Girl (12) awarded €60,000 over injuries suffered when car rear-ended

Ella Croly’s back seat head rest struck by wheelchair lift moved by impact of collision

A girl who suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and back in a collision in Dublin more than four years has been awarded €60,000 in damages at the Circuit Civil Court.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

A girl who suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and back in a collision in Dublin more than four years has been awarded €60,000 in damages at the Circuit Civil Court. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

 

A girl who suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and back in a collision in Dublin more than four years has been awarded €60,000 in damages at the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge John O’Connor heard that Ella Croly (12), of Malahide, Co Dublin, was a backseat passenger in a stationary car that was rear-ended on June 14th, 2015 by a vehicle registered to Peter O’ Brien and Sons (Landscaping) Ltd of Feltrim Road, Swords, Co Dublin.

Barrister Rachel Baldwin, counsel for Ella who sued through her mother Hilda Croly, told the court there was a wheelchair lift installed in the car that Ella was a back seat passenger in.

Ms Baldwin said the impact caused the lift to be propelled forward and hit the headrest on Ella’s seat from behind. She said Ella, who was seven at at time, went home following the accident but later experienced nausea and headaches.

Ms Baldwin said Ella went to her GP in July 2015 complaining about the headaches. Her doctor discovered she had suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and upper back in the crash.

Pain

Counsel said Ella had complained to her mother that she had felt pain all over but particularly in her head. She was prescribed paracetamol and Neurofen.

Ms Baldwin said Ella missed several weeks of school as a consequence of her headaches and discomfort.

The court heard that Ella saw a consultant paediatric neurologist on May 9th, 2018 who said that the girl suffered a mild concussion in the accident and may have been experiencing post-traumatic headaches in the form of chronic daily migraine as a result.

Ms Baldwin said the frequency of Ella’s headaches had decreased from daily to eight to 10 per month. She said the neurologist was of the opinion that if Ella was suffering headaches three years after the accident, she was likely to continue to do so for the next two to three years.

Counsel said Ella had previously been offered a settlement of €45,000 general damages by Peter O’ Brien and Sons (Landscaping) Ltd. She said the application was refused as it was deemed inadequate by the former president of the Circuit Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

Mr Groarke had stated that €60,000 would be the damages sum the court would be willing to approve, otherwise the case could be transferred to the unlimited jurisdiction of the High Court.

Ms Baldwin told Judge O’Connor that the case came before the court again on May 14th last, but a €50,000 offer was not approved by the court at that stage.

She said given the improvement Ella has made to date she had been happy to recommend the offer of €60,000 from the defendant, which Judge O’Connor approved.