Man who suffered chronic pain after crash awarded almost €2m

Judge satisfied diagnosis of man’s fibromyalgia after the accident was a real diagnosis

A man who developed fibromyalgia after a near head-on collision has been awarded nearly €2 million by the High Court

A man who developed fibromyalgia after a near head-on collision has been awarded nearly €2 million by the High Court

 

A man who alleged a near head-on collision led to him suffering a chronic pain condition has been awarded almost €2 million in damages at the High Court.

Mr Justice Henry Abbott said he was satisfied the diagnosis of Donal Keating’s fibromyalgia after the accident was a real diagnosis.

Notwithstanding his earlier scepticism because fibromyalgia is a default diagnosis and “in many ways somewhat of a mystery” , Mr Justice Abbott said he was strengthened in his conclusion Mr Keating’s physical complaints were due to the accident because a urologist traced the plaintiff’s severe groin pain to nerve damage traceable to the impact.

The judge said he considered Mr Keating’s fibromyalgia will be as persistent as a long-running back injury and awarded a total of €2 million in damages, the bulk of that for loss of income and future medical costs.

Mr Keating (48), a manager of Oyster Bay Court, Carlingford, Co Louth, had sued Ligita Belajeva, Beacghgrove Lawns, Monaghan, Co Monaghan, as a result of the accident at Rice’s Bridge, Current Road, Dundalk, Co Louth, on July 23rd, 2011.

The case was before the court for assessment of damages only as liability was admitted.

Aerobic exercises

However, it was pleaded there was contributory negligence on the part of Mr Keating in relation to his recovery arising from alleged failure to engage in aerobic exercises in the swimming pool.

Mr Justice Abbott said, before the collision, Mr Keating saw a motor vehicle driven by Belajeva approach in an out-of-control fashion.

He slowed down and pulled in to the left as much as he could but the impact was heavy and almost head on.

In evidence, Mr Keating described the accident as an extremely violent impact and said he thought he was going to die in the accident. He was taken to hospital but discharged.

He said he had pains in his chest, shoulders and spine and went to his doctor two days after the crash. He reported that, two weeks after the accident, his pains got worse and by January 2015, he was complaining of ongoing pain.

Three or four years after the accident, his spine and neck were restricted, his chest and spine were sore and he experienced pain after walking 50 metres, he said.

Mr Keating had attempted to return to work in the family business but said his wrists were so sore he was unable to touch half the keyboard, the judge said. An orthopaedic surgeon had reported in 2014 he had fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

Mr Justice Abbott assessed contributory negligence for not engaging in water-based aerobic activities at 33 per cent. The €60,000 damages awarded for physical pain and suffering was cut to €40,000.