Family of woman who died in road collision settles court action for €550,000

Woman was believed to be on her way to work in hospital when collision occurred


The family of a Tipperary woman who died in a head-on road collision in which the other driver also died has settled a High Court action for €550,000.

Mary O’Donnell was a nurse at the Mid West Western Regional Hospital, Limerick and was believed to be on her way to work when the early morning collission occurred not far from her home.

Retired farmer and local historian John Ryan, aged in his 80s and also from Tipperary, was the driver of the other car. He also died in the collision. Mr Ryan was believed to have been on his way to catch a train at Limerick Junction when the accident occurred.

The case came before the High Court on Monday when Mr Justice Garrett Simons approved a part of the settlement for Mrs O’Donnell’s two sons Patrick (17) and Thomas (14).

Mrs O’Donnell’s husband James O’Donnell, Barronstown, Limerick Junction, Co Tipperary had sued the executor of the estate of the late John Ryan, Ballyryan, Monard, Co Tipperary, over the accident at Ballykisteen, Limerick Junction in Co Tipperary on October 16th, 2014.

It was claimed the car driven by the pensioner crossed onto the incorrect side of the road causing a collision.

It was claimed Mr Ryan had become distracted when driving, his car had collided with the kerb on his side of the road and was forced into the oncoming carriageway and into the path of Mrs O’Donnell’s car.

A defence had been lodged in the case in which it was accepted the crash was caused by the late Mr Ryan in and about the care and management and control of his vehicle.

It was acknowledged the death of 47-year old Mrs O’Donnell caused significant grief, upset and distress for the O’Donnell family.

It was also contended there may have been an aspect of alleged contributory negligence in the case as Mrs O’Donnell was allegedly not wearing her seatbelt at the time.

Mr Justice Simons was told during a remote hearing this was an issue in the case. Gardaí reported Mr Ryan had been wearing his seatbelt but it appeared Mrs O’Donnell may not have been.

Approving amounts of just over €60,000 each for Mrs O’Donnell’s sons, Mr Justice Simons said he had no hesitation in approving the settlement in this very tragic case.

He said there were significant issues in the case in relation to alleged contributory negligence in relation to Mrs O’Donnell and whether she was wearing a seatbelt.