alleged that on August 29 2015 he was a front seat passenger in a vehicle when a Mercedes car, emerging from a minor road, crashed into the car he was a passenger in. He told the court that he was of the opinion that the Mercedes in question was being driven at an excessive speed and that the driver had not displayed an acceptable level of awareness regarding his surroundings.

Mr Crowley was not present in the Circuit Civil Court for the hearing which was due to hear Mr Barrett’s testimony in relation to the injuries he suffered and the medical reports produced regarding them.

Mr Barrett advised Justice Groarke that he had been shocked and distressed following the accident. He was taken to the emergency department of St Vincent’s University Hospital where he was treated by Mr Nigel Salter, consultant in emergency medicine. He (Mr Barrett) informed the Judge that he had not sustained any bone or internal injuries. However, he had been prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain-killing medication for injuries to his chest and abdomen.

Mr Barrett, who had a background history of anxiety disorder, had suffered a severe panic attack followed by a number of similar  episodes after the accident.


Judge Approves Settlement of a Rear End Accident Claim

A judge at the Circuit Court has approved the settlement of a rear end accident claim made on behalf of two sisters who suffered psychological injuries.

In February 2016, the sisters were safely secured in the back seat of family car when it was involved in a rear end accident on Newcastle Road in Dublin. The girls, aged seven and four, escaped without any physical injuries but subsequently became nervous whenever large vehicles passed the car while they were travelling in it.

A medical examination revealed they were suffering from  “a mild effect on the mental health” – the older of the two girls being diagnosed with periodic worry, panic and hyperventilation while travelling in the car; and the younger sister being diagnosed with symptoms of panic whenever they approached the scene of the accident, which was close to the family home.

The girls’ mother made a rear end accident claim on behalf of her daughters. Liability was admitted by the negligent driver, and his insurance company made an offer of settlement amounting to €33,000. After seeking professional advice, the offer was accepted subject to it being approved by a judge as the rear end accident claim had been made on the behalf of two minors.

Earlier this week at the Circuit Civil Court, the circumstances of the accident and the nature of the girls´ injuries were explained to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge heard that the girls had only missed one day of school because of the accident in order to seek a physical examination from the family GP, and was also told the girls´ mother was satisfied with the settlement of the rear end accident claim.

Approving the settlement, the judge ordered it should be paid into court funds until each girl reaches the age of maturity. The settlement is to equally divided, so each of the sisters will receive €16,500 on turning eighteen years of age.


Compensation for Car Accident Injuries Awarded in Court

A total of €37,500 compensation for car accident injuries has been awarded to two plaintiffs injured in the same accident by the Circuit Civil Court.

In November 2013, the two plaintiffs were travelling along the M1 in a recently-purchased Toyota, when the sun roof of their car blew off. Alarmed at the sudden noise – described as being “like a bomb going off in the car” – the driver of the Toyota braked sharply, causing all five adult occupants of the car to suffer whiplash-type injuries due to the sudden deceleration.

The driver of the car and her 72-year-old mother claimed compensation for car accident injuries against the company from which it had been purchased – Denis Mahony Limited of Kilbarrack Road in Dublin. They alleged in their legal action that their injuries were directly attributable to a fault with the sun roof that should have been identified in a pre-sale inspection.

The car dealership denied the sun roof was faulty and contested the claims for compensation for car accident injuries. However, at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard from an independent car assessor, who found extensive corrosion of the remaining frame of the sun roof and testified the corrosion had made the car unsafe to drive and should have been identified before it was sold to the driver.

Judge Groarke also heard that the five adult occupants and two children in the car had been travelling to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition at the time of the accident. The driver had subsequently pulled in to an AppleGreen filling station and stuck a plastic sack over the hole in the roof, but the shopping trip had to be abandoned.

The judge said he accepted the sun roof flying off would have been a terrifying experience assuming that the car was travelling at 80-90kmph, and added he understood why the driver had applied the brakes so sharply. He found in favour of the plaintiffs and awarded the driver of the car €12,500 and her mother €25,000 compensation for car accident injuries.


Judge Awards Woman Compensation for an Injury in a Taxi Accident

A woman, described in court as a talented musician, has been awarded compensation for an injury in a taxi accident that prevents her practising the violin.

On March 8th 2012, the woman – a thirty-three year old musician from Ardnacrusha in County Clare – was a passenger in a taxi when it was rear-ended on Wexford Street in Dublin by another taxi. The woman suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder as a result of the accident and was prescribed painkillers for her injury by her GP when she sought medical attention the following day.

When the woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim, the negligent taxi driver accepted liability for causing the accident and her injuries. However, the amount of the assessment was rejected by the woman, who claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury.

The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim in court and, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard how the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising her violin several hours a day. He was also told by the defendant´s insurance company that her injury was unrelated to the “insignificant” collision between the two vehicles.

