Posted: April 10th, 2020
A PTSD compensation award of €87,000 has been awarded to a person who arrived at a horrific road traffic accident scene where she viewed the partly decapitated body of a motorist involved in a bus crash.
The woman in question, Lisa Sheehan, now suffers from moderately severe PTSD and had to give up her hairdressing job two years after the accident took place as she felt unable to maintain the position. Mr Justice David Keane awarded her €87,238 compensation in relation her suffering as a result of the incident. The 36-year-old married mother of two, who lives at Banteer in north Cork, took the personal injury compensation case against Bus Éireann and FBD insurance which provided insurance cover for the deceased motorist.
Ms Sheehan informed the presiding judge that she still has nightmares and flashbacks, her condition placed great strain on her relationships and she must attend counselling and medication sessions for the sake of her mental health. She told the court that this suffering was caused due to the negligent operation or control of both the bus and the car. Bus Éireann did not accept the negligence claims while FBD admitted the accident was caused by the negligence of the deceased car driver.
Both defendants informed the judge that they were of the opinion that Ms Sheehan’s psychiatric injuries did not give rise to any cause of action recognised by the law and they did not owe her a duty of care in relation to her suffering.
When the accident took place on January 28, 2017, Ms Sheehan was driving home from work in Cork city, having finished her work shift for the day. As she was nearing Mallow her car struck some debris and she came to a complete halt. She noticed the damaged bus and the severely damaged car which had hit it not far away. When she examined the scene more closely car she discovered “a badly disfigured and partly decapitated body”.
She contacted the emergency services and started to examine the the surrounding area for others who might have been involved in the accident. She eventually located the bus driver whose face was covered in blood.
The judge, referring to the legal arguments that the defendants were making, said that it was his opinion that the law on primary/secondary victims is far from settled in this jurisdiction. He continued, while in his view nothing turned on that division in this case, he was happy that Ms Sheehan was a primary victim as her car had been struck by debris from the road traffic accident.
Posted: January 28th, 2020
At the High Court Justice Kevin Cross awarded €80,000 in car accident compensation to Margaret Keating (63) who sustained injuries in an accident between a taxi and the Luas tram she was travelling on.
The compensation award includes €10,000 for aggravated damages. Justice Cross said he was of the opinion that Ms Keating is an honest witness who did not in any way inflate her complaints.
Ms Keating had initiated the compensation claim against the the taxi driver, alleging that he drove straight through a red traffic light and crashed into the Red Line Luas tram in which she was on board on June 15, 2016. Ms Keating said was sitting at the back of the tram and hit a support bar in the accident. Due to this she experienced injuries to her neck and shoulder.
The accident in question happened at the junction of Steevens Lane approaching Heuston Station.
The judge said that Ms Keating was going to experience ongoing symptoms going forward, even though her injuries were tissue in nature. He went on to say that Ms Keating “has had a nasty time and has had a significant change in her lifestyle”. Additionally, it was alleged that Ms Keating had developed a travel anxiety and now has a fear of travelling on trams and trains.
Mr Mulligan denied that claims of Ms Keating that she had suffered a number of injuries. Justice Cross said he believed Ms Keating to be an honest person in relation to the circumstances of the accident and did not inflate the extent of her symptoms.
The judge said the taxi driver’s legal team had applied to have the case struck out due to the fact that Ms Keating had not included the details of a 2017 accident in documents prepared for the court case and that she had also allegedly did not hand over the GP’s report from the defendants until June 2019.
Mr Justice Cross said the 2017 accident had nothing to do with the injuries that she had suffered, the subject matter of this case, and he said there was no efforts to deceive.
The Judge also ruled that he saw no reason to believe that the medical report from the GP was suppressed to mask the 2017 accident. He said professional misconduct was alleged and it was not proper to allege professional misconduct against a solicitor without any possible basis for that claim to be made.
Ruling that Ms Keating was entitled to be awarded aggravated damages, Mr Justice Cross said she was never asked during testimony with regard to her subsequent injuries dealing with this accident.
Posted: June 13th, 2015
A High Court judge has ruled that the victim of a hit-and-run accident was partially liable for his injuries.
The accident occurred on the 2nd November 2012 when twenty-five year old Anthony Driver, from Enniskerry in Wicklow, was waiting on a friend after a night out. He was hit whilst standing at Sidmonton Avenue Junction.
Anthony cannot remember much of the accident. He can recall that the car – which was never identified – briefly pulled over after hitting him, but proceeded to drive away. The driver did not check Anthony’s condition or call the emergency services.
Later that night, Anthony was found by a passing Garda. The Garda proceeded to take Anthony to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with extensive fractures to his spine and ribs, lacerations to his liver and other internal injuries.
Anthony spent a total of nine days in hospital, with four of them spent in the intensive care unit. Despite his treatment, Anthony still experiences pains in his back and found it difficult to eat.
To claim compensation, Anthony had to make his claim with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MBI). The MBI handle claims where the perpetrator of the crime was never traced by the police, as is the case with Anthony’s accident. They also handle cases where the driver was uninsured.
However, Anthony’s claim was disputed by the MBI. This was based on a testimony from the Garda who found him, who described Anthony as “grossly intoxicated” on the evening of the hit and run. Taking this statement into account, the MBI argue that Anthony was partially responsible for his injuries.
The case proceeded to the High Court in Dublin to settle the liability dispute. There, the case was heard by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns. Anthony confessed to the judge that he had been inebriated on the evening of the accident, which caused the MBI to restate their argument that he was somewhat liable for what happened.
The hearing was briefly adjourned before Judge Kearns returned to assign Anthony 75% contributory negligence for his hit-and-run injuries.
Posted: August 7th, 2013
A woman from New Orleans, who suffered a neck injury when an escalator she was riding on came to a sudden stop, has made claims for whiplash injuries she alleges she received in the accident.
Gwendolyn Leonard from Gretna in Louisiana made her claims for whiplash injuries after an accident on the escalator between floors of the Boomtown Casino in New Orleans. Gwendolyn alleges in her claims that, when the mechanism jerked to a stop on 30th June 2012, she suffered neck injuries similar to those that would be sustained in a rear-end collision.
She accused the casino of failing in its duty of care to properly maintain and operate the escalator, and is claiming an unspecified amount of compensation for whiplash injuries to account for the pain and suffering she experienced at the time of the accident, her subsequent medical expenses and loss of earnings.
Gwendolyn filed her action against the casino on May 22nd at the 24th Judicial District Court in New Orleans, but as yet the casino has not indicated whether it will accept liability for Gwendolyn´s injuries or contest her claim.
Posted: July 2nd, 2010
The family of a Filipino nurse who was killed in a road accident involving a bus have received a settlement of €575,000 in the High Court. Maria Verdida (52) was killed when she was knocked down by a Dublin Bus in October 2003. The claim for compensation for Maria’s wrongful death was pursued by her husband Resituto, who has since moved back to the Philippines.
Dublin Bus admitted liability for Maria’s death, despite the fact that the bus driver Frank Turner from Crumlin said that he was travelling at a safe speed. Turner said that he did not see Maria because of he was temporarily blinded by strong sunlight on his windscreen.
Turner apologised to Maria’s family and was given a €500 fine and a six-month suspended sentence.
There were no passengers on the bus at the time of the accident.