Tuesday 19 September 2017

Boy awarded €2.9m after milk van 'ran over his head' when he was a toddler

Helen O Donnell, mother of Ian, of Glenwood Park, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, pictured leaving the Four Courts after the opening day of a High Court action on behalf of her son, Ian. Photo: Collins Courts
Helen O Donnell, mother of Ian, of Glenwood Park, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, pictured leaving the Four Courts after the opening day of a High Court action on behalf of her son, Ian. Photo: Collins Courts

Aodhan O'Faolain

A young man has settled a High Court action for €2.9m over injuries he received after a milk van ran over his head when he was a toddler.

Ian O'Donnell (18) suffered severe skull fractures in the accident outside his Donegal home just weeks before his third birthday, the court heard.

Mr O'Donnell, Glenwood Park, Letterkenny, through his mother Helen O'Donnell, sued milkman Paul Rodgers, Manorcunningham, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. 

He also sued the van owners, John, Paul and Brendan Kelly of Killtown, Killgordan, Co Donegal, as a result of the accident on November 10, 2001.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to keep any or any proper lookout.  It was alleged the child was dragged some distance along the road before Mr Rodgers was alerted to the presence of the boy under the milkvan.

It was further alleged the milkvan had been moved at a time when it ought to have been known it was unsafe and dangerous to do so.

The claims were denied.  The court heard liability was in full issue in the case.

John Finlay SC, for Ian, said the boy was outside his home with his then eight-year-old sister and mother and the milkvan was parked at Glenwood Park.

The child's mother thought the child was getting into their car but he was found on the roadway after the accident.

Counsel said the wheel of the milkvan had run over the boy's head.

The difficulty in the case was there was no proof of where the child was immediately before the accident, counsel said.

Mr Finlay said the boy had made a good physical recovery but had been left with other issues. While he finished school, it was not likely he would be able to hold down employment in the future.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, approving the settlement, said he hoped it would reassure Ms O'Donnell that Ian's needs will be met for the rest of his life.

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