Judge Groarke admitted that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting” and that on the balance of probabilities the woman had likely made a full recovery from her injury. However, while concluding that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin and as such it was an exceptional case.

Judge Groarke awarded the woman €25,000 compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, stating he accepted the plaintiff´s belief that the discomfort she suffers is related to the March 2012 accident.


Claim against Mother for Injuries in a Car Crash Resolved at Court

A teenage girl´s claim against her mother for injuries in a car crash has been resolved at court with the approval of a €1.3 million compensation settlement.

On 26th November 2005, Beth Cullen (then just six years of age) was badly injured in a car crash on the dangerous “Nine Bends” stretch of the N11 near Ballinameesda. As a consequence of the car crash, Beth – from Kilmacanogue in County Wicklow – lost the use of her left eye, became deaf in her left ear and also lost her sense of smell.

On his daughter´s behalf, William Cullen made a compensation claim against her mother – Caroline Barrett – who had been driving the family car when the car crash happened and who was considered responsible for causing the accident.

In the claim against the mother for injuries in a car crash it was alleged that Barrett had failed to steer, stop, swerve or manage the car prior to the accident. It was also alleged that, through her actions, Barrett failed to have any or any adequate regard for the safety of her daughter.

Liability was conceded by Barrett´s insurance company, and a €1.3 million settlement of the claim against the mother for injuries in a car crash was negotiated. As the legal action had been taken on behalf of a minor, the negotiated settlement had to be approved at the High Court to ensure it was in Beth´s best interests.

The approval hearing took place at the beginning of last week before Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross heard about the circumstances of the accident and the injuries that Beth had sustained. After being told that Beth was doing well at school despite her reduced senses of sight and hearing, Judge Cross approved the settlement and wished Beth well for the future.


Judge Awards Multiple Compensation Settlements for an SUV Accident

A judge at the Limerick Circuit Court has awarded multiple compensation settlements for an SUV accident in which a driver and three passengers were injured.

Mary O´Reilly was driving her husband´s SUV from Charleville in County Cork to Rathkeale on 18th October 2011, when the vehicle was rear-ended by a rental van driver by Rathkeale resident Jeremiah O´Brien. Several days after the accident, Mary and her three female passengers started to experience pain from soft tissue injuries they had sustained in the accident.

The four women claimed injury compensation from the driver of the rental van, the company from which it had been hired – Enterprise Rent a Car – and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Mary´s husband – William O´Reilly – also claimed compensation for the property damage to his SUV –

Enterprise Rent-a-Car and MIBI contested the claim on the grounds that the circumstances of the accident did not stand up to scrutiny. The defendants alleged that Jeremiah O´Brien and William O´Reilly were known to each other, and that when the Gardai attended the scene of the accident, no property damage was recorded.

As consent for the Injuries Board to assess the compensation settlements for an SUV accident was denied, the case went to Limerick Circuit Court, where it was heard by Judge Karen Fergus. Judge Fergus was told that, although William O´Reilly´s parents had lived near Jeremiah O´Brien´s parents, the two men had only met once before.

Judge Fergus also heard about the various injuries that had been sustained by Mary and her passengers, and that one of the passengers – Lisa O´Reilly had already settled her claim out of court. The judge awarded multiple compensation settlements for an SUV accident to Mary O´Reilly (€7,500), Caitriona McDonagh (€10,000) and Breda McCarthy (€12,000). William O´Reilly was also awarded €4,800 for the property damage to his SUV.


Passenger Whiplash Compensation Claim Settled in Court

A passenger whiplash compensation claim has been settled at the Circuit Civil Court with an award of €10,000 to a man who was injured in his aunt´s car.

John Connors (20) was a passenger in his aunt´s car when it was involved in an accident on Kiltipper Road in Tallaght on 2nd December 2010. John – who was fifteen years of age at the time of the accident – was treated at the Tallaght Hospital for soft tissue injuries caused by whiplash, and he returned to the hospital on four or five more occasions to receive physiotherapy on his neck and back.

As John was too young to represent himself, his father made a passenger whiplash compensation claim on his behalf against the driver of the car in his he was a passenger – John´s aunt, Bridget Connors. Bridget Connors admitted liability for the accident, but John´s father was not satisfied with the assessment of the passenger whiplash compensation claim by the Injuries Board.

The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the claim to be heard in court, and the case went before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court for his assessment of damages.

As the passenger whiplash compensation claim was before the judge for the assessment of damages only, John was asked about any long-term consequences he had suffered as a result of the car accident. John replied that the injuries to his neck and back had healed, but that he suffered from an unrelated liver condition that meant he would age prematurely

Judge Groarke awarded John €10,000 compensation in settlement of his passenger whiplash compensation claim and the costs of bringing his legal action to court. The judge commented that there was doubt that John had suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck and back as a result of the accident and that liability for the accident had not been contested.


