Toddler awarded €10,000 after ambulance rolls into tree

Court hears child has ‘psychological injuries’ and is afraid of ambulances after incident

A child who allegedly has a fear of ambulances having been in one aged 16 months when it rolled backwards into a tree has accepted a €10,000 settlement offer from the Health Service Executive, the Circuit Civil Court has heard.

The court was told that then 16-month-old Jessica Abram was injured when an ambulance, in which she was a passenger, rolled backwards into the tree on July 6th, 2016.

Barrister Paul Gallagher told the court that Ms Abram, of Moore Street, Kilrush, Co Clare, suffered “psychological injuries” as a result of the accident.

Mr Gallagher, who appeared with Anderson Gallagher Solicitors, said Jessica, now aged 3-and-a-half, had been suffering from a high fever and was being taken to hospital at the time.

He said the ambulance had stopped on the N68 where it was to have been joined by a doctor. Unfortunately, the hand brake had not been applied properly and the ambulance rolled backwards.

Jessica sued the HSE through her friend Katarzyna Kita and Mr Gallagher told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that a settlement offer of €10,000 had been made by the HSE.

He said Jessica’s injuries were psychological and not related to her medical condition at the time. She suffered from nervousness as a result of the accident.

Ms Kita told the court in an affidavit that she had been in the ambulance with Jessica at the time. The child was not strapped in and she had grabbed her to prevent her falling after the ambulance rolled into the tree.

She said Jessica became very nervous afterwards and did not want to sleep alone. She became particularly nervous if she heard an ambulance siren.

Judge Groarke approved the €10,000 settlement offer.