A 16-YEAR-old girl seriously injured in a crash in which her mother had a diabetic blackout while driving has settled her High Court action for damages for €5m.
Sinead Meaney was only seven years of age and on her way to a Majorettes outing when the head-on crash claimed the life of another driver and left three injured.
Mr Justice Sean Ryan was told that Sinead, a back seat passenger in the people carrier driven by her mother Stella Meaney, suffered a fracture to the skull and has been left brain damaged. However, she is now highly active and entirely mobile and attends a special secondary school, the judge was told.
Sinead of Ballinabearna, Inistiogue, Co Kilkenny, through her parents Jim and Stella, sued the nominee of FBD Insurance Company, as insurers of the car, as a result of the injuries she suffered in the accident on April 15, 2004 at Carrickbyrne, New Ross, Co Wexford.
It was claimed that the car owned by her father and driven by her mother was caused to drive on the incorrect side of the road and collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction.
Sinead was first brought to Wexford General Hospital and later transferred to Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, where she was on life support and required surgery for the reconstruction of her airways.
It was claimed she also required major surgery which left her with a hoarse voice and she has difficulties with memory.
Mrs Meaney of Ballinabearna, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny was later found not guilty by a jury at Wexford Circuit Court on a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of teacher Fergal Egan of Boley, Ballycullane, Wexford.
The head-on collision occurred shortly after 1.30pm on the N25 close to Carrigbyrne, about eight miles from New Ross, at a notorious accident black spot.
Mrs Meaney, who was travelling towards Wexford, suffered a diabetic blackout and her car crossed to the other side and collided with Mr Egan's car.
Mr Egan (41) and his wife Beverly (39) - a back seat passenger - were on their way back from an Easter holiday in France and had earlier disembarked from the MV Normandy ferry at Rosslare Europort.
The couple had travelled from Cherbourg and were within 30 minutes of their home when the Meaney's people carrier collided with their green Mitsubishi Colt car.
Mrs Meaney, along with her daughters Aoife (10) and Sinead (7), and Beverly Egan, were injured in the crash.
In court yesterday, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said he was happy to approve the settlement.