Family Awarded Compensation for Death of Son in Car Accident

A devastated family has been awarded €35,000 compensation for the death of their son in a car accident after a hearing at Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Ciaran Treacy was a passenger in his mother´s car when, on April 17, the car was involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle being dangerously driven by Finbar O´Rourke along the Portarlington to Portlaoise Road at Ballymorris.

Ciaran (aged 4) was killed in the accident, while both his mother and brother were seriously injured. Ciaran´s mother – Gillian – is now confined to a wheelchair as a result of the accident and his brother – Sean (aged 8) – is still to make a full recovery.

The negligent driver – Finbar O´Rourke – was arrested at the scene of the accident and charged with dangerous driving causing death. His case is to be heard on December 11th at the Portlaoise District Court.

Ciaran´s father – Ronan Treacy, of Portarlington, County Laois – made a claim for compensation for the death of his son in a car accident under the Civil Liability Act 1961 to account for the mental distress he and his wife had suffered and the loss of their son.

The claim was not contested and, at the Civil Circuit Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that an offer of compensation for the death of a son in a car crash had been made by O´Rourke´s insurance company and the offer had been accepted.

The judge heard that the settlement consisted of €10,000 each for the parents Ronan and Gillian Treacy; €5,000 each to Ciaran’s brother, Sean, and two-year-old sister Caoimhe; €1,250 each to Ciaran’s maternal grandparents, Noel and Marie Ryan; and €1,250 each to his paternal grandparents, Patrick and Mary Treacy.

Judge Groarke approved the settlement, awarding Ronan Treacy a further €8,000 towards the funeral costs. The judge also expressed the court’s deep sympathy to the Treacy family in their tragic loss.


Actress Resolves Whiplash Injury Claim Out of Court

A former soap actress, who alleged she had been injured while filming a scene for “Fair City”, has resolved her whiplash injury claim against RTE out of court.

Rebecca Smith from Killiney, County Dublin, made the whiplash injury claim against the television company after allegedly sustaining soft tissue injuries in November 2008. Rebecca – who played the character of Annette Daly – was being filmed while a passenger in a car which was driven by a stuntman employed by RTE.

During the filming of the driving sequence, the stuntman was required to brake sharply on several occasions – throwing Rebecca forwards and backwards in the passenger seat. Rebecca claimed in her action that, immediately after shooting the scene in the Mount Merrion Church area of Dublin, she felt pain in her neck and upper back.

The actress was taken to a VHI Swiftcare Clinic but the pain subsequently extended down her right arm and into her fingers. Rebecca claims that she had difficulty moving her neck for a week after the incident and experienced sleeping problems because of the constant tingling in her right arm and pains in her neck. Her injuries, she claimed, disabled her for working for a week.

Rebecca stated in her whiplash injury claim that RTE had been negligent by failing to use a stunt double to film the scene and that the television company had failed to ensure her safety. RTE disputed Rebecca´s claims, and Rebecca was issued with an Authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue her whiplash injury claim in court.

However, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Rebecca´s barrister told Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that the actress had settled her whiplash injury claim against RTE for an undisclosed amount and that the court could strike out the action.


Family Settle Claim for Fatal Passenger Injuries at Hearing

A family has settled their compensation claim for fatal passenger injuries against a driver whose reckless driving caused a mother of five to die after a head-on car crash.

Rose Martin (57) of Carrickakelly in County Monaghan suffered fatal injuries in a car crash at Philipstown Corner in Killerley when her husband´s car – in which she was a front-seat passenger – was involved in a head-on collision with a car driven by Jason Kearney of Dundalk, County Louth.

Despite suffering serious injury in the accident, Rose´s only concern after the accident were for her son who was travelling in the back seat of the vehicle and who suffers from Down Syndrome, and her husband – William Martin – whose leg had been trapped under the dashboard as a result of the crash.

Rose died in hospital eleven days after the accident on New Year´s Eve 2006, while her son – David – required emergency abdominal surgery and William suffered permanent lower leg injuries – and still walks with the aid of a crutch.

William Martin made a claim for fatal passenger injuries against Kearney on behalf of the family, which included compensation for the loss of his wife, his son´s injuries and his own physical and psychological trauma.

A settlement of compensation amounting to €650,000 was negotiated but, before the claim for fatal passenger injuries could be finalised, it had to be approved by a High Court judge due to David Martin being unable to represent himself and because of the nature of the claim.

Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told of the circumstances of the accident, how Rose Martin had been her son´s primary carer for 28 years and the settlement that had been agreed. The judge approved the settlement in order that the claim for fatal passenger injuries could be finally resolved.


Car Crash Passenger Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A settlement of car crash passenger injury compensation, with a value of €10 million, has been approved by a High Court judge after a hearing in Dublin.

Lydia Branley (28) from Kinlough in Country Leitrim sustained devastating injuries in September 2010, when a car she was travelling in as a passenger left the N4 slip road  at Ballisodare at a speed of 150km/hour, crashed through two road barriers, hit a pole and ended upside down in a stream.

The driver – Martin Kearney from Balinoo in County Mayo – and a second male passenger were thrown clear from the vehicle as it crashed; but Lydia – who had been wearing a seatbelt – had to be cut from the wreckage of the BMW Coupe and was taken unconscious to Sligo General Hospital.

Lydia was later transferred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where she remained in a coma for nine months. When she came out of the coma, Lydia discovered that she had lost the use of her arms and legs and the ability to communicate by speech.

Kearney – who had just got his license back after a previous five-year driving ban – was convicted for dangerous driving causing serious harm, and in June 2012 given a six-year jail sentence and banned from driving for twenty years.

Through her father, Lydia made a car crash passenger injury compensation claim against Martin Kearney and his father Michael Kearney in his capacity as owner of the car. Liability was accepted and a negotiated compensation settlement of €10 million was agreed.

Because of Lydia´s condition, the settlement of car crash passenger injury compensation had to be approved by a judge and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told the circumstances of Lydia´s injuries and how Lydia will require full-time care for the rest of her life.

Describing the €10 million compensation settlement as “excellent” as she approved it, the judge said “It does not give back Lydia her life. Nothing will, but it will provide her with the best care and hopefully bring back a degree of normality.”


Settlement of Passenger Brain Injury Claim Approved in Court

A woman, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when the car she was travelling was involved in a car crash, has had the settlement of her passenger brain injury claim approved in the High Court.

Rhona Murphy (34) was just twenty years of age when, in February 1999, she was travelling as a front seat passenger in a car which attempted to undertake a slower moving vehicle on the Galway to Headford Road.

Rhona, who comes from Newcastle in County Galway, was lucky to survive the crash after the driver of the car in which she was a passenger lost control of the vehicle and collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction.

As a result of the traumatic brain injury suffered in the car crash, Rhona had to abandon her studies which she hoped would lead to a career in teaching and now has to take heavy medication to help with her memory and balance. She has been cared for since the accident by her father.

Through her father, Rhona made a claim for passenger brain injury compensation against the driver of the car, alleging that the driver had been driving at an excessive speed in a reckless, dangerous or careless manner.

Liability for the passenger brain injury claim was admitted and, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that an offer of 3 million €uros had been made in settlement of the claim which the family were prepared to accept.

After hearing the circumstances of Rhona´s injury, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of her passenger brain injury claim, stating that it was a good offer considering there was a doubt that Rhona was wearing a seatbelt at the time and had knowingly entered a vehicle which was being driven by somebody who had consumed a significant amount of alcohol.


Sisters Receive Compensation for Injuries in a Fatal Car Accident

Two sisters have had settlements of compensation for injuries in a fatal car accident approved in court following their mother´s tragic death while the family were travelling to attend a family wedding.

Meabh and Aislinn Reid from Malahide in County Dublin were aged nine and four respectively when their mother – Marian – suffered fatal injuries in a car accident as the family were travelling to attend the wedding of Marian´s brother in Killaloe, County Clare.

The accident in June 2004 was caused by the girls´ father – Derek – driving into a stationary truck on the Nenagh bypass in County Tipperary. Marian – who was a primary school teacher – died from the injuries she sustained in the accident, while Meabh suffered soft tissue bruising and Aislinn´s leg was broken.

The two girls made a claim for injuries in a fatal car accident against their father and, at the High Court in Dublin the two settlements of compensation for injuries in a fatal car accident were approved – Meabh receiving €75,000 and Aislinn €155,000.


Compensation for a Back Seat Passenger Awarded in Court

A boy, who suffered severe physical and psychological injuries when a car he was travelling in was hit an uninsured driver, has been awarded injury compensation for a back seat passenger at the High Court.

Ben Conroy – a member of the senior Laois GAA hurling panel – was seated in the rear seat of a car which was struck from behind by another car attempting an overtaking manoeuvre on the Rushin Road in Mountrath, County Laois, on March 15th 2009.

As Ben was only 14 years of age at the time of the accident, he made a claim for back seat passenger injury compensation through his father, Ben Conroy Snr, against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), as both the driver of the car which struck him and its owner were uninsured.

 Liability for Ben´s injuries was accepted by the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, but the claim for injury compensation for a back seat passenger had to go to the High Court for the assessment of damages. After hearing evidence in relation to the nature of his injuries, Ben was awarded €20,600 by the court.


Details of Garda Compensation for Assault Settlements Revealed

The total of Garda compensation for assault settlements paid in 2012 amounted to €6.7 million according to figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The figure brought the total value of Garda compensation for assault settlements since 2000 to over €13.4 million and, among the 121 cases detailed, the most common complaints were soft-tissue injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and back injuries.

All the injuries sustained by Garda officers were as a result of malicious acts of violence and included a Garda who was struck on the head with a bottle, three cases where Gardai had suffered from depression after being threatened with shotguns and six incidents in which Gardai were injured by human bites.

The second highest ever award of Garda compensation for assault was made last year – a Garda receiving just under €790,000 for back injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder following an assault – but less than the €990,000 award made to a Garda who was shot in the knee in 2008.

Earlier this month, an award of €45,000 compensation for Garda injuries was made in the High Court to Garda Bernard McLoughlin, after he sustained injuries to his hip and leg after being involved in a ramming incident in which his friend and colleague was killed.

Commenting on the Garda compensation for assault settlements, John Parker – president of the Garda Representative Association – said “while the injuries contained in the Garda database were at the extreme end of the assaults suffered by Gardai during the course of their duties, they underlined the “high-risk work” of members of the force”.

Last year, the Government approved proposals for a revised Garda compensation scheme which would enable the State Claims Agency to administer the scheme on behalf of the Garda Commissioner. The proposals aim to reduce the length of time injured Gardai have to wait for Garda compensation for assault settlements and it is expected that the revised Garda compensation scheme will save the State about €3 million annually in reduced legal fees and administrative costs.


Compensation for Garda Injuries Awarded in Court

An award of compensation for Garda injuries has been made to an officer who suffered hip and leg injuries when his patrol car was rammed in a fatal accident.

Garda Bernard McLoughlin and colleague Garda Gary McLoughlin were involved in the accident in December 2009, when the patrol car in which they were travelling was rammed by a car driven by Martin McDermott, of Raphoe, County Donegal.

Garda Gary McLoughlin died from the injuries he sustained in the accident, while Garda Bernard McLoughlin was unable to continue his duties and has taken educational leave to study in Australia for the past three years. McDermott was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for manslaughter in July 2011.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard how Garda Bernard McLoughlin of Buncrana, County Donegal, had found a pulse on his colleague after the accident and held his colleague´s head in a recovery position in their wrecked patrol car until emergency services arrived. However, his actions were not enough to save his friend´s life, and Garda Gary McLoughlin died several hours later in hospital.

Awarding Garda Bernard McLoughlin €45,000 compensation for Garda injuries, Ms Justice Irvine said the two officers who shared the same surname were more than colleagues. They had been close friends who had lived and trained together during their training at Templemore before working together in Buncrana.


Court Approves Compensation for Child Passenger in Car Crash

A young girl, who suffered spinal injuries in a traffic accident which left her paralysed from the waist down, has had a settlement of compensation for a child passenger in a car crash approved at the High Court.

Britney Arendse (now 12) of Kells, County Meath, was returning from a day out on Bettystown Beach in June 2009 with her mother -Bridgitte – her mother´s friend and the friend´s two daughters, when a car being driven on the wrong side of the road collided with them.

Bridgitte Arendse – who was driving – and her four passengers had to be cut from the wreckage of the vehicle and were rushed to hospital, where Britney remained in a coma for three weeks before being transferred to Temple Street Children’s Hospital and then to the National Rehabilitation Unit in Dun Laoghaire.

After it was confirmed by doctors that Britney will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, Bridgitte Arendse made a claim for compensation for a child passenger in a car crash against the driver of the vehicle – Sean McKenna – and the owner of the vehicle – Patricia McKenna – both of Duleek, County Meath.

Liability was acknowledged for Britney´s injuries and a settlement of compensation for child passenger in car crash was agreed amounting to €3.9 million. As with all compensation settlements involving children, the settlement had first to be approved by a judge and, after hearing the circumstances of the accident and the injuries sustained by Britney, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement at the High Court.


Girl Receives Compensation for Injuries in Car Accident

A young girl, who was suffered severe physical and emotional trauma due to a crash in which her sister and best friend died, has been awarded €200,000 compensation for her injuries in the car accident.

Faith Varden-Carberry (12) who now lives in Tuam, County Galway, was just seven years of age when her mother Mary Carberry (36) crashed the car she was driving into a clay embankment outside Edgeworthstown, County Longford, in November 2007.

In the accident, Faith´s sister Ava (6) and her best friend Michaela Logan were both killed, and Faith´s injuries were so bad that she had underwent emergency treatment at the scene before being transferred to Our Lady´s Childrens Hospital in Crumlin – where she remained in a spinal cast for two months.

Faith´s mother – who was banned from driving at the time because of a previous accident – was found to be in excess of the legal alcohol limit, was arrested and sentenced to six years imprisonment for her part in the crash.

Faith went to live with her step-sister in Tuam when she was released from hospital, and made a claim for compensation for injuries in a car accident through her grand-father Anthony Carberry against both her mother and father – Thomas Varden – who was the legal owner of the car.

The claim against Thomas Varden was later dropped, , and – as Mrs Carberry was uninsured herself and banned from driving – the claim for compensation for injuries in a car accident was transferred to the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).

At the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Charleton was told that a settlement of compensation for injuries in a car accident had been agreed amounting to €200,000 and that the case was before him for approval of damages only.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton approved the settlement, and also allowed €2,000 to be instantly withdrawn from it in order to allow Faith to have a new computer to assist her with her schoolwork.


Judge Denies Access to Childrens Compensation Funds

A District Court judge has declined a request to access court-held injury compensation, insisting that childrens compensation funds should not be used for family expenses.

Judge Mary Collins ruled that funds held by the court on behalf of four-year-old Oluwatimileyin Olaleye, who was awarded 4,500 Euros following a traffic accident in 2010, should not be released in order that the family could purchase a new car.

The boy’s father, Ibrahim Olaleye, from Lucan, County Dublin, had applied to court for the release of 1,500 Euros from his son’s award in order to buy a car for the family. However, Judge Mary Collins refused to release any money from the boy’s court account, saying that childrens compensation funds had never been meant for the purchase of a car or any other family expense.

Oluwatimileyin had been awarded the compensation last year for injuries he received in a car crash in which his mother, Veronica, had been the driver. The award of 4,500 Euros had been approved in court after a compensation claim had been by Oluwatimileyin through his father, but Judge Mary Collins said the money was to remain in court until Oluwatimileyin was 18; at which time it would be released to him with any interest gained.


Record Car Crash Injury Compensation in Ireland Approved

The highest ever award of car crash injury compensation in Ireland was made this week to a boy who sustained devastating injuries while travelling as a passenger in a car driven by his mother.

Cullen Kennedy (10), of Loughrea, County Galway, was awarded 11.5 million Euros at the High Court in Dublin following an accident in May 2008 when he was thrown against the windscreen of his mother´s car – despite being secured in a bolster chair on the rear seat – and suffered such devastating injuries that he is now a quadriplegic and breathes through a ventilator.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that on May 5th 2008, Cullen´s mother – Margaret – was momentarily distracted by her son and due to a “momentary lapse of concentration” wandered into the path of an oncoming car. Neither Margaret nor the driver of the other vehicle suffered any serious injury, but Cullen suffered severe spinal injuries which will confine him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

As Margaret Cullen was an uninsured driver, a claim for car accidents without insurance compensation was made by Cullen´s grandmother on his behalf against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). After assessing the care that Cullen had already received and what he made need for the future, an award of 11.5 million Euros was agreed which, although being a record for car crash injury compensation in Ireland, drew criticism from Ms Justice Mary Irvine.

Approving the lump sum payment, but condemning the lack of Periodic Payment Orders (PPOs), Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that the courts were gambling with the lives of those who had suffered catastrophic injuries. “The reality is the courts don’t know when people are going to die,” she said. “We are gambling every day.” Her comments were made in the context of an injured person living longer than anticipated by medical experts and running out of money to fund their care.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine noted that a working group on Periodic Payment Orders had been established in 2008, and had reported in October 2010 that legislation should be introduced to allow cases concerning a catastrophic injury to be settled on the basis of annual payments (PPOs). While Ms Justice Mary Irvine had “no doubt the Government has very significant issues to deal with” she said that the absence of legislation had left the courts guessing about the security, welfare and futures of the most vulnerable litigants.


Injury Compensation Claim against MIBI Approved in Court

A man, who suffered a severe brain trauma and now requires permanent care after being thrown from a car driven by an uninsured driver, has had his injury compensation claim against MIBI approved in court.

The man – who is a ward of court and cannot be named for legal reasons – was just 19 years of age when, in March 2008, he was a back seat passenger in a car which went out of control, left the road and ran into a tree. The victim, who was thrown from the car as it left the road, suffered a severe brain trauma which has left him requiring permanent nursing care and only able to communicate by means of thumb up or thumb down.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court heard that the driver of the car had been uninsured, and that an injury compensation claim against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) had been made. She also heard that an agreement had been reached between the man´s legal representatives and MIBI to award 4.25 million Euros to the victim – an amount which had been reduced by 20 per cent to account for the man´s contributory negligence of failing to wear a seatbelt.

The judge approved the settlement of the unnamed man´s injury compensation claim against MIBI, stating that it was an excellent settlement which would provide the car he required for the rest of his life. She also ordered that the foster mother who had been caring for the victim since his accident should receive an immediate lump sum payment of 544,800 Euros to cover the expenses and hospital bills she had already incurred.


Child Passengers in Car Accident Awarded 26,000 Euros

Four children, who were passengers in a car accident when the vehicle driven by their mother was in collision with a Garda patrol car, have been awarded a total of 26,000 Euros in personal injury damages.

Dean McEvoy (15) and his three sisters, Lauren (13), Cody (11) and Megan (10), were travelling with their mother – Lorraine McEvoy of Crumlin, Dublin – when the accident occurred on the Tallaght bypass in November 2005.

Circuit Civil Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, heard that the Garda patrol car that struck the McEvoy car was being driven “at some degree of urgency”, but without its siren or warning lights on.  Lorraine McEvoy and her four children all sustained soft tissue injuries as a result of the impact.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery also heard that the State had accepted liability for the accident only after a lengthy dispute was settled in the High Court and he was asked to approve agreed settlements of 6,000 Euros for Megan and Lauren, 6,500 Euros for Dean and 7,500 Euros for Cody who had been the worse injured of the child passengers in car accident.


Family Awarded 100,000 Euros after Tragic Road Accident

The family of a mother and child, who were both tragically killed in a road traffic accident which occurred in 2006, have been awarded more than 100,000 Euros in a joint compensation agreement. Both Yvonne Mahoney (24) and her daughter, Bobbi-Ann (2), were killed when a car driven by Yvonne’s partner John Maloney (33) was struck by another car as it exited the crossroads junction at Lodge Cross, County Galway on July 9 2006. Mr Maloney also died in the accident.
In an action brought by Yvonne´s widowed mother, Mary (56) of Loughrea, County Galway, it was alleged that Galway County Council had failed to maintain clear vision at the junction by not cutting down, pruning or trimming the trees and hedges on the side of the road. It was also claimed that they had failed to erect yield or stop signs.
Mrs Mahoney also sued the estate of John Maloney, claiming that Mr. Maloney had been negligent on the day of the accident by way of his driving. It was claimed that the deceased driver had caused Mrs Maloney and her eight other children to suffer mental distress. In the High Court in Galway, Judge Mr. Justice Moriarty heard that the issue of liability had been withdrawn, and awarded Mrs Mahoney and the family of Yvonne and Bobbi-Ann a compensation settlement of 100,439 Euros plus costs.


Award Approved for Traumatised Teenager

A teenage girl, who suffered psychological injuries after her mother was knocked unconscious in a car collision, has had a compensation award of 21,000 Euros approved in the Circuit Court.
Charmaine Fitzgerald (14) of Clondalkin, County Dublin, was just 10 years of age when she and her mother were violently rear-ended while sitting in the family car close to Charmaine’s school. The force of the impact was so great that Charmaine’s mother, Lisa, was thrown from the car and lost consciousness.
In the Circuit Court, Mr. Justice Matthew Deery heard that Charmaine – who was just 10 years old at the time of the accident in March 2007 – had feared her mother had died, and was psychologically traumatized by the event – suffering headaches and nightmares for a prolonged period after the accident.
In the action brought through her mother, the court also heard that Charmaine’s condition deteriorated so much that she visualised the crash each time she was driven close to the scene, and had to change schools as a result.
Judge Mr. Matthew Deery approved the settlement offer of 21,000 Euros made by the defendant – Paul Mullins of Palmerstown, Dublin.


Children´s Whiplash Award Approved for 56,000 Euros

Circuit Court President Justice Matthew Deery approved an award of 56,000 Euros for whiplash injuries suffered by three siblings, after hearing how their mother´s car had been rear-ended in an accident which occurred in January 2007.

Rachael Hopkins (9) and her brothers Daniel (10) and Thomas (7) from Broadford, County Kildare, had been passengers in a car driven by their mother Jennifer, when it was hit from behind by Ms Monica Carney of Lucan, County Dublin.

In an action brought through the children´s father, Thomas Hopkins, the court heard how the children had received treatment for recurrent and protracted symptoms of their injuries from the family GP and a specialist consultant.

The injuries had been more problematic for the two brothers, Daniel and Thomas, who were each approved a settlement of 20,000 Euros. A settlement of 16,000 Euros was approved for Rachael Hopkins, and the compensation award will remain invested in court funds until they are 18 years of age.


Court Judge Unhappy With 5 Million Euro Settlement for Brain Damaged Car Crash Victim

In the High Court, Mr Justice John Quirke claimed that he was unhappy with the system of compensation settlements when awarding more than 5 million Euros to Caroline Bogue of Belturbet, County Cavan, following an agreement between the claimant and the joint defendants – her cousin Ciaran Bogue and the Motor Insurance Board of Ireland (MIBI).

Stating that the money would be gone within 10 years, he criticised the lack of staged payments for awards of personal injury compensation and commented that the value of the settlement represented just 60% of what the claim was worth. His comments follow the case of Caroline, who suffered severe brain damage when an uninsured car, driven by the defendants brother, crashed into a tree just outside of her home town of Belturbet in May 2003. Despite wearing a seatbelt, Caroline – who was aged just 17 at the time of the accident – was admitted to Cavan Hospital where a CT scan of her brain showed she had suffered major haemorrhaging.
Now 24, Caroline needs assistance for daily living and feeding herself due to the consequences of her accident. She also experiences difficulty sleeping, has poor short-term memory and slow speech. Caroline will need permanent care throughout the rest of her life, and Mr Justice John Quirke is concerned that the settlement is insufficient for her lifetime and that she will become reliant on the State.

As it was alleged by the defence that Caroline knew that the car in which she was travelling was uninsured, Mr Justice John Quirke accepted that there was a risk that the claimant might be awarded less if the case went to a full hearing, and was guided by Caroline´s counsel. However, he commented that he was unhappy that he had to approve “a settlement so utterly speculative and imprecise from Caroline’s point of view”. A new system, which is due to be introduced in about 18 months time, will provide for continual payments over the period of the victim’s life.


Passenger in Car Crash Awarded Over 5 Million Euro in High Court

Caroline Bogue of Belturbet, County Cavan, has obtained a settlement of over €5 million in a High Court settlement after an uninsured car in which she was travelling as a passenger crashed into a tree, resulting in severe injuries. Caroline Bogue suffered brain damage and will require assistance for the rest of her life.
The accident occured on May 1st, 2003, when Caroline Bogue was 17 years old.
The case was taken against the car driver Declan Brogue, the car ower Ciaran Bogue, and the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. Liability was denied in the case on the grounds that Caroline Bogue was aware that car was not insured and was allegedly taken without the permission of the owner. The settlement was made without admitting liability.
Mr Justice John Quirke said that the case highlighted the need for a new system of staged payments in personal injuries cases.


Family of Victim of Drunk Driving Awarded 506,000 Euro Compensation

The family of Bridget O’Reilly of Ballybeg, Waterford, has been awarded €506,000 in damages at the High Court following her death while a passenger in a car accident with a drunk driver. Mrs O’Reilly was aged 42 when she was killed, leaving behind a husband and nine children, the youngest of which was only 3 years old.

The case was taken by Mrs O’Reilly’s husband, Edward O’Reilly, against the drunken driver of the car, Frank Prendergast of Tallaght, County Dublin, and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland. The car crash happened at Powerstown, County Carlow in July 2002 and Mrs O’Reilly died a few weeks later in hospital.

Mrs O’Reilly’s sister, who has her own large family, has been caring for the children left behind by the tragedy.

It should be noted that Irish law is rather lenient on drunk drivers.  In this particular case, the court heard that the drunk driver was travelling at speed when he lost control and crossed over to the wrong side of the road before crashing head-on into an another car. In some legal jurisdictions, such as under the California Vehicle Code, causing bodily injury to another person  while drunk driving is a specific criminal offense. Such road traffic accidents are only accidents in the sense that there are not planned, but they are not accidents in the sense that they are unforeseen. Anyone who drinks alcohol and then decides to drive a motor vehicle is clearly putting other people at risk and accidents are predictable.


Publicans Sued for Serving Alcohol to Driver Prior to Car Crash

Publicans Concepta and Seamus Kelly have defended themselves in the High Court last week in a lawsuit taken by the estate of a man killed in a car crash after consuming excessive alcohol in their pub.  The case was taken by the estate of John Connolly who caused a fatal car accident when driving three times over the legal limit for driving.
The car accident happened in the late afternoon after Mr Connolly had been drinking since 11.30 am in the Diamond Bar in Tullaghan, Leitrim.  Mr Connolly’s car collided with a car carrying a mother, Mary Flanagan, and daughter, Anne McSorley, resulting in injuries to the mother and the death of the daughter.  Mrs Flanagan has already settled an injury compensation case for the car crash for €275,000.
The current contributory negligence case in the High Court is between the estate of Mr Connolly and the owners of the pub that served him alcohol, Concepta and Seamus Kelly, who have defended themselves against allegations that they acted negligently and in breach of their duty of care in serving excessive alcohol to Mr. Connolly.  Perhaps crucially, it was alleged that they knew or ought to have known that he would drive on a public road.
Concepta Kelly defended herself in court saying “It is up to the individual themselves to know their own body. There are people who can drink and drive with three or four pints and people who cannot drive with one” Mr Justice Kevin Feeney has adjourned the case for one month.


Twelve Irish Organisations Sign European Road Safety Charter

Twelve Irish organisations have signed  the European Road Safety Charter in Dublin today. The European Union statistics for 2008 show that there were 1.3 million road traffic accidents, 39,000 road deaths, and 1.6 million injuries. It is estimated that road traffic injuries cost about 2% of European GDP.
The charter focuses on reducing the number of road traffic accidents in Europe with measures that improve vehicle safety, road infrastructure safety, and driver behaviour.
The twelve new Irish signatories of the European Road Safety Charter are Cavan Area Rural Transport, Community Transport Association of Ireland, Dún Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council, ECO Unesco, Headway Ireland, Irish Medical Organisation, Irish Road Haulage Association, Metroplex Ireland, Shell, The Irish Insurance Federation, Vantastic, and World Rally Team Ireland.