A man who suffered catastrophic injuries when he was knocked down in Malta has settled a High Court action for €3.1 million.
David Cooley (70), who is severely disabled and and uses a wheelchair, has not been able to live at home since the car collided with him as he walked back to his hotel with his wife and friends in Malta three years ago.
Outside the Four Courts, his solicitor Daniel Wall criticised the way the case was handled by the Maltese authorities and he alleged the driver had been five times the drink driving limit when arrested. He said there has been no prosecution to date.
Mr Cooley left Malta in an air ambulance in April 2019 and there has been no communication since with the police service in Malta or the Malta Justice Department, said Mr Wall.
He has been living in a nursing home and this settlement will allow him to return to his family, who intend to build or convert a home to suit his needs.
Mr Cooley, from Youghal, Co Cork, had sued the driver’s insurance company, Mapfre Middlesea PLC, with offices at Middlesea House, Floriana, Malta, over the incident on April 5th, 2019, at Silema, Malta .
In an sworn statement to the court, Mr Cooley said he approved of the settlement.
His counsel, Thomas Creed SC, told the court Mr Cooley had retired two years before the accident after 40 years’ service with Cork County Council.
Mr Cooley and his wife, Margaret, and their friends had been out for one drink and were on their way back to the hotel when the accident happened. Mr Cooley was thrown into the air and landed on the road suffering catastrophic injuries.
He suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as injuries to his chest, hip, leg and arm and was in an induced coma. He was transferred to Cork University Hospital by air ambulance on April 30th, 2019 and from there to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.
Counsel said Mr Cooley has made excellent progress and regained cognitive functions. His wife and their three daughters wanted to be able to care for Mr Cooley at home, the court heard. Counsel said he will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey wished the family all the best for the